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Let me quickly introduce myself and my car: I worked for Consumer Reports for 33 years, retiring almost 7 years ago. One of the benefits of working there was that staff got to bid on CR test cars after they were finished testing them. I was fortunate to get the first hybrid that CR tested--the 2001 Prius. I've had it ever since, and it's now got 177,000 miles on it. I love the car, and have had very little trouble with it. I did have to replace the traction battery, at about 140,000 miles, due to a short.

The original 12-volt battery lasted about 14 years. The replacement, now about 5 years old, is giving me problems--If I don't drive it every day I have to jump it. So here's my question: Is this probably due to the battery being near the end of its life, or could there be an electrical leakage somewhere that's draining it? Is there a way to check that?

Thanks very much.

Dan
 

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Welcome.

Some electrical leakage is normal in ALL modern cars, mostly due to all of the computer controls.
A voltmeter can tell you a LOT but 5 years is not a bad run for a battery that does service in less than ideal conditions.
Not being used much is less than ideal.

A "smart" automatic tender-type small battery charger used when the down time is more than a couple of days will help a LOT to keep the battery healthy. That does NOT mean a "regular" charger and NOT a cheap "trickle charger".

But now you probably should start with a new AGM type battery AND a tender to go along with it.
7 or 8 years is common for car batteries these days; 14 is NOT.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for you response. I think you're right about probably needing a new battery. I guess the original battery's lifespan spoiled me.
 
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