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Prius Battery

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by IHaveInsight, Jul 19, 2011.

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  1. IHaveInsight

    IHaveInsight New Member

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    Hello! This is my first post.

    I have seen two Prii for sale lately with bad batteries. I have searched here, and everybody just seems to just buy a new battery. I haven't been able to find anything on gridcharging and rebalancing. Does the Prius battery respond to this?

    This latest one wants $2,000 for a 2001 with 150,000 miles on it with a bad battery. He says it is worth $3,900 fixed. Can you even GET a new battery from Toyota for $1,900? Is there any reason to buy this car, not being able to tell if there is anything else wrong with it? What will it really cost to replace the battery? What is it really worth?

    Thanks!

    Sam
  2. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    The GenI's do not have the best battery reliability. However the GenII and on (2004+) are far superior and very few actual failures. $3900 fixed seems lowball even. But a GenI with a new battery will command much more than a GenI with the original battery. So that's not a fair comparison.

    As for if they make them, sure they do. But they are about $2500 or more from Toyota dealerships. A ReInvolt pack can be had for less and it is built using GenII cells in the GenI casing meaning this rebuilt battery should last you a long long time.
  3. IHaveInsight

    IHaveInsight New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I think I'll pass, since nobody has commented as to whether a grid charge might fix it and I have no way of knowing whether there is anything else wrong with it. I don't think I want to take a chance with this many unknowns.

    Sam



  4. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    You can grid charge anything if you know how. But if the battery is truly dead, then it would be pointless. You might have to only replace 1 cell of the battery, but you would need to find a cell that matches with the rest of your pack fairly well. This is where ReInvolt comes in as they have such a large stock that they can pick and choose similarly balanced cells to make one pack.
  5. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Guy already sold it...damn
  6. edmcohen

    edmcohen Member

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    1 person likes this.
  7. edmcohen

    edmcohen Member

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  8. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    Yay for FUD...

    Just to add some fact from someone who knows more about Prii (plural of Prius) than most people:

    The original Prius from 1997 (NHW10) used 40 D-Cell sized batteries. The classic Prius (2001-2003, NHW11) uses 38 "modules" each consisting of 6 1.2v NiMH cells. The design of the prismatic cells in the classic is extremely different than the designs from the iconic GenII (2004-2009, what most people recognize as a Prius and what is *actually* pictured above incorrectly). The cells in the GenII and GenIII (2010+) are much more robust. Also note that when a battery pack "fails" it is because it is more than 0.3v difference between any 1 of those 38 modules and any other cell. The fix is to simply swap that 1 module out with a new module and re-balance. Some people prefer to replace the pack with a rebuilt one using 2004-2009 modules which is greatly improved.

    0.3v over 300,000 miles and 10years is nothing. The engine and battery are extremely reliable as with all other components. There is no transmission in the ordinary sense, so nothing to go wrong there. For anyone who actually is interested in modeling Prius failures, you can google for examples of Prii that have achieved half a million miles with no issues. Many thousands have reached the 300k+ mark with no issues and 0 repairs. Many reach the 150k mark with most of the original brake pads left as well. Battery packs are had between $300 and $800 for salvage and $1500 for a brand new shiny rebuild pack using the GenII cells. Less than a transmission, and installation takes a trained monkey about 20 minutes including removing interior trim pieces.
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    battery packs reaching their predicted 300,000 mile lifespan is a story? how many model year 2000 conventional cars with 300,000 miles are still on the road in this country and how much has been spent on repairing them?
  10. wilborville

    wilborville New Member

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    Perhaps age is what gets hurts it?

    Anyway, a breath of fresh air reading what you've said. Needed to hear this because 2 out of my 3 hybrid cars are out-of-warranty: My 2000 Insight and 2005 Prius. My 2006 Prius now belongs to my daughter in California. It has barely 50,000 miles on it.

    I worry because, already my Insight had the dreaded IMA light come on.
    Battery + controller's sticker shock: $5560. That is correct. Long story short, the replacement battery gets only 1 year warranty and I drive now, this last year, with a low level of dread.

    After the failure wife said "let's get rid of all these hybrid cars, NOW". I know how to make a gas engine run a long time but have no way to know how to make a battery last long.

    A pal in California had his 2000 Insight battery fail in warranty about 4 years ago with less than 100,000 miles. Great. 2 weeks ago, with perhaps 120,000 miles, he writes to say his IMA light is on again. He's had it with hybrids.

    I know, "a different manufacturer, different battery legacy" but you have to admit, given the non-trivial costs, the frequency of failures already witnessed, one can get gun shy pretty quickly.

    I desperately want a PIP as soon as they are available in PA (which the dealerships tell me, maybe end of 2012!!!) as well as a 2012 III. Spouse isn't so sure. See the dilemma?
  11. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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  12. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    If you go to the dealer and say you need a DVD Rewinder, they will gladly sell you one for a few thousand dollars. With smart shopping and homework it would be 25% that cost, maybe 50% that cost at most.



    Honda's IMA system and Toyota's HSD are completely different animals. Not just comparing a Panasonic TV vs. Samsung TV. Not comparing an LED TV vs. a Tube CRT TV. This is comparing a TV to a a cup of yoghurt. Completely different and not comparable at all.

    The frequency of failures is very low. That is a fact. You can always find stories of death if you look.

    Yes age does get to batteries. However misuse and abuse is what kills batteries more. Take a cell phone or laptop battery. It is drained to near dead and charged to completely full for the majority of users. This is very very bad, but gives the longest run times. When you do this, your battery loses its capacity and will have almost no run time in a few hundred to a thousand cycles (between 1 and 2 years from purchase).

    This is comparable to the Honda IMA system. It relies on the battery so much that it goes well beyond industry battery standards and it does it all the time. However, the benefit is that it provides the biggest fuel economy boost possible until the battery dies.

    The Toyota system on the other hand actively opposes this behaviour. The most full it can be charged to is 80%. This is all green bars on the display. When it gets to 80%, the hybrid system kicks in to protection mode and spins the electric motor which then spins the engine without fuel to waste energy and use up the battery charge. When the battery gets to 40% (1 purple only bar) the hybrid system again goes into protection mode and forces the engine to run and keep 40% as a minimum charge.

    The fact of the matter is that crappy design is crap. Honda's IMA system while innovative, is crappy.

    FYI, I also own a 1st gen Honda Civic Hybrid with the IMA system so I know both systems as well.



    It's no dilemma. If the nickel metal-hydride hybrid battery and the lithium plugin batteries are worrying to her, then so be it. But there is nothing to be worried about.
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