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Thread: Prius Battery

  1. #1

    Prius Battery

    I recently took my 2004 Prius in for an inspection and was surprised when the dealship mentioned I had a defective battery (front battery not the regenerating one underneath the car). It took about a week to get a new battery from Toyota (obviously under warrenty). I was surprised because the car didn't experience any signs beforehand of a low battery (e.g. light indicator, etc.). I'd like to hear if other owners have experienced any similiar circumstances.

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  3. #2

    Prius Battery

    I've had an ongoing problem with my '04 Prius which turned out to be a battery issue in the end. However this was the rear battery (in the trunk not the one under the hood which you had a problem with) which I'm told starts up the HSD system when you power the car up. For months I had the check-engine light that kept coming on intermitently. In the end, it was just a defective battery in the trunk that wasn't holding its charge and a faulty wiring assembly. Toyota replaced the parts under warranty (though it took over 3 weeks to get the wiring assembly) and the car runs without the light coming on again. There was another post recently in this forum from someone who had a battery draining problem as well.

  4. #3

    Prius Battery

    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that aside from the check-engine light coming on, the car showed no signs of having anything wrong with it. It performed the same, there was no change in fuel economy, and it always started up, etc.

  5. #4

    Prius Battery

    What is the name of the company that makes the Prius battery?

  6. #5

    Prius Battery

    HI- My 2004 Prius just suddenly could not start, and had NO dash lights or anything. The tow truck guy tried to jump start it to no avail but the Prius tech at the dealership was able to jump it. They replaced the auxillary battery and so far all is good again. I am curious because there was no warning- it went from running perfectly to dead overnight. Nothing was left on in the car, etc. I am curious if anyone has any experience with using a trickle charger if the Prius will have to sit for a long time; over a week.
    Thanks for any ideas or help.

  7. #6

    Prius Battery

    I would not use a "trickle charger" but a "battery tender" which is an automatically controlled charger should be safe. I use one on my antique car as well as on the deep cycle we use on our trailer. They sense the voltage drop as the battery sits and supply just enough current to top it back up.

    I believe if you are going to be not using the car for a long period of time the advice is to disconnect the auxiliary battery...

  8. #7

    Prius Battery

    My wife recently ran her 2001 Prius with 64 K miles on it, low, or perhaps out of gas during a heavy thunderstorm. The Master warning lights came on, as usual and the vehicle stopped.

    She had passed the dealer two miles back, so she immedediatly attempted to limp it back to the dealer. It finally stopped and she called AAA, who towed it into the dealer.

    The next day the dealer said they had to contact Toyota because the battery had been "fried" and needed to be replaced. The following Monday, the Toyota District Service Parts Manager said that running the vehicle on low or no gas was "abuse" so they would not replace the battery.

    The cost to replace the battery will be in the neighborhood of $3500.

    Naturally, we aren't happy. Apparently, only the dealer can talk to the Toyota Distric Parts Manager. This is a bit like the fox guarding the hen house, isn't it?

    Also, EVERY reply we've posted on various Prius message boards says they have never heard of any situation where running out of gas will fry the battery or make it unusable. Most have said that putting gas in the car and starting it will get it going again. The battery may be weakened, but the car is drivable.

    Anyone else had anything like this happen? Is Toyota jerking us around here?

    Bill in Durham, NC

  9. #8

    Prius Battery

    Bill, I agree with you that the battery should not have fried. With the development of hybrids one of the interesting features that you get is a limp home on electric only. You can get about 2 to 3 miles at very low speed from the traction battery pack. Most of the manufactures as far as I know have designed this feature in. The battery pack used is able to handle this. They like to keep the pack at 60% to 80% of full charge at all times so you always have headroom for added energy when driving or space for recovering energy when braking. The battery pack design will allow it to drain to 20% if needed but many cycles of this type of drain will eventually shorten the life of your battery. But it does not sound like you have had cycles of deep discharge.

    The battery system also has a computer that is monitoring the state and health of the battery. It is designed to protect the battery from extremes and indicates if there are any issues. This monitor should have prevented the battery from frying itself. If the battery is truly fried then there is an issue with why did the safety system not detect this and prevent this type of failure. The other possibility is that the battery is just worn out due to many hours of normal use. If your vehicle has high mileage then this would be the case, but 64K is probably little past mid-life.

    Besides all of this the safety system should have just shut the vehicle down at some point before destroying the battery.

    I also agree that normally the vehicle should regain its normal status once you refuel and allowed the battery to recharge.

    I would take this up with Toyota directly the dealer does not sound interested in getting to bottom of why this is even an issue.

  10. #9

    Prius Battery

    My employer has a fleet of twenty 2003's. They are now buying more 05's. In the first year, the maintenance dept had to replace two Prius batteries at $5000 each. We were informed that the Prius battery is NOT intended for use to "limp home", but merely move your car safely off the road. Now when someone runs out of gas, a call is made. I bought an 04 Prius in December, 2003. The manual gives the same information.

  11. #10

    Prius Battery

    CA vs Nevada Extended warranty

    Has anyone read in their CA or NV hybrid battery warranty, and can confirm whether or not it's true that CA & Nevada offer 150,000 miles, and 10 years, instead of 100,000, on hybrid battery extended warranty?


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