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That 12v battery (again!)


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Tried to start my Mk4 Yaris before lunch and it didn’t want to know. “Low brake pressure - visit dealer” appeared on the screen. The brake pump, I’d found out a few days ago, is pretty much the first thing it tries to do when you open the door to get in, so at least it was giving an appropriate error. As for visiting my dealer, no chance. It wasn't going anywhere!
After having experienced this problem nine weeks ago, almost to the day, I asked about it on here and following advice, bought a Noco Lithium Battery booster jump starter pack. Today was its first test! 
The hardest part was getting the fuse box cover off. Any suggestions on how to make this task easier would be much appreciated. Connecting the Noco to the positive terminal and the negative to one of the suspension bolts was simple. I switched it on, got in the car and pressed 'start'. It worked immediately.

Okay, going in for lunch right away wasn't the best idea, as the car again failed when I tried later. Again, the pack jump-started it easily, though a brief snow flurry made the task a little less pleasant. This time I stayed with the car in 'Ready' mode to give the 12v Battery a better chance to charge up. 

I'll admit the car hasn't been used for nine days (apart from starting it once) but this is something of a retrograde step in a new, modern vehicle. It's getting a longish run on Monday and Tuesday but I think a trip to the dealers is in order on my return. 
 

As for the booster pack. I'm very impressed and it's a lot easier than waiting for Toyota Roadside Assistance to send an AA van. 

 

IMG_2931 2 copy.jpg

Edited by AlJ
Wrong picture format. Now changed.
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59 minutes ago, flash22 said:

it takes a long while to put charge in to an AGM battery just by driving, iirc batteries are only covered for the first year

Well, it's still under warranty, so that's something. I believe the Battery will be charged simply by leaving the car in 'Ready' mode, even stationary. 

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Yup, no need to drive around. With normal cars you'd drive around and try and keep the revs high to dump more current into the Battery as charge rate was linked to RPM, but with hybrids I believe the DC-DC converter just feeds it a constant current so it's all about time (Which was why I was saying in another thread that having it in Ready mode for an hour would be safer than 30 mins)

 

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DC to DC is intelligent and will charge to the conditions, or it's set charge curve but it depends how depleted the cells are and what condition it is in, a dealer may just nuke the Battery and run a Battery test - it will test OK but may well fail within a few months as it drops its current carrying capacity

if you have off street parking put it on a Battery maintainer/charger, like one of the CTEK range that supports AGM

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AGM car Battery

Regenerative braking -20% = 12.5V of the total capacity of the car Battery (13V = 100%)
outdoor temperature -10% = 66% of Battery capacity
Total 100% - 20% - 34% = 52.8% (50% = 12.05V)
+
Parasitic load 50-85 mA = 8.4A - 14.28 A / 7 days = 24% - 40.7% of the total capacity 35 Ah 
=
Then, of course, we can't start the car after a few days.

The overall problem is the low capacity 12V car battery.

The only solution is regular recharging (I recommend Microprocessor controlled battery charger or solar panel) or regular long drive.

Microprocessor controlled battery charger - it is not necessary to disconnect the car battery from the vehicle ( without disconnecting the car battery "recon mode 15.8V" CTEK mode for car battery renewal - no problem )

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15 hours ago, AlJ said:

Well, it's still under warranty, so that's something. I believe the battery will be charged simply by leaving the car in 'Ready' mode, even stationary. 

Yes it will charge by leaving it in Ready Mode.  I do this when washing the car.  In an hour the engine will start 2 or 3 times running for about 3 minutes each time to top up the HV Battery which is charging the 12v Battery. Remember to turn off the radio and heater/AC to reduce the drain on the Battery.

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1 hour ago, Trewithy said:

Yes it will charge by leaving it in Ready Mode.  I do this when washing the car.  In an hour the engine will start 2 or 3 times running for about 3 minutes each time to top up the HV battery which is charging the 12v battery. Remember to turn off the radio and heater/AC to reduce the drain on the battery.

Yes, the AA man said this the first time it happened and I had to call roadside assistance. Well, he said two hours, which I dutifully did, sitting in my car, in the dark and cold of a January evening. 🥶

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The Noco GB40 and GBX45 jump starters are currently on offer at Amazon UK for a the next couple of days. The GBX45 is the newer model and is a bit more expensive. It is rated slightly higher, but more interestingly comes with a USB-C connecter for faster charging. It can also be used to charge devices with 60W Power Delivery.

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2 hours ago, IT Troll said:

The Noco GB40 and GBX45 jump starters are currently on offer at Amazon UK for a the next couple of days. The GBX45 is the newer model and is a bit more expensive. It is rated slightly higher, but more interestingly comes with a USB-C connecter for faster charging. It can also be used to charge devices with 60W Power Delivery.

That's a very good price! I must admit I'd have liked the USB-C charging option but to be honest, I just bought a faster charger plug than the ones I had hanging about and it's pretty quick. It also holds its charge well. The GB40 is ample to start a Yaris, of course, as it isn't physically having to turn over a starter motor. It's more like topping up your mobile phone! 😉
It's nice to know it's there should the occasion arise when it's needed. 

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31 minutes ago, AlJ said:

That's a very good price! I must admit I'd have liked the USB-C charging option but to be honest, I just bought a faster charger plug than the ones I had hanging about and it's pretty quick. It also holds its charge well. The GB40 is ample to start a Yaris, of course, as it isn't physically having to turn over a starter motor. It's more like topping up your mobile phone! 😉
It's nice to know it's there should the occasion arise when it's needed. 

Exactly why I bought one and I keep it in the boot just in case , although since purchasing a ctek and charging the Battery a month or so ago I haven't had an issue since..😉

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8 minutes ago, Jasper. said:

Exactly why I bought one and I keep it in the boot just in case , although since purchasing a ctek and charging the battery a month or so ago I haven't had an issue since..😉

Well, I did consider keeping mine in the boot but when my Yaris first had a flat Battery, it went into total meltdown and I couldn't even lock the car... 
except the hatch which remained locked until after the AA jump started me. 
So, I keep mine in the rear footwell, behind the driver's seat. I rarely have passengers in the back so not a problem for me. 

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50 minutes ago, AlJ said:

Well, I did consider keeping mine in the boot but when my Yaris first had a flat battery, it went into total meltdown and I couldn't even lock the car... 
except the hatch which remained locked until after the AA jump started me. 
So, I keep mine in the rear footwell, behind the driver's seat. I rarely have passengers in the back so not a problem for me. 

I think I'll do the same  👍

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Before you go nap on putting it behind the driver's seat check how easy it is to get at with only the driver's door open. 

Can you open the rear passenger door from the inside? Can you access the passenger footwell? 

If your car is in a garage consider access. 

Despite my advice my pack was in the boot.  Fortunately the read seats were flat so not too much of a struggle. 

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1 hour ago, Roy124 said:

Before you go nap on putting it behind the driver's seat check how easy it is to get at with only the driver's door open. 

Can you open the rear passenger door from the inside? Can you access the passenger footwell? 

If your car is in a garage consider access. 

Despite my advice my pack was in the boot.  Fortunately the read seats were flat so not too much of a struggle. 

Thank you, good points! 

I've got some time this next week, so I'll take another look and see where it's best to make its home, so I can still get at it easily when (hopefully, if) needed.

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1 hour ago, Spo2 said:

This is one of the best lithium jump starters https://gooloo.uk/ and has USB C as well. Might be cheaper than similar featured Noco

Slightly cheaper but although they have USB-C they don’t have Power Delivery. They also want £40 for a hard case! The one for the Noco is £15.

I also like that Noco have incorporated the safety technology inside the main unit, rather having an external module which adds bulk to the jump leads.

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3 minutes ago, IT Troll said:

Slightly cheaper but although they have USB-C they don’t have Power Delivery. They also want £40 for a hard case! The one for the Noco is £15.

I also like that Noco have incorporated the safety technology inside the main unit, rather having an external module which adds bulk to the jump leads.

I have got GP2000 which comes with the case. Got for £70 on eBay

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As we are going down on price, I bought a Battery about the size of a 6 inch mobile phone and a neat zipped box that contains a multi connection USB lead and a pair of stouter jump cables.  

Not measured them but much thicker than the charger cables.  

It did not permit and immediate start and I waited about 5 minutes so I don't know just how long a wait was necessary. 

That said, jumping a 2.2 diesel with a lead acid pack was not instant either. 

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As another Yaris owner I am fully aware of the inadequacy of the 12 volt Battery. I probably would not have bought the car had I known of this problem in advance. 

I regularly leave the car a week while I use the camper and always CTEC the Battery to a full charge the day before I leave and then plug a Ring 2.4 watt solar panel left on the dash using the direct plug under the dash. Easy to find. 

If I'm away from home such as in self catering and walking each day I just leave the car in ready mode for an hour every three days with a steering wheel lock on it so I don't have to sit with it. 

At an airport the car is usually fully charged on arrival so I just add the solar and always have a 12 volt power station in the boot. Just in case.

Only other hybrid behaviour I use is when I take the wife for short shopping trip locally I never switch the ignition off just wait in the car in ready mode. No radio or heat and let the 12 volt continue to charge.

That's been my way of dealing with the problem. 

 

Hope that helps. 

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Bugsy, that works but it's not how we were brought up to expect of modern cars. 

Someone ought to insist the car comes with a Battery charger and jump starter.  Be more use than a bottle of tyre inflator. 

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1 hour ago, Roy124 said:

Bugsy, that works but it's not how we were brought up to expect of modern cars. 

Someone ought to insist the car comes with a battery charger and jump starter.  Be more use than a bottle of tyre inflator. 

Well said, Roy, I've been thinking and saying the very same things! 
In a car with all this technology, you'd not expect such a retrograde step as to have to worry about the Battery, especially on what are new cars. My 11 year-old Fiesta's Battery only started behaving like this in the last year or so before I exchanged it. I'd thought all those 'old car niggles' were behind me. 

It's ludicrous that any owner of a new or newish car should need to invest in Battery boost jump starters, chargers, solar panels, or resign themselves to going for a drive and/or sitting in the car on 'Ready', once a week. Many of these cars will be sold to people with little or no knowledge of how to solve or prevent this issue, or indeed the desire. They just want something that they can get in and go. I don't imagine any dealer selling a Yaris will mention this 'snag' beforehand! 
 

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I was contacted by my main dealer with a special offer on a new Yaris. You know, the one and only price cut for the selected few. Load of B.....

However I did ring and asked him about the 12 volt  Battery problem. First he denied it. Then he said they could last up to two weeks. Thats comforting to come back to a dead car after my hols.

I agree with AIJ. Why should we have to mess about with the things just so they will start. Perhaps they should copy Ford with their 1950s Popular where a starting handle came as standard.

 

 

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