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28

Rule(s) of thumb: Drive the car once a week, long enough to get the engine to normal operating temperature. Change the oil every 3,000 miles, or since you are not driving much, every 3 months. If your car stays stationary for very long times you need to be concerned about dry rot or the rubber on the tires, but if you follow #1, you won't need to worry ...


24

According to 2010 Prius Emergency Response Guide (page 10): Being electronic, the gearshift selector and the park systems depend on the low voltage 12 Volt auxiliary battery for power. If the 12 Volt auxiliary battery is discharged or disconnected, the vehicle cannot be started and cannot be shifted out of park. The auxiliary battery is located in the ...


24

Preform open circuit voltage test. Vehicle off, battery disconnected, check the voltage with a DVOM (Digital Volt Ohm Meter) 12.66 = 100% state of charge 12.45 = 75% state of charge 12.24 = 50% state of charge 12.06 = 25% state of charge 11.89 = 0% state of charge 10.45 - 10.65 = bad cell, battery should be replaced If the battery is at or near 100% ...


21

In most cases, the stock-size battery is correct, and that's what you should stick with. A smaller battery is likely to fail you sooner, unless you live somewhere without a winter (Hilo?). A larger battery is an extra expense, extra toxins, extra weight, and won't give you dramatically longer life. CCA (cold cranking amps) is the main thing to pay ...


15

From an electrical perspective, it doesn't matter. However, a lead-acid battery that is charging or discharging rapidly will give off hydrogen, which is highly explosive. Since you generally make the ground connection last, there's a good chance that you'll get a spark, which is enough to ignite the hydrogen. So while it's unlikely that you'll have ...


10

Chris makes a very good point regarding the hydrogen given off by the battery. There's also another reason, especially on older cars. Ground straps to the engine on most cars are notorious for corroding, so by hooking up the negative terminal to the engine you'll increase your chance of getting the maximum current flow when you're trying to crank the engine. ...


10

I wouldn't say there are disadvantages per se. My personal policy is that whenever a battery needs to be replaced on any car, I go with an Optima red or yellow top gel cell battery. They don't leak, the yellow ones are deep-discharge friendly so you can run them down (say by accidentally leaving your lights on) and not kill them, and they seemingly last ...


10

A trickle-charger is highly recommended. Lead-acid batteries don't hold up very well to draining to low levels and jump-starting. It's a good idea to drive it every couple of weeks if you can. The biggest problem is all of the rubber seals depend on staying wet with oil to hold up over time. If they dry out, they will leak. That being said, modern materials ...


10

Yes it can be easily done, but based on your scenario it's not necessary unless you want to sit for extended periods without running the engine. If you are going to leave the vehicle running for Air Conditioning for instance then you don't need to do anything it should work fine as equipped from the factory. Here are some things to consider If you still ...


9

Standard digital multimeters can measure current and help you identify what in your vehicle is consuming your battery's juice. Get an electrical diagram of your vehicle and try to narrow it down by doing current measurements in the various major paths of flow. When your car is off, no (or only trace) current should be flowing. Every time the path of ...


9

Your battery was dead. In many cars, when the battery can't provide enough cranking amps, you will hear a clicking instead of the normal starting sound. The starter battery draws a lot of current. When that happens, the voltage available to the rest of the system drops dramatically, especially if the battery is weak. That's why your clock reset itself. ...


9

Don't disregard the Cold Crank Amps (CCA) rating. CCA is the amount of current a battery can provide at 0 °F. This is something to be aware of if you live in a cold area during the winter. If you live somewhere warm this probably isn't a concern for you. I live in Massachusetts and this past winter saw several negative degree mornings, during which it was ...


9

Air Conditioners are run by a belt that is connected to the crankshaft. The engine turning causes the A/C Compressor to move. When your A/C is not turned on, a clutch disengages the A/C Compressor's internals from the pulley on the belt. This allows that belt to free spin, not adding load onto the engine. When the A/C is turned on, that clutch is engaged ...


9

I would imagine that this sort of technology would lead to increased wear on your starter motor, as it is being used far more than it would normally be, however I would hope that they would have anticipated this and designed the starter to be more robust than a traditional one. The battery should be able to cope with it fine all the time it is in good ...


9

The battery is bad. You need to get a replacement ... the one you bought may still be under warranty, though probably pro-rated at this point. More than likely, your current battery has a bad cell in it which doesn't accept the charge it is supposed to. Since batteries are built with multiple cells configured to work in series, one cell is all it takes to ...


8

I assume the battery is completely dead? Multimeter not showing anything? There are a couple of chargers that will try and revive a battery (Accumate/Optimate for example) that's pretty much completely dead, but your average parts store charger needs some charge left in the battery before it'll work. Even if you get the batteries recharged, you've already ...


8

Why and when would one use such charger? To my mind, the major needs fall into two major categories: You have a vehicle that does not get driven enough to keep the battery up to charge against its passive drain. Common examples would include the summer-only car or the utility vehicle that you only use for heavy hauling. In either of those cases, I ...


8

Sounds to me like your starter motor is on the way out, as you are getting enough power, as a bump start is working, and sometimes you are able to start normally. This isn't that uncommon - they do take a lot of stress and load, and the internal friction can end up being too high for them to cope with. A temporary fix I have used in the past is to whack ...


8

Here are the exact instructions from the owner’s manual: Operations are the same except the item number three: If you cannot shift the selector lever out of “P” position to other positions even though the brake pedal is depressed, use the shift lock override button as follows: Turn the ignition key to “LOCK” position. Make sure the parking ...


7

Put it on a trickle charger. This will keep the battery topped up and replace the charge used to keep the alarm etc going. Mains-powered chargers can be found very cheaply from any motor factors, or from chains such as Maplins and Halfords. If your parking space is too far from a power source for that, you can also get solar powered ones, although with ...


7

Depends where you drove, it might simply be an issue with the battery needing more of a charge than your trip could give it. That said, regular car batteries don't take too kindly to deep discharging and if it was fairly old and nearing the end of its life already, it might have just pushed it over the edge. I'd put the battery on a decent charger until the ...


6

Upon the regular engine starting key turn area the dash lights dim and there maybe a single 'tch sound or no sound at all coming from the engine block. Sadly, I know this sound well. This sounds like a dead battery. Here are the steps that I would suggest: Charge the battery with a plug-in battery charger. They aren't terribly expensive to ...


6

A decent battery should last 4 weeks, at least it does in dutch weather, with temperatures above -5 degrees celsius. If it doesn't, on older cars, you can simply unplug the + connector from the battery. To be safe, make sure the loose cable doesn't make an electrical connection with other parts of the car. On newer cars (say after 2005), disconnecting the ...


6

You can get transient spikes from the other car while it's trying to start. Any battery or alternator issues that affect power quality will be transmitted to your car. The good news is that large 12v batteries make excellent buffers against power issues that might otherwise cause damage. However, it is still possible to suffer damage to your car from ...


6

Following on from Hillsons' answer, your best bet is to get a proper split-charge system with a leisure (aka traction) battery as the second battery. These are especially designed for powering equipment for long periods of time, with a different discharge pattern to suit prolonged low-level use, rather than a normal car battery which is designed for the ...


6

I suppose it could damage the starter, but it's more likely that you're going to have issues with all the onboard electronics. Modern cars are full of mini computer systems that don't like improper voltage. With smoke coming out, something has certainly blown up, and the car needs a thorough going over by someone that's an automotive electrical expert.


6

Most modern diesel engines (ie: engines after mid-80s) require some electricity to run because they are electronically controlled. This is due to computers controlling the fuel charge and monitoring of the engine itself. Without this, the diesel engine has no control. They also require electricity to power the primary fuel pump, to move the fuel from the ...


5

Potential savings from reduced idling should greatly outweigh any increased wear and tear on starting and charging systems. I answered similar question about idling before (Is idling bad for your engine?). To summarise the negative effects of idling: Fuel combustion is incomplete, which leads to contamination of combustion chamber (glazing), spark plugs ...


5

Measuring the state-of-charge of a lead-acid battery is non-trivial. The easiest way is to use a voltmeter. You'll need a digital meter with 3 1/2 digits of precision. Let the battery rest, disconnected, for 24 hours. Then measure the voltage across the terminals. According to http://www.phrannie.org/battery.html, anything over 12.60V is at least 85% ...


5

I have never had problems with corrosion so I have not used dielectric grease on any of my car's battery terminals. If the battery already has corrosion on the terminals, then I would recommend disconnecting the terminals using a wire brush to clean off the buildup and then reconnecting the leads. If there is no corrosion then I would recommend just ...



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