Thread Number: 69299  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
2nd battery for Toyota-san
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Post# 921262   2/14/2017 at 08:34 by washman (Butler, PA)        

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Yesterday the Toyota-san would not start even though the lights came on and chimes went off. Turned key, nothing just a dull click.  Ugh either solenoid or start pooched.


I used the USA made Rizk charger, put on 20 amp charge and it pulled about 8-10 amps. Let it sit that way for a bit, went to start, nada.

Turned it to the 550 AMP boost, turned the ignition and fired right up.  Looked at my receipt, 6 years 4 months of use. Got to work and at lunch, went to Advance and had a new battery installed.  The existing one flunked the discharge test, only recovered to 11.2 volts.  Alt is fine so far as I can tell because the warning light it not on and if the alt was pooched, car would not run at all because of electric fuel pump.  Running voltage was 14.2.


In the end, the new Johnson Controls sourced AutoKraft battery is carrying the freight and Toyota-san starts better now.  Can't complain on the old battery, it gave me 6 years of use.


New one is flat 3 year non prorated warranty.  After that, if the battery pukes, you buy a new one.  Not sure if it is union made or not. :)

Post# 921265 , Reply# 1   2/14/2017 at 08:43 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

anything like a "Mazda-Buru"?
There actually was a Honda-Zuzu. The first Honda Passport was an Izuzu suv.
The Izuzu Ascender was a GMC Envoy.

Post# 921267 , Reply# 2   2/14/2017 at 08:54 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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a few words of wisdom....

don't always go by the dash idiot lights, a gauge would be better to see exactly what amps the alternator is putting out.....

if alternator is dead, vehicle would still run, all on battery power, until it dies out....

probably the best test for an alternator, start, and remove the positive side battery cable, it vehicle runs, ALT is OK, if it dies out, ALT needs replaced....

the battery is only there to start the engine, and a few accessories if needed when the engine is not running.....that's about its only purpose...

we miss the days of simple troubleshooting for cars......

Sears DieHard used to be one heavy duty battery to it once, and never need to again....

Post# 921279 , Reply# 3   2/14/2017 at 09:44 by dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

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I guess getting real warranties on products is over unless you pay for an extended warranty. I once had a factory AC delco battery for 9 years on a Chevy Lumina.

Post# 921282 , Reply# 4   2/14/2017 at 09:52 by washman (Butler, PA)        
You're right on that martin

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I absolutely hate idiot lights.  I'm betting the alt is good, I may well be wrong but I have confidence in Denso products.


Toyota-san is my pet name for the car.  #1 quality all the way, very very good.  It drive long time :)


Hi Frig!

Post# 921284 , Reply# 5   2/14/2017 at 09:55 by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

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My Jeep Grand Cherokee went trough five, yes count them five Sear's Die-easy batteries in five years. 


Alternator was putting out 130 amps, gauge was showing 14 volts input.  Battery would not hold a charge.  Put the battery on the tester, it would show a dead cell. 


Finally I told them, I was tired of being left sitting, that there could not be that many defective batteries we need to find out what is going on. 


End of the day, the alternator was putting out it's rated amperage, but it wasn't reaching the battery, because there was a loose negative battery cable attached to the frame.  Tightened that down, and no more blown batteries, no more cold days in the parking lot. 


I still carry the ready start in the back.  It has come in handy this winter helping other stranded motorist, but my Die-easy, is now a Die-Hard.

Post# 921364 , Reply# 6   2/14/2017 at 17:42 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
Glad you are on the road again.

Years ago, the voltage regulator was often the culprit in these situations.

Post# 921415 , Reply# 7   2/14/2017 at 22:15 by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

I'm one of those people that like to buy american if possible and practical, but now that I've owned a Toyota, I'm thinking that's one of the the things the Japanese got very right. I have a 2004 Prius and absolutely love it, most reliable car I've ever owned, and that's with 195,000 miles on it! Not a single repair in the 10 months/ 20,000 miles I've owned it! Oil changes every 5000 miles and gas once a week or so. Only burns about half a quart of oil between changes and still gets 50 mpg in the summer! Mine won't be so cheap if it needs a battery (hopefully not!) Because it's a hybrid and has two batteries- the small "starting" battery which is around the size of a lawnmower battery, and is only used to run the electronics in the car and give it the "OK" to start, and the large, 200+ volt battery for the drive wheels that's under the back seat. That's the expensive one, about $1000 for a rebuilt one or $3000+ for a new one from Toyota. Yikes. I'll most definitely be buying another Prius if I wear this one out, a big *if* because they are known to do 3 or 400,000 miles easily. I've owned American cars and this one has been the best by far.

Post# 921416 , Reply# 8   2/14/2017 at 22:15 by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Tom, i don't know how many voltage regulators I replaced on my old cars but it's de many! Now they make electronic replacement regulators that look the same from outside but they are worse than the original mechanical ones. There are also replacement mechanical voltage regulators that are cheaper and non adjustable. The one in my 1965 Buick Wildcat was never replaced, it's still the original style Delco-Remy. Years ago, I bought a replacement at the GM dealer for another car but it was the exact same as the aftermarket one available at NAPA with the last 3 digits of the GM part number stamped on it and a higher price...

BTW Toyota alternators fail too, I replaced mine twice last year in my Camry (both times, the idiot light came on). They were rebuilt units and the second one was replaced at no charger but I had to remove it... The original one was already gone when I got the car and the Toyota dealership that serviced it didn't bother ordering the original as it's too expensive!

I also replaced the alternator in my Toyota pickup years ago but I have done about 100,000 miles since and it's still OK. This one does have a voltmeter to tell if something is wrong. I had other older cars that were equipped with ammeters that weren't very accurate. Some seemed stuck as their needle wouldn't move in any situation, others were pointing "discharge" when everything was fine...

Post# 921431 , Reply# 9   2/14/2017 at 23:03 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Hi, Ben!

Aside: What year is your Toyota-san? I retired the Mighty Geo after 24 years and 270,000 miles. As you know a Geo Prizm is a rebadged Corolla. In its place is a shiny black Ford Fusion. It certainly won't last as long, but I don't put as many miles on a car as I used to.

Post# 921434 , Reply# 10   2/14/2017 at 23:13 by washman (Butler, PA)        

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Frig the Toyota-san is 2005, purchased new. It has 94K on the clock. 2 AC condensers, first thanks to a rock, 2nd due to warranty.
Struts, shocks replaced.

I did the plugs at 90K myself.

Exhaust is original. As is starter, water pump, compressor.

Replaced the fogged over headlight assemblies 2 years ago with aftermarket CAPA certiifed made in Taiwan units from Rock Auto.

Let's see, oh the little door in the center stack that covers a storage area broke.

Done 2 sets of brakes on front, rear is still original.

Running non union Cooper Touring tyres, the OEM Junkstones barely lasted me 20K before they were too thin to drive on. I think they are the CS4 Models, not sure, there is a slight pull to the left that went away when I put union made General Altimax Arctic tyres on for the winter. Methinks the Coopers are but for one more summer season.

Other than that, it is about as exciting as a box of corn flakes. But it is paid off, gets me from point A to point B with no drama. That means I had extra quid to buy a US made bench grinder along with a US made battery charger, use good detergent in the SQ and maintain my broadband internet access.

Post# 921441 , Reply# 11   2/14/2017 at 23:51 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I retired the Mighty Geo after 24 years and 270,000 miles. As you know a Geo Prizm is a rebadged Corolla.


How could you retire the Geo? I thought the goal was to have the Mighty Geo That Lived Forever. LOL


(Seriously, though, I'd have been tempted to at least try to hit 300K...assuming the car wasn't facing expensive problems.)


In its place is a shiny black Ford Fusion. It certainly won't last as long, but I don't put as many miles on a car as I used to.


Probably not... But I wonder if even a modern Toyota could do that nearly 300K miles/24 year trick on the MN prairie... If nothing else, there is so much else that can go wrong on a car now vs. 24 years ago. And I recall reading something 25 years ago (roughly) that indicated that Toyota had been overbuilding their cars, and was allegedly considering ways of building cars that weren't quite made to last forever.


Post# 921444 , Reply# 12   2/15/2017 at 00:07 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        
rebadged Corolla

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I remember in the early 80s when it was announced that GM and Toyota had formed what I think must be the alliance that resulted in Toyotas sold under the GM names (starting with the Chevrolet Nova of the 80s). About that time, we visited my grandmother. Since it was vacation time, I was able to stay up long enough to see a chunk of The Tonight Show at her house. I recall Carson making a crack about the GM/Toyota deal. He said the car they produced would be called the Toilet. (Merger between names. I think the let in Toilet might have come from Chevette.)


I bet neither Toyota nor GM were terribly amused by Carson's crack. LOL

Post# 921468 , Reply# 13   2/15/2017 at 05:36 by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

I would NOT disconnect battery while engine running.  Might get away with it once, or with certain designs.  But the general guidance is NO.

Post# 921485 , Reply# 14   2/15/2017 at 07:17 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
"Johnny Carson"

I remember that episode too. I think he meant Toyoelt. It sounds like toilet. Toyota/Chevrolet.
The Pontiac Vibe and Toyota version were the last models produced under the N.U.M.M.I. joint venture in Freemont California. Prior to that, it was an all GM plant which produced mainly mid size cars. Today it is the Tesla plant.
I have had the pleasure of riding in a Tesla. I was very impressed.
It is fast! Brother in law is a Chrysler designer. They test all the competition.
A second Tesla facility is being built outside Las Vegas Nevada.

Post# 921490 , Reply# 15   2/15/2017 at 07:41 by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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The N.U.M.M.I. plant did produce Chevy Novas, Prizm, Toyota pickups like mine and the Pontiac Vibe but the Toyota version, the Matrix, was produced in another plant in Cambridge Ontario.

There were some RHD Pontiac Vibe made for export to Japan and rebadged as Toyota Vibe at the N.U.M.M.I. plant but these were not sold here in North America.

Post# 921497 , Reply# 16   2/15/2017 at 09:12 by dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

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I had a bad experience with my Toyota Avalon which had dealer service its whole life but the engine lost oil pressure and died at 140k miles but it was a 15 year old car. I have had most GM cars last longer. I have a fairly new VW Passat now fingers crossed.

Post# 921514 , Reply# 17   2/15/2017 at 10:54 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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The Mighty Geo, with 270,000 miles on it, had its original clutch and exhaust system---although truth be told it was getting a bit loud; needed a new muffler. I've never had such a reliable car. Not only was it relatively inexpensive to purchase, it cost very little to repair over its 24 years.

New cars are very high tech! The Prizm didn't even have power windows. The Fusion has advanced traction/stability control, air bags all over the place, hands-free phone and radio controls--it read text messages to me as they came in when I was on the road yesterday---among other things. I have yet to figure out half of it, LOL.

Post# 921542 , Reply# 18   2/15/2017 at 13:47 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I'm kind of amazed at the Geo going nearly 300K with the original clutch and exhaust system! My father had a late 1980s Honda--and at that time, Hondas were considered by some on a par with Toyota. At 270K, that car had its 3rd clutch, and had had several exhaust systems. Plus lots of smaller repairs.

Post# 921547 , Reply# 19   2/15/2017 at 14:12 by washman (Butler, PA)        

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Hi Frig!!

Post# 921714 , Reply# 20   2/16/2017 at 05:49 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Hi, Ben!

Lord K-- One advantage of living on the vast, flat prairie is that it's easy on clutches. It's so flat out here you could launch a bowling ball down the highway and it would hit pins in the next town, LOL. Had I lived in, say, Seattle, (where the Mighty Geo had been at least a dozen times over the years) the clutch would have had a much shorter life. Problems with the transaxle at highway speeds is what made me take the plunge for a new car. Thought about keeping it to use as an around-town car--using the Fusion for road trips---but it would have had to sit in the driveway and I didn't want to deal with shoveling it out.

Post# 921749 , Reply# 21   2/16/2017 at 09:42 by dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        
Toyota Cavalier

dermacie's profile picture
It was a joint venture and Toyota rebadge GM made Chevy Cavaliers as Toyota Cavaliers in Japan.

Post# 921813 , Reply# 22   2/16/2017 at 17:48 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
Speaking of Toyotas

My friend Jay works as a custodian in the service dept. at a Toyota dealer, and he told me they are still replacing rusted out truck frames. They started with this over 2 years ago, and hardly a week has gone by without at least one truck there for this to be done; sometimes several. I was surprised this was done in the service dept. rather than the body shop.

He has a Yaris, that is 2 years old this month, and he has had no trouble out of it. He wishes it was a little bigger, and had a better ride, but overall likes it.

Post# 921945 , Reply# 23   2/17/2017 at 06:13 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

not many Toyota Cavaliers were sold either. I think they were exported CKD (complete knockdown) and assembled by Toyota in Japan.

Post# 921946 , Reply# 24   2/17/2017 at 06:24 by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

philr's profile picture
Replacing truck frames under warranty has kept dealers busy for many years now. What I don't understand is that they keep replacing them on newer models that were sold new at about the same time the first ones were recalled for buy back or replacement.

I think Toyota sued the company that supplied these frames (Dana?). My 1993 pickup doesn't have this problem, it's two years too old for that!

Post# 921958 , Reply# 25   2/17/2017 at 07:58 by washman (Butler, PA)        
Dana supplied the frames

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for the trucks.  Not sure what the issue was, not enough rust proofing or shoddy steel?

Post# 922006 , Reply# 26   2/17/2017 at 15:59 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
"replacing an entire truck frame"

Think about that a minute. Not only does the pick up box have to be removed (not a big deal), but also the cab, the front dog house of fenders, radiator supports, front suspension, drive axles on 4WD ones, then the engine and transmission must also be raised of it's mounts. The rear end lowered, the exhaust system, wiring harnesses for lights, and all fluids drained except engine oil. Automatic trans. fluid is cooled in the lower radiator.
This is very time consuming and labor intensive. I hope there were not too many warranty claims because it is very costly. I commend Toyota for standing behind their products, but on the grand scale of sensible customer satisfaction, it just isn't. It seems it would be less expensive for them to buy back the trucks and offer a generous credit based on age and mileage towards a brand new truck.
The frame is by far the sturdiest, thickest metal in a truck.

Post# 922010 , Reply# 27   2/17/2017 at 16:33 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

I'll have to ask Jay again, but I'm thinking he told me it took an average of 3 days for the work to be completed. I've been over there several time when trucks were up on the lift being worked on, and they were intact except for the bed having been removed and set aside.

Speaking of frames being replaced, my Aunt Julie had a new '72 Chevelle Malibu wagon. After having it only about 6 weeks, she got rear-ended at a stop light. The frame was bent, along with the tailgate, rear quarter panels, roof buckled, bumper pushed in, and rear load floor buckled. She was able to drive it home (only a few blocks), and then took it to the body shop. After a couple weeks, she went to see about it. They had to disassemble it entirely, and she saw what hadn't been scrapped sitting in pieces - doors, front fenders, interior, etc. It was at the shop about 6 weeks, but when it came back it was just like nothing ever happened. She said the repairs cost within a few hundred dollars of what it cost new. That wouldn't likely be done today, but labor wasn't nearly so expensive then.

Post# 922555 , Reply# 28   2/20/2017 at 10:49 by washman (Butler, PA)        
I have a co-worker

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with a Sequoia, not sure which year, that needs frame replaced.   no word yet on what is going to be done by toyota.

Post# 923484 , Reply# 29   2/23/2017 at 21:17 by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
battery life

I have had 3 automotive batts last me 13 years: AC Delco bought in 1987,original Motorcraft in 1993 F150,original motorcraft in 1996 F150 shop trucks.A batt I was using in my '82 z28 was replaced last year after a 10 yr run-I did a couple bad things to that one too-complete discharges,freeze-ups,etc.

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