Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

12 V Battery Beware - Page 3

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Posted by Elmo P. Shagnasty on April 13, 2008, 8:44 pm
 mikePOST@TOGROUPmacconsult.com (Mike Rosenberg) wrote:

I made no comment on the expense--because neither did the original
poster.  I responded directly to his idea that somehow, some way, the
time to replace the battery should be specified, that he should never
randomly come out to the use the car and find out it won't start, that
he should never have any SURPRISES in life whatsoever, that it's
Toyota's responsibility (!) to prevent him from ever coming out to find
that the car won't start.

Apparently, he's never owned a car before.

As for the price--well, a smart buyer investigates all aspects of the
car before buying it.  A smart buyer looks at regular maintenance costs
and finds information on reliability, in order to evaluate operating
costs.  A battery is a maintenance item.  'Nuff said.

Said smart buyer also investigates insurance costs, for example.

One hates to be called "not a smart buyer," but if the shoe fits...

BTW, Chrysler pulled a similar stunt with their cars awhile back--put
the battery way down such that replacing it meant pulling the front
wheel and pulling off the fender liner.  Sure, it was a standard
battery.  But the labor costs added up.  All so that it cost Chrysler
less to manufacture.

Such is the Prius.  It was convenient for the manufacturer.  Screw the
customer.  Let him pay for it.  Toyota needed a certain price point on
the sticker.  That's all.  Toyota doesn't care if the car needs $000
worth of maintenance 5 years later.  That's later.  (The car doesn't,
but even if it did, Toyota wouldn't care.)

You know, there's enough information out on the net nowadays that
EVERYONE spending $5,000 on a car (or even $0,000) should know
EVERYTHING about that car prior to beginning the purchase process.

The problem is, the world is full of idiots who happen to have (or think
they have) $5,000 to spend.  They don't bother to KNOW anything about
that $5,000 purchase; they go out, get caught up in the emotions of
buying a new car, and just sign on the dotted line right then and there.

Stupid people let emotions rule the decision.  Smart people don't let
emotions into a business deal.  Notice how the car salesman is a
businessman, and has no emotion in the deal whatsoever.

Guess who wins?

And if you find out 5 years later that the tiny CMOS battery in the
trunk costs $35 to replace, so be it.  You COULD have spent a couple of
months lurking in any number of Prius forums, and found out everything
about the car.  But you didn't--because you made it an emotional
decision, not a rational business decision.

Warren Buffet doesn't buy things on emotion.

Posted by Mike Rosenberg on April 13, 2008, 8:58 pm

You responded to all that in his post?  The post that said:

"This sucker started going dead on my 2001 if I didn't use the car for
more than a day or so. It just apparently lost capacity over 7 years
and couldn't keep up with the theft deterrent and other "off use"
electronics. So I had to pay $35.37 to Toyota for a replacement. Nice
Hugh! The new is different from the original (hope it's upgraded
capacity!) and required special new mounting hardware which they
didn't stock (natch!). Three days and all that dough just to change a
12V battery (sheesh!). Any one with similar experience?"

That post?  The one in which he talked about how much the battery cost
and didn't say anything you just said he said?  _That_ post?

So, let me see if I understand.  When he bought his 2001 Prius, which,
unless he specifically states otherwise, I'm assuming was in 2001 or
2002, he should have read in forums that may or may not have even
existed at the time, that, when the battery on that car got to be 5
years old (which had not yet happened to any other of that model Prius,
as it was introduced that year), it would cost him $35 to replace it?

Again, as I said, I doubt we would have heard anything from him if he'd
had to pay no more than $00, which is the most anyone would reasonably
expect to pay for a 12V car battery without any prior knowledge of this

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Posted by Steve Giannoni on April 13, 2008, 5:10 pm
 OK, maybe not "Beware" but "Be Advised That ...".

Shouldn't Toyota have specified maintenance replacement every 5 years,

On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 12:42:19 -0400, "Elmo P. Shagnasty"

Posted by Elmo P. Shagnasty on April 13, 2008, 8:34 pm

It's a car.  The battery is good for ABOUT five years, but....frankly,
it goes dead when it goes dead.  Replace it.

That's how the world works.  There's no specified time limit, no
maintenance schedule for the battery.  Either it works, or it doesn't.  
When it doesn't, replace it.  That's how car ownership is, with every

If you've had the car (or the battery) for 5 or more years, you should
not at all be surprised to come out and find the battery dead.  You're
on your own as to how to deal with that.  If you don't like surprises,
then just have the battery checked every time you're in for
maintenance--they'll know when it's on the downhill slope, and you can
take care of it right then and there.

In short:  no, Toyota should not have specified maintenance replacement
every X years or months.  Not at all.  That's not how car batteries work.

Posted by Pete Granzeau on April 14, 2008, 7:55 pm