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Louie

Trickle charging your Corolla Hybrid using solar panels

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This week i had a bit of a scare provided by reading something on the web and then ringing my dealer who confirmed my paranoia.

The scare was that if you leave your motor standing unused for about two weeks or so you might not be able to start the engine due to a flat Battery. I have been doing some research on solar panels and discovered that you can buy one from the AA for about £35 place it on your dashboard and plug it into the ciggy lighter and voila a 4 watt trickle charge will keep your Battery in tip top condition.

I am waiting for one to be delivered from Amazon and will keep you guys posted when i manage to set fire to my pride and joy by shorting out the electrics . The question here is has any one else used this method safely to keep the Battery charged as i dont really want to call the local fire brigade.

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Plugging into the cigarette lighter will not work as it is ignition switched and when the ignition is off there is no circuit, You will need to modify the cigarette lighter wiring to make i permanently live, find another permanent live circuit or wire directly to the 12 Battery.

If you do wire directly to the Battery ensure the charger has polarity protection to ensure the charger doesn't fail when you start the engine

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HI Devon Aygo

I knew it was too good to be true i have no intention of fiddling with the car circuitry thanks for the info. It will be interesting to see the instructions manual.

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I was only running my car every two weeks during lockdown (for thirty minutes).  Twice I actually left it for fifteen days.

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3 hours ago, Clockwork said:

I was only running my car every two weeks during lockdown (for thirty minutes).  Twice I actually left it for fifteen days.

You were propably close to depleting your Battery though, as that is almost the amount of time that it takes for the Battery to die.

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Hi Guys

Today my AA solar charger arrived and its quite a chunky piece of  kit. The big question is will the method of charging by plugging it into the OBD port work ? The instructions appear to confirm that it will. I remember i had to turn the ignition on to configure the car settings with the Carista scanner.so i remain sceptical at present.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, King Crimson said:

You were propably close to depleting your battery though, as that is almost the amount of time that it takes for the battery to die.

I hadn't realised it was that tight!  So what do you do if you go away on holiday for more than two weeks, assuming that such holidays will become possible again sometime soon?

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13 hours ago, Clockwork said:

I hadn't realised it was that tight!  So what do you do if you go away on holiday for more than two weeks, assuming that such holidays will become possible again sometime soon?

I thought about this issue as well, an obvious solution would be to tell a neighbor you trust or a good friend to start the car up for 20 - 30 minutes for the Battery to stay charged up.

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14 hours ago, Clockwork said:

So what do you do if you go away on holiday for more than two weeks

Depending where the car is parked, use either a trickle charger if power is accessible (ie. parked in a garage), or a solar charger, as per the subject of this topic.

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With my old car (low tech) I just disconnected the 12 volt Battery. Then reset the clock when I reconnected it, and drove away. No probs.

Would that work with the new Corolla, or would it mess up all the computer gubbins? I read somewhere that it is the 12 volt Battery that has the short life. The Hybrid Battery would normally take many months before it was affected.

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I don't understand why the hybrid Battery isn't connected with the normal 12 volt Battery, is that even possible for toyota to do? Or is there some other reason that it isn't made that way? Why should i be worried about the 12 volt Battery when i have a huge pack of batteries under my rear seats?

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Unless they have changed something from the Auris hybrid to the Corolla it should not be an issue.  Last year we parked our Auris and flew away for five weeks, when we got back the car opened and started no problem.  Had the person with the problem got something active in the car like a dash cam etc!

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9 hours ago, King Crimson said:

I don't understand why the hybrid battery isn't connected with the normal 12 volt battery, is that even possible for toyota to do? Or is there some other reason that it isn't made that way? Why should i be worried about the 12 volt battery when i have a huge pack of batteries under my rear seats?

Possibly because if the 12v were to drain the hybrid Battery then you really do have trouble. Apparently to charge an hybrid Battery requires a special device and there is only one in the uk (it is so little required and probably costs too much for each dealership to hold one) and needs to be booked.

If you leaving your hybrid standing for so long - i understand removal of one fuse will stop the draining problem - good theft stopper as well.

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