Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Disconnect The Battery If You Don't Plan To Drive Your Toyota Alphard For A Long Time

Somehow I didn't get the chance to drive my giant (Toyota Alphard) over the Chinese New Year holiday periods. I was planning to drive the giant to visit relatives and friends as part of the CNY tradition of getting together. Somehow I just left the giant and took the other cars out all the time and didn't even remember to start the car for once in more than 7 days.

So when I try to start the giant today it just won't start. I can hear rattling sound from the engine bay but it just won't kick start the car. The immobiliser indicator on the stachometer started to flash once I pull out the key so I initially thought it has something to do with the immobiliser. However since the flashing light goes off once the key is inserted again, it is obvious that the immobiliser is working properly.

Since I ICEd my car so I have one of those volt meter display installed next to the battery. It was showing around 11.5v which is just slightly less than the required voltage to kickstart the engine. Given that the giant has a large alternator it really need all the power from the battery to start the engine. Interestingly that at this voltage the power door still can be operated (I wanted to test it to see how bad the battery was). Looks like the power door motor don't required so much juice to drive the power door.

Also the IES alarm system I installed doesn't seems to be affected. It continue to operate without any hitch. This is different from other alarm system where the alarm will make annoying buzzing sound when it detected the battery is weak. I think the reason being that this alarm comes with a battery pack that continue to power the system even though the car battery is weak.

Anyway I borrowed a jumper cable from a nearby workshop and jump-started the engine. After driving the giant for a while now the battery is re-charged and maintain a voltage above 12.5v which is sufficient to start the engine. Once the engine is started the voltage will fluctuate between 13.9v to 14.1v.

I must remind myself to frequently start the engine every other day even though I haven't been driving my giant lately. Now you know why every morning the dealers will ask their worker to start the engine of every cars they have on display in the showroom. This is to ensure that the battery are probably charged while the car is on display.


  1. Hi Bro,

    Are all Alphard came fitted with immobilizer? If already is, what additional security feature would u recommend?

  2. Yes, your Alphard should come fitted with an immobilizer. Your car keys also come fitted with the "chip" to match the code to deactivate the immobilizer whenever you want to start the car.

    What I would suggest is to add an alarm system to the car as an added security precaution. An IES GSM alarm should be sufficient.

    If you also wanted physical protection, maybe include a foot brake lock as well.

    Hope this help.