Why can't any other battery fit in the Prius? - Toyota Prius Forum : Prius Online Toyota Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Default Why can't any other battery fit in the Prius?

I may be overstepping regarding this 12 v battery in our Prius but just becauses it doesn't fit in the prearranged slot in the trunk - is no reason to pay such an outrageous price for their air vented battery.

It is a nicely sealed area for the battery but it erks me to see them screwing us on this setup.

I have owned other Toyotas and a group 24 battery was usually the norm.

I have looked in the 12v battery area and it seems to me that there is plenty of room for a bigger battery - but just because it is a Hybrid why can't I use another size battery?

Or are we all suppose to be so rich that it doesn't matter that we are getting screwed?

Anyway, I have a 2008 Prius that I paid $35,000 for because of the grap when gas went up to $4 a gal. It was a real rip off but at the time I decided to buy a Prius with all the bells and whistles.

A battery that last only 4 years is a definite a goof up for this great car - and yet I hear only minor belly aching - With this scientific marvel and a crapy battery seems like a bridge to nowhere.

Whew, now that I got that off my chest - I can now consider whether I want to buy the Optima for $235.09 or try doing my own modifications for a group 24 for about $50 or so. Maybe even 2 or 3 motorcycle batteries in parallel. They are small and more adjustable.

Any suggestions or reasons not to use another type batteries would be welcomed.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 03:58 AM
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Default Re: Why can't any other battery fit in the Prius?

I have a 2004 and just put in my second 12V battery. It is important to make sure the battery you install is properly vented or you will risk an explosion (the hydrogen gas generated while the battery is charging). The 12V battery doesn't do a lot except keep the necessary computers running and run a few pumps while the car is powered off, but things go crazy if the voltage gets too low.

With all that said you should probably choose either the Toyota battery of the Optima. I've just had mine replaced by the dealer.

Good luck.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: Why can't any other battery fit in the Prius?

Ditto - stick with the OEM battery or the Optima. However, it is your car so you can take whatever chances you want with it.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Why can't any other battery fit in the Prius?

Well, I probably shouldn't admit it here, but I have 2 Prius and I've been using the $20.00 Walmart lawn tractor batteries in them for 3 years with no problems and no smells. I don't think they charge enough to give off enough gas to bother anything. After all, they are kept charged by the HV battery and not an altenator. And the stock battery clamps even work by just putting the bolt thru the hole in the lawn tractor battery terminal. Like someone said, to each his own.....
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 09:51 AM
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Default Re: Why can't any other battery fit in the Prius?

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckydevil
...After all, they are kept charged by the HV battery and not an alternator.
The 12v battery is charged by the DC/DC converter, not the traction battery.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by firepa63 View Post
The 12v battery is charged by the DC/DC converter, not the traction battery.
Just terminology here I believe. 12 volt battery is charged from the traction battery. However it is reduced from 276 volts to 12 volts via the dc/dc converter. Max charge rate is 3 amps. This is on my 2001 however.

BTW- Wife left the door ajar over night one time and drained the battery so car would not start (instument lights nearly faded out). I left the car set for about 15 min to recoup a bit of charge hopefully, turned the key on, the instrument lights came on dimly at first, the relays in the trunk clicked on and the lights brightened up immediately and the car started up!
This tells me when the relays closed it sent current to the 12 volt battery even before the engine had a chance to start. Good to know.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 04:41 AM
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Don't know if you have replaced your 12v battery yet, but check this Web site. In the last few years, we purchased two batteries from them for our 2002 Prius. Also, just because the batteries are small, they don't last longer. Our "Miata" batteries only lasted about 3-4 years each due to the extreme heat in the desert southwest (Phoenix) area. You might have better luck with the Optima's, though; I think they are a better battery than the Miata-type battery that was the previous replacement for Gen I Prius's.

http://www.elearnaid.com/12vo1topraub.html

Note to Paul01: You can hook up a portable starter battery to a dead 12v battery to get the electronics started. It's just like jump starting a regular car; you just don't need near as much capacity, because you are only providing power to the hybrid computer electronics.

Last edited by Phoenix; 05-06-2012 at 04:45 AM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
Don't know if you have replaced your 12v battery yet, but check this Web site. In the last few years, we purchased two batteries from them for our 2002 Prius. Also, just because the batteries are small, they don't last longer. Our "Miata" batteries only lasted about 3-4 years each due to the extreme heat in the desert southwest (Phoenix) area. You might have better luck with the Optima's, though; I think they are a better battery than the Miata-type battery that was the previous replacement for Gen I Prius's.

http://www.elearnaid.com/12vo1topraub.html

Note to Paul01: You can hook up a portable starter battery to a dead 12v battery to get the electronics started. It's just like jump starting a regular car; you just don't need near as much capacity, because you are only providing power to the hybrid computer electronics.
Phoenix: Yes that was my next thing to do if I was unable to start it.
Thought it was interesting that I didn't have to drag out my battery charger this time. May not be so lucky next time.
After living with this car sinse new, I finally kinda know all its strange at times problems. Only repair has been cleaning the MAF sensor a number of times, and a replacement ECM ($98 on e-bay) and one 12 volt battery ($128 from dealer) in 100,100 miles. Thanks
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 10:58 AM
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Paul01,

We have about 125,000 miles on our 2002 Prius, and have never replaced the MAF. In the early years, our Toyota dealer told us about apparent MAF sensor failures being caused by overfilled ICE crankcase oil. I always check our oil level before leaving the dealership (don't use the quick lube places), and have had to ask them to drain a half-quart a couple of times -- and this is the dealer.

As I mentioned in another recent post, the extra oil can get sucked up into the intake manifold and cause a "failed to start" error (code 3191), which is usually fixed by replacing the MAF, whether or not is actually defective. One Toyota tech told me about this; said most places use auto-fill systems and dial-up "4" (quarts) when filling. The Prius capacity is 3.7, and that extra little bit is enough to give you a 3191 code.

Since our free oil changes stopped at 75,000 miles, I have changed the oil myself; so this is no longer a concern. I just put in 3.5 quarts and put the leftover half bottle in the trunk for the next oil change.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 06:38 PM
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I have a prius 1g which needs a new starter battery. Would be curious to know more about this walmart lawnmower battery that was mentioned. Also if anybody has found a source for any other possible substitutes for the 12v agm, as I don't want to give Toyota a single penny for their rip-off parts.
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