Wednesday, April 19, 2017

10 Days To Lift-Off, Dead Battery Hiccup

As the days and weeks are coming down to just a little over one week, the reality of what we are about to do is really starting to set in.  We had a little bit of a scare yesterday that was like a real wake-up call.  Had this happened in the middle of nowhere we would have been up you-know-what's creek.  Thankfully though, it happened right in the parking lot at our home.

Well, as you all know by now, we are going to be making this journey of ours in our little 2011 Prius.  The one thing that really drew us to that was the fact that this eco-friendly car is actually also a very mobile electric generator.  That means that wherever we are, we always have a source of power for our electronics and if it gets warm, we can sleep with the AC on and if it gets cold, we can crank on the heater.  In theory that is, after yesterday's scare we got to be a little hesitant about that.

It all started back a few weeks ago when we were reading about how some Prius owners had woken up to a dead Prius while traveling.  They said that the battery ran out for some reason and they could not figure out why.  First off, the Prius is a different kind of car and it is just a little quirky.  For one, you can't open the trunk from the driver's side door or even by using a key on the trunk itself.  We recently had GypsyBlue's windows tinted.  Mark had a company come out to do it and they ended up doing a really great job!

He was concerned about the battery running out if they left the doors open while putting on the tint, so he went out there to make sure that that did not happen.  What we have learned in our research is that as long as the car is in ready mode, that it will kick on when the battery gets low and then it cuts off after the battery is charged.  At least that is how it is supposed to go anyway!  We had no issues at all with our mighty little tugboat, until yesterday that is.  We had some errands to run and an appointment to go to but when we got to our car, it was totally dead.  We would not have been able to open our car door either had we not known about the hidden key that is in the key fob.  So we opened the door and tried to get the car turned but it was a no go.

What were we to do?  I looked in the glove compartment and pulled out the warranty card and handed it to Mark.  He called ToyotaCare and they told him that we were not covered.  We knew that we had gotten extended coverage on this car, so I checked again and found the correct card with the phone number to call.  Mark made the call and we had someone come over and they were able to boost the battery enough to get the hybrid engine to kick in.  That's another quirky thing about the Prius, it actually doesn't have a battery up front, it's in the trunk. The thing is that it isn't a typical battery either, it is just for giving the car enough juice to turn on the front panel.

Thankfully, the main hybrid batteries were all good and it was just an issue with the little 12 volt in the back running out of power.  We came to find out that that we must have left the trunk or the back door open a bit.  Yep, that is all it takes, a door not quite closed all the way.  Bummer, right?  It's okay though because as long as the Prius is in the ready mode, we are good and free from having any battery issues.  I am so glad that we found out now rather than if we were stuck out in the boonies somewhere!

Today we had the battery checked at a BatteriesPlus store and they said that everything was great and that our battery was nice and healthy.  I guess that anyone would run their car down if they left their doors ajar or their trunk not fully closed.  We just need to be more mindful of that than most people because our car is more than just transportation, she is going to be our lifeline.  We have gone ahead and purchased a battery-powered jump starter that we will have on hand just in case we run into any issues like that in the future.  It's better to be safe than sorry!

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