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2005 prius battery

Hi all- I inhereted a prius 2005 and need some education. It has 75000 miles and the battery level stays between the green and blue mostly. I was stuck in bad traffic and as I watched the battery level sucked down rapidly - to the point that I started turning it off and on to save on the battery - is this normal? Is there some switch/button i should press in this situation? I couldn’t find anything in the manual.

Also - is there some technique in driving that would charge the battery better? I have just used my first full tank of gas and my mileage was 48 miles/gallon, so I’m pretty happy. I will be driving 30 miles each way to work, mostly at 60/70 mph - but as we know, traffic jams happen.

If you’re sitting still the engine will cycle on/off, that’s normal. Don’t worry about trying to manipulate the charge level, it should go up and down as you drive. If you’re getting 48 mpg you’re doing pretty well. Just concentrate on smooth (not necessarily slow) starts and stops, that’ll improve your mpgs.

thanks texases – but what about the battery level - I was stuck in the parking garage trying to get home and the battery level sucked down clear to the red. What would happen if it ran out of charge?

The engine should start to recharge the battery - didn’t it do that?

no- just kept running on the electric motor; maybe it would have if I let it get low enough, I just panicked when the level got to red and, as I said, I then turned it off and waited till cars moved, turned it on, then turned it off again when traffic stopped. Once I was moving at highway speeds I had no problems recharging the battery.

I’d go have it checked out.

will do–thanks

I’ve seen our 2011 Prius (42K miles) battery plunge during extended periods of “idling.” The computer will have the engine recharge the battery if necessary. There’s more computer power in a Prius than the Apollo moon shots, but then I heard that for the Chevy Citation. I don’t know of any kind of driving to charge the battery better other than coasting when you can for the regenerative braking. One thing I’ve learned watching the display: try not to accelerate going uphill. It kills the mileage.

Normal. The battery level indicator does NOT go from zero to 100%. It goes from about 40 to 80%. For optimum battery life, the Prius battery is kept in the 40% to 80% range. When you see it at the bottom, it is really at 40%. Find something else to worry about.