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post #121 of 240 Old 09-09-2013, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lincolnshibuya View Post
I recall posting this TSB in greenhybrid. You're better off buying a new battery.

http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~nash/TCH/...0BATTERIES.pdf
I read the TSB, but I did not see where it said the battery will not survive a full discharge. This is a very expensive battery, and I would not write the obit just yet.

The TSB has some information in it that can be misinterpreted. It says you should not charge the battery at 2 amps. The only reason is that you would not want to pay Toyota to charge it at 2 amps. Would cost you a fortune. Technically there is nothing wrong with charging at 2 amps other than the time it takes.

The TSB says you should never charge the battery with a standard battery charger. Yes, you should take it to Toyota and let them use that special charger and charge you $100. Nonsense. I'll bet 9 Toyota shops out of 10 will use a standard battery charger, probably harm the battery, and still charge you $100. The only thing special about the battery charger is to ensure you use one that delivers 5 amps or less. Yes some larger chargers will deliver a lot more, and if you use one of those set to a high value, you will likely destroy the battery.

It is worthwhile to keep the theory in mind. Toyota uses a special battery to avoid gassing when it is charged, because the battery is located in the trunk. You don't want explosive gas in the trunk. I believe they originally used Gel type batteries. The gel absorbs the gas generated, providing you do not charge it too fast. If you charge it too fast the gas forms bubbles in the gel and the battery is ruined.

I suspect they now use AGM type batteries, but who knows for sure. AGM stands for Absorbent Glass Mat. The purpose is similar in that gas is absorbed. You are buying a black box when you buy from Toyota so who knows what you really get. AGM are more tolerant to faster charging. It is possible they set the 5 amp charging limit when they used Gel type batteries and have not changed it. In any case if you stick to that maximum charge rate you will not damage the battery.

See this link, if you want to learn more about Gel and AGM batteries.

My recommendation to the OP is still the same. Get an inexpensive 2-5 amp charger at Walmart and recharge the battery slowly. If it does not recover then buy an Optima AGM type battery, and use that charger to fully charge it before you install it.

2012 Camry XLE Hybrid
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post #122 of 240 Old 09-10-2013, 05:56 AM
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I still have the original Panasonic battery in my 2007 TCH and so far it's doing fine. Considering I have a short commute of 3.7 miles each way to work, I hook up the battery to
http://www.amazon.com/CTEK-93-56-864-Black-Battery-Charger/dp/B006G14FK8/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_topperiodically about once every 3 months or so and whenever I find the dome light was inadvertently left on for a few hours and such.

The above charger also has desulphating and reconditioning built in I believe, not sure if these are applicable to AGM/GEL batteries.

If you find you have to replace it and want to use a Prius battery, the Optima mentioned by Ron is/was a popular choice among Prius owners.
Lately other choices have come on the market, many with higher capacities and better warranty:

Exide Edge AGM (http://www.atbatt.com/product/25081.asp) with 4 or 5 year warranty.

Toyota TrueStart Prius AGM battery with 7 or 8 year warranty (We aren't talking about the TCH OEM Panasonic here)

O'reilly SuperStart

Marathon

Bosch 51-440B-AGM (PepBoys)

all of which come with provision for connecting the vent tube since they are marketed as drop-in Prius batteries.

I have a suspicion/hope that Exide perhaps has a larger AGM with vent tube provisioning in the same lineup as the Prius battery that might be better suited for the TCH, but I haven't spent any time to investigate.

Last edited by srivenkat; 09-10-2013 at 06:04 AM. Reason: Added link to Exide battery
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post #123 of 240 Old 09-10-2013, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srivenkat View Post
I still have the original Panasonic battery in my 2007 TCH and so far it's doing fine. Considering I have a short commute of 3.7 miles each way to work, I hook up the battery to
http://www.amazon.com/CTEK-93-56-864...pr_product_top
periodically about once every 3 months or so and whenever I find the dome light was inadvertently left on for a few hours and such.

The above charger also has desulphating and reconditioning built in I believe, not sure if these are applicable to AGM/GEL batteries.

If you find you have to replace it and want to use a Prius battery, the Optima mentioned by Ron is/was a popular choice among Prius owners.
Lately other choices have come on the market, many with higher capacities and better warranty:

Exide Edge AGM (http://www.atbatt.com/product/25081.asp) with 4 or 5 year warranty.

Toyota TrueStart Prius AGM battery with 7 or 8 year warranty (We aren't talking about the TCH OEM Panasonic here)

O'reilly SuperStart

Marathon

Bosch 51-440B-AGM (PepBoys)

all of which come with provision for connecting the vent tube since they are marketed as drop-in Prius batteries.

I have a suspicion/hope that Exide perhaps has a larger AGM with vent tube provisioning in the same lineup as the Prius battery that might be better suited for the TCH, but I haven't spent any time to investigate.
The reason for looking at the Prius battery for replacement is the vent tube provisioning that comes built in and the fact you are for sure getting a deep-cycle AGM battery as opposed to whatever the OEM Panasonic actually is. But what this also very likely means is that some sort of tray adaptation may be needed, I am not sure, I haven't compared the difference in the size between the OEM panasonic and the Prius battery...
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post #124 of 240 Old 09-10-2013, 08:56 AM
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For the purposes of getting the car started, jump starting is fine. It is only for a minute or so, so you aren't going to cause any damage. Standard practice.

As others have mentioned though, battery may be in poor condition already so just delaying the inevitable. That said could be wrong too, and it may last for a while...
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post #125 of 240 Old 09-10-2013, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by adprom View Post
For the purposes of getting the car started, jump starting is fine. It is only for a minute or so, so you aren't going to cause any damage. Standard practice.
Certainly standard practice for a regular "engine-starter" battery and the manual does say the TCH could be jump started the standard way as well. But there has also been a suspicion that the jumpstarting is actually the one to ruin the potential revival of the battery. Hence, if one can't wait for the battery to be charged using a charger as suggested earlier by Ron and others, then if one is so inclined, I think the following can be a work-around:

Disconnect the negative terminal, jump the car using the positive terminal on the battery but using the disconnected negative CABLE (NOT the negative battery post) and after the car starts, then remove the jumping cables and then reconnect the negative cable to the terminal.

Anyone see any issues with the above procedure?
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post #126 of 240 Old 09-10-2013, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srivenkat View Post
Certainly standard practice for a regular "engine-starter" battery and the manual does say the TCH could be jump started the standard way as well. But there has also been a suspicion that the jumpstarting is actually the one to ruin the potential revival of the battery. Hence, if one can't wait for the battery to be charged using a charger as suggested earlier by Ron and others, then if one is so inclined, I think the following can be a work-around:

Disconnect the negative terminal, jump the car using the positive terminal on the battery but using the disconnected negative CABLE (NOT the negative battery post) and after the car starts, then remove the jumping cables and then reconnect the negative cable to the terminal.

Anyone see any issues with the above procedure?
I'd like to try that... with someone else's car. I'd be scared to do that with my own car. My concern would be the middle time while the car is still running without an aux battery. Will the DC-DC converter become unstable without a battery? I don't know and I don't want to find out. At least not on my car.
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post #127 of 240 Old 09-10-2013, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by srivenkat View Post
Lately other choices have come on the market, many with higher capacities and better warranty:

Exide Edge AGM (http://www.atbatt.com/product/25081.asp) with 4 or 5 year warranty.
I don't see a provision for a vent on the Exide battery. It just talks about individual cells each having a vent.

On the other hand, Toyota has taken a belt and suspenders approach to the battery in the trunk issue. They have used a battery that should never vent, and also provided a vent. Probably their lawyers told them to do it. Ambulance chasers have driven them to that approach. I think when it comes time to replace the battery in mine, I will go for a larger AGM battery (Optima D34 or D34M), but forego the vent. Personal decision knowing the risks, that will not be acceptable to all.

I can't think of a reason why the Camry should need a larger battery than the Prius. A larger battery will give you longer time without charging, but in service would seem to be little benefit. Perhaps they were more cramped for space in the Prius, and don't have room for the D34 size battery.

2012 Camry XLE Hybrid
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post #128 of 240 Old 09-10-2013, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron AKA View Post
I don't see a provision for a vent on the Exide battery. It just talks about individual cells each having a vent.

On the other hand, Toyota has taken a belt and suspenders approach to the battery in the trunk issue. They have used a battery that should never vent, and also provided a vent. Probably their lawyers told them to do it. Ambulance chasers have driven them to that approach. I think when it comes time to replace the battery in mine, I will go for a larger AGM battery (Optima D34 or D34M), but forego the vent. Personal decision knowing the risks, that will not be acceptable to all.

I can't think of a reason why the Camry should need a larger battery than the Prius. A larger battery will give you longer time without charging, but in service would seem to be little benefit. Perhaps they were more cramped for space in the Prius, and don't have room for the D34 size battery.
That page at atbatt doesn't mention it but this battery seems to have been specifically manufactured for the Prius and other similar applications with venting aggregated into holes on both ends one of which is covered with a removable cap, the specific side covered decided according to application. There have been successful drop-in installations with the vent tube connections at priuschat. See:

http://priuschat.com/threads/12-volt.../#post-1876538

I think this page shows the vent hole:

http://sepbatteries.com/manufacturer...e-technologies

Regarding not venting, it's certainly a personal choice but it may not be acceptable to a life insurance claims adjustor if something were to happen to me while in the car that can possibly be blamed on the 12V not having been vented via the tube ....

Like dying while in a private/stunt plane not covered by personal life insurance ...

I was wondering about the smaller battery for the Prius and your guess makes sense to me as the Prius was all about cutting things down to lessen weight for increased fuel economy...

Update: just now got done doing a chat with sepbatteries.com and it seems like the FP-AGM34 does have the vent hole similar to FP-AGM51JIS. I have asked for pictures of the sides to be emailed to me so I can be sure. Will update later on that.
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post #129 of 240 Old 09-12-2013, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srivenkat View Post
Certainly standard practice for a regular "engine-starter" battery and the manual does say the TCH could be jump started the standard way as well. But there has also been a suspicion that the jumpstarting is actually the one to ruin the potential revival of the battery.
Why? (rhetorical question). Certainly not going to ruin a battery in a few minutes (unless the battery would die anyway). It is simply a chemical reaction...

I think people think their cars and the components are ultra fragile components sometimes.
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post #130 of 240 Old 09-12-2013, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by adprom View Post
Why? (rhetorical question). Certainly not going to ruin a battery in a few minutes (unless the battery would die anyway). It is simply a chemical reaction...

I think people think their cars and the components are ultra fragile components sometimes.
I don't know much about batteries, but I recently read at GreenHybrid that a fast/high-current/over charge delivered to the battery could cause it to lose Hydrogen (which seems to be the reason for the vent tube) permanently ruining it. That said, Priuschat member Britprius has measured current as high as 60Amp delivered by the Prius charging system (to a depleted battery I think).

All in all, if circumstances permit, it might be better to do a slow charge using a charger...

UPDATE: The link for Britprius' post:

http://priuschat.com/threads/12v-dow.../#post-1862172

Last edited by srivenkat; 09-12-2013 at 09:32 AM. Reason: Added link
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post #131 of 240 Old 09-12-2013, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adprom View Post
Why? (rhetorical question). Certainly not going to ruin a battery in a few minutes (unless the battery would die anyway). It is simply a chemical reaction...

I think people think their cars and the components are ultra fragile components sometimes.
Another piece of caution:

http://priuschat.com/threads/12volt-.../#post-1840724
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post #132 of 240 Old 09-12-2013, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adprom View Post
Why? (rhetorical question). Certainly not going to ruin a battery in a few minutes (unless the battery would die anyway). It is simply a chemical reaction... I think people think their cars and the components are ultra fragile components sometimes.
With conventional flooded lead acid batteries there is no problem with jump starting a vehicle. It will recharge fairly quickly after the vehicle starts, and generally the battery can take it. If it is not a maintenance free type you can top it up with water if it goes down. However keep in mind that a flooded lead acid battery is considered to have reached full life in about 6 years. In industry the same lead acid technology is expected to reach 30 years life with good maintenance. So, the numbers would suggest we do pay a price for our poor treatment of the battery.

However, these batteries in the trunk of our hybrid are not conventional flooded lead acid batteries. That is why Toyota charges $400 for them. They are either Gel type or AGM. The gel type as the name suggests are filled with a gel instead of a liquid. When they are recharged slowly the gas produced is absorbed by the gel and all is good. However when you charge them too fast (greater than 5 amps), they produce more gas than can be absorbed by the gel, and bubbles form in the gel. This deprives the grid of electrolyte and effectively reduces the capacity of the battery permanently.

The AGM or absorbed glass mat type also have no liquid level with the electrolyte absorbed in the mat. They can take more over charging, but if charged too fast too much gas is produced to absorb, and they vent through a pressure relief valve. You loose electrolyte and the battery dries out. There is no way to refill the battery and your battery dies prematurely by drying out.

So that is why you need to treat gel and AGM batteries as if they are fragile. They are! And, cost $400 to replace if you go to Toyota.

2012 Camry XLE Hybrid

Last edited by Ron AKA; 09-12-2013 at 10:14 AM.
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post #133 of 240 Old 09-12-2013, 12:04 PM
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I just checked my Lincoln LS, the dimensions of the battery in the trunk is identical to the TCH (and it has a venting port) For half the price of the panasonic (AGM), I wouldn't worry about about the AUX battery. There's a ton of options available now (not just Optima) Autozone sells AGM for $169 for my LS.

I'd check out BMW batteries too, they're also in the trunk with vent hose.
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post #134 of 240 Old 09-12-2013, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by srivenkat View Post
That's true of any car, not just the Prius.
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post #135 of 240 Old 09-12-2013, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by brianric View Post
That's true of any car, not just the Prius.
As a lay person, the understanding I got from the priuschat post was that there's more and more expensive stuff to be fried by a wrong connection in the Prius/TCH than in conventional vehicles...
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