2003 Prius Hybrid Battery Leaking

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by AnotherHiggins, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. AnotherHiggins

    AnotherHiggins New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    2
    0
    0
    Location:
    NC
    Vehicle:
    2003 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I have a 2003 Prius with just over 116,000 miles. When my wife cranked it a couple of days ago, the "Hybrid System Warning Light" came on.

    As advised by the owner's manual, we didn't drive the car. We took it to the local dealership to be checked out. When I called for an update last night, they said that the computer indicates that the hybrid battery is leaking.

    It'll run me just over $2,900 all told to have the hybrid battery replaced.

    Now I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to put that much money into repairs.

    So I guess my questions are:

    1) What kind of lifespan is typical of a 1st Gen Prius?
    2) How many more miles are reasonable to expect from the gas engine?
    3) Is there anything I should be aware of to make sure I'm not taken advantage of? (eg is there a credit for the battery since it has valuable components)

    And, finally,
    4) What would you do?
     
  2. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    24,009
    13,600
    0
    Location:
    Huntsville AL
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    I would call Remanufactured Hybrid Vehicle Battery Packs. They are over in Sanford, NC and if you can drive the car there, it is a one day install and you'll have a better traction battery when you're done.

    I helped install one of their rebuilt traction battery packs in 2001 Prius with 250,000 miles. Two of us took four hours and it only cost the owner $1,700.

    I have a 2003 Prius with over 123,000 miles and I'll probably use Re-Involt if I don't 'do it myself' as part of another project.

    Bob Wilson
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    12,202
    6,564
    2
    Location:
    Greenwood MS USA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    1 person likes this.
  4. AnotherHiggins

    AnotherHiggins New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    2
    0
    0
    Location:
    NC
    Vehicle:
    2003 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    bwilson4web & JimboPalmer:

    Thank you both so much.

    Less than 1/2 the price for a better battery with the same warranty as the dealership?

    I'm in.

    And I'm less than an hour from Re-Involt's shop. I wish the ebay auction were ending sooner so I could save another $200, but I'm not waiting a week to have it fixed. Maybe they'll work with me on the price if I mention the ebay listing. Either way, this looks like a great deal.

    Thanks again, guys. It looks like my Prius will get a second life.
     
  5. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    18,156
    6,206
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Well, let's be clear about what you are getting with the Re-Involt battery: it is composed of used 2G battery modules which have been swapped into a Classic battery case, then tested. It is unclear whether 38 used 2G modules are better than 38 new Classic modules, but it is true that the warranty in either case will be for one year.
     
  6. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    4,089
    457
    0
    Location:
    Bahstahn
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    One would have to seriously question how "new" any first-gen
    modules purchased now really are, as they've been completely
    superseded by the second-gen/third gen type. I'd be surprised
    if PEVE is even making them anymore.
    .
    _H*
     
  7. adric22

    adric22 Ev and Hybrid Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    641
    143
    2
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    To answer some of the original questions.

    I'm not sure anyone has an accurate answer. But I can definitely say that if you have 116K miles, then that car has a lot of life left in it. I'd pretty much say a minimum of 50K, possibly as much as another 200K. There are lots of folks on here who have a lot more miles than that. Mine has 160K and is still working perfectly (I did have to replace the hybrid battery a few months ago)

    I asked my best friend the same question who is a Toyota mechanic. He told me they have never, ever seen an engine go bad in a Prius (1st, 2nd, or 3rd gen). In fact, he said he's never even seen one leak oil before. Probably because the engine doesn't run as hot as in other vehicles and spends a lot of its time not even running while the electric part of the car takes over.

    Actually, $2,900 is a pretty good deal for a dealer. I've heard people on here say their dealers quoted twice, even 3 times that much for the same repair. After all, the battery alone is over $2,000 so the labor is only a few hundred.

    I'd say you should get it repaired. If nothing else, it will sell better if you can tell the buyer that it has a new hybrid battery since that is the biggest concern to people buying a used hybrid.

    As for Re-involt.. I think if I were going to sell the car, that would be fine. But if I planned to keep it for many years I'd rather have a new battery.

    I wouldn't worry too much. I bought a new on in December and picked it up at the dealership still in a box. When i opened it, it had a good charge on the battery. If it had been sitting in a warehouse for years, it would have discharged by now.
     
  8. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    18,156
    6,206
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I assume that you had to open up the new traction battery case, in order to move the traction battery ECU and the system main relays from the old battery case. Did you notice any difference in physical appearance, when comparing the new modules to the old?
     
Loading...