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Prius Battery Rebuild

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by nukehome, Aug 31, 2010.

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  1. nukehome

    nukehome New Member

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    Have any of you guys bought the guide to rebuild your battery from

    Can You Rebuild Your Own Prius Battery? : Toyota Prius Battery Solutions

    I need to rebuild my battery soon. I've gottent the triangle of death symbol a few times in the last month, and I took it to Toyota to look at the said the whole battery pack definitely needs to be replaced. It was replace November of 2008 (only 21 months and 40,000 miles ago).

    So I'm going to do the rebuild myself...
    Ray Chan likes this.
  2. TommyV72

    TommyV72 New Member

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    It is possible to "rebuild" a battery however it is not something you might want to tackle at hom ein your garage. The cells must match in voltage among other things almost identically. There are several companies out there that are rebuilding them and offering a warranty on them as well. You can message me for a couple places, though they are in Colorado.

    What was the warranty of the replacement battery? I wonder if you complain to Toyota, if they would warranty it for you. Sort of a good will gesture due to their recent public blackeye.
  3. nerfer

    nerfer A young senior member

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    I assume you've checked the 12V battery first, since that can also cause a lot of problems when it reaches end of life. The high-voltage battery should last more than 2 years. You've got an early gen I, so I can see replacing it once, but twice?
  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    Hi,

    Rebuilding a traction battery is not a trivial task and it is easy to overlook steps and have a pack that fails very soon or worse. Key elements:

    • balanced capacity modules - if you mix low and high capacity modules, at the lowest discharge, the weakest will reverse charge and kill a cell in that module. This is unrecoverable.
    • balanced charge - if the batttery is put in service with one module having a lower state of charge, it can discharge low enought to reverse charge and kill a cell in the module. This is unrecoverable.
    • uncorrected corrosion - this leads to a 'hot spot' that overheats modules leading to early failure.
    • uncorrected electrolyte leakage - leads to rapid corrosion and battery failure.
    • incomplete clean-up - your tools will corrode
    Yes, a traction battery can be rebuilt but these are not what I would call 'fail soft' systems. IMHO, your options are:
    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4
    0 Good Fast Cheap source
    1 2 1 5 Toyota replacement
    2 1 3 2 Re-InVolt and possibly Lucious Garage / Arts Automotive
    3 5 5 3 Homebuilt by non-technical
    1=best, 3=average, 5=bad

    If you are doing it at home, expect to take 30-45 days to do a good job. However, the cost of tools and hassle of ordering batteries to salvage modules, Re-InVolt will look a lot more sensible. This is why.

    Bob Wilson
    TheDoof and cwerdna like this.
  5. nukehome

    nukehome New Member

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    i think their system is buying new batteries and replacing the old ones. please take a look at their website and let me know what you think. is it realistic to rebuild for $500? their website said it takes 8 hours to do.
  6. freidawg

    freidawg Prius Recycler

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    Bob's post is consistent with our experience rebuilding battery packs.
    Inspecting for corrosion and leakage is doable. Making sure the cells are of near equal capacity and ensuring that they are equally charged is where the work is. You need instrumentation to do it right. You can't just measure the voltage. You need a controlled load.

    Also, since neither Toyota nor Panasonic have published specs for these modules you have some guesswork as to what is healthy and what is not.

    Over the course of 18 months we analyzed hundreds of modules and road tested the resulting packs over thousands of miles to derive our test and charge specs.

    Buying a rebuilt battery or a good used unit will get you there quicker and cheaper. If you do opt for a used one, be sure to buy it from someone who can give you the cell block voltages and resistances as it was shipped. Not when it was removed from the car. Then, after you install it, pull this same info from your car after you install it and drive it a bit. Compare the data. If you can't get the data, consider it an experimental purchase at your risk.

    If you just really want to rebuild it yourself for the experience and fun. I say "Go for it!"

    Let me know if we can help. We can provide a rebuilt pack, a good used pack or loose modules if you decide to go that way.

    Oh, opinions are free and worth at least what you pay for them!

    Eric
    Adopt A Part/Hybrid Part Source
    Denver, CO
    303-296-2211
    3 people like this.
  7. vbandpb

    vbandpb New Member

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    Can you provide me with the names of the companies in Colorado that rebuild the battery packs
  8. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    See the previous post, with Eric's contact info. In Colorado, that's it.
  9. SteveWlf

    SteveWlf Old-on-Hold

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    It's been over 2 years since this post was active and I'm in the market for a battery rebuild and wonder if there is anyone in the Pac. NW US that is doing this. Shipping being a major factor, even to Denvor CO.

    I have located a used battery from a "fresh road-kill Prius" (recent wrecked Prius) I guess that puts me in the "experimental purchase at your risk" catagory (Erie does have a way with words).

    If I can find someone local, I might look into rebuilding the dead battery for a spare (three other Prius in the family).

    Thanks,
    Steve
  10. slimfrancis

    slimfrancis Member

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