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Newbie doesn't know where to begin...01 Battery issues

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  • yellowdog25
    Thanks so much for all your help everyone. I ve gotten some great advice in here via email and I really appreciate it. I ordered a new 12V Westco auxillary
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 2, 2009
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      Thanks so much for all your help everyone.
      I've gotten some great advice in here via email and I really appreciate it. I ordered a new 12V Westco auxillary battery to see if that could possibly be the problem. My battery was just replaced by the previous owner and yet it was at about 10.9 volts...I guess not enough from what I was told. I actually read 11.9 volts with a multimeter directly on the battery posts, but the display diagnostic menu showed it at 10.9 volts. Maybe a loss of one volt due to the length of cable to the rear? When I turn the key to start, the display dies out and reboots when I turn the key back one click.

      I was resistant to believe it was only the aux battery because most of the people with starting problems in here reported dead or near dead (like 3 volts) when they had their batteries were tested. The previous owner was unsuccessful in jump starting the current battery but he wasn't following any special jump start routine either. He just hooked up the cables and gave it a try. It is hard to fathom Toyota building a car that won't start when the 12V battery drops only a couple volts, but I was willing to give this new battery a try.

      I received my Westco battery today, installed it and the car does the exact same thing...just shows me a ! triangle and the "MAIN" light goes on. I never see anything to indicate a "ready mode" as I have been told I should see. I asked the previous owner and he said he never saw "ready" on the display for the 100k miles he drove it. Any other advice on where to look next would be appreciated.

      Because these HV battery cells are in series, does that mean that it breaks the "chain" of voltage where a bad cell occurs or do they just not add to the voltage and still keep the series going? I guess I'm asking if voltage still travels from cell 1 to the last cell even if there are a couple bad cells in between?

      Another question is what might be the first relay to blow if he jumped the car incorrectly. The display does still light up but turns off as soon as you turn the key to start...release the key and the display reboots. Is this normal?
    • Larry Finch
      ... The only purpose of the 12 V battery during start is to boot the computer. It does not start the car. The start sequence is: Boot the computers - Close
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 2, 2009
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        On Tue, Jun 2, 2009 at 5:58 PM, yellowdog25 <yellowdog25@...> wrote:

        > Thanks so much for all your help everyone.
        > I've gotten some great advice in here via email and I really appreciate it.
        > I ordered a new 12V Westco auxillary battery to see if that could possibly
        > be the problem. My battery was just replaced by the previous owner and yet
        > it was at about 10.9 volts...I guess not enough from what I was told. I
        > actually read 11.9 volts with a multimeter directly on the battery posts,
        > but the display diagnostic menu showed it at 10.9 volts. Maybe a loss of
        > one volt due to the length of cable to the rear? When I turn the key to
        > start, the display dies out and reboots when I turn the key back one click.
        >
        > I was resistant to believe it was only the aux battery because most of the
        > people with starting problems in here reported dead or near dead (like 3
        > volts) when they had their batteries were tested. The previous owner was
        > unsuccessful in jump starting the current battery but he wasn't following
        > any special jump start routine either. He just hooked up the cables and
        > gave it a try. It is hard to fathom Toyota building a car that won't start
        > when the 12V battery drops only a couple volts, but I was willing to give
        > this new battery a try.
        >

        The only purpose of the 12 V battery during start is to boot the computer.
        It does not start the car. The start sequence is:

        Boot the computers -> Close the main battery relay (which supplies 12 V
        through a down converter, taking the 12V battery out of the circuit -> Spin
        up the engine using the main battery and one of the electric motors ->
        Ignition!

        As a real test connect jumper cables from another car to the correct
        terminals on the battery in the trunk. If it doesn't start then there is
        something seriously wrong. It could just be a corroded connection on the 12V
        battery cable.


        > I received my Westco battery today, installed it and the car does the
        > exact same thing...just shows me a ! triangle and the "MAIN" light goes on.
        > I never see anything to indicate a "ready mode" as I have been told I
        > should see. I asked the previous owner and he said he never saw "ready" on
        > the display for the 100k miles he drove it. Any other advice on where to
        > look next would be appreciated.


        "Ready" means the engine has started. It's nonsense to say he never saw it.
        He may never have noticed it, but that isn't the same thing. "Ready" is
        displayed above the shift indicator after the engine has started.

        >
        >
        > Because these HV battery cells are in series, does that mean that it
        > breaks the "chain" of voltage where a bad cell occurs or do they just not
        > add to the voltage and still keep the series going? I guess I'm asking if
        > voltage still travels from cell 1 to the last cell even if there are a
        > couple bad cells in between?
        >

        The cells are in series. A bad one will mess up the chain. But there's also
        a battery ECU that monitors the main battery cell blocks. If any of them are
        out of tolerance then you will see the MAIN warning. This means there is a
        problem with the high voltage battery.

        >
        > Another question is what might be the first relay to blow if he jumped the
        > car incorrectly. The display does still light up but turns off as soon as
        > you turn the key to start...release the key and the display reboots. Is
        > this normal?
        >
        >
        No, that would cause the battery to explode.

        --
        Larry Finch

        N 40° 53' 47"
        W 74° 03' 56"


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Peter Blackford
        First, this might all be easier if you post your location so someone could get with you & help with troubleshooting. It does indeed sound like simply a 12V
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 3, 2009
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          First, this might all be easier if you post your location so someone could get with you & help with troubleshooting. It does indeed sound like simply a 12V battery failure, new or not... and nothing at all to do with the HV battery. And, you can check/verify that by simply jump-starting the car (yes, just like any other car!). The measurements you have taken confirm much of the above. A good battery should read more than 12V, so either it's not getting charged, or it's just a duff battery.

          Pete 01 on its second 12V battery since new (changed at 8+ years to Odyssey)

          -----Original Message-----
          >From: yellowdog25 <yellowdog25@...>
          >Sent: Jun 2, 2009 5:58 PM
          >To: toyota-prius@yahoogroups.com
          >Subject: [toyota-prius] Newbie doesn't know where to begin...01 Battery issues
          >
          > Thanks so much for all your help everyone.
          >I've gotten some great advice in here via email and I really appreciate it. I ordered a new 12V Westco auxillary battery to see if that could possibly be the problem. My battery was just replaced by the previous owner and yet it was at about 10.9 volts...I guess not enough from what I was told. I actually read 11.9 volts with a multimeter directly on the battery posts, but the display diagnostic menu showed it at 10.9 volts. Maybe a loss of one volt due to the length of cable to the rear? When I turn the key to start, the display dies out and reboots when I turn the key back one click.
          >
          > I was resistant to believe it was only the aux battery because most of the people with starting problems in here reported dead or near dead (like 3 volts) when they had their batteries were tested. The previous owner was unsuccessful in jump starting the current battery but he wasn't following any special jump start routine either. He just hooked up the cables and gave it a try. It is hard to fathom Toyota building a car that won't start when the 12V battery drops only a couple volts, but I was willing to give this new battery a try.
          >
          > I received my Westco battery today, installed it and the car does the exact same thing...just shows me a ! triangle and the "MAIN" light goes on. I never see anything to indicate a "ready mode" as I have been told I should see. I asked the previous owner and he said he never saw "ready" on the display for the 100k miles he drove it. Any other advice on where to look next would be appreciated.
          >
          > Because these HV battery cells are in series, does that mean that it breaks the "chain" of voltage where a bad cell occurs or do they just not add to the voltage and still keep the series going? I guess I'm asking if voltage still travels from cell 1 to the last cell even if there are a couple bad cells in between?
          >
          > Another question is what might be the first relay to blow if he jumped the car incorrectly. The display does still light up but turns off as soon as you turn the key to start...release the key and the display reboots. Is this normal?
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >------------------------------------
          >
          >To access group's website features such as Files, Photos, Links, Database and Polls, go to
          >http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toyota-prius
          >, Photos, Links, Database and Polls, go to
          >http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toyota-prius
          >Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
        • Tom
          Hey! I finally figured out how to reply properly in a yahoo group. Maybe they ll let me on the big bus now! Anyway, The new battery tests over 12.5 volts at
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 3, 2009
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            Hey! I finally figured out how to reply properly in a yahoo group. Maybe they'll let me on the big bus now!

            Anyway, The new battery tests over 12.5 volts at the posts. The old battery (which was claimed to be new) wasn't that far off either. The old owner and I tried to jump the car for about 2 hours on the day I purchased it. That was the second time I had looked at the car. The first time I viewed the car, he said he had to jump start it to get it running and he did it with ease. It's looking like I'm beyond a 12v battery problem, but I'll try again today to make sure.

            I tried to locate a forum post that I had seen with direction to put the car into a "HV charge mode" if by chance I'm able to get it running and into ready mode. I can't seem to locate those directions anymore. Anyone know how to do it...and I know you can't drive it in that mode or you'll damage the running gear.

            I would like to try reading codes then clearing codes. I've emailed an old friend to see if he still has his scanner. I read posts where other Prius cars would not start, clear codes and they'd start immediately.

            Is the brake pedal switch a possibility on a 2001? I read OK in the diagnostic display for all systems except "TAIL" which says nothing after it. My tail lights are lighting normally.




            --- On Wed, 6/3/09, Peter Blackford <priuspete@...> wrote:

            > From: Peter Blackford
            > Subject: Re: [toyota-prius] Newbie doesn't know where to begin...01 Battery issues

            > Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 7:29 AM
            > First, this might all be easier if
            > you post your location so someone could get with you &
            > help with troubleshooting.  It does indeed sound like
            > simply a 12V battery failure, new or not... and nothing at
            > all to do with the HV battery.  And, you can
            > check/verify that by simply jump-starting the car (yes, just
            > like any other car!).  The measurements you have taken
            > confirm much of the above.  A good battery should read
            > more than 12V, so either it's not getting charged, or it's
            > just a duff battery.
            >
            > Pete  01   on its second 12V battery
            > since new (changed at 8+ years to Odyssey)
          • Peter Blackford
            Tom, Never heard of trying to jump any car taking a couple of hours without success. Maybe if someone was trying to charge up a large 12V with tiny jumper
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 4, 2009
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              Tom,

              Never heard of 'trying to jump' any car taking a couple of hours without success. Maybe if someone was trying to charge up a large 12V with tiny jumper cables, but with a Prius -- well, no way it could 'take' that long so who knows what all bad things happened during that adventure....

              You may be making more of this than it needs to be. You REALLY need to post your location & see if someone can get together with you & make sense of the issue (i.e. "fix it")! We're good, but can only do so much by 'remote control'.

              So, if you're really interested in a solution, that's my best recommendation.

              Pete / Naples

              -----Original Message-----
              >From: Tom <yellowdog25@...>
              >Sent: Jun 3, 2009 11:50 AM
              >To: toyota-prius@yahoogroups.com, Peter Blackford <priuspete@...>
              >Subject: Re: [toyota-prius] Newbie doesn't know where to begin...01 Battery issues
              >
              >
              > Hey! I finally figured out how to reply properly in a yahoo group. Maybe they'll let me on the big bus now!
              >
              > Anyway, The new battery tests over 12.5 volts at the posts. The old battery (which was claimed to be new) wasn't that far off either. The old owner and I tried to jump the car for about 2 hours on the day I purchased it. That was the second time I had looked at the car. The first time I viewed the car, he said he had to jump start it to get it running and he did it with ease. It's looking like I'm beyond a 12v battery problem, but I'll try again today to make sure.
              >
              > I tried to locate a forum post that I had seen with direction to put the car into a "HV charge mode" if by chance I'm able to get it running and into ready mode. I can't seem to locate those directions anymore. Anyone know how to do it...and I know you can't drive it in that mode or you'll damage the running gear.
              >
              > I would like to try reading codes then clearing codes. I've emailed an old friend to see if he still has his scanner. I read posts where other Prius cars would not start, clear codes and they'd start immediately.
              >
              > Is the brake pedal switch a possibility on a 2001? I read OK in the diagnostic display for all systems except "TAIL" which says nothing after it. My tail lights are lighting normally.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >--- On Wed, 6/3/09, Peter Blackford <priuspete@...> wrote:
              >
              >> From: Peter Blackford
              >> Subject: Re: [toyota-prius] Newbie doesn't know where to begin...01 Battery issues
              >
              >> Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 7:29 AM
              >> First, this might all be easier if
              >> you post your location so someone could get with you &
              >> help with troubleshooting.  It does indeed sound like
              >> simply a 12V battery failure, new or not... and nothing at
              >> all to do with the HV battery.  And, you can
              >> check/verify that by simply jump-starting the car (yes, just
              >> like any other car!).  The measurements you have taken
              >> confirm much of the above.  A good battery should read
              >> more than 12V, so either it's not getting charged, or it's
              >> just a duff battery.
              >>
              >> Pete  01   on its second 12V battery
              >> since new (changed at 8+ years to Odyssey)
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >------------------------------------
              >
              >To access group's website features such as Files, Photos, Links, Database and Polls, go to
              >http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toyota-prius
              >, Photos, Links, Database and Polls, go to
              >http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toyota-prius
              >Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
            • Tom
              My original post is 113621 I didn t spend two hours, literally, with jumper cables attached to the car. The past owner and I were discussing if this had ever
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 4, 2009
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                My original post is 113621

                I didn't spend two hours, literally, with jumper cables attached to the car. The past owner and I were discussing if this had ever happened before and so forth. The whole visit was two hours...I will try to be more specific. I did spend more time than usual attempting to jump it because he drove the car just a week ago to the position it stood. Knowing that, I was a little more stubborn in giving up, checked post connections for corrosion, check fuses and even swapped a few relays that had the same part number hoping to find a bad one. The relay swapping was done with the battery disconnected. This all took up a two hour span. Sorry about that but my posts are being dissected by a few. No cables were connected wrong or arched unless it was done before I got there.

                I'm a newbie with a Prius but I do have over 20 years mechanical experience on hundreds of other cars. I understand the principles and basics but this car re-wrote the book. I didn't come here for ridicule, I came asking for help. A few of the emails I'm receiving are folks trying to "flex some muscle" and show off their knowledge but offer no real solutions besides "it's your 12v battery." I realize that I need to get codes and I'm working on it.

                The 12V battery is definitely NOT the issue. I hope to put that idea to rest. The battery is new and tests well. Alot of the emails are defensive from folks who don't want to believe the 12V battery is good but I know there's something more serious going on here. I tried jumping it again yesterday to no avail....same symptoms. I gave those 12v ideas the benefit of the doubt and followed through with a closer inspection. Still does not enter ready mode.

                When I bought this car, I didn't realize that there was some ongoing political agenda to protect its reputation. I've never seen replies like this from any other auto forum and I'm hoping that I've just stumbled on a couple bad apples. I'm not just refering to my received emails, but alot of the forum posts too. I'm really not interested in politics...just looking to fix a car. Nasty comments on the interweb don't make anyone appear more knowledgeable...they just make you look like a nasty, grumbling, tree hugger. I'm not saying names.

                Thank you to the guys who have offered reasonable suggestions and trust that the person on the other end (me) is following through and checking these things out. I really appreciate your input. Hopefully when I get my hands on a code reader I can make some real headway with your help.
                Thanks again!
                Tom








                --- On Thu, 6/4/09, Peter Blackford <priuspete@...> wrote:

                > From: Peter Blackford <priuspete@...>
                > Subject: Re: [toyota-prius] Newbie doesn't know where to begin...01 Battery issues
                >
                > Never heard of 'trying to jump' any car taking a couple of
                > hours without success.  Maybe if someone was trying to
                > charge up a large 12V with tiny jumper cables, but with a
                > Prius -- well, no way it could 'take' that long so who knows
                > what all bad things happened during that adventure....
                >
                > You may be making more of this than it needs to be. 
                > You REALLY need to post your location & see if someone
                > can get together with you & make sense of the issue
                > (i.e. "fix it")!  We're good, but can only do so much
                > by 'remote control'.
                >
                > So, if you're really interested in a solution, that's my
                > best recommendation.
                >
                > Pete / Naples
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