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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.
 

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I'm not sure that the hybrid system will charge the battery to charge too quickly killing it - that would be a design flaw.
I agree. However, when you jump start you bypass the built in charging control. Purely anecdotal, but I've followed a few of these, "my battery is dead" issues on line. They boost, and charge, and almost always end up replacing the battery. The issues are not unrelated of course because why was the battery dead in the first place. Bad battery already? Possible. However in this case the OP left it for a month. I think a good battery would last that long. However it did not, so yes the battery is already a little suspect. My guess is that with a careful recharge and then disconnecting the negative terminal the next time it is being left, would squeeze a few more years of life out of the battery. On the other hand giving it a rapid boost or charge may put it over the edge. I can see if you are stuck out on the road you are kind of between a rock and a hard place. I think I would borrow a conventional battery to get home and then charge the battery slowly. But, I can see someone being stuck and taking a chance on boosting it.

In this case I presume the vehicle was stored somewhere there is power and it would be easy to charge it properly. Perhaps the OP will post what the outcome was.
 

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Stowing vehicle for extended period of time

Found this. Should be useful as question keeps coming again and again. Same principles apply to Camry.



Questions about the Prius Battery

Plugging the Prius in

The Prius is never plugged in to recharge the battery. Battery charge is maintained by normal driving. (but this is the traction battery!)

The Prius is a "charge sustaining" hybrid vehicle. This means that it manages the battery charge itself and keeps it topped up using power from the gasoline engine and/or power recovered during coasting and braking. In practice, you can ignore the fact that the car has a second power source and drive it like a conventional car.
Does the battery discharge if the car is not driven?
How long can I leave my Prius without driving it?

No longer than four weeks.
Leaving any car undriven for a length of time requires caution. The battery will be discharged by electrical systems such as vehicle security and the fuel will become gummy and clog the engine. Hybrid vehicles have small 12 volt batteries and the tiny power drain of the security system will exhaust them in weeks instead of months for a conventional car. This is the limiting factor for a Prius. The 12 volt battery, if healthy and fully charged at the beginning, will be completely discharged in about four weeks. Since it is not a good idea to fully discharge a lead-acid battery, it is inadvisable to leave the car for this length of time on a regular basis. Toyota have recommended that the car be turned on at least every two weeks and be left on for half an hour. The engine does not need to run for this time nor the car be actually driven.

You can prevent the 12 volt battery from discharging by disconnecting it or arranging for it to be charged by a solar array or battery tender. A cheap trickle charger can be used, but these tend to overcharge the battery, which will eventually damage it. Disconnecting the battery will clear the radio presets, clock and trip odometers, but not the values displayed on the consumption screen.

With the 12 volt battery taken care of, you next need to be concerned with the traction battery and the fuel. If you are leaving any car for three months or more, it would be a good idea to have a mechanic prepare it, including draining off the fuel. There is less information available about discharge of the traction battery. People have left a Prius for a month and had it start right up, but again Toyota stick to their recommendation of running it every two weeks. Personally, I would feel safe at a month, but I would make sure the traction battery is well charged before I left the car. This means taking the car for a run of at least 15 minutes and preventing it from using the battery-only mode in which the engine shuts off. Road conditions permitting, you can "pump up" the battery a bit by getting up to high speed with moderate acceleration and then slowing back down by coasting or gentle braking ending at the place you'll leave the car.
 

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I left my car for 2 months (60 days to be exact) and traction battery was exactly where I left it (# of bars) and 12V battery worked normally (I didn't check the voltage). Temperatures were in 30s-40s overnight and in 50s-60s during the day time. Car was driven the day I left it and both batteries were fully charged. So I really doubt 12V battery will completely drain in 4 weeks.

Edit: This is on a 7 year old car i.e. camry 2007.
 

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All responses involve the 12V battery. I assume that means the 12V starts the gasoline engine. One reader said the high voltage battery starts the gasoline engine. If so, the problem is quite different. I hope they are wrong.

True or false: The 12V battery starts the gasoline engine of 2013 Camry hybrid.

Thanks for the response.
False.

The 12 volt battery provides power to the accessories and computers.
The High-Voltage battery starts the engine.

While you will need power to both in order to start the car, the 12 volt battery could be charged with a regular 12 volt car charger. The High voltage battery cannot be charged.

If you leave the car sitting too long, or if you run out of gas, and drain the High Voltage battery, you cannot restart the car. You would have to have it towed to the dealer to have the high voltage battery charged.

The only question is how long could you let the car sit and still have a charge on the high voltage battery? A few weeks shouldn't be a problem, but I'd be worried if I had to leave the car sit for a couple months, especially if the car was old (like 8-10 years) as the battery capacity would be lower.

I wonder if it would be possible to charge the High voltage battery using the brakes by rolling down a long hill?
 

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Which battery starts the gasoline engine?
The starter motor in the TCH is one of the 650 volt AC motor generators that alternates between generation of power and delivery of power when you are driving. The power for the starting motor only comes from the high voltage traction battery (245 volts DC). However, the 12 volt battery provides the control power for the computers etc. If the 12 volt is dead, you are going nowhere. You've got the muscle but no brains to run it.

The storage problem tends to be the 12 volt because it powers the security system and smart key system even though everything is turned off. There is no draw that I am aware of on the high voltage battery, plus it is much much bigger in capacity.

Contrary to some internet myths, you can disconnect the 12 volt and the car will not blow it's brains. That is the simple solution. I believe there are some ways to disable the Smart Key system, so you could do that, but disconnecting the battery does everything.
 

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The starter motor in the TCH is one of the 650 volt AC motor generators that alternates between generation of power and delivery of power when you are driving. The power for the starting motor only comes from the high voltage traction battery (245 volts DC). However, the 12 volt battery provides the control power for the computers etc. If the 12 volt is dead, you are going nowhere. You've got the muscle but no brains to run it.

The storage problem tends to be the 12 volt because it powers the security system and smart key system even though everything is turned off. There is no draw that I am aware of on the high voltage battery, plus it is much much bigger in capacity.

Contrary to some internet myths, you can disconnect the 12 volt and the car will not blow it's brains. That is the simple solution. I believe there are some ways to disable the Smart Key system, so you could do that, but disconnecting the battery does everything.

Myth or not, but TCH throws error codes after 12V battery disconnection. Toyota knows this and recommends 3 consecutive start up/shut down procedures.
So, it's not that much of a myth.
Ron, you know there was some fella here, that landed with over $500 bill from dealership after he did "simple" battery swap, due to multiple followed error codes.
Yes, we do not know what exactly ELSE did he do during this - but it apparently happened.
It may be a good idea, as cautious as you always are, to be less negligent of possible complications. One never knows who will be the next chosen one.
 

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Camry won't start

Hello group. I have searched the threads to try and avoid asking a question that may have already been answered but no luck, so here it goes:
I have a 2008 Camry with 150,000 miles. We had a really cold night (-10) and when I went to the garage to start my car everything seemed ok, pushed the power button, car started to turn over then stopped. I shut it off and repeated the process, again the ready light came on and the engine tried to turn over, then stopped. Now the ready light does not come on at all. I tested the 12v battery and it reads 12.6 volts. Is that ok or is it to weak? Thanks everyone!
 

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1st thing to come to mind is bad battery. As in - drained. Charge her and I think it'll fire right away.
2. drained traction battery. Tough, it's a tow to dealership, you can not charge that one at home.
3. Corroded battery terminals/poles. Resulting in high resistance and weak 12V supply.
 

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Hello group. I have searched the threads to try and avoid asking a question that may have already been answered but no luck, so here it goes:
I have a 2008 Camry with 150,000 miles. We had a really cold night (-10) and when I went to the garage to start my car everything seemed ok, pushed the power button, car started to turn over then stopped. I shut it off and repeated the process, again the ready light came on and the engine tried to turn over, then stopped. Now the ready light does not come on at all. I tested the 12v battery and it reads 12.6 volts. Is that ok or is it to weak? Thanks everyone!
The 12.6 volts on the 12 volt is good. You should remove the terminals and clean them to make sure there is a good connection. Or, are all your lights/headlights bright? If so, then you would appear to be good on the 12 volt side. As a last check you could get someone to watch the 12 volts when you try a start to see if it holds at 12.6 or sags. If it sags you could try charging the 12 volt. Do not charge at a rate over 5 amps though.

This said, what info you have given tends to suggest the 12 volt is good, and that only leaves the 245 volt high voltage battery as a problem. I can't recommend a safe way to test that voltage, and if you have done all the checks on the 12 volt you may have to call Toyota to come and charge the high voltage battery, or more likely tow it to a Toyota dealer to have them charge it there. It takes a special charger.
 

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I have an update:
I put a charger on the 12v battery, on 2v setting and left it for a while. Before charging my elcheapo mutimeter showed 12.6v. After charging a while I check the voltage and it was at 13.6. I reattached the battery terminals and gave it a try...success!! She started right up. I think i will leave it on the low charge overnight to top off the battery. Thanks all for the help!!!!
 

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I have an update:
I put a charger on the 12v battery, on 2v setting and left it for a while. Before charging my elcheapo mutimeter showed 12.6v. After charging a while I check the voltage and it was at 13.6. I reattached the battery terminals and gave it a try...success!! She started right up. I think i will leave it on the low charge overnight to top off the battery. Thanks all for the help!!!!
You dodged a bullet. A multimeter is cheap. A new HV battery would cost $3000-4000. A new 12V from the dealer can be as much as $400.

If your battery is going down, it may be on its last legs, so you may want to do some research on a new battery. I wouldn't recommend the Toyota one due to price. Optima make one for the Prius which will work. It has a vent connection, but is a touch smaller than the OEM Camry one. Still it will work.

If you are OK with not venting the battery, they make a bit larger one, which also should fit. Going from memory but I believe it is the 34 size in blue or yellow, but the yellow has a better warranty.

Still I would not panic yet. Try a long slow recharge and see if it stays up.
 

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I have an update:
I put a charger on the 12v battery, on 2v setting and left it for a while. Before charging my elcheapo mutimeter showed 12.6v. After charging a while I check the voltage and it was at 13.6. I reattached the battery terminals and gave it a try...success!! She started right up. I think i will leave it on the low charge overnight to top off the battery. Thanks all for the help!!!!

Told you. You welcome.:welcome: Clean terminals AND replace battery. Unless you have issue with battery not properly charged off traction battery.
 

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Have your battery and charging system tested before you start randomly replacing things. What is wrong may be something different than it appears.
I am not suggesting replacing anything except the inaccurate voltmeter. That said the 12 volt battery is highly unlikely to last the life of the car, and they are expensive from Toyota. It is a good time to make a plan just in case, as they are not a straightforward to replace battery. There is also no need to pay Toyota to test the charging system. It would be a waste of time and money to go anywhere else as the charging system on a hybrid is very different. Plus with an accurate voltmeter you can tell with close to 100% certainty where the problem is. If your voltage is low when the car is turned on, then it is the charging system. If it is low after sitting overnight before you start it, then most likely the battery. The symptoms in this case is lack of charge in cold weather. That is typically when a battery reveals it is starting to get weak. If that is true, and there is no more cold weather, then you may get by until next winter, and there is no rush to replace it. But, it could also die quickly and you need a plan.

In any case here is a post I made after testing my 2012 when it was new. I recorded these numbers so I could tell what a new system is like, compared to a failing one. To the OP it is worth while once you get a good meter to compare your readings to the ones in the post. Will give you a real good idea what is going on.
 

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The reason Toyota uses a special gel or AGM battery is because it is located in an essentially sealed trunk, rather than under the hood and well vented in a conventional vehicle. Standard lead acid batteries give off hydrogen when charging and you could create an explosive gas mixture in your trunk. Since Toyota is a favourite target of ambulance chasers, they decided to use a belt and suspenders approach. First they use a battery that should not gas at all when charging. However it could under extreme conditions, so they also provide a vent on the battery and direct any vented gases outside the trunk to the atmosphere.

I think I could talk myself into going with a non gassing battery (AGM) without a vent, but I wouldn't have the nerve to go with a standard battery that gases and also have no external vent.

In any case that is why they use the battery they use. Also I consider 6 years to be a good life for a standard battery. However a standard battery in a conventional vehicle has to supply the fully starter motor cranking amps even at low temperatures. It goes through a heavy discharge and recharge cycle every time you start the vehicle, especially in winter. The hybrid battery on the other hand is a premium AGM and has no starting current load. In short it has a pretty easy life. They really shouldn't fail as quickly.
 

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Your 12v. battery is in the final stages of life. You can screw around with battery tenders and jumper cables and all that ... but screwing around is all you'll be doing. You're gonna get out somewhere and get stranded. Get a new battery. And disregard the baloney about $400 batteries ... I don't know where that comes from. All you need is a 12v. battery with sufficient cold cranking amps [CCA]. I'm not shiiling for WalMart ... I refuse to enter their stores. But here's a sample a battery that meets your needs and your car's specs:

WalMart Everstart MAXX-24N
750 CCA
$99.97
You are so wrong on so many levels. NEVER use a standard 12 volt battery in the trunk of a Camry Hybrid. There’s a reason Toyota went with a more expensive battery.

1. The fumes from a standard 12 volt battery will end up corroding everything in the trunk as it cannot be vented. It could even be a hazard to anyone riding in the car if the fumes get into the cabin
2. Cold cranking amps don't matter, and there is no starter connected to the 12 volt battery. The engine is started from the High-voltage Hybrid battery.
3. The charge/discharge cycle on the Hybrid 12 volt battery is much deeper than a non Hybrid. This will result in the new battery failing much sooner than expected. This could also result in excessive gas production (see #1)


This doesn’t mean you have to go to the dealer, but at the very least, you need a battery that can be vented to the outside to avoid these problems.
 
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