Trickle charge the starter battery

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Technical Discussion' started by Dm958562, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. Dm958562

    Dm958562 Junior Member

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    during this covid19 lockdown we haven't used our prius 3 for months and now it's completely out of power. I've pulled the starter battery out to give it a trickle charge but the meter on the charger indicates it's fully charged. My voltmeter is unfortunately broken so I've got no other way to verify this at the moment. The charger I'm using is a standard Maypole unit. Question is do I need to use a smart charger? Those I've seen on the web say that they will charge AGM batteries so I'm wondering whether the charging profile of AGM batteries mean I can't use a standard charger. Can somebody confirm this please? Or could it be something else that I'm missing?
    The battery is genuine Toyota and less than a year old. There have been no charging issues with the car before lockdown.
    Thank you

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  2. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    The car uses the traction battery for the starter. You might need a new one or at least a way to charge it....... this is how my 2013 v works..... take the 12 volt to auto parts and have them load test it.
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I'd recommend a smart charger, around 3.5 amps (max charge rate spec'd in owner's manual, page 373).

    You don't need to remove the battery to charge it, just be careful, don't reverse connections. I know the manual says to remove it, but it's not necessary.

    I'd recommend at least get another digital multimeter, see what voltage it's at. Better would be an electronic load tester. Dealerships will have them, can test your battery for a fee.

    They might waive fee in your case: with a year old battery it might be warranty case. Or they may say the 3 months down time constitutes abuse? Not sure.

    Automotive retailers will have similar electronic load testers. Phone in advance, verify they have suitable battery and tester for yours, start the car with jumper cables or jump pack, bring those along, and drive over for test/charge/replace, as the case may be.

    If you're interested in acquiring your own electronic load tester, I'd recommend Solar BA9.
     
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  4. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    Am I wrong on my post about the car using the traction battery on a 2009 for the starter?
     
  5. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    No but that simple statement by itself doesn't do anything to clarify the situation nor to help the person asking the question. All the models work like that.

    He needs to test his 12 V battery.......which in a hybrid really just boots up the computers and runs some accessories and does not actually run a starter motor. But it is still a "standard" 12 V battery.
     
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  6. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    my post.... The car uses the traction battery for the starter. You might need a new one or at least a way to charge it....... this is how my 2013 v works..... take the 12 volt to auto parts and have them load test it.
     
  7. Pluggo

    Pluggo Active Member

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    It's hard to believe there's no way to charge the traction battery. What would happen if you turned the key on, got it into Drive, and then spun the tires on a dynamometer?
     
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  8. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    I doubt it..... you may have to purchase a 240 volt charger.... after 12 volt check and if it checks out good try to borrow a traction battery charger.
     
  9. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Sure are lots of vintage hybrid succumbing to the Covid-19... Sure wish CARB states had required grid charging & deep cycling gear in all vehicles rather than just an extended warranty on the battery pack...
     
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  10. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    It would be fairly unusual for the traction battery to be too flat to handle its part of the starting process, in just 3 months of hibernation. And OP gave no actual indications of it being too low, his post gives clues regarding only the 12V.
    Don't even bother putting it in Drive. If the car goes 'Ready' with 2 bars on the SOC gauge, then the traction battery is good to go, the ICE should start. If you want a bit more charge, just leave it in Park, let the ICE run until it auto-stops, that should bring the SOC up to 3 bars.
     
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  11. Dm958562

    Dm958562 Junior Member

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    Okay I was assuming it's the 12 v battery, because the car is completely dead. Nothing comes on. No interior lights, no ready, central locking. I could only get in it using the emergency key

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    And you're almost certainly right. 3 months without using the car will drain it: theres' a low but constant milliamperage drain. You need to either keep it on a smart charger steadily (one that's designed to be left connected), or disconnect the negative lead.
     
    #12 Mendel Leisk, Jun 25, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  13. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    You never mentioned that in your original post... just that it wouldn't start.... 12 volt battery must be dead... better get a volt meter... I had a battery charger that read full but it was wrong.... (always use a volt meter.... even a $10 one) 12.8 volts or higher after a charge.
     
  14. Dm958562

    Dm958562 Junior Member

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    Yeah, sorry, that was a pretty fundamental point. But I was hung up on how to charge the 12v, so was approaching the question from that perspective. Thanks for the answers.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  15. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    I gave up on giving my opinion on here because it would take me half an hour to type my reply and then they reveal other information that would have save me the half hour typing.
     
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  16. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    "Someone was ahead of me driving slower than the posted speed limit. Told my wife that according to the Prius group I can flip this person off for delaying us a minute or two. She was like wow that's crazy...Did it maintaining the posted speed limit and it felt great!" - PriusMPGenius

    "Also, are there really high mileage cars in Europe?" - Bill Norton

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    I read these every time you post.... : )
     
  17. 2012 Prius v wagon 3

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    Yeah, it probably takes him 15 minutes of that half hour to type all that in each time he posts. That's dedication right there. Good stuff though.

    LOL I know the OP said starter in the first post, but I think many of us realized it's the 12V auxiliary battery (not actually the battery that turns the engine to start it) he's talking about.

    Tough to solve a problem when your tools aren't working. I'd get a new voltmeter, new 12V charger, and go from there.

    On the 12V charger, some are too smart - they will recognize a completely dead battery as 6V or unchargeable or bad, and won't even try. What I do in those cases is to use an old dumb 12V charger to get it started, then let the smarter charger take over. Another option is to similarly use a 12V battery from another car to get your 12V battery charged up enough that the charger knows what to do.
     
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  18. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    This is very likely what's going on. There are several possible approached including the ones kindly offered by @2012 Prius v wagon 3 and @Mendel Leisk.

    Long term solutions are to make sure you have a functional multi meter and an AGM compatible battery charger. A lithium jump pack sometimes comes in handy if the battery (or someone else's battery) goes flat away from home.
     
  19. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    YES, valid assumption.
    Then things took a wrong turn.
    Proceed on that original assumption.
     
  20. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    That is YOUR problem, not ours. :)

    Well, on second thought.............:ROFLMAO:
     
    #20 sam spade 2, Jun 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
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