No juice, Chicken nurse

 

So on Tuesday and once again yesterday the dreaded “red triangle of death” returned to the Prius.  I am on my second replacement battery pack from battery4prius.  This current pack has been absolutely fine since it was installed 2-3 weeks ago.  I was getting great mileage and had more power.  On Tuesday when the light came on I cleared it and the car was still running fine.  Yesterday when the light came on I knew it was bad because the hybrid battery cooling fan was screaming at full blast.

My code reader not only gave the general bad hybrid battery code but also two additional codes that identify at least two battery banks that are bad in the pack.  When the battery gets to this state the car is borderline undriveable.  If the battery voltage drops below a certain point the Prius shuts it off and tries to run on it’s gas engine only.  However it also affect the transmission, the car feels like it is constantly slipping.  Despite high engine revs it’s tough to get the Prius to do over 45 mph in this state.

So I babied the car on the drive home, having to pull over a couple times to reset the battery system to get me out of turtle mode.  I once again contacted the battery installers and told them my second replacement pack is bad as well.  I knew getting a refurbished battery had the possibility of this scenario popping up although I certainly didn’t expect it to happen twice in the first two months.

On the way home I actually bought a replacement 12V battery for the car as well.  The battery has never been replaced since we owned it and I was showing readings as low as 11.4 volts on the unit.  A low 12V battery can cause all sorts of strange things to happen with a Prius so I figured I should replace it as well.  Like most things on the Prius, the special trunk mounted battery needed is not cheap.  I dropped over $250 for a replacement which I hope to install this evening.

The battery installers hopefully will be out this weekend to throw yet another hybrid pack into the car.  I feel bad for them in a way but it’s not my fault that the packs they are installing just are not holding up.  I am fortunate that we live in a three vehicle household where I can park the Prius and just use my Tacoma as my daily driver for now.  I have to admit that I did submit a Costco pricing request on a Bolt yesterday, just for fun.

Tending to Lucy the chicken has been stressful.  She has at times been uncooperative when we give her the meds by mouth.  It takes a lot of patience.  Last night we removed the bandages we put on Tuesday for her bleeding wound.  Somehow during that removal process she started to bleed again.  Cindy was able to get the bleeding stopped with a very generous application of the stypic powder.  We have used so much of it at this point that I need to stop and grab some more today. We are trying to be optimistic and look at Lucy being more resistant to the meds as a sign that she is feeling better and more energetic.  We still have over a week to go yet with the twice a day antibiotics.

There was a very cute and touching moment last night.  After we got the bleeding stopped Cindy was cleaning off Lucy’s feet which had some dried blood on them.  As she was doing so Lucy gently wrapped her toes around one of Cindy’s fingers.  It was almost like she was doing a chicken equivalent of holding hands.  In our minds it felt like she was maybe expressing thanks for our attempts to help her.  Instead of placing her on the perch we let her stay in one of the nesting boxes overnight, figuring it would be a more comfortable spot for her to rest without putting pressure on the wing.

This morning, after giving her the morning dose of meds she immediately started on her chicken business, seeming normal outside of the drooping wing.  Birds are very tough, usually they will do an amazing job of hiding ailments until the very end.  Cindy and I are hoping for a miraculous recovery but even if it doesn’t happen we are both committed to doing whatever we can to help Lucy.

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