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I recommend, instead of a standard charger set to trickle setting, that you instead purchase a "smart" trickle charger that will constantly monitor battery condition, charge it when it needs it, and the rest of the time throw just enough current into it to keep it "warm." The brand commonly sold is called Battery Tender. I've used one when storing my Harley over the winter now for 7 years, and it works great. They are a little pricey at the Harley dealers, but I believe I've seen 'em at Sears recently. As I recall, there's a deluxe version that is about $60, and a simpler one that might be $40, but I could be off on both counts. They will not overcharge your battery.

I used to pull my (harley) battery out and store it my basement, trickle charging it once a month, but the battery is difficult to pull out from under the seat (without dropping the nuts down into the abyss of the motor). The Battery Tender has standard terminal clips, and also comes with a second wire with flat rings at the end...you can permanently mount the latter to your battery terminals (or in the case of the Prius, to the jumper point, if it has nuts on it...I've never looked at mine). The wire then unplugs from itself, about halfway down its approx. 6' length. So, I leave that wire (coiled up and tied with a twistie) hooked to the battery and tucked under my seat all summer and, in the late fall, pull it out and plug it into the wire coming from the Battery Tender.

I'm not sure how much sense I'm making. What I'm trying to say is that the wire comes out of the Battery Tender a few feet, and there is a junction there where you have the choice of either attaching one wire (with spring clips at the other end, like most jumper cables have) or an alternate wire that has the mountable flat rings at the end. If you leave the alternate wire hooked up to your Prius all the time, you can still use the battery tender to charge up other batteries, by using the spring-clip attachment.

Yikes, I think I'll just stop. Check it out at batterytender.com!
Rob
 

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Battery tenders are available every where and one that is failsafe starts at $54.00. I leave one connected permanantly to my pickup which spends the winter in a carport with little use. I've used itr successfully for 10 yrs. This is just for info. I still believe if you have shelter you can park a Prius all winter without use and not do nothing to it. This I have determined from Toytota info.
 

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I wish...

zinzindorff9 said:
12 volt should last several months and car can be easily started as long as there is any spark at all to fire up ecm.
Not exactly... The 12v battery in my 05 went dead after three days in the garage, and despite connecting a trickle charger (10 amp max.) and waiting a couple of minutes, as I found out it takes more than just the current necessary to fire up the ECMs if you actually want to start the car. As soon as you press the brake pedal to start the car, the hydraulic pump starts and draws more current than a trickle charger can supply, and the car won't start. There was some discussion on PriusChat about feathering the brake pedal just enough to get the car to start, but not enough to run the pump. Don't know if it would work or not, but I do know I've found that procedure difficult to perform.

So before the urban myth of using a 9-volt battery to start your totally dead Prius perpetuates any further, just be aware it ain't as easy as it sounds!

Geoff
 

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Re: I wish...

GeoffM said:
zinzindorff9 said:
12 volt should last several months and car can be easily started as long as there is any spark at all to fire up ecm.
Not exactly... The 12v battery in my 05 went dead after three days in the garage, and despite connecting a trickle charger (10 amp max.) and waiting a couple of minutes, as I found out it takes more than just the current necessary to fire up the ECMs if you actually want to start the car. As soon as you press the brake pedal to start the car, the hydraulic pump starts and draws more current than a trickle charger can supply, and the car won't start. There was some discussion on PriusChat about feathering the brake pedal just enough to get the car to start, but not enough to run the pump. Don't know if it would work or not, but I do know I've found that procedure difficult to perform.

So before the urban myth of using a 9-volt battery to start your totally dead Prius perpetuates any further, just be aware it ain't as easy as it sounds!

Geoff
Geoff,

this does not sound like normal behavior. I had a similar experience. About ten days after I got my car it wouldn't start after sitting in the garage for a week. The first response from the service people was: "You can't leave this car sit for more than a day or two." I still took it in and they found a short between two of the elements in the 12V battery :D Since then, I haven't had any problems with it. I would definitely have your battery checked out.
 

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Re: I wish...

Geoff,

this does not sound like normal behavior. I had a similar experience. About ten days after I got my car it wouldn't start after sitting in the garage for a week. The first response from the service people was: "You can't leave this car sit for more than a day or two." I still took it in and they found a short between two of the elements in the 12V battery :D Since then, I haven't had any problems with it. I would definitely have your battery checked out.
Thanks for the info. I'm thinking the same thing - not normal - and I'm trying to get the car to the dealership this week. Hope mine turns out to be as simple a solution as yours!

Geoff
 
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