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  1. #31

    '05 Prius Battery Drain

    talking about batteries, i think i either have a lemon or my dealer is giving me the run around. No matter how long I drive the car, the top two or three bars on the battery display never seem to fill up. Do I have a defective battery or cells? Or am I missing something? I recently took four trips of 600 miles (almost all flat driving) one way, straight driving except for brief gas/potty stops. Max number of bars displayed was 7 out of 9. I tried alternative driving techniques/cruise control and steady as possible foot. I am doing something wrong or expecting the impossible.

    Also I can't seem to get over 35 mpg in town (crowded city, lots of stop and go) or 45 mpg highway..... about 70 mph. Any tips on what to do to get better mileage.

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  3. #32

    '05 Prius Battery Drain

    No url

  4. #33

    '05 Prius Battery Drain

    I just returned from a nine day vacation to find the power button dead on my 2006 Prius. I had read in the manual about turning off the smart key when gone for two weeks or more. I did turn it off, but now I'm not sure if maybe I drove it for one last errand before we left and forgot to turn it off again. So I'm not sure how long the battery will last with or without the smart key turned off, and no one, neither the dealer nor the tow guy could tell me either.

    I had been told by the dealer who sold it to me that if the battery dies, always call Toyota and have them come out and fix it or tow it. I also paid $1600 for the extended, full 7-year, 100,000 mile warranty. I naively took this salesman at his word that all I had to do was call the nearest dealer, or the service number, and Toyota would be there in a flash to get me up and running again.

    First, I called the dealer who sold it to me, and the service guy said that it was my responsibility to tow it into them (although theoretically I would get reimbursed for the tow charge), and they wouldn't be able to get to it until the next day at the earliest. He told me I should just jump it myself, but I told him I was not comfortable doing that because the salesman had told me not to do that, but rather that I should call their service center and have Toyota send someone out who knew Priuses.

    Then I called Toyota's service number that was listed in the warranty document. They were closed--only open from 7am -7pm. So then I called another dealer in Minneapolis who I had been using for oil changes because they were closer to where I lived than the dealer I bought it from. Their service guy also suggested I jump it, but I told him I didn't want to do that because of what the salesman had told me, and because I'm unfamiliar with the Prius' two-battery system, and because I couldn't open the hatchback without power to get to the back battery. He did finally get a towing company to call me back who had experience with Priuses.

    This towing company guy came to our house after finishing some other towing jobs after about two hours. This guy definitely had experience with Priuses, and was knowledgeable about them. But even so, it took him about an hour of troubleshooting to figure out how to jump start the car, especially since it was in a single car garage, and there was no access to the back battery because we couldn't open the hatchback because there was no power.

    He finally figured out that we had to pull off a plastic cap of an electronic panel, located on the far right side looking back under the front hood of the car (that can be opened without power). There he finally located an innocuous postive battery post sticking up. He said that the location of this positive post had changed from the 2005 Prius. He then hooked the jumper cables (which were long enough to reach from the back of the car to the front) to this positive post, and then attached the second negative cable to a screw post sticking up from the car frame nearby, and we were able to jump start the car with no problem.

    This towing guy's recommendation was to invest in a small, $15 battery charger, and hook it up to the rear battery if you're going to be gone for extended periods. He said that should keep the battery alive.

    Some summary points:

    1) Buy the $15 battery charger and hook it up to your rear battery if you're going leave your Prius parked for extended time periods.

    2) Turn off your smart key switch under your steering wheel on the left (see owner's manual) if you're gone for extended time.

    3) Find out from your dealer who they use as a towing company, so that you get one that knows Priuses. Then get their number and just call them diretly if something goes wrong. DON'T wait until the battery goes dead, or something else goes wrong to find out how little help the nearest Toyota dealer might be. I was glad I had not stalled out on the freeway somewher late at night. DON'T assume that if you call the Toyota service number after 7pm that they will be there to get you help. DON'T assume that the dealer will necessarily be of much help either, even if they happen to be open.

  5. #34

    I have a 2005 Prius that in

    I have a 2005 Prius that in the past few weeks has refused to start. The dashboard icons light up but the car does not start. I got it jumped the first time, but it happened again.

    Last year, I left in for a few months without following any of the suggestions that you guys have mentioned here. (I didn't know). I'm afraid that this has permanently damaged the battery. Or maybe it's just from the cold weather?

    I don't drive it every day...more like twice a week, but not far distances.

    How can I fix the problem? And prevent reoccurences?

  6. #35
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Sounds like the 12v battery

    Sounds like the 12v battery may be going bad.

    In a "normal" car, you know your battery is going dead when the engine cranks S-L-O-W-L-Y. But with the Prius, the big 200v battery cranks the engine, and the 12v battery only has to run the computer.

    So the 12v battery can go 99% dead before you notice a problem.

    And the biggest problem is, unless you know how to "dive" into the hidden menus, there is NO indication as to how low the 12v battery actually is!

  7. #36

    This looks like a very

    This looks like a very informative page. Thanks for all your contributions. Here is my question:

    My wife and I own a 2004 and a 2005 Prius. Can you please tell me the location(s) of any accessible positive battery posts in the engine area of these two models that can be used to recharge the auxiliary battery? Yesterday, I couldn't start one of the cars due to a dead aux battery (a dome light had been left on all night), and I had to crawl through the back seat and the trunk area just to open the rear door so that I could gain access to the aux battery. This was not easy for somebody my age. I infer from one of the postings to this forum (above) that such a thing exists. But where? I can't find any refernce to these in either of the owners manuals. Thanks. Rich

  8. #37

    I have a 2007 prius and just

    I have a 2007 prius and just let it sit for three weeks in the wisconsin winter. Had the smart key off.when I went to start it I had no problem. I do have a question though. Why do the blue power bars turn green?

  9. #38

    I am a new owner of a 2008

    I am a new owner of a 2008 Prius. I love the car, especially the gas millage. I do have a concern. Recently in heavy traffic, I watched the blue bar graph steadily drop to two bars. Does anyone know what would happen if/when the battery drains and what, if anything prevents that from happening? My dealer told me to put the car into the "B" shift slot. This will cause the hybrid battery to re-charge.

  10. #39
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Bob: you got bad

    Bob: you got bad info.

    Putting the car in "B" mode reduces the recharging of the propusion battery. "B" mode is for long downhill slopes where the battery cannot absorb all the braking energy. "B" mode is a mechanical engine brake similar to the truck "Jake" brakes.

    If you are driving around in "B" mode, the propulsion battery is NOT being recharged every time you hit the brakes.

    The bar graph display shows the status of the propulsion (200V, 1.6 Kw hour) battery. It has NO relation to the 12V battery that runs all the accessories, AND the computers that control the entire car.

    The propulsion battery should begin to recharge when the computer calls for the engine to charge it OR when you are braking to a stop. The little arrows from the engine to the battery should show you when the proplulsion battery is being charged.

  11. #40

    Great discussion. I have a

    Great discussion. I have a 2004 Prius that I have left untouched for as many as 16 days without doing a thing, and it starts perfectly every time. I never pay any mind to the "bars" or other electric and battery functions. I consistently get 43 to 48 MPG - even in hot desert summers with the AC used regularly. I drive my car, on average, from 5 to 15 miles about 5 days each week, and sometimes take it on long road trips. It's been an absolute dream car with virtually no maintenance other than the usual tires and oil change (has about 40K miles now). I will be leaving idle for 5 weeks, and I plan to turn off the smart key thanks to the recommendations herein. I wish a Prius on everyone!

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