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Recommended maintenance on a car that isn't driven much

I see road trips in EVs as “adventures.” I’m in my late 70s. What used to be an adventure for me is now a pain in the butt. :wink: Much of my driving consists of 150 mile trips — on the border. I’ll probably replace my Prius with another hybrid. My electricity usage/rates make it such that a plug-in wouldn’t save me a significant amount in fuel usage.

Heh - I’m with you on the “pain in the butt” thing (late 40s here). And I still don’t know how the Leaf will affect our electric bill…having had it a grand total of 3 days now, that one remains to be seen. It was my husband who was pushing for an EV (he practically had to pry me kicking and screaming from my beloved old '99 CR-V with the manual transmission), and given our driving habits – about 95% local with the occasional longer trip – it made sense. Time will tell whether it was a good decision! (I will say the gadgets and safety features in the Leaf are pretty cool…we’re kind of gadget-heads, so we’re having fun learning all the new things.)

I’m off topic here, but I downloaded a year’s worth of electricity usage from my provider (PG&E). I then set up a spreadsheet that allowed me to compare the cost with my current tiered rate system and with the time-of-usage EV rate. My house is all electric, including well pump, so it’s impossible to shift a significant amount to off-peak hours. The difference was less than $10/month, and that could go either way. So I was left with charging a car at night, for a cost of about $0.03/mile, or driving my Prius at a cost of about $0.05/mile. That would take quite a while to pay back the additional price of an EV (even after tax breaks). On the other hand, I’m a retired electrical/software engineer, so the idea of driving an EV really appeals to me. And the latest safety features are a must in my next car. They’re especially important for bodies that have as many miles on them as mine. BTW, my Prius is the first automatic transmission car I’ve owned, so I can appreciate your fondness for your CR-V. Oh well, life is a journey through many changes. The goal is to experience as many of them as possible.

You jumped the 12 volt auxiliary battery, not the starter motor, the Prius doesn’t have a 12 volt starter motor.

@Nevada_545, I stand corrected. You’re right, the ICE is started by one of the motor/generators. I should have said that the Prius has a 12V starting system. My point is that a charged 12V battery is required to start the car. Having a charged hybrid battery is of no use if the 12V battery has been depleted.

Thanks for correcting my error.

Mom’s 2010 Prius gets driven about 8,000 miles in a year give or take and is serviced more on mileage than time but between 5,000 and 6.000 miles she takes it to her long-time Japanese specialist (going to the same place since 1993) for an oil change with a going over.

All Prius models, including both the “traditional” and the Plug-In versions, use 12 V batteries for starting the car. If that battery is dead, the car won’t start even if the hybrid batter is full to the top.

The problem with jump-starting a Prius is that the “manual recommended” method is to attach the jumper cables to two special terminals installed in the fuse box under the hood. That’s the theory. In practice, when I accidentally ran the battery down on my 2014 Prius Plug-In (left the parking lights on), I found that I could not get it to jump from those terminals.

By opening up the hatch back and removing a few pieces of snap-out plastic covering, however, I was able to access the actual 12 V starter battery (which is different from the traction battery or the plug-in battery). I hooked up my cables to the battery and the car started instantly.

It seems very odd that the special terminals did not work, but connecting directly to the 12V battery did. I wonder if there is a bad connections somewhere? A while back we needed to jump start my partner’s 2002 Honda Civic (non-hybrid). Another motorist offered to use her jumper cables. Nothing. We were about to call a tow company when the gas station owner brought out his portable jump starter. Fired right up. There was clearly a bad connection when we tried the jumper cables. Don’t know whether they were bad cables, or if the other motorist or I did not make a good connection with our respective batteries.

I think this is highly dependent on where you live. My experience is where we have winters and they spread salt on the roads. I have seen it numerous times, including one of my own; a 2003 Camry, where infrequent use leads to faster deterioration. Primarily rusting out much faster. They tend to sit with brine wash on them for longer periods without getting it washed off. Unless you went to a car wash a block from your house every time you drive it, you end up with this situation. It’s even worse if you garage the car as it tends to sit in a warmer environment where it melts & refreezes over and over versus just staying mostly frozen. So blanket statements don’t always apply.