War with Toyota

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by jessewilson, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    Its really no different than any other car. Reversing the polarity of the jumper cables will fry the hell out of the electrical system of ANY car. If you follow the instructions in the manual...you will be fine. If you don't feel comfortable following those instructions and are nervous about harming the vehicle...call a professional. Its a complex piece of technology...I wouldn't jump start it and I have a lot of knowledge about cars. Inside the warranty? Toyota provides professionals to do this for you. Outside the warranty? Join AAA, its cheap and you can easily make money on the membership every year from hotel discounts. I do.

    Remember the Prius has been out for 10 years...and they sell incredibly well and have very high customer satisfaction ratings and customer retention stats. Have we heard of thousands of people frying inverters by reversing the polarity on their jumper cables? No.

    They can't make everything 100% idiot proof. The manual tells you how to do it, and has a lot of warnings about what awful things will happen if you do it wrong. The polarity is clearly marked on the vehicle's terminals as well as the jumper cables themselves. Just like EVERY other car. What more can they do?
     
  2. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    I guess the big point is maybe that alot of people hook up there Prius correctly and still damage electronics.

    I suspect if the aux battery is very depleted and the owner hooks up cables and treats it like there jumping there old Chevy and rev up the donor motor it provides alot more current than needed and the very depleted battery pulls alot more current than the system is designed to handle and that creats a big surge. Possibly an overvolt also. Take your pick but whatever it is is very expensive.

    All I know is so may people report alot of damage jumping there prius and most swear they did it correctly.

    Bottom line if you must jump whatever you do have the donor car off. And make it brief. And if the aux battery has been dead a while like a few days at an airport and is now stone dead no lights etc do not jump it. It will pull maximum current in doing so. That combined with a AAA Tow Truck jump is disaster.

    BTW, I have AAA also and it is a good deal if used correctly. I know I will have my 07 towed home if the aux battery dies on me.
     
  3. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    People also swore they were hitting the brake pedal when their cars ran away and we all know how truthful that was. It is very rare for a person to actually remember connecting the cables correctly. More than likely they know how to correctly do it, and can't imagine connecting it incorrectly, so then they conclude they connected it correctly. When we get into automatic mode where we just do things without thinking, we generally make mistakes.
     
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  4. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    Absolutely...
     
  5. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    So every single person who has reported damage here and swears they hooked it up correctly is lying.

    You may be right and there's no way to prove one way or the other but there has to be at least one person out of the many who actually did hook it up right and still got damage. And thats what I was addressing. Don't over current it and be afraid. Very afraid.
    I still believe a very very dead battery and lots of instant charge current is a disaster for our car's.
     
  6. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    It is more sparking and/or reverse polarity than current draw. The wiring is sufficient to handle large inrush of current, and things only draw what they need. Large voltage spikes can go through fuses and most circuit protection, so when you connect and you get that little spark, that is bad. On any vehicle, though it is more dangerous the more computers in a car.

    That's why I suggest either controllable chargers or smart chargers/jumpers. The smart charger I have can give between 10A and 225A on a selectable timer/hold settings. So first you connect it, then you turn it on which prevents sparks. If you want a jumpstart, then use the smart kind that delay the connection and prevent reverse polarity.

    And I wouldn't say lying. If it sparked, then there is a possibility of damage that way. Otherwise, it was probably hooked up wrong. My dad went to jump start my car a couple years ago and had the black/red reversed on the donor battery, connected the other red to my + terminal (so - to + now) and was about to attach the negative terminal to the chassis before I noticed it. He has done it a lot more often than I, and it looked right on my end. Like I said, autopilot is dangerous. It is not lying, it is just you may not even notice it.
     
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  7. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Not lying, just mistaken. There is a difference.
     
  8. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    Not lying...its just human nature to project the cause of bad things that happen to us to some outside fault.

    Well then like I said, it is a very advanced piece of technology and if you are not comfortable jump starting it...have a professional do it. Toyota provides a professional at no charge for 3 years 36,000 miles to jump start it as many times as you need. You can join AAA for like $8 a month and have it jump started by a professional as many times as you need after that. If the professional screws it up...its their fault.

    And seriously..."at least one person"? One person out of how many hundreds of thousands of Prius owners? Nothing Toyota can do about that, sometimes bad things happen.
     
  9. BAllanJ

    BAllanJ Active Member

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    Maybe they could be boosted with a power source that can't provide enough current to cook anything. We don't need much current to boot up the computers do we? A few amps? We could try using a couple 6v lantern batteries that couldn't do the 80 amps that a car to car boost could maybe supply. I wonder what burns out when it's hooked up wrong and how much power that takes.
     
  10. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    I don't recall reading a single post suggesting that correct jumping has caused damage. I do, however, recall reading about several disasters from reverse polarity.

    I don't suspect most people would lie about reversed polarity, except to make a warranty claim. However, people often delude themselves unintentionally. It is fairly common to be *sure* that you have done something one way, when it fact you didn't.

    From an electrical standpoint, over-current isn't an issue for the car being jumped. The depleted battery acts as a sink absorbing the current, otherwise you don't have any significant current draw. This could be bad for the car sourcing the jump, but not to the car being jumped. If it does anything to the voltage it will cause low voltage in the Prius, not a voltage spike.

    Tom
     
  11. Stev0

    Stev0 Honorary Hong Kong Cavalier

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    I notice the original poster hasn't been back. I assume the war is over and Toyota won.
     
  12. FrankD

    FrankD Member

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    For the record.....you guys got me scared to death about ever jumping my car now.
    I replaced my aux battery awhile back with an optima with no problems.....glad I did it before I read all this. Hopefully I'll never need to do anything battery-wise again.

    Frank
     
  13. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    It's not a big deal. Reread the sane posts.
     
  14. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    Don't be afraid, the car is designed to be jump-started, you just have to be sure to do it right. The instructions are right there in the manual.
     
  15. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    That is correct. However the spike comes when you first connect it and see a physical arc. Those high voltage very high frequency spikes can get through filtering circuits not designed for it and cause damage.



    Also to those worried about "too much current", you are misunderstanding the basic principles of electricity. Your 60W desk light (0.5A) [Or since this is PC, you probably have a CFL bulb, so 13W (0.1A)] doesn't explode when you plug it into the same outlet that powers your 1500W (14A) hairdryer... It is the same principle.
     
  16. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    As a further clarification, when 2k1Toaster refers to "high voltage very high frequency spikes" he is not referring to the arc itself. The arc created when attaching the jumper wire is low voltage, since it is powered by a 12 V battery. You won't electrocute yourself by getting near that 12 V arc.

    However, an arc is basically a close approximation of an impulse function. A true impulse function generates an infinite spectrum (remember your Fourier Series), which means an arc generates a lot of high frequency noise. Fortunately, most of this noise is dissipated in the wiring and filtering of the system, so it generally causes no harm. The high frequency components can induce high voltage spikes in any inductive portions of the system. If you are unlucky, or the system is poorly designed, the high voltage inductive spikes can fry some expensive part.

    Tom
     
  17. Stev0

    Stev0 Honorary Hong Kong Cavalier

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    I know on paper it's not a big deal; however I'm a HUGE believer in Murphy's Law, and I pay for AAA so I might as well use them for what I'm paying them for.
     
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  18. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Thats nice but your misunderstanding the basic point. And that is the Prius or any other car on the planet's battery when dead does not always present a fixed load as you suggest. There's no set calculation of "To much current".

    It is never a fixed set load.

    It will always depend on how dead the battery is and how much current is avaliable in the donor dc jump source.

    There's many levels of car dead battery. And the variable load they do present to the donor charge is alot higher than you think. Its DC current car battery load. Pretty freakin' powerful no matter how small the dead battery is. Not the little light bulb load your using in your argument. Things happen when your talking 50 to 100 amps.

    I do not believe that every poster who has come on this site complaining a simple jump resulted in $4000 worth of damage hooked there jump cables up incorrectly. There's just been to many.

    If your Prius has a dead battery because you left the little overhead light on overnight and you catch it early the next morning the aux battery may not be completly flat. Maybe like 3-4- volts. Maybe higher.
    There will be some residual dc plate charge present on a previously healthly battery. DC impedance wise not a huge load on the jump starting donor battery. It will result in a manageable amount of DC inrush current when jumped from a normal car.

    Prob. not an issue.
    Long term battery your probably hosed sulfation wise on the battery's general health but it will be an easy jump and the 12 volt buss will not get hammered to bad.

    Now lets take the car left at the airport with that overhead light on. That little AGM has now been dead 3 days when you arrive back at the airport only to find you are fubar. 0.00 volts.

    Its still a pretty healthy battery hydrocloric acid wise and is not sulfated completly so its still able to take a charge. Since its completely stone flagged it will now present an almost dc dead short to whatever DC source presents itself.

    Here comes a AAA Tow ruck with dual monster truck batteries and a 300 amp alternator and high charging idle. And as far as our little dead shorted AGM is concerned that AAA truck will present unlimited DC charging current.

    AAA jumps it and every semiconductor hanging off the stay alive 12 volt aux buss goes from 0.00 dc volts to most likely an instantaneous over volt as most donor car/truck regulators can not track and regulate that immed. volt demand and big current draw. And we now have huge super fast slew rate charging current on that buss. Probably at max design levels...which is why there are fuses.

    I'm talking the perfect storm of instant overload or variations thereof. There's alot of elctronics haging on that 12 volt buss. It only takes one semiconductor in an ecm assy. to fail before the entire assy needs to be replaced.

    One failed zener diode, one cap, one transistor, one logic controller semi of 1000's.
    Its not like there's smoke pouring from the cabin when that little part goes bad either. It just gets smacked and the ECM goes dead.
    Or crowbars and throws a code.

    Its just one failed tiny part of the thousands of parts in the ecm and it throws a failed ECM code. $4000 please.

    Its not hard to understand is it?

    Oh and Tom as far as the battery being a "sink" absorbing it I'm not worried about the battery. I'm worried about all the semi's hanging off the battery buss line. They have no "sink" protecting themselves. They get slammed. Who gives a crap about the battery.
    The battery is not the issue. Its the current draw on the buss line thats causing the problem.

    PS Tom: I usually always agree with you btw so maybe I am misunderstanding your point though.
     
  19. socratesthecabdriver

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    Haw hard is it to just remove the battery and put it on a charger?
     
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  20. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Hi Ed,

    Where Prius owners have reported electrical damage due to a jump start, I recall that typically a failed inverter and a blown DC/DC fusible link are the items that usually need to be replaced. It's hard to imagine how the inverter would be damaged if a correct polarity overvoltage situation occurred because the output diodes in the DC/DC converter would be reverse-biased so no current would flow.

    I do not recall that anyone has reported ECU damage due to a jump start. Should you know of such an incident please provide a link. It appears that the ECUs are well-protected (probably using a series diode in the 12V power supply lead) since they generally can survive a reverse-polarity jump.

    I believe that Tom's point regarding the 12V battery serving as a sink is that it acts like a voltage regulator, damping voltage spikes on the 12V bus.

    Not very; and this in fact is Toyota's recommended procedure.
     
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