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Prius Oil Change - Did I do something wrong.


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I am looking for someone to tell me if my shop did something wrong. I would prefer a technician who knows Hybrid Prius's. I am a 30 year tech but I know nothing about hybrids.

 

Here is the story:

Young man comes in for an oil change and tire rotation. We perform these services, wash and vacuum the car and off he goes. 30-40 minutes later we get a call from this young man saying his car won't go. He drove the car about 15-20 miles. So I have it towed in. The next morning I start the car right up. It ran great but I noticed the high voltage battery was at 1 bar. After reading Identifix I ran the car with the ac on high for a couple of hours. The battery stayed at 1 bar. I have the customer take the car and on the way home it charges fine. I recommended for him have the car checked and she was told that the only thing that can do that is leaving the key on.

 

Could this be possible?

 

He is looking for me to refund his $90 tow.

 

TYIA

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I am looking for someone to tell me if my shop did something wrong. I would prefer a technician who knows Hybrid Prius's. I am a 30 year tech but I know nothing about hybrids.

 

Here is the story:

Young man comes in for an oil change and tire rotation. We perform these services, wash and vacuum the car and off he goes. 30-40 minutes later we get a call from this young man saying his car won't go. He drove the car about 15-20 miles. So I have it towed in. The next morning I start the car right up. It ran great but I noticed the high voltage battery was at 1 bar. After reading Identifix I ran the car with the ac on high for a couple of hours. The battery stayed at 1 bar. I have the customer take the car and on the way home it charges fine. I recommended for him have the car checked and she was told that the only thing that can do that is leaving the key on.

 

Could this be possible?

 

He is looking for me to refund his $90 tow.

 

TYIA

I've never heard leaving the key on will cause the battery to go to one bar. What is more than likely happening is a connection problem. If you are referring to the gas engine not starting, I'd assume the 12v battery. If you are referring to the hybrid side, I'd lean towards a weak connection at one of the ... many ... batt. cell connections.

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I had a 2011 prius in today, they had to jump start the gas engine battery to get it to me. I checked the gas engine battery it showed low volts results good but low charge. I jumped the car got it running and verified it was charging it was. I could smell that the battery was sulfated so I removed it to replace it, I checked the battery when it was removed from the vehicle and the voltage had jumped to 12.38 I load tested it and this time it came up bad. I checked 2 more times with the same result. I installed the new battery and checked it while connected to the car it had good voltage and load test came out good. I didn't bother looking any deeper or looking at a wiring diagram, but looks like these batteries need to be isolated from the system to be checked, but not sure what the load on the battery was when it was installed pulling it down to 8 volts.

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You will not mess up the hybrid battery doing an oil change. You didn't tell us anything about the car - year, mileage, etc. If this car is 5 years old or more and the hybrid battery is at one bar on a regular basis, the hybrid battery needs to be checked by a hybrid specialist. The 12V battery in these cars only runs the electronic control systems. It is an AGM battery that needs special considerations when testing and charging. The hybrid battery starts the car. If you want to work on hybrids, I recommend specialized training and equipment as provided by The Hybrid Shop. These cars employ fantastic technology, but they can be LETHAL. Get trained and equipped and keep your techs safe.

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
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