Vehicle sat unused for two years

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by Paul Rekow, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. Paul Rekow

    Paul Rekow Junior Member

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    Hi All, I purchased a used 2013 PIP with 15133 miles on it today. The vehicle was originally delivered 4/3/13 in NY, then registered in Ithaca, NY on 7/30/13 as a fleet lease vehicle. On 9/28/13 it was reported as being in an accident in Tompkins Cty, NY Next event was 6/5/14 registration renewal. Next event was two years later, 7/5/16 was reported at auto auction in MO.

    My question is if a vehicle sat for that long unused what effect would it have on traction battery? From what I can tell the 12v battery was replaced 5 months ago, as the calendar in the MID says 5/5/2012 today.

    There was some corrosion on aluminium surfaces in the engine compartment, so I questioned whether it had some kind of water damage. The dealership had an inspector come and go over the car with me. He indicated the corrosion was likely from salt being used on the roads in NY. I found out from my local Toyota dealer that the car was likely pressure washed with detergent that washed away factory coatings and allowed the corrosion. The dealership I bought from was not a Toyota dealership, just a used car dealer.

    Any other concerns anyone would have with a vehicle that seems to have sat for several years? Thanks for any thoughts.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how many ev miles on the estimate after a charge, and how far can you go on back roads before the engine fires?
     
  3. Paul Rekow

    Paul Rekow Junior Member

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    There was 10.8 miles available when I got in. I plugged it in at home for the first time a couple hours ago.

    My back roads are all gravel which does a number on mileage.:(
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i don't think you'll have any trouble with the battery. are you sure it sat for 2 years?
     
  5. Redpoint5

    Redpoint5 Senior Member

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    As Bisco states, your traction battery likely is fine. Perhaps it's in slightly better condition than a vehicle that was more heavily used. The traction battery can't discharge in just 2 years of sitting unless someone did something weird to cause that to happen.
     
  6. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    The PiP has a Li-Ion battery, doesn't it? I thought they slowly discharged and did not tolerate being totally discharged very well. That is why most devices not ship with a half charge.
     
  7. Redpoint5

    Redpoint5 Senior Member

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    Li-Ion batteries do not self-discharge as quickly as NiMh, which is what the standard Prius has. You're correct that they don't tolerate being deeply discharged very well, but it would take more than 2 years to reach that point, since the traction battery is physically disconnected from the circuits whenever you power it off.
     
  8. mmmodem

    mmmodem Taste Tester

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    Unfortunately, we just don't know what effect 2 years of being not driven will have on the battery. There's just not enough information. We can only guess. I'm with Bisco in that if you're getting 10.8 EV miles on a 3.5 year old car, plus it's winter and you live in NY, your battery is currently reading better than most 2013 as they would be reading in the single digit range this time of year.

    For giggles, I'm in warmer CA and my EV range was 9.9 EV miles this morning at 39 degrees F on a regularly driven 2012 with 115k miles, 19% EV ratio: This is completely different variables and not comparable to you at all but gives you an idea of what to expect.
     
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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    I wish the 12 volt battery would do that too. Maybe in conjunction with a built-in flash memory, to store settings.

    Not two full years, but: our 2010 was manufactured August 2009, and when we drove it off the lot in November 2010 it had about 10 km's on the odo. So 15 months idle. Been champion so far.
     
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  10. Bluegrassman

    Bluegrassman Active Member

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    If the 12v battery did that, the remotes, SKS, alarm, etc would not work.
    There are aftermarket disconnects you can install for very little $$ Mostly used on vehicles that sit for long periods of time.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  11. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    You are supposed to turn off SKS for long term storage, I believe.
     
  12. Bluegrassman

    Bluegrassman Active Member

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    Yes, but that's not in the context of my particular quoted conversation. You wouldn't want your 12v automatically switch disconnected each time you shut your car off like the traction battery is.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  13. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Why are you making the assumption nothing happened in between reported events?
    15,133 miles is not a lot of miles for a 3+ year old vehicle.
    Do any of those events also report the mileage at the time of the event?

    Then you could get an idea of how long it actually sat.
    Otherwise all you know is it hasn't been driven much....but how much it actually sat?
     
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  14. Redpoint5

    Redpoint5 Senior Member

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    Silly that NVRAM hasn't been implemented already to store settings. It would probably add $1 to the cost of manufacturing the vehicle.

    As far as 12v disconnects go, I have yet to find one I'm satisfied with. The relay that is used to keep the 12v battery connected draws a lot of power itself, hastening the need to disconnect sooner. I wanted something to protect my LiFePO4 from damage if my wife leaves the doors open again. Someone should invent a normally closed switch that can be opened when voltage drops below some threshold. The actuator would switch power off by using a little power stored in a capacitor to move the switch before loosing power.

    Hard drives have something similar that parks the heads when power is disconnected. They have just enough stored energy to perform the head park, although I'm not entirely sure how this is accomplished.

    EDIT: It looks like hard drives use the momentum of the spinning platter to momentarily turn the spindle motor into a generator, supplying enough energy to park the heads before the disks spin down. No such stored mechanical energy exists on a car, so the switch actuator would have to rely on something else like a capacitor.
     
    #14 Redpoint5, Dec 6, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
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  15. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    A normally open relay works like that. When power is applied, it is closed, otherwise it is open and consumes no electrical current.
     
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  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Since both my wife and I retired our driving has dropped, to about 6000 km's a year. I'm trying to stay cognizant, that the car needs to be used every second or third day, ensure it gets an regular longish drive, and hook up a smart charger periodically.

    So anyway, there's an example: a regularly used car, but accruing under 5000 miles yearly.
     
  17. liskipper

    liskipper Member

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    The history doesn't necessarily mean that the car sat idle for 2 years, just that there was not a reportable event during that time. I believe NYS has a 2 year interval between registrations.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  18. Redpoint5

    Redpoint5 Senior Member

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    Yes, which is a problem because it consumes too much power when the car is sitting parked. Normally, the Prius 12v battery might be ok to sit for a month or more without draining the battery too much, causing damage. With a low voltage battery disconnect, the power needed to keep the relay closed will drain the 12v battery in a day or 2, hastening the need to disconnect, and loosing many of the car settings in the process.
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    I'm coming around to just hooking up the smart charger if the car's sitting idle more than 2 days. And leave it connected. Once it's done charging it can be left on indefinitely, giving a very light maintenance charge. That's maybe not an option though, if you don't have a secure garage.
     
  20. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    When a car is sitting parked, a normally open relay uses no current. A spring generally holds the contacts open.
    If you want the opposite, there are normally closed relays too.
     
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