Some sort of electrical issue?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by thelonelypuppet, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. thelonelypuppet

    thelonelypuppet Junior Member

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    Well, crap. Should I take the battery up to a different store, then, and try to explain the situation? I can also take a look at the battery itself to clear up what type it it.

    I appreciate y'all and your help so far!


    Edit: The receipt from the battery charging last night identified the battery as a 12v Super Start Platinum AGM.
     
    #21 thelonelypuppet, Jan 25, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how are you testing the voltage?
     
  3. thelonelypuppet

    thelonelypuppet Junior Member

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    The car's diagnostic/maintenance menu you access by turning the car on w the foot off the break. I've been told that that might not be the best way to do it, but I don't have a voltmeter yet.

    Having said that, car just now reported a voltage of 12v after sitting for three hours.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yeah, that's pretty bad. still, not sure without using the same method as o'reilly, because there is a small load using the screen, vs a volt meter on the battery or jump point.
     
  5. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Is there only one O'Riley's store in your area ?
    If there is another one, I suggest that you see them.
    You aren't getting good service from that one.

    Note: It is possible that something is drawing power while the car is OFF.
    You don't have an after-market alarm or a code reader or a stereo amp that runs all the time, do you ??

    Looking in and around the car in the DARK after it has been OFF for a while might be useful.
    One tiny little LED blinking on the dash should be the only light that stays on.
     
  6. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    That reading tends to be more confusing than helpful because...............
    To test the battery itself EVERYTHING should be OFF, and it isn't in that mode.
     
  7. thelonelypuppet

    thelonelypuppet Junior Member

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    I will definitely take the battery to another O'Reilly's.

    I don't have any accessories drawing power from the battery, and after I drove this morning while it was still dark, I did not see anything that was left on.
     
  8. thelonelypuppet

    thelonelypuppet Junior Member

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    Thank you for clarifying. I had been a little confused as to what you meant before--like I mentioned in my first post, I'm not very auto savvy. Unfortunately, that is the best I can do with regards to reading the voltage at this point. I can get a voltmeter, as mentioned previously.
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    take it back to o'reilly's and show them the number on your screen, and let them show you the number on their meter
     
  10. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    That battery is done. Please see post #15.
     
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  11. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    A huge red flag would of gone up for me if O'Reillys said this:

    You can test the battery...anytime. The only thing charging it first does, is make sure when they test it, it shows pretty charged up. I kind of want it tested BEFORE I charge it, so I know where it was at.

    But it seems through attrition you're discovering the battery isn't good.

    To me? The only reason to insist on charging it first before testing it, is to make sure the results come back "charged" so that you can say the battery looks fine, and not honor any warranty.
     
  12. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    But not with the "standard" battery load testers.
    The battery in fact DOES need to be near to fully charged to get a test result that actually means anything.
     
  13. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    What's the difference between "load tester" and just testing the battery to see where the charge is at?
    IMO in the OP's situation, he just needed or wanted to know initially where the battery was at as far as charge at the moment.

    Because it does seem to me....if you charge the battery...then test it...unless the battery is so far gone, it can't even be effectively charged, aren't the results always going to come back that the recently "charged" battery...is "surprise" charged?

    Maybe you need it charged to test load operation capability. But you don't need it charged to simply test it.
     
  14. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Even a completely shot battery can show a decent voltage when it is not supplying any current to a load.

    So......slapping a voltmeter on a battery in an unknown condition tells you exactly NOTHING........unless it reads really LOW and that tells you it's dead.

    So, to get any useful information about a battery's health, you first need to charge it fully (first test, if it won't take a full charge, it's shot) and then see how it will maintain it's fully charged voltage when put under a load.

    Example: You put a meter on a battery that is sitting idle and it reads 12.0.
    That doesn't sound too bad and might indicate it is about half dis-charged.

    But you put a little load on it and the voltage drops to 3.0.
    Where is the charge AT ?
    Did just the first reading tell you that ??
    Hint: NO.
     
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  15. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    OK...I admit I'm not a battery condition determining expert.
    If that's the best accepted protocol for testing and determining condition, I withdraw my suspicious viewpoint concerning O' Reilly Auto Parts testing procedure as being a misdiagnosed opinion created through my own ignorance.

    BUT...
    Still seems to me, slapping a voltmeter on a battery isn't a particularly time consuming OR difficult/complicated thing to do. So doing so,before it's charged to determine it's NOT "Really LOW and telling you it's dead", still seems like a worthwhile thing to do.
    Then as you continue the process, if it doesn't take a charge..dead...doesn't maintain charge under load-dead...you just have clearer confirmation along the way that the battery IS the culprit.
    Is this a fair compromise?
     
  16. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Yes. Unless the whole car is "new to you".

    If everything was working OK for a long time, a quick voltmeter test is the first thing you should do.
    Several readings actually. After sitting overnight. After turning the car ON. And after starting it up (tests charging system, not battery).

    A single reading with nothing for a reference will tell you pretty much nothing useful.
     
  17. George W

    George W Active Member

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    Can you take this battery some other place to have it tested?

    As far as putting a load on it, that could be a 12 volt headlight bulb from a car. If your battery is fully charged, connect it to car headlight. You can put your voltmeter on and time it to see how long it takes for the voltage to start dropping.
     
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