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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is this normal?

The other day I was in my 2004 and stuck waiting at a railroad crossing. Since it was 115 degrees the AC was going full blast and the battery ran down pretty fast.

The engine never did come on to charge the battery while I waited for the train to pass and I became a little concerned that the main battery was going to run out of juice, so I shut the AC off. Not a good think at 115 degrees!

When my 2002 battery starts to get low at a stop, the engine kicks in and charges the battery.

Is it normal for the 2004 to not charge the battery at a stop? :x
 

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How far did it run down? Last week my 2005 with over 100 degrees bearing down, got down to 2 pink bars before the engine kicked in to recharge. I considered turning the AC off but waited since I read here that engine would eventually come on.
 

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Uhh, did you put the drive into "N" while waiting? Don't do that. The traction battery doesn't get recharged in "N" (the MFD gives a big fat warning about this ONLY when the car doors are open).

[editted to correct an error]
 

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I had an 02 prius before i got the 05. I noticed huge differences in the charging, and how the motor kicks on and off. First of all in the old one the motor kicks on at first no matter what, the new one waits for you to start driving, ( I like this better.) I also noticed the battery will charge more, and drain more. I read some listings on this website and found that the new one (not sure about the old generation) only measures in a mid range of the battery. So, even if it says the battery is dead, it's really not, (same as if it says it's fully charged.) I hope this helps, I know this information is already around here somewhere, but maybe this makes it easier to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
evander said:
How far did it run down? Last week my 2005 with over 100 degrees bearing down, got down to 2 pink bars before the engine kicked in to recharge. I considered turning the AC off but waited since I read here that engine would eventually come on.
Hi evander!
I was down to 3 pink bars. Guess I should have waited a little longer. I sure feel more secure in th 2002. It's battery never gets as low as the 2004.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
richard schumacher said:
Uhh, did you put the drive into "N" while waiting? The traction battery doesn't get recharged in "N" (the MFD gives a big fat warning about this).
Yes, it was in drive. Next time I will have to try waiting until the battery gets lower before turning off the AC.
 

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If your car is running properly, and does not have a malfunction, my opinion is you should not be making decisions for it on the basis of the battery reading.

Just let it decide for itself when to start recharging, etc; but as above poster cautioned, you must leave it in drive, or you disable its ability to decide to recharge...(and enjoy your A/C 8) )
 

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An04Prius said:
If your car is running properly, and does not have a malfunction, my opinion is you should not be making decisions for it on the basis of the battery reading.

Just let it decide for itself when to start recharging, etc; but as above poster cautioned, you must leave it in drive, or you disable its ability to decide to recharge...(and enjoy your A/C 8) )
Well, it could be in D, or B, or R, or even in Park. Just not in N.

(The Energy Screen is just eye-candy, and doesn't tell you everything. I think the further colorful gradations of the battery icon on the 2004+ screen just scares people. Classic battery icon moves so infrequently that some people don't notice it...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
An04Prius said:
If your car is running properly, and does not have a malfunction, my opinion is you should not be making decisions for it on the basis of the battery reading.

Just let it decide for itself when to start recharging, etc; but as above poster cautioned, you must leave it in drive, or you disable its ability to decide to recharge...(and enjoy your A/C 8) )
Hmmm! I assumed that the guage was put there for a reason just like the gas guage.

When the gas guage says "low", I put more gas in.

Using the same logic, I assumed that when the battery indicator, indicates "low", it needs a charge! Is this flawed logic?
 

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mrv said:
An04Prius said:
If your car is running properly, and does not have a malfunction, my opinion is you should not be making decisions for it on the basis of the battery reading.

Just let it decide for itself when to start recharging, etc; but as above poster cautioned, you must leave it in drive, or you disable its ability to decide to recharge...(and enjoy your A/C 8) )
Well, it could be in D, or B, or R, or even in Park. Just not in N.

(The Energy Screen is just eye-candy, and doesn't tell you everything. I think the further colorful gradations of the battery icon on the 2004+ screen just scares people. Classic battery icon moves so infrequently that some people don't notice it...)
Michelle of course is right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Yes the logic is flawed. Toyota spent development $$s to insure we need only drive the Prius just like a "regular" car. Adding/cking gas & oil (all fluids) is driver's responsibility, charging battery is not.

The MFD is largely entertainment. Let's face it, we do not need energy direction arrows, pink blue & green battery bars, spinning wheels & motors, bouncing columns of mpg every 5 min, little car icons, to properly & safely drive the Prius, but they are fun to let us monitor the cars performance.

Some will say the they are vital to improving driving efficiency.To some degree they can be, but I say that means too many are watching TV-MFD when they should be watching the road. And to those taking pics of your MFD, while moving, I sure hope someone other than the driver is taking those pics.


Well, they did away with oil pressure and coolant gauges, so why have a battery indicator if it is not meant to let the driver know what's happening :?:

There are times when we need to know the main battery is getting low :!:

Driving up a very long and very steep incline and suddenly loosing power can be a concern, :? but if by looking at the battery indicator I see that the battery is getting low and the engine is now providing the only power to the wheels as well as recharging the battery. I will at least know what's going on :wink: and also know that I may need to shut the AC down, at least temporarily!

:D Nope, I think my logi is solid. :D
 

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:wink:
 

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A couple cars ago I had a Geo which died when I slowed down with AC on unless my foot was on the gas. Out of worry, I'd turn AC off as I neared stop signs and made turns. Finally I had enough and decided to trade. No one should drive a car worried about stalls, going up hills, etc.
 

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Well, I'm going to get jumped on again but if you ever have to drive a Prius with the MFD screen off for a week in all kinds of weather and mountaneous conditions and you are worrying that it will not perform normally then you are driving the wrong car.
Toyota made it to perform as a normal car and the MFD is not there to cause you to attempt to change the workings of any of the designed systems.
 

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My ICE only kicks on at traffic lights when the MFD goes down to 2 bars (pink). At 3 bars, it's still blue, and keeps running the AC off of the hybrid battery without charging assistance from the ICE.
 

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hyperion said:
Well, I'm going to get jumped on again but if you ever have to drive a Prius with the MFD screen off for a week in all kinds of weather and mountaneous conditions and you are worrying that it will not perform normally then you are driving the wrong car.
Toyota made it to perform as a normal car and the MFD is not there to cause you to attempt to change the workings of any of the designed systems.
I'm with hyp. I think that is great way of expressing it. You can drive the Prius its entire lifetime with the MFD turned off, and not have to worry about what if might be telling you. (unless the kids left a RAP album in the CD, and I was expecting Tony Bennett :shock: )

You would miss a lot of interesting info & entertainment, and some convenience operating the A/C , but nothing of importance to operating the car safely.
 

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So many misconceptions.

First, 3-6 bars are blue. 1-2 bars are pink(red), and 7-8 bars are green.

2nd: 2002 had AC run off of the engine as a rotational accessory, as it is in most other cars. Therefore, whenever the compressor needed to run to cool the cabin, the ICE had to start.
In 2004, the compressor is completely electric (and continuously variable), so the compressor does not directly need ICE to run in order to function. When the battery gets low, ICE will start to recharge the battery. When the car is not moving, ICE will maintain charge between 2-3 bars. Once the car gets moving, then it will charge back to 6 bars.

3rd: It is true that the MG's are essentially disabled when the car is in neutral. That means ICE is not allowed to charge the battery, nor can ICE be started if it isn't already running. However, that big warning only occurs if the doors are opened when in drive or neutral. It may also come up in Reverse. If the doors are closed, no warning. I guess Toyota figures if you are in the car, you can monitor the battery stats and act appropriately. If you leave the car, you can't do such monitoring, so it warns you as you are about to leave the car. Not to many of us leave the car by jumping out of the window.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
DanMan32 said:
So many misconceptions.

First, 3-6 bars are blue. 1-2 bars are pink(red), and 7-8 bars are green.

2nd: 2002 had AC run off of the engine as a rotational accessory, as it is in most other cars. Therefore, whenever the compressor needed to run to cool the cabin, the ICE had to start.
In 2004, the compressor is completely electric (and continuously variable), so the compressor does not directly need ICE to run in order to function. When the battery gets low, ICE will start to recharge the battery. When the car is not moving, ICE will maintain charge between 2-3 bars. Once the car gets moving, then it will charge back to 6 bars.

3rd: It is true that the MG's are essentially disabled when the car is in neutral. That means ICE is not allowed to charge the battery, nor can ICE be started if it isn't already running. However, that big warning only occurs if the doors are opened when in drive or neutral. It may also come up in Reverse. If the doors are closed, no warning. I guess Toyota figures if you are in the car, you can monitor the battery stats and act appropriately. If you leave the car, you can't do such monitoring, so it warns you as you are about to leave the car. Not to many of us leave the car by jumping out of the window.
Finally! Logic based on fact!
Thanks Dan!
 

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jflowerus said:
DanMan32 said:
So many misconceptions.

First, 3-6 bars are blue. 1-2 bars are pink(red), and 7-8 bars are green.

2nd: 2002 had AC run off of the engine as a rotational accessory, as it is in most other cars. Therefore, whenever the compressor needed to run to cool the cabin, the ICE had to start.
In 2004, the compressor is completely electric (and continuously variable), so the compressor does not directly need ICE to run in order to function. When the battery gets low, ICE will start to recharge the battery. When the car is not moving, ICE will maintain charge between 2-3 bars. Once the car gets moving, then it will charge back to 6 bars.

3rd: It is true that the MG's are essentially disabled when the car is in neutral. That means ICE is not allowed to charge the battery, nor can ICE be started if it isn't already running. However, that big warning only occurs if the doors are opened when in drive or neutral. It may also come up in Reverse. If the doors are closed, no warning. I guess Toyota figures if you are in the car, you can monitor the battery stats and act appropriately. If you leave the car, you can't do such monitoring, so it warns you as you are about to leave the car. Not to many of us leave the car by jumping out of the window.
Finally! Logic based on fact!
Thanks Dan!
HUH ?? I do not think Dan said anything to dispute the fact that you do not have to monitor the battery to take any action to prevent the Prius from having a sudden loss of power. The car takes care of itself, by deciding when the ICE needs to come on to recharge the battery. That is so if you are climbing steep mountains for 450 miles, with AC on or not.

The basic fact remains. If you have a sudden loss of power you have a malfunction. That is not normal operation of the car under any circumstances. Take it in for service. Do not just turn off the AC and forget about it.
 

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And there really isn't anything more that you can do watching the colors or bars change. Just keep the car in "D" or "P" in the ready mode and the whole thing is normal and if it stops, it is broke. The bars along with the colors on the MFD are "toys" to give you a little info of how the car is running. Regardless what they indicate if the car is running normally there is nothing wrong and there is nothing you can do with the AC or any other system that the car won't do for itself. If it makes you feel better "have at it".
If the car engine however suffers loss of coolant or oil it will overheat and eventually stop but you "should have a passel of lights lit on the dash.
The car will run normally through it's entire life with that MFD off. No where in the manual does it caution you to turn it on before driving off.
 
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