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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the last couple of weeks, my batteries are discharging more quickly than usual. My routine driving around town is using the ICE more frequenthly and the mpg has dropped 4 mpg in the last two weeks.

Today, we drove a couple miles and my bars dropped to the pink 2-bar color - that almost never happens unless I sit idle for long enough.

I have the 2004 with 60k miles on it already. It has been warmer than usual, getting into the upper 90s. Have any of you experienced this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't think so. I just went out and double checked the parking brake - it was fine.

One other symptom I noticed when I just went out to check the brake was a sound like static electricity. I hear a several quiet snaps. I don't smell any oxone or electric smells. Just the sound - kind of unusual though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No, warranty on all but the electric motor and battery expired at 36k. I figured I would take it in on Monday to check it out. If I remember right, there is a 10 year/100k on the electric side of things.
 

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I'm usually the "don't sweat it" guy...ready to blow off the problem to the heat or whatever, but if you've got 60k miles under your belt in the '04 I'm going to defer to your sense of what's working right and what isn't and say that b/w that and the 'electrical' sounds you're hearing that you need to have things checked...something doesn't sound right. Just suprised you haven't gotten an CEL or something before now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Stopped at the dealer today - the "Prius technician" is in Fort Worth for training. That's one of the things I love about living in a small town...

If/When I hear that it is something unusual, I'll post back. I'm sure this group would like to know - I know my wife and I have racked up the mileage pretty fast - this may give a heads-up to others.
 

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Battery discharging in hot weather

I have been seeing the battery 'bars' down in the red too often since May,2005. I bought my 2004 Silver Prius used from a dealership. No one knew anything about the car so I read my manual. The first time this happened I was frantic. The manual didn't have any suggestions so I called the dealership. One service advisor at dealership said it was 'not good' and bring it in for diagnosis. I went to a dealership closer to home. The technician said this was normal and there was no problem. I could not/would not accept that the battery discharging was normal. I had to search the NHTSA website which has everything about the battery problems in the '04-'05 and the TSB that said don't do anything unless the customer complains. I only have 34,000 miles on it and can't see myself driving this car for 11/12 more years with this happening. We get temperatures of 102-104 and AC or not the battery discharges several times a trip! I'm waiting for the warning lights and the stall before Toyota will do anything. Put in a complaint with the NHTSA.
If you get any action please put out the word. I'm hoping to find the right words/actions to get Toyota to repair, replace or repurchase.
Thanks for being here. The widow
 

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Re: Battery discharging in hot weather

Jazzwidow said:
I have been seeing the battery 'bars' down in the red too often since May,2005. I bought my 2004 Silver Prius used from a dealership. No one knew anything about the car so I read my manual. The first time this happened I was frantic. The manual didn't have any suggestions so I called the dealership. One service advisor at dealership said it was 'not good' and bring it in for diagnosis. I went to a dealership closer to home. The technician said this was normal and there was no problem. I could not/would not accept that the battery discharging was normal. I had to search the NHTSA website which has everything about the battery problems in the '04-'05 and the TSB that said don't do anything unless the customer complains. I only have 34,000 miles on it and can't see myself driving this car for 11/12 more years with this happening. We get temperatures of 102-104 and AC or not the battery discharges several times a trip! I'm waiting for the warning lights and the stall before Toyota will do anything. Put in a complaint with the NHTSA.
If you get any action please put out the word. I'm hoping to find the right words/actions to get Toyota to repair, replace or repurchase.
Thanks for being here. The widow
In your case, jazzwidow, I think you are experiencing high summer heat, more than anything else. Are you aware that the battery indicator isn't a true representation of the actual state of charge? The very top of the indicator is 80% of total charge, the bottom of the indicator is 40% charge. The vehicle will maintain the battery between these charge points at all costs. The vehicle knows how to maintain the battery and has allowances built into the computational logic to handle low and high SOC instances.

Battery efficiency is greatly affected in 90 degree plus temperatures. If your vehicle has been setting in the hot sun in a parking lot in 100+ degree weather, you are going to come out to a cabin that is at least 140 degrees or hotter. The battery has been in this environment for a long time so its ambient temperature isn't going to be far off. The vehicle needs time to run the A/C and lower the interior temperature down to a more human friendly level before the battery has cool enough air for heat exchange and efficient charge and discharge cycles. If the onboard logic feels that the battery is too hot it will limit charging and discharging and run the vehicle on power generated by the engine (ICE) instead of normal operation with battery assist. This will make the vehicle feel sluggish, however cooling off the cabin will help bring battery temp down and the vehicle will start using the battery again and will charge it normally again.

Red bars are not bad, just an indicator that the battery is approaching the lower control limit. You should notice that the ICE will run continuously if the bars are red, of course after battery temperature has returned to normal As we enter fall and the weather starts to cool off you will see this condition disappear.

For now, crack a rear window when you get in the vehicle and run your a/c to a normal interior temperature, say 75 degrees. In general, if you are comfortable in your car, the battery is comfortable also.
 

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Re: Battery discharging in hot weather

Jazzwidow said:
I have been seeing the battery 'bars' down in the red too often since May,2005. I bought my 2004 Silver Prius used from a dealership. No one knew anything about the car so I read my manual. The first time this happened I was frantic. The manual didn't have any suggestions so I called the dealership. One service advisor at dealership said it was 'not good' and bring it in for diagnosis. I went to a dealership closer to home. The technician said this was normal and there was no problem. I could not/would not accept that the battery discharging was normal. I had to search the NHTSA website which has everything about the battery problems in the '04-'05 and the TSB that said don't do anything unless the customer complains. I only have 34,000 miles on it and can't see myself driving this car for 11/12 more years with this happening. We get temperatures of 102-104 and AC or not the battery discharges several times a trip! I'm waiting for the warning lights and the stall before Toyota will do anything. Put in a complaint with the NHTSA.
If you get any action please put out the word. I'm hoping to find the right words/actions to get Toyota to repair, replace or repurchase.
Thanks for being here. The widow
Agreed, there's nothing wrong with seeing the SOC go into the pink and it's quite common in the summer. In the winter I find that the SOC is more often in the green or at least high blue area. The battery is always charging and discharging depending upon driving conditions, battery temp, etc. What you're seeing is normal.
 

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I'll third that. As long as the battery is between 1 and 8 "bars" it is perfectly happy. The color changes are just a quick-look indicator so you don't have to count bars all the time to figure out where you are, but it is normal to be anywhere in that range (and more common to be in the 2-7 range). Toyota maybe should have used a color other than pink or red for the bottom end of the range because most people associate that color coding with a problem.
 

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"One other symptom I noticed when I just went out to check the brake was a sound like static electricity. I hear a several quiet snaps. I don't smell any oxone or electric smells. Just the sound - kind of unusual though."

There is still this symptom. Since there isn't a "snapping" A/C clutch, I can think of nothing that should cause this sound. If you can consistently induce this sound then I'd do so at the dealer.
 

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Answers to hot weather battery plea for help

Thank you, Knowledgeable Ones, for your more in-depth answers. Where did you learn all these things? I love to learn and especially about the car I'm driving. Used to work on my own cars in the old days (lived with mechanics).
I bless you with the light (pick whichever light you prefer)!
Jazzwidow
 

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Re: Answers to hot weather battery plea for help

Jazzwidow said:
Thank you, Knowledgeable Ones, for your more in-depth answers. Where did you learn all these things? I love to learn and especially about the car I'm driving. Used to work on my own cars in the old days (lived with mechanics).
I bless you with the light (pick whichever light you prefer)!
Jazzwidow
Hey, I would have agreed with Jeromep too if I knew I was going ot get blessed with the light! Bless me too, please. I pick green (sort of like my car). :wink:
 

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First, warranty. The 8/100 warranty is on the battery, inverter and HV ECU, that's it. The motors are not under this warranty.

Then there's the 5/60 warranty, which is the powertrain warranty. This covers what turns the wheels, from ICE, through the transaxle, to the wheels. I believe this is what covers the motors.

Then, everything else is under the 3/36 warranty.

As for battery SOC, I would be concerned if the battery showed 1 or 2 bars if I have been cruising. If I am stopped (parked or in traffic) for a long time, then I could expect a low SOC. But if I was getting a low SOC after driving (actually moving) for 10 or more minutes, then I'd be concerned.
However, at speeds around 35 MPH or lower, the car does like to stealth since ICE is fairly inefficient at that speed, and that would eventually lower the SOC.
 
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