Storing the Prius for 45 Days

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Siward, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Siward

    Siward Member

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    Hi PriusChat,

    My family has two cars. One of them is a 2012 Prius and the other is a 2011 Sonata. There used to be two drivers, but now there is only one (me). Obviously, I can't drive both cars.

    To save on auto insurance, I put the Prius on storage status for a minimum of 45 days. I am no longer insured to drive the Prius until the end of next month. Meanwhile, I am currently trying to sell the Sonata privately but there hasn't been much interest. I might as well drive the car that has the lower depreciation.

    What can I do to ensure that the Prius hybrid battery does die on me? I took it for a 30-minute drive and left the hybrid battery charge at maximum full bars. It is stored in a garage which is somewhat warmer than outside. The 12V AGM battery that is installed has a 5-year replacement warranty. Is there something else I can do to store it properly?
     
  2. Siward

    Siward Member

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    The battery charge is going to be a problem in the winter when temperature drops. I will probably have to take the Prius off storage status and drive it in the winter.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the hybrid battery is fine for a few months at a time. the 12v should be kept on a maintainer, and if that isn't possible, at least disconnect the negative while in storage.
     
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  4. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    45 days?

    You're over thinking this.
    Priuses aren't that fragile, otherwise there would not be 20 year old Priuses on the road today.

    Back when I was knocking holes in the ocean, I used to regularly store cars for 90-day stretches, along with about 130 of my closest friends.
    I was always amazed at the different philosophies and strategies that people came up with for storing their cars, ranging from the minimalists to the absurd.
    Some would - LITERALLY - put their cars on jack stands, disconnect the battery and wonder if they should take out spark plugs and squirt some kinda oil into the cylinder bores.

    Me?
    I just parked my car and had a friend start it up every week or two.

    10 patrols.
    Zero problems.

    What I would do if I were you for 45 days is....nothing.
    Maybe put the aux battery on a $20 Walmart battery tender (they use the same chip as the $50 ones do) and perhaps start and run the car every other week to keep the juices flowing in the traction battery.


    I will not drive a car that is not capable of being parked and unattended for a while, and dealers would not be able to sell them.
     
    #4 ETC(SS), Oct 23, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
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  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    For 45 days the hybrid battery should be ok; this is from page 30 of the Owner's Manual:

    upload_2019-10-23_7-43-17.png

    For the 12 volt battery, disconnect and isolate the negative cable cable. If you have a smart charger (3~4 amp range) I would for sure charge it just before the disconnect.

    Also, air up the tires to max sidewall, leave one window slightly cracked.
     
  6. Siward

    Siward Member

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    I actually wanted to just start the car (and not drive it) once every 1-2 weeks, but this is a bad idea for the Prius. The engine shakes and rumbles on startup every time the car is used previously for short periods of time. This is one big design flaw.

    The 12V battery has a really long replacement warranty with two years left. If it dies, I will simply exchange it. Battery discharge is more of a threat in the winter.
     
    #6 Siward, Oct 23, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you should at least let it finish the warm up stages until the engine shuts off, but the egr might need cleaning.

    how many miles on her?
     
  8. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Personally, I’d just drive it to 6 HV bars, note down radio presets, trip A & B then yank both 12v leads to avoid key fob scanning detection which can milliamperes battery draw. Store 12v in a garage or indoors.
     
  9. 2Fats

    2Fats New Member

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    I worked out of Michigan for several years, and parked my 07 Pri outside, in a secured yard for months on end. There were times it would have feet of snow on it and would sit for up to 3 months at a time without being started. It always started and ran fine after. (Much better than my Lincoln or GMC, both of which I had to put a battery tender on.)

    I did notice that even if I parked it with a full battery, after sitting for a few months it would have only a few bars. I also debated on fuel level, and since airspace causes condensation, I would top it off before parking it. After a few years of this a co-worker asked if she could borrow the car to drive around when she was in, so it was driven every few weeks after that.

    My concerns weren't the battery, as much as the temperature changes causing condensation and therefore rust in the engine and fuel tank.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    You can lead horses to water... :cry:
     
  11. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    If you don't want to drive it I'd just start it every 2-3 weeks and let it warm up until the engine shuts off.
    No harm is done if it shakes a bit, IMO, unless there is something else wrong with the car.

    Mike
     
  12. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Siward recently stated....
    I actually wanted to just start the car (and not drive it) once every 1-2 weeks, but this is a bad idea for the Prius. The engine shakes and rumbles on startup every time the car is used previously for short periods of time.
    :eek::eek::eek:

    Then 3Priusmike said...
    No harm is done if it shakes a bit, IMO, unless there is something else wrong with the car.

    Then I said....
    X2......there is, but it just hasn't become totally obvious yet...….
     
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  13. Siward

    Siward Member

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    Thank you for the gloomy prediction. Yes. I expect a repair bill in the future. Then again, there's always a repair bill.
     
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  14. almarjc

    almarjc New Member

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    I'm probably not the best example, but my wife's car needed brake and bearing repairs and I just didn't have time. I just parked it with some fuel stabilizer(in Michigan). After about a year, I disconnected the 12v battery neg. and put it on a trickle charger. Last month, I no longer had excuses, after 2 years. Gathered my parts- pads, rotors, calipers, bearings, ball joints, tie rods, struts and shocks; started it up and drove it into the garage. No ill effects, other than the mouse I evicted. I'm now using it to commute 90 miles per day. Runs like a top. So, I would say they are not that delicate. although I do not recommend my method, the systems appear durable and 45 days should be like nothing. I would just put in fuel stabilizer and a trickle charger.
     
  15. Siward

    Siward Member

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    So, I finally started my car 49 days later. There was engine knockng and the car shook. I restarted it three times and on the third time, the rumbling eventually faded away.

    Same as knocking as 1:46 in this video.


    I then took the car for an long drive. Fortunately, all subsequent startups were fine.
     
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  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    How many miles on it? Have you cleaned the intake and EGR cooler/valve?
     
  17. dubit

    dubit Active Member

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    Yeah, seems to happen on my C when it sits for extended periods too. There are a couple threads here on it, but no fix that I ever found. Most say that starting it once a week helps, but I've found that not to be the case every time. It's been this way since brand new.
     
  18. Siward

    Siward Member

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    171260 km. No the EGR has not been cleaned. The EGR doesn't look easy to remove.
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Oh it's a lot of fun, lol. Watch the @NutzAboutBolts videos, and seriously: you should do it.

    The simplest way to see where you're at, is to check the degree of carbon build up in the EGR pipe, a stainless steel connecting pipe between the EGR valve and intake manifold. Watch @NutzAboutBolts video #16 here:

    Nutz About Bolts Prius Maintenance Videos | PriusChat

    Two or three other videos linked there too, for the full cleaning of the intake manifold, full EGR clean, and Oil Catch Can install.

    Good thread:

    EGR & Intake Manifold Clean Results | PriusChat

    Another:

    Oil Catch Can, Eliminate that knock! | PriusChat

    Some tools worth having:

    E8 Torx socket (mandatory)
    E6 Torx socket (optional, but good to have, to remove the throttle body studs from intake manifold)
    3/8" ratchet wrench, regular and long handle, flex head, you can never have enough (or 1/2 plus reducer)
    1/4" ratchet wrench, or 3/8" to 1/4" reducer
    Ratchet extensions: you can never have enough
    Long needle nose piers, straight and bent tip
    Ratcheting 12mm box wrench (optional, but makes disconnection of the EGR cooler from exhaust easier)
    Torque wrench (3/8" and 1/4" both good to have)
    Floor jack and safety stands (or ramps): basically some method to raise front, if you need to take underpanel off, which you may need to, both for access and to recover dropped items.

    If you drain two liters of coolant (at the radiator drain spigot) into a clean container, before commencing, the EGR cooler will be pretty much dry, and there's no spillage when disconnecting it's coolant lines. There's maybe a 1/4 cup of coolant trapped at the lower back corner: just lift the cooler out without tipping, then pour that trapped coolant into the previous collection. When done, pour the drained coolant back into the reservoir.

    When disconnecting the throttle body, just leave it's coolant lines attached, and tie the throttle body to the inverter.

    Read the two linked threads (above end-to-end), lots more tips.
     
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  20. Siward

    Siward Member

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    I did watch the video. He did some cuts when he tried removing rear bolt of the EGR, so I can imagine is a real pain. Not to mention you can drop the bolt too.

    My mechanic skills are only brake pads, oil changes and tire swaps. I have done easy spark plugs (unlike the difficult Prius).

    I have all the tools except for the torx sockets and clamps for the coolant hoses. I am not sure if I should attempt cleaning it myself. I decided not to do it after seeing postings of check engine lights on PriusChat after EGR cleanings.

    I also saw a EGR valve warranty for the U.S. up to 150,000 miles, but you have to get a trouble code to claim it. I guess it may not apply to Canada.
     
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