Tighten your battery cables!

Discussion in 'Ford Hybrids' started by 08EscapeHybrid, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Had a scare the past couple days... The other day I started the FEH, and it was idling really rough, but it evened out after a minute, and all was well. Today I got the "Check Brake System" and "Regenerative Brakes Disabled" messages several times. Then, I tried to reboot the computer by restarting at a traffic light. FEH would not restart and the damn Theft light was flashing when the light turned green.

    I was certain all this pointed to a failing 12v battery. I stopped by the parts store I bought the battery from (The 3 year free replacement period will be up in a couple months). They load tested it, and said it tested fine. :( I was beginning to think I had serious problems. I drove home, and decided to watch the volt reading on my scangauge... Definitely low voltage. It would jump anywhere between 12.2 and 13.6.

    When I arrived home, I pulled out my trusty voltage meter, and went to get some readings to see if I can figure out what's going on. I go to wedge the probes in the battery terminal clamps... and I notice the Negative terminal is very loose. I grab a socket set, tighten it up, then let the FEH idle in the driveway for 30 mins to make sure the battery has a full charge, and I haven't had any repeat problems.

    We've just started having cold nights, and I think with the temperature fluctuations, the terminal worked loose. I recommend everyone go out there and double check their battery terminals this time of year to avoid the panic I had today.
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Maybe wasn't tightened properly, back when it was installed? Good tip.
  3. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I swapped the battery from my car to my daughter's car to get it to my mechanic so he could replace her alternator. That's when I noticed my battery cable clamps were a bit loose and damaged from over-tightening. I wasn't really happy about that , because the only person who has touched the battery was my mechanic, a guy I thought was competent.
    When I get my snows put on , I think I will have new clamps installed at that time.
  4. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Not a chance. I replaced it myself. I think after nearly 3 years, and the temperature fluctuations we've had recently had loosened it up.

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