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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HELP! I got my '05 Prius two months ago. This Thursday am it wouldn't start. It needed to be jumped. I took it to the dealer. They said I had a bum battery and they replaced it. Today (Saturday), again, it won't start and I'm waiting for roadside assistance AGAIN for a jump so I can go to the dealer.

Has anyone had this problem? What could go wrong? OMG - I think I might have a lemon.
 

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yes, sounds like a bad 12v battery, same as in any other car.

The question is - what is causing it to drain? Make sure that all of your doors are closed when you leave the car (easiest way is to lock the doors with the remote, or the black SE&SS button, as the doors won't lock if a door is open), as an open door could leave the interior dome lights on. Also, check the settings on both the front and rear dome lights, to make sure that they are not in the always on position, but in the Auto or Off positions. (Many people forget to turn off the rear light, and don't notice it on when they leave the car, draining the battery.) Same goes for the map lights, and also your headlights or parking lights. Also, be sure to actually power the car off (don't leave it in ACC or IG-ON) when you leave it.

Barring the more common user error above, have your dealership check the charging system on your car. It is always possible that there might be a problem in the circuit. Rare, but it does happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks.

I've checked all these things. I think it's unlikely that I've gotten two bad batteries. So, now I'm afraid I have a more fundamental problem. And, that I have a lemon. If this is a lemon, I will be sooooo mad, waiting 2 months and paying MSRP for this car.

Thank you for the reply.
 

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After two batteries I think it's safe to say you do have a circuit causing a battery drain. It's a complicated procedure but your dealer should now be able to find it. Don't give up on the car yet, I'm sure they will find it.
Normally, depending where you are located I would suggest one of the auto companies who specialize in car electrics but with the Prius I would think you had better stick with Toyota. Only differance being that Toyota may take several days and the "electric boy's" a couple hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
more info from dealer...

Thanks for the reply.

I finally got the car towed to the Toyota dealer yesterday afternoon. The mechanics were already looking at the car when I went back to get some personal items from the car. The mechanic asked me if my leather was after-market (it is) and asked me about my after-market lumbar support and heated seat element (uh oh). I think you know where this is going...

The service manager was VERY quick to point blame at the after-market heated seat element. He also clearly stated that after-market was not covered "under warranty". I'm a bit anxious about the outcome now. If it's just the 12-volt battery that is fried, and they make me pay for this, I can handle that. What I can't handle is an expensive job. And, I'm not convinced that the heater element is the problem. I've had it for over 2 months with no problems until last week. I've not left the heating element on when the car is turned off. So, what if I have a more fundamental, non-heating element problem? I may lose out on my warranty anyway. Maybe I'm being pessimistic but this gives them an easy out for not honoring the warranty.

I'm kicking myself for adding the heater and lumbar support.

Yikes.
 

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Do you have the upgraded sound system?

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... 001-05.zip
or
http://www.alldata.com/tsb/Toyota/11229 ... index.html

US TSB AU001-05
August 2, 2005. Parasitic draw from JBL amplifier. 2004-2005 Prius and other Toyotas. Some owners may hear a POP noise when turning the ignition on or off, because the amplifier remains on even though the car is off (which may result in a dead 12v battery after an extended cold soak.) Replace with updated JBL amplifier. (note that this is covered under the basic 36 month/36,000 mile warranty.)
 

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I was told not to add the heated seats because of potential electrical problems...so I did not....I suspect the EE who told me knew what he was talking about. Sorry to hear this....
 

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Actually, I am amazed that the Prius tech didn't go right to the seats when you had the first battery problem. There is so little known about these cars at the dealerships even after selling them for a couple years I would be very hesitant adding anything electric to mine. Even the "ev" switch would be a nix to me. I even hesitate to use the lighter plug, and would never think of leaving anything plugged in whether there is supposed to be power or not.
If they do isolate it to the seat cover installation there should be no charge for the 2nd battery and you should have some satisfaction from the seat cover installers.
 

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if there's a problem with the charging system unrelated to the seat add-ons, that should be covered under warranty. they'd have to prove that the seat electrics caused the problem in order to make you pay for it.

good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm kicking myself

for adding the heated seats. I suppose I should have known better. Thanks for the replies. I do not have the premium sound, unfortunately. Well, I kind of hope it is the heated seats, that would be a less expensive problem, I suppose. I will keep my fingers crossed. The dealer will be calling me around noon tomorrow. At least they gave me a free loaner car. Only 2-3 months with the Prius and I've already forgotten how to drive a gas-only car! :)
 

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Doncha feel like Cmdr. Scott talking to the mouse connected to a Mac computer in the "whale" Star Trek movie, frustrated that it isn't responding?
 

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If it isn't the seats, check to make sure your fob isn't too close to Prius. e.g. if you park on the driveway at the front of your house, don't store your fob near the front door/windows. That might cause a battery drain... (or was is the fob's battery that'll drain?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
key fob

thanks for that tip. I don't think that's the problem..my key fob is pretty far away from the garage. But, that info might come in handy at a later date.

I should hear from the dealer today and I'll let you all know what I find out. My fingers are crossed. I sure miss my Prius! :(
 

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The fob being near the car shouldn't cause a drain overnight.

Find out where the seat heaters were made to get their power, and if connected to a constant 12V source, if a relay was used to cut off the heaters when the car is turned off. If connected to a const 12V, no cutoff relay, and you forgot to turn off the heater, there's your problem.

As for the JBL, I pretty much discounted it since this is a 2 month old Prius. But you don't have the amp anyway.

Charging system is really easy to check, since it is a solid state DC-DC converter integrated with the inverter. If you have 14V when in READY, but around 12V when not in READY, charging system is fine.

Barring the seat heaters being the problem, the next thing the techs should do is a standby current load test. I think the max is 50mA, though normally it is much lower than that. Rick on PriusChat gave the real world specs.
 

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If the car is in READY, the DC-DC converter should have plenty of reserve current to cover the heaters. That wouldn't be the case in Ig-On though.
 

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sounds too darn complicated to keep "in order" for me. If the installer just tapped into any 12 v wire he found "hot" you would have a problem with the heat switch either left on or malfunctioning.
Interesting!
I'm sure if Toyota ever offers the option of heated or power seats nothing will work until the car is in "ready." I wonder if an after-market installer knows of this inverter system to "jump" battery size.
 

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hyperion said:
I wonder if an after-market installer knows of this inverter system to "jump" battery size.
DC-DC converter is no more complicated outside of the 'black box' than an alternator, except it is more stable. It doesn't change output in relation to engine RPM like an alternator would.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks

The only thing that I know for sure about the seat heaters, right now, is that they stay on, when the car is powered off. That is, unless I switch them off. Which, I have done. So, do you think that, even if they're switched off, they could still drain the battery? When I got in my car, the seats were not warm and the toggle switch was in the off position.

BTW - the dealer called and said that the problem is the seat heater. They disconnected it on Sat afternoon. It started right up this morning. I'm not 100% convinced and half-plan to end up late to work again this week. I hope I'm wrong though!

They are charging me a $80 diagnostic fee and $35 for the loaner car, since it's not covered by the warranty...
 
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