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"Charging $300 to diagnose the Check Engine Lamp is excessive. "

No it was $49

The check engine light usually results in a $300 repair bill.

This was the second battery in the car - there's a 'start stop' battery used when the car engine stops at a traffic light, then restarts quickly after you release the brake. Supposed to save you a tenth or two mpg. Manufacturers do it to try to meet the every increasing fleet MPG requirement.

The main battery seems to last me about 4-5 years here.

On the Prius, there's a small gel-cell that craps out every five to seven years, too..... it's used to boot up the computers (4 amps worth) so you can start the car with the 200+ v main battery.

I hate those gel-cells. one in my alarm system for backup. One in the FIOS box for phone service backup. Five to seven years if you are lucky. If there is long power failure they discharge to zero and that's it.....deader than door nail shortly after. no low voltage disconnect to save them.

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