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What problems, (if any), am I apt to experience when I store my Prius in my garage in Duluth MN for 3-4 months at a time?
I "snow-bird" in Arizona during the winter months, and I would like to know if there are any special proceedures that I should follow when I leave my car behind.
This is to thank you all in advance for any help that you might offer.
 

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Re: Storage problems in cold weather,... ("Duluth Cold&

thepapa said:
What problems, (if any), am I apt to experience when I store my Prius in my garage in Duluth MN for 3-4 months at a time?
I "snow-bird" in Arizona during the winter months, and I would like to know if there are any special proceedures that I should follow when I leave my car behind.
This is to thank you all in advance for any help that you might offer.
You WILL need to disengage the 12V battery for that time period. You'll have to reprogram the Radio and Bluetooth when you get back, but otherwise that shouldn't be a big deal for you. The NiMH HV battery Should be fine for up to about 6 months. I think I'd want to be sure it was as topped off as possible before leaving on your trip and, if possible, maybe have someone start the car up for a while once a month or so just for peace of mind. But, that'll require hooking the 12V back up and then unhooking each time so it would need to be someone who's fairly reliable and handy. If the 12V sits for more than 2 weeks it can be drained.

I don't think a trickle charger would be worth while for that long of storage period. Why not take the Prius to AZ with you?
 

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Thanks for the quick response. I did leave it on a trickle charger because I had success doing so on other vehicles in the past. Only have 1500 miles on it now, hope it will be ok when I return. I'll post an update at that time.
 

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There are inexpensie "battery maintainers", a trickle charger expressly made for long term use that is ideal for your situation. thsy run from about $12 to $30 depending on price and store. I have used both cheap and expensive and all worked just fine. I have 5 of these in various uses.

:D Pat :D
 

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Ammiel, It seems like from the number of problems we hear here regarding the 12 volt batt staying charged that the drains are more than a "regular" car. I have a good sized flexible solar charger that I can throw on my dash when leaving my truck parked out for a long time (I have a really complex alarm that uses a bit of power) Works fine outside but it doesn't do enough by a fair margin inside with reduced illumination from windows.

The solar idea is really a good one, especially if there is any doubt about your commercial power, just that the reduced light levels inside make it a real iffy proposition. You could make an extension cord that would allow you to position the solar panel in the window and run the wire to the car. That would help. Cost wise, it would be cheaper to buy the battery maintainer type trickle unit (about the size of a wall charger unit for a calculator or cordless phone.) They are super economical to operate.

The solar solution costs more but is more flexible as leaving a Prius in long term parking at the airport or whatever could leave you stranded since there is nowhere to plug in your battery maintainer but the solar unit would, of course, work fine.

Maybe someone could find out how much current is drawn from the 12 volt battery when the Prius is turned off and parked. That would be useful so a potential solar solution could be more appropriately sized. It would be a bummer to buy a solar charger to find it only postponed and did not solve the problem. It would be cheaper to buy a solar unit than to risk replacing the battery when someone does the snowbird thing for a long time.

:D Pat :D
 

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My solar charger came with about 15 feet of wire and clamps. I like the idea to put it by the window and close the lid on the wire, extended if needed.
 

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If it is as I think it is a spiral cell battery, made out of Denver, then just disconmnect one pole of the battery.
Loss over 3 months will be nominal.

Jim
 

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Jim Johnstone said:
If it is as I think it is a spiral cell battery, made out of Denver, then just disconmnect one pole of the battery.
Loss over 3 months will be nominal.
I believe it is the 12volt batt that is in question.

Harbor Freight ( http://www.harborfreight.com ) has a battery maintainer expressly for long term storage of a 12 volt battery for the sum of $9.95 (catalog price) that is about as economical and convenient of a solution as you will find. Your clock will stay set correct and your battery will be protected from self discharge which would still happen, although at a reduced rate, even if you disconnect the battery.

:D Pat :D
 

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Jim Johnstone said:
If it is as I think it is a spiral cell battery, made out of Denver, then just disconmnect one pole of the battery.
Loss over 3 months will be nominal.

Jim
There's one problem with disconnecting
the 12v battery to save it for a long
term storage - the 12v battery is
disconnected.

If your Prius has an alarm (all classic
2001-2003 Prius do, and some 2004s),
the alarm will not operate if the
12v battery is disconnected.

You will also loose any radio station
presets, and stored error codes in
the ECUs. If you have a Navigation
system, your stored options and
stored POIs will also be lost.
 
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