Winterizing doorlock reminder

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by edthefox5, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

    Jul 25, 2007
    Clearwater, Florida
    2007 Prius
    Its that time of year when we get an onslaught of dead 12 volt battery's from the cold. The G2 is hit especially hard as it has a very small battery not much reserve if its not 100% healthy.

    Gonna be a wicked winter they say.

    Make sure the drivers door mechanical door lock is working because many a G2 owner has found at the worst possible time they could not open the door when the 12 volt battery went dead because the lock is rusted or stuck. And you will be stranded. Dead car can't open the door can't open the hood to jump it. Stranded can't even jump it unless you break a window.

    Maintain the keylock:
    Get a little needle or pick and push it in the drivers side key hole to open the keyhole dust cover. Only the drivers door has a keylock. With cover open stick the spray grease wand into the hole and spray your choice of grease or graphite into the keyhole. Then put some grease on the key itself and insert it into the lock and very gently turn the key CLOCKWISE to open the door. It should open with very little effort. If not don't force it it may be frozen if car outside. Warm up the key a little with a lighter and try again. Then if still stuck rock the key back and forth gently. Patience.

    Do all this with the door open.

    Rightey tighty Clockwise to open
    Counterclockwise to lock.

    If your handy and own a dvm voltmeter now is the time to check your 12 volt battery health. You do not want to get a dead 12 in this car. Its a real hassle. Not an easy battery to replace in the freezing cold. Or worse yet expose your car to a AAA jump which has damaged many a G2 with a stone cold dead battery.

    Open the hood take the cover off the black fuse box to the right of the Inverter. Push in the bottom edge of the top of that cover and while pushing the bottom edge in pull the top edge off.
    Inside that box flip up the little red plastic cover. Under that red cover is a metal tang bolted into the box. That's the front jump point. That point is directly connected to the 12 volt battery + post in the hatch. That little vertical metal tang is there to attach your jump cable clamp.

    On a car used regularly:

    With car OFF measure the dc volts at that tang to ground. Use the little nut right above that box for chassis ground for your dvm. Write that voltage test down. Sitting should be at least 12.4 volts. Normal is 12.6.
    Anything lower than 12.3-12.4 volts on a recently driven car is suspect meaning its not fully charging because it is old or sulphated.

    Now with car still OFF turn on the headlights in BRIGHT. Leave the headlights on for exactly 5 minutes. Turn off the headlights after 5 mins and then with car still off measure dc voltage again.

    On a healthy battery it should not have dropped 1 volt and should recover fast. Anything lower than 2 volts and stays there the battery health is highly suspect and I would replace it especially if battery more than 4-5 years old or has been jumped before. That voltage drop shows it cannot handle even a minor load well. My healthy yellowtop drops maybe .5 volts but quickly recovers to 12.6 under this test.

    And lastly turn the car on and measure again. This will check the charging health. Should show between 13.8 to 14.1 volts charging voltage.

    I offer this as a simple fool proof benign real world load test. So many posters say they bring there battery into parts store for load test and its test ok but then dies the next day.
    It would have failed this test.

    Good Luck.
    #1 edthefox5, Nov 17, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
    M in KC, bobodaclown and SFO like this.