SKS non-responsive for a few minutes

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by theclarinetguy32, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. theclarinetguy32

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    Hello,
    this evening I had an interesting hiccup happen. Out of the blue the car would not recognize any function of the key fobs (both) inside or out. Recently changed batteries in the fobs and the red LED was coming on with button presses so those weren't the issue. But as I mentioned, the car wouldn't recognize the fob for any button press or proximity for unlocking/ignition.
    There have been a few times where the fob right next to my phone would throw the car off, along with a few random scenarios where I had to be right next to the car for remote lock/unlock to work. I figured this was some type of interference as all the occurrences seemed random.
    Anyway, after nothing working I tried the fobs again and they worked as if nothing happened before.

    So, what I'm curious about is what scenarios anyone has seen where the car possibly resets or in some way refuses to acknowledge the key fobs for a short time.

    Thanks
     
  2. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Weird stuff happening? MPGs dropping? Test The Battery | PriusChat

    Only four things can cause this.

    Weak battery in fob
    Interference with radio signal from fob to car
    Weak 12 volt
    Stuck buttons on fob

    I suspect your 12 volt is weak again. Might be sulfated even though it was on the tender. Check the voltage with the test to make sure.

    If the 12 volt tests good, then it is probably something blocking the signal. Change in pocket, cell phone etc.

    Try to eliminate all four of the above items, and then you should be able to solve the problem.

    Thanks for your "service" and welcome home.
     
  3. theclarinetguy32

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    The battery was replaced in spring of 2010 (deployed, car sat for 3+ in lovely WI winter). I replaced with it a Optima yellow top and haven't had any issues since. Took a battery reading a few days ago when I was tinkering with some things and it was sitting just under 12V with everything off. Winds up to high 12's when the engine is on.
    Key fobs - replaced the battery in my primary fob a month ago. The second fob battery was replaced a few months earlier but on a 'good' day both of them work fine from equal distances.
    This morning after I had the car on for a good 20 minutes including driving, the car wouldn't recognize the proximity of the fob to use the trunk/handle black button, but pressing the actual lock button on the fob worked.

    I'll check the voltages again and see if maybe I wasn't reading something right.
     
  4. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I seem to have some problems with the consistency if the 2032 battery quality. Maybe try a different brand.
    In other business, what clarinet you playin'?
     
  5. theclarinetguy32

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    I'll bite on the battery quality possibility with one fob, but with two fobs, two different battery installs from different manf dates seems iffy on coincidence.
    Around lunch time I'll try and get some readings on the 12V battery. What would you say is an ideal offline and online reading from the battery? I've gone into eletrical testing on other vehicles and tracked voltages on the, just never needed to with this one so far.

    Back in the day I played the Bass Cl primarily, but that has been a while. With all the moving and deployments on the mil side I haven't had the chance to get setup in a community band/orchestra. Still have both the Bb and Bass though!
     
  6. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ...OK you must consider community band...I have played bass clar but not lately all Bb.
    We play at an Elks lodge military dinner this weekend.
     
  7. theclarinetguy32

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    I still know the HS band director who has headed up the city band for 20 years. I'm guessing city/community, about the same depending on the area. Had the chance to play contra and double but those are so restricted in pieces. Nice sound though.
    Elks Lodge as in New York area?
     
  8. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Based on what you said above, your 12 volt is showing age again.

    Please run the test that I linked and post all three values here.

    Under 12 volts is severely discharged. A fully charged AGM battery will read 13.1 volts
     
  9. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I am in DC area north VA.
     
  10. theclarinetguy32

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    Just ran the battery test:
    Initial 11.9V
    Load 11.6V
    On/charging 14.2V

    Based on what the post said, it would seem technically the battery isn't at it's best. But I'm wondering if I installed this end of March 2010 that doesn't seem quite right for the life of the battery. I've seen some posts around the web on the same yellow top (pre Optima catered Prius style battery - that was a PITA to install!) and on various kinds of vehicles most people were saying the battery was holding up great even at 5 years.
    Considering how much these things cost, and the royal PITA it is to get this original style Optima battery in and out I trying to stretch the mind for possible options before replacement if that is in fact where we are headed.
    Also, hopefully this isn't an absolute red bulls-eye, but I did have to put this car in my garage for nearly 8 months while I was deployed to the sandbox (Jan through Sep). After the fun and games of a dead battery from only ~3 months I opted for a battery minder to keep things running. When I got back home I took it off the blocks and it fired right up and I thought everything was perfect.
    Would the battery minder be the recipe of doom for the battery?

    ah ok. Tried looking up the Elk Lodge and a few posts were aimed somewhere in NY state.
     
  11. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, your battery is below what is considered to be normal voltage.

    I would suggest that you hook up a smart charger and attempt to recharge the battery. Once the battery is fully charged, then I would run the test again after letting the Prius sit overnight. If the voltages do not improve, I would suggest you fit a new battery that is fully charged.

    There are a few different batteries that will fit the Prius. The Yellow Top Optima is now being sold as a direct drop in, no modifications required. The part # for that is DS46B24R DS46B24R YELLOWTOP® Prius® Auxiliary Battery 8171-767 :: OPTIMA® Batteries You can also use the Exide brand battery. They too have a direct drop in battery with no mods needed. Or you can go back with a OEM. Recently Interstate Battery has developed and is marketing a direct drop in battery that is identical to the OEM battery. It is being sold by Toyota Dealers and is being called True Start IIRC.

    It is unfortunate that the yellow top you have did not last as long as you expected. It is obvious at this point that the battery is discharged and is more than likely the source of your problem concerning the SKS system not responding normally.

    FYI, when running the test you did a fully charged AGM type battery should read as follows.

    Accessory Mode: 12.6 volts or higher
    Ign On Mode: 12.4 volts or higher
    Ready Mode: 13.8 to 14.2 volts

    11.9 and 11.6 are too low of readings and will cause problems in your Prius.

    Thanks again for your "service". It is guys like you who make the world a safer place.

    In reference to your "Battery Minder". If you have the unit I have you should be able to recharge the battery unless it is sulfated badly. Set it on 4 Amps, AGM, and hook it up and let it charge until it goes into "maintenance mode". It will probably take several hours to recharge the battery IF it is going to accept the charge. Battery Minder is a good product, and does it's job well. But the bottom line is that the voltage you are reporting at this time is well below what it should be.

    Hope this helps you.
     
  12. theclarinetguy32

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    back track a minute, I have a battery tender, not sure if the terminology is equal.
    If it is, I'll hook it up in the garage and let it work overnight.

    Thanks for all the info, very in depth, excellent.
     
  13. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I got my YellowTop from eLearnaid maybe when you did, it's worked well. But the newer ones are better have the pencil size battery posts for Gen2, which makes them easier to drop in directly.

    Unfort at the time, I did not think to check the YellowTop battery charge as rec'd new in the box. Must have been ok. But there were a few reports of people getting too low charge on the new battery. In that case you'd like to charge it before you install it, because the Prius actually charges the 12v battery quite slowly...need a long trip if your battery is low. Also if the car is sitting extended period, the SKS (smart key) system will use up battery in a Gen2 there is a button under the steering column to turn off the SKS during down time. For very extended down time you need disconnect and perhaps battery minder.
     
  14. theclarinetguy32

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    The battery is charging for the night. I'll check the numbers again in the morning, if they are good then I'll continue on. If not then I'll go for another battery.
    Any other issues and I'll post back.
    Also, Amazon has the Prius yellow top for $163 and if you have Prime then free shipping. Beats the eLearnaid site.
     
  15. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Battery Minder and Battery Tender are two different products. Battery Tender usually just maintains a charged battery. Battery Minder is a brand of smart charger which will desulfate, charge, and maintain gel, agm, and flooded 12 volt batteries.

    Battery Minder is rather expensive also, but worth the money IMO

    Batteryminders Specials | BatteryMinders.com
     
    wjtracy likes this.
  16. theclarinetguy32

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    I'm looking up the minders right now.
    When I put the tender on the car using the under the hood contacts I probably had read somewhere, someone had either done it that way or advised it was ok. But I honestly can't remember the details. So to re-learn on this topic, is there any known issues with using a maint. type device like a battery minder on the front terminals?
     
  17. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    No problem hooking up to the dedicated jump start post under the hood. Remember that the positive goes on the jump start post, and the negative should clamp to the bolt head for the strut. Make certain you don't reverse the polarity. I run my battery minder on our Prius with that jump start post and never had a problem. You will probably find that the battery tender you have there will not have enough output to fully charge your battery. A good smart charger will do the job provided the battery will "accept" a charge. Once they get sulfated, they are pretty much toast.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  18. theclarinetguy32

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    I've accidentally welded stuff by touching the wrong contacts with farm equipment so keeping those straight is something I learned a long time ago!
    On the battery tender, it was showing green for the idle type of activity when I got the car off blocks a month and a half ago. So unless within a month and half it's taken that much of dive hopefully this will have enough to get it back up. Otherwise I did see the battery minder on amazon (I love the prime perks!).
    Question: I also saw the OnBoard Battery Restorer/Conditioner and wondered if that is a recommended product or not?
     
  19. theclarinetguy32

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    Well, it typically works better when you choose the outlet that doesn't turn off with the garage lights... So I had the battery tender hooked up for all of 10 minutes until I shut the lights off!
    Anyway, I had to drive to the next town over (~50 minutes) and took some readings after arriving and after being there for a few hours (car off for that time).
    Arrival:
    12.4V
    12.1V
    14.1V

    After checking it again after a few hours the initial and non-running load decreased by around 0.1-0.2 or so.
    When I get back home I had to stop by a store and after only 5 minutes in the store the car wouldn't recognize the fob initially. Kept trying the unlock button and it finally worked after a minute or two. The little light on the fob was going nuts as I tried pressing the buttons. I do recall that when the battery in the fob was getting close to dying before, range was certainly diminished but not to the point of not working if I'm standing right next to the driver's door.
    Considering I just got done driving almost an hour, and after the car being off for all of 5 minutes or so, does that still follow the characteristics of the battery causing things to wig out? If disconnecting the 12V battery for a few minutes allows a full reset of the SKS, would that have any benefit?
    I stopped by Northern Tool and picked up the Battery Minder that was mentioned. Will plug it in (to the right outlet!!) tonight and let it work unless any more ideas pop up based on this post.

    Thanks
     
  20. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Well, you said you changed the CR2032 batteries, so unless they are no good it is either the 12 volt being funky or interference. The numbers you quoted are a little low. Check after sitting overnight...

    Something tells me you may end up having to put in a new 12 volt, but eliminate the other stuff first (CR2032 and interference)
     
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