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Battery Problems - Nightmare!


cupwithforks
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Hi

Hoping for some guidance.

We have a 2017 Toyota C-HR Excel which we purchased from our Aunty several months ago. She had it from new. Low mileage and kept in great condition.

In the past couple of months, we've had to have breakdown out multiple times to jump the car as we have awoken in the morning and the Battery dead. This is despite regular usage.

This got to the point in early December where Toyota finally agreed to change the Battery to a new one. They fought this - initially saying they had charged the Battery and it was fine. We insisted they keep it another night and then run the tests again. They did so - and low and behold, the battery was significantly depleted by the morning. Therefore they agreed to change it under warranty. 

Fast forward several weeks, and daily driving through December, it is dead again. It hasn't been used for maybe 2/3 days over Christmas. 

Any ideas whatsoever? As it's a new battery, I think it must be something else causing this, but I know nothing about cars.

We have called Toyota, they don't have space until next week, so breakdown are out again.

Much appreciated 

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Hi Andy, and welcome to TOC

if you take a look through past posts over the last 18 months or so you will see problems with 12v batteries, particularly in, but not only, CH-R cars, and especially those hybrid models (you don’t say what model you have).

so Mr T dealer is busy, now you anticipating calling it breakdown which is a pain, all the inconvenience.

If your car is an hybrid there is something you can do knowing you have a problem. Simple thing like making sure interior lights switch off when you lock up, especially the boot area light.  Do you have a dash cam? That can leak energy, can it easily be disconnected during this period.            
Again if you have an hybrid, what you can do (and this is approved by Toyota) is put the car into “ready” mode. This is the position just before you go into D and drive off. What this does is use the hybrid Battery to charge up the 12v Battery (there is no alternator on Toyota hybrids). If know this is a pain but if you can do this every day or at least every other day while waiting to get the problem sorted it will help stave off the breakdown call. What will happen is the hybrid Battery level will fall to a point when the car computer will bring to life the engine. This will charge the hybrid battery which can then continue to charge the 12v battery. If you can do this for 30-60 minutes the engine will come in and switch off 3 or 4 times depending on what’s in the hybrid battery.       
You need to do this safely, you need to consider being with the car whilst it is in Ready mode for security reasons, especially if car is on a road. And turn off all electric gadgets ie radio, air con/heating etc.                     

lts a pain I know, but until Mt T or someone sorts the problem it helps. 
 

You didn’t say how long you car journeys are on “regular “ use.

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It wouldn't have been Toyota you called - it would be your dealer.

What type of journeys does your regular use involve - daily, weekly, how many miles, etc?

Also see the following topic on Battery maintenance -

 

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Thank you for the replies everyone. Shortly after posting the thread I saw the Battery maintenance thread and have since read through it all!

It isn't a hybrid vehicle - it is the standard petrol model.

Having read the thread and considered the responses, I imagine it is the case that my Battery simply isn't getting charged enough by its usage. In October, my commute changed from 40 miles return to 10 miles return. Therefore, it's getting around 10 miles 5 days a week and occasional longer trips when visiting family etc (approx 50 miles return). 

Therefore, I am edging towards the fact that a 10 mile return trip isn't enough to fully charge the vehicle. I have a 2012 Avensis which is used for the same commute (wife and I both work in the same place). However, we have never had the issue of the Avensis running out of charge. I suppose this is down to more electronics being in the CH-R?

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Your story rings a bell, and it isn't the Battery but the alternator.  The alternator may not be delivering enough juice to both provide power to all the services and charge the Battery

I had this once when I had everything once running in a SAAB. At the end of a 30 mile round trip there was insufficient Battery charge to restart the car. 

Later, a Mercedes simply ran out of wiggly amps on a journey. After Green Flag analysis and delivery to a garage a new alternator did the trick. 

 

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34 minutes ago, Catlover said:

Out of interest Andy, what is the capacity of the battery in the CHR?

I'm not exactly sure how to find that out - I'll try and find out and let you know.

36 minutes ago, Roy124 said:

Your story rings a bell, and it isn't the battery but the alternator.  The alternator may not be delivering enough juice to both provide power to all the services and charge the battery. 

I had this once when I had everything once running in a SAAB. At the end of a 30 mile round trip there was insufficient battery charge to restart the car. 

Later, a Mercedes simply ran out of wiggly amps on a journey. After Green Flag analysis and delivery to a garage a new alternator did the trick. 

A family friend mentioned it could be the alternator. I'll mention this when it goes into the dealer next week

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Andy, the reason I asked about the power size of the Battery (which should be on the Battery somewhere) is that in the Hybrid model it is small, 35ahr, because it goes through a routine at startup that eventually brings in the big hybrid Battery. Your battery should be bigger in ahr rating as it has to turn a starter motor. Maybe the power size of your battery could be increased, especially if the physical size of the battery holder can take something bigger.         
Or, you could get a battery charger that you could use to keep the battery up to full charge. Yes, those short runs will not be putting enough into the battery to replace what is taken out, especially on cold winter mornings when lights will be on as well.

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20 hours ago, Catlover said:

Andy, the reason I asked about the power size of the battery (which should be on the battery somewhere) is that in the Hybrid model it is small, 35ahr, because it goes through a routine at startup that eventually brings in the big hybrid battery. Your battery should be bigger in ahr rating as it has to turn a starter motor. Maybe the power size of your battery could be increased, especially if the physical size of the battery holder can take something bigger.         
Or, you could get a battery charger that you could use to keep the battery up to full charge. Yes, those short runs will not be putting enough into the battery to replace what is taken out, especially on cold winter mornings when lights will be on as well.

In the C-HR hybrid it's not quite as small as that, ours was 45 Ah 012 from the factory. Still went flat though and I replaced it with a better quality 54 Ah Yuasa of the same physical size.

The ECP website suggests an 027 size Battery for the 2017 1.2T non-hybrid C-HR, although interestingly it also suggests an 096 size as an alternative which is significantly larger.

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10 miles return trip is not much, but should still keep the Battery sufficiently charged and it would be topped up with the longer trip you do once per week.

Ideally, you could use a multi meter to see the voltage of the Battery when car is on, and being charged by alternator, which should be 14-14.5V.

If it's not that, then should be a parasitic draw from some component, again, a multi meter is used to find it.

But if you're not a really diy guy, better leave it to the garage to sort it out.

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11 minutes ago, furtula said:

Ideally, you could use a multi meter to see the voltage of the battery when car is on, and being charged by alternator, which should be 14-14.5V.

If it's not that, then should be a parasitic draw.... 

Or the alternator as I suggested earlier.  With a good alternator even a high draw should not affect the output voltage significantly. 

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