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BigRedSwitch

Jump Starter Recommendations Sought

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Just returned from my local main dealer.  My Battery had been going flat regularly in this cold weather so I'd arranged an inspection and expected a new Battery to be fitted under warranty.  Battery is fine said Mr T but we can fit a new one if you like for £125.  Seems that there's only 2 years warranty on 12v batteries.  What happened to the 5-year Toyota warranty? 

I didn't want to buy a new Battery if the existing one is fine so I'm thinking that a jump starter is my best bet.  Anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks.

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34 minutes ago, BigRedSwitch said:

Seems that there's only 2 years warranty on 12v batteries.

Perhaps something has changed with the Toyota warranty, but I understood that this was still 5 years, your garage appears to be the exception in advising this.

In case you didn't know, the Toyota dealers use a specialist Battery tester that produces a print-out 'receipt' of Battery status.  Toyota won't accept a warranty Battery claim without this receipt declaring your Battery is faulty, I was told.  My local dealer charges 30 minutes labour for the test if the Battery turns out to pass it!

I imagine that you have considered any parasitic loads that might drag the Battery down i.e. Dashcam fitted?

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Car is entirely standard with no aftermarket items attached.  Mr T didn't charge for the Battery inspection but they agreed to re-test if the Battery fails again in the very near future. I'm with Toyota Assistance so I'll use the breakdown report as proof.

Can anyone advise on the warranty situation re 12v batteries. Surely, if the car was sold with a 5-year warranty then that forms a contract. If they reduce it to 2-years shouldn't that just apply to cars sold from the point of change?

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Did the dealer realise the car is still within its new car warranty? Is the fault a manufacturing defect or just age? Depending on the vehicle manufacturer, 12v batteries sometimes carry a separate warranty - like tyres.

 

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When I made a warranty claim, I phoned Toyota UK first and explained the issue.

They told me to take it to your dealership explaining Toyota UK have directed me here with this issue.

This seemed to work as my repair was completed with no problems.

Hope this helps.

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3 hours ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

Did the dealer realise the car is still within its new car warranty? Is the fault a manufacturing defect or just age? Depending on the vehicle manufacturer, 12v batteries sometimes carry a separate warranty - like tyres.

 

I would have thought so. They supplied the car and the word warranty was used many times.

The Battery is about 4 1/2 years old (if it's still the original one - that I don't know). I suspect it's just worn out but my dealer said all the cells are ok.

If it fails again I'll ring Toyota UK as per Steve 10.

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Interesting that the dealer found the Battery is fine?  What sort of journeys have you been doing recently? Maybe a good charge will bring it up to being reliable.        
You will need to look at the 5 year warranty as to what it specifically says about 12v batteries. My feeling is it is a consumable and maybe excluded, but I only guessing.            
The £125 quoted for a new Battery is a good price. This will be an AGM Battery which are expensive, but safest as your 12v Battery is in the boot, that is within in the main occupancy area, if you have a rear end shunt you don’t want acid spilling all over passengers.               
If you want a jump starter, the good news is it doesn’t need much to light up the computer which gets everything going. So, I got one from Amazon, costing about £40 and it’s just a bit bigger then a chunky mobile phone, and crocodile clip leads to put across Battery or the under bonnet connection is included. It has USB Connection so you can charge your mobile phone as well.
 

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Thanks Joe. I think I'm sorted as my son has a jump starter which he says I can have on "extended loan".  Yes, most of my journeys are short - nipping down to the shops or round to the nearby relatives.  I have been doing regular 15-mile trips just to keep the Battery charged, or so I thought.  I'd read in this forum that the traction Battery charges the 12v Battery and takes about an hour to do so.  So, two such trips a week would keep the Battery in fine fettle I thought.  Not so, a cold night is enough to flatten the Battery.  Yet, all is fine according to the main dealer!  I don't think I have a parasitic drain but from now on I'm going to manually switch off the radio and air conditioning when I park up. I'll also check the glove box and boot lights do turn off correctly.

Any other suggestions welcomed.

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2 hours ago, BigRedSwitch said:

I'll also check the glove box and boot lights do turn off correctly.

I think the glove box light comes on with the regular lights, so there is no dedicated switch like there usually is - it's on even when the glove box door is closed. 

Instead of climbing in the boot to check the light operation, you can 'close' the boot lock by using a decent size (no.2 Philips?) screwdriver shaft and pushing it at 90 degrees into the lock mechanism when the door is wide open, so as to simulate the tang that it engages with when closed.  Don't forget to release the lock via the button before you try to close the boot lid, otherwise it'll make an awful bang when you close it for real.  You can also do this to gain ongoing access to the Battery terminals to measure the 12v Battery voltage when the car is 'off' and 'locked', provided that the car is parked somewhere safe even with the boot lid not fully closed.  The Battery can also be monitored from inside the under bonnet fuse box at the 'jump start' terminal.

Whilst I understand this is very unlikely, do you ever use (and have left accidentally fitted?) an OBD2 dongle for fault code analysis or for using Hybrid Assistant app?  These can slowly drain a 12v Battery - the diagnostic OBD2 port is always live.

I would be tempted to extract the car radio fuse in the fuse box as an experiment (unhelpfully, I don't know where this fuse is exactly atm), just in case the radio is drawing power when it's supposedly off.  In some VAG cars, for instance, a defective switch in the CD player can mean that the radio/CD player never turns off as it endlessly searches for an inserted cd, eventually flattening the Battery.

You probably already know that the car doesn't put all the ECUs to 'sleep' until quite a few minutes after the car is turned off.  If there is a problem on the ECU 'network' due to a problem with any one of the ECUs, then it will draw an increased amount of current as the master controller can not trigger the sleep mode - when power draw is much reduced.  Early Mk2 Aurises had a terrible problem with this with exactly the symptoms you describe.  The mystery was finally solved after many months when Toyota discovered an ECU relating to the hazard flashers was not allowing the network to go to sleep. 

I don't believe there were any more re-occurrences of this since their fix was fitted, and your car is new enough to have had the remedy built-in at the factory.  It's incredibly unlikely to be this, but when was your car actually made?  Some did sit around in storage compounds for a good while, I seem to remember.  You can ignore that suggestion if yours is the facelifted mk2, with the rotary dash vents and radio-without-buttons etc.  There should be date codes on the headlamp labels etc., next to the 'Valeo' logo, or on the paper label (if it is still attached) underneath your parcel shelf.

Do you have a multi meter (DVM)?  This can be a really useful tool for problems like this (and millions of others), and they aren't expensive.  Lidl even has one on sale next week for £10, although that's nothing special feature-wise.

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Gerg, I was able verify that the boot light turns off when the boot is closed by removing the parcel shelf and looking through the rear window; easy to see then that the light did turn off.

Yes, mine is the facelifted Mk2.

I've not plugged in an OBD reader myself but, if you can tell me where the port is I'll check if Mr T or Toyota Assistance left one in there. Would the car run normally with an OBD reader plugged in?

Thanks for the tip about the multimeter at LIDL - I've been meaning to get one for a long time.

The car did start well this morning but it was a lot warmer overnight and it had, according to Mr T, a fully charged Battery.

Do you know if it's possible to charge the Battery with a normal Battery charger using the under-bonnet jump start terminals?

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2 hours ago, BigRedSwitch said:

I've not plugged in an OBD reader myself but, if you can tell me where the port is I'll check if Mr T or Toyota Assistance left one in there. Would the car run normally with an OBD reader plugged in?

The dealer would use a conventional wired cable to OBD2 connect (say, at a service, to perform a Hybrid Health Check), so they would not leave anything plugged after using the socket.  The port is about the size of a SCART socket, and lives just to the left of the bonnet release.  It has no cover, and it is quite normal for it to seem a bit loose.  If you haven't put (and forgotten) anything yourself, then there will be nothing connected - I was just trying to think of the lesser likelihoods!  The car would run fine with an OBD2 dongle installed, for what it's worth.

I'm sure I have seen recently on this forum that you should not use an ordinary Battery charger on your AGM Battery, which surprised me a little, but other reports say you can.  I have a charger with a setting for that type of Battery, so it's never been a particular concern for me so far.  The standard Battery is a higher-than-average specification, so should take abnormal charges and discharges more easily, not that I can understand any of these happening in regular use with with the hybrid system turned on - the traction Battery/inverter will be maintaining the 12v Battery in that situation, obviously.  Using the under bonnet jump start terminal and a suitable earth (the large zinc-plated nut on top of the suspension tower?) should be fine.

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Hi guys. You should only charge an AGM Battery on a charger that has an AGM setting as it recharges at a different profile than a standard Battery/charger.

Having said that a one off charge would do no damage.

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16 hours ago, Bob110023 said:

Hi guys. You should only charge an AGM battery on a charger that has an AGM setting as it recharges at a different profile than a standard battery/charger.

Having said that a one off charge would do no damage.

Thanks Bob, that's good to know.

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From all your knowlegeable replies and some common semse from me it seems to me that the best solution is to get a decent Battery charger.  With a fully charged Battery I won't need a jump starter.  Off to Amazon to look for chargers for AGM batteries. Are there any points I need to be aware of?  Sure, I've used chargers on my old cars with lead-acid batteries but they are a bit more advanced these days.

What capacity in amp-hours does the Auris 12v Battery have?  I don't want to buy one with more power than I need.

Thanks for your help.

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Hi Ian.

Most Battery chargers these days are voltage regulated. The internal processors look at the Battery starting voltage and very quickly adjusts its output meaning the higher the Battery voltage the lower the charger output. A 5 amp Battery charger would be fine.

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I don't think there are any cheaper 'intelligent' chargers than the Lidl and Aldi ones, they are both under £15.

The Aldi one is available direct from their mail order store, but the Lidl one is a slightly higher spec (e.g 5 amp output), but probably won't be in the stores again for a few months now.

This chap does a thorough strip down for you here :-

The next step up (Halfords?) is probably twice the price and a bit more, if I remember correctly, for no more features.

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Thanks for the video Gerg but I won't pretend I understood it all.

I think I've found one which meets my requirements which are:

Charger Battery leads can be permanently attached to Battery but not so to the charger.

Supports AGM.

Intelligent charging,

5A power

https://www.amazon.co.uk/careslong-Maintainer-Ultra-Safe-Reconditions-Motorcycle/dp/B07KFG6HCR/ref=pd_sbs_263_7?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07KFG6HCR&pd_rd_r=f2a8e066-605d-40d8-b510-e37cfe3d58ea&pd_rd_w=pwZG1&pd_rd_wg=QTtSQ&pf_rd_p=96cae456-8d7a-4bc1-91c7-9b20b4dfd7c9&pf_rd_r=3SBAREKCNBMXVSEW71EP&psc=1&refRID=3SBAREKCNBMXVSEW71EP

 

It's undoubtedly more than the Aldi/Lidl chargers reviewed in the video but it gives me a feeling of confidence!

If you have the time to read the Amazon details I'd be very grateful if you find a reason why I should, or shouldn't, be so optimistic.

Thanks for sticking with me in this post!

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I think the Battery charger in the link would be fine. 

My (mild) reservations about it would be:

  • The Amazon reviews have a quite a number of one star ratings.
  • Some reviewers who had to return this item under the 2 year warranty struggled to return it.
  • The quick-connect lead that you leave attached to the car is very useful indeed, but the charger cable will still have to exit the car somewhere if the short piece of loom is connected to the Battery terminals in the boot.  The boot rubber door seal would probably allow a cable to pass under it when the door is closed, but it might eventually lightly damage the seal, especially as the cables will become stiff when the weather is very cold.
  • I didn't spot any reference to its waterproof/dustproof rating (IPxx rating).  But I didn't look too hard.

I'm not the biggest fan of Lidl and Aldi stuff, but some of it is good value.  I was pointing out those two chargers as they are very keenly priced for what they are, I've not come across cheaper ones (in the context of you not using it that much?), and the warranty is good.

On a different note, it is worth keeping some sort of records (names/dates) of you reporting this to the dealer and/or Toyota GB, in case the problem worsens after the warranty has expired.  Being able to show to Toyota that this was a pre-existing problem could save you £££s!

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Thanks for your critique Gerg.  I must admit I didn't see the low ratings - perhaps I just didn't want to??  Returns problem - think positive!  The charger cable exiting the car is not a problem as I would back the car (assuming the Battery is not flat!) up to my garage and pass an extension lead through a rear window.  I could use duct tape to seal the gap at the top of the window if it's raining.  Waterproofing and dustproofing I don't see as a problem.

Like you I have reservations about some of the diy and electrical goods on sale at Audi and Lidl.  Try getting spares when they're needed!

Your point noted about documentation.

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With your forbearance I'd like to bring this topic up to date.

I bought a CTEK MXS 5.0 Battery charger which is highly rated (and priced - £65!).  Anyway, I did a 20-mile run on Tuesday (today is Friday) and the car started ok since then.  I also bought a voltmeter and this morning it showed that the Battery had 11.6V - not good!  I thought I'd take the car for a longer run - 45 miles - and check the voltage afterwards.  It was 11.8V.  I connected my Battery charger and after 3 hours it indicated that the Battery was fully charged.  Checked the voltage it and it was 12V exactly; 20 minutes later it had dropped to 11.8V.

Seems to me that the Battery needs replacing and/or that there is a problem with the energy transfer system from the traction Battery to the 12V Battery.

Following Steve10's action earlier in this topic, I rang Toyota UK but the guy I spoke to wasn't really interested in my problem.  When I asked about warranty on the Battery he referred to me to the Service and Warranty booklet provided by the main dealer when the car was bought new.  It says nothing at all about the 12V Battery being excluded from the 5-year warranty.  I asked what was the normal resting voltage of a 12V AGM Battery as fitted to my car and he said he would get back to me on that.  Maybe he will, maybe he won't...

Does anyone here know what the normal resting voltage of a new 12V AGM Battery is?

I will get another multimeter at the weekend and check the Battery voltage with that but I will be back to the main dealer on Monday morning.

I'm losing all faith in Toyota...

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I replaced my AGM Battery 4 months ago in my 2011 Auris hybrid with same one it came with (Yuasa HJ-S46B24R ).

I've not used a charger at all and the voltage now is 12.57v with the system off. 

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18 hours ago, Corolla2004 said:

I replaced my AGM battery 4 months ago in my 2011 Auris hybrid with same one it came with (Yuasa HJ-S46B24R ).

I've not used a charger at all and the voltage now is 12.57v with the system off. 

Thanks John. I've just checked the voltage on mine - not used since 2pm yesterday after a full charge - and it's 11.6v. I think it's fair to say it's knackered!

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Resting voltage should be 12.50 volts to 12.80 volts. Looks like your Battery cannot hold it's charge due to the sulphation of the internal positive plates.

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On 3/14/2020 at 11:13 AM, Bob110023 said:

Resting voltage should be 12.50 volts to 12.80 volts. Looks like your battery cannot hold it's charge due to the sulphation of the internal positive plates.

I used my super-duper CTEK charger yesterday and chose the "reconditioning" option.  Before it attempts this it has to do an analysis which the manual says takes 3 minutes; after 2 hours in the analysis step I turned the charger off.  Sounds like the Battery is stuffed yet Mr T says all the cells are fine!

I've asked CTEK for their opinion.

Just nipped out to get a multimeter and the resting voltage is 12.1v

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I went through a similar loop when our Auris was 4 years old (and fairly new to us), back in 2017.  Our Battery passed the Toyota dealer test at the time. It is still hanging on.  It has never gone flat as yours has.....yet. 

Hence this post:-

 

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