Toyota Prius 12V Charging System Functional Test

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Technical Discussion' started by padroo, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    Professor John Kelly from Weber University just posted a new video on the 12 Volt charging system on the fourth generation Prius. Some really good information here that will be referenced as the fourth generation gets older. Enjoy :)


     
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  2. mark27lim

    mark27lim Active Member

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    super like!
     
  3. kithmo

    kithmo Couch Potato

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    Excellent video (y)
    Just have to get me two of those clamp ammeters now (each one costs more than a new battery).
     
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  4. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    You don't HAVE to have expensive equipment to get a reasonable idea of what is going on with the 12 V system.
    A $20 digital voltmeter is usually good enough.
    The trick is to know what to look for.

    No time to watch the whole thing right now but did get to the part where he shows the Gen 4 battery and says it is NOT AGM. I wonder about that statement because it looks like the individual cells are NOT vented.......and a conventional lead-acid type should be.
     
    #4 sam spade 2, Jul 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  5. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    I always learn something from John Kelly's videos. He mentions EN on the battery which stands for "European Normal"
    I didn't have a clue because I have never heard the term before but here it is.

    What is the EN Standard?
    EN is short for European Norm. The European Norm is an agreement between the countries in Europe to consolidate the specification of standards to enhance the efficiency of commerce. In Europe, EN Standards are gradually being adopted as a more uniform alternative to many different national standards. This EN Standard has been applied to automotive batteries.

    The whole thing can be read here for those who are interested.

    European Norm (EN) Battery Design - WORLD SOURCEONE®
     
  6. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    So for those with HUGE amplifierss, 100 Amps total, (1200 watts) but half of that may be used to run the car so a reasonable maximum would be 50 Amps (600 watts) for your stereo. And always be in Ready.
     
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  7. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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  8. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    I’ve written about this before. The video shows the six vent plugs on the top of the battery from 0:59 to 1:05.
    That seller seems to have assumed, incorrectly, that the 2016 Prius was a continuation of the third-generation, rather than a new model with a new type of battery. The two batteries they offer have good reviews from owners of other vehicles (one buyer mentioned having a 2012 Prius), but for 2016 and later, they are too wide and have the wrong terminal arrangement. Compare their photos with mine in this thread, and note the locations of the positive and negative terminals, relative to the closest edge of the battery.
     
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  9. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I thought it was interesting that, with the car OFF, he had his center Fluke meter with Hall-effect clamp showing a current into the battery of around 0.6 amp, and he repeated that without any comment as to whether it's realistic, or where on earth that current could have been coming from.

    It would have been perfect moment to point out that those Hall clamps are never super-accurate at the low-current ends of their ranges. His looked like it might have been an i410, which has an upper range limit of 400 amps, but down in the neighborhood of half an amp it isn't doing much but making up numbers. In this case, with the car OFF, the current was undoubtedly out of the battery, at somewhere under a tenth of an amp, and the fact that it looked like a few tenths of an amp in the impossible other direction was just an artifact of the measurement.

    Always good to know the limits of one's instruments....

    -Chap
     
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  10. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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  11. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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  12. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    That’s an interesting version of the diagram. I didn’t notice any errors, but it’s a completely different presentation than the Toyota Electrical Wiring Diagram published for 2016. Mitchell’s site says they redraw the diagrams for every vehicle into a consistent format.
     
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  13. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    I forgot they do that and they do it so people who work on all brand of cars don't have to try to figure out different systems.
    They generally run from top ( all fuses and power) then at the bottom they tend to run to the grounds in a system.
     
  14. mark27lim

    mark27lim Active Member

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    the stock battery is vented and you do need to check on the individual fluid levels. use a dime to unscrew the six vent caps. use a flashlight to either check at an angle that the water level inside is just touching the base of the cap tube. or that the top down view of the parallel plates inside is distorted into an “eyelid” like dual convex lens shape. because when the water level reaches onto and touches the base of the cap tube it wicks up and distorts the view of the plates. if the level is too low the plates look parallel. and hold your breath whilst peering in. it’s sulphuric acid you’re smelling..
     
  15. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    One GIANT step backwards, in my opinion.

    I firmly intend to NEVER have to check the water level in a battery....ever again.

    AGMs are great. And they work fine in systems that weren't necessarily designed for them.
     
  16. kithmo

    kithmo Couch Potato

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    I doubt that the level will drop in normal use, unless there's a problem with the inverter (or the 12v battery).
     
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  17. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Totally wrong.

    Just simple evaporation and being in the engine compartment where it is HOT will cause some water loss.
    And "normal" charging and discharging creates some loss due to electrolysis.

    Unless maybe you intend to buy a new battery about every two years regardless.......you NEED to check the lever at least every 6 months or so. More often in the beginning to get a handle on "normal" loss.
     
  18. kithmo

    kithmo Couch Potato

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    Well mine's over 2 years old now and the electrolyte level has not moved, this is the first time I've checked it.
    Anyone else on here, apart from Sam, had to top up their battery ?

    I've been driving for 45 years now and can honestly say the only time I have had to top up a battery was with the old dynamo charging systems where the charging voltage could get up to 16v or on other later systems where there was a charging fault.
    It's just about impossible to "gas" a battery now with the control modern systems have on the charging of the battery, otherwise we would all be dying of sulphuric acid vapour poisoning.
     
    #18 kithmo, Jul 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  19. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Cars where the batteries are cranking an ICE possibly will need topping up. I've not touched the "maintenance free" batteries on my last 2 cars, though. And they both lasted in excess of 4½ yrs. There's no mention that TOYOTA topped it up on my 2yr old PRIUS.
     
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