2003 Prius - replacing main battery

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by Vinextraordinare, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. Vinextraordinare

    Vinextraordinare New Member

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    Hi -
    I need to replace the main battery on my 2003 prius - do folks have feedback as to whether or not they've replaced the battery, and what the end result was afterwards - did the car continue to last? Is this just a "regular maintenance' thing and all else will work swell, or is the beginning of the end?

    Deciding if I should junk the car or replace the main battery and keep it going.

    The background.
    1) 145,000 miles. CA commuter car. In otherwise great condition.
    2) All other mechanical in great condition. New aux battery, and other maintenance all up to date.

    PS I have a terrible toyota dealership near by, recommendations on how to replace the battery? Should I get a used battery at a junk/scrap yard?

    Thanks in advance for advice/experience/input!
     
  2. slimfrancis

    slimfrancis Member

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    hello! you do NOT need a NEW Hybrid Battery. You most likely have 1 or 2 modules that are bad and they can be replaced individually (they cost about $45 on ebay) you may not want to do the work yourself if you're not familiar with the procedure. there are folks online who do this regularly for customers. you may want to look into: Priuskings | The North East's Hybrid Battery Specialists! it may cost you $600-700 for the job but it's way cheaper than any Toyota dealer will charge and you won't have to purchase a new car. good luck!
     
  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    I helped replace one battery in a friend's 01 in 2008 that was still running in early 2014. It already had failed steering torque sensors (wired electronic power steering with an ON/OFF switch,) a bad catalytic converter (Alabama does not care,) and high oil consumption (probably killed catalytic converter and later the torque-limiter.) When the torque-limiter began slipping, they replaced it with a used, 2004-09 model and sold the 01 to someone else.

    I upgraded our 03 Prius traction battery in 2009 with a ReInvolt (now Dorman) for $1,750 about 50,000 miles ago. I wanted the modules from a 2004-09 and the car continues in service. I kept the original modules and one failed several years later.

    I'm not a fan of replacing single modules. The problem is a failing module runs hot and that stresses the modules on either side. Also, my surveys of failed pack modules shows the others are often weaker. Replacing modules, especially NHW11 modules, can become a 'whack a mole' exercise. The reason is the NHW11 modules have weaker terminal seals and higher internal resistance than the later 2004-09 and 2010+ modules. Driven conservatively, the NHW11 modules work but hard driving heats and weakens them.

    Bob Wilson
     
    #3 bwilson4web, Jan 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
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  4. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    In the background you give, you haven't said anything about why the battery is on your mind. Is the car doing something? What diagnostic codes have been read? "Need to replace the main battery" is whose opinion, based on what?

    There are various different problems a battery can develop. The symptoms and codes can help distinguish between them. Some can be straightforward inexpensive repairs. For others, you'll want to compare several different approaches (new battery is one, individual module replacement is another) on the three axes of good, fast, cheap (as Bob Wilson often beats me to saying) and decide which two of the three are most important to you.

    Hope this helps,
    -Chap

    I wonder whether you'd be able to do that as easily now. Dorman's pricing seems to include a mandatory core charge of nearly $1k on top of their listed price for the rebuilt battery itself, i.e., if you don't plan to send the old stuff back, the effective price is right up in new-battery-from-Toyota territory.

    I'm assuming they have some kind of good recycling story for the dead modules they get back....

    -Chap
     
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  5. Linda L

    Linda L Junior Member

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    Replaced the battery in my 2002 15 months ago with a Toyota new replacement. My only issue was having to inform the dealership I was not paying a penny over Toyota MSRP (the first price they quoted me was $500 over MSRP). Battery replaced at 160K, car now has about 185K, and is still going strong. I stayed away from remanufactured as I live in the boonies and I was worried about not being close enough to the repair folks if I had trouble down the line. This car is my daily driver.
     
  6. Gen1newbie

    Gen1newbie Junior Member

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    Yes it worth investing in the high voltage battery, the car will run great again. I am on my second Gen 1 Prius, and loving it!
    Sold my first one last week, and it was running great with its rebuilt High Voltage Battery pack, packed with all Gen 2 cells.
    Same as the one I am driving now, a 2002 Prius, averaging 48 MPG, with all Gen 2 cells in it also. :)
     
  7. Vinextraordinare

    Vinextraordinare New Member

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    Hi Chap

    This past summer I had a couple of issues , the final was the clincher on the y.
    Visit 1 Mechanic: P30009 ->I replaced 12v aux battery
    Visit 2 Mechanic: C1259, P3191, P3101 -> I cleaned throttle body, moss air flow sensor, removed and replaced circuit opening relay
    Visit 3 Mechanic: P3000 , P30009, P3191 , C1259 -> I changed transmission fluid, had all bus connectors removed, cleaned and resinstalled, replaced transmission plug and gasket.

    It was after the last visit to the mechanic and my car stopped on me after 5 miles that we determined it was the main battery. I was able to get the car home but it does not start.

    I really like the car, it is in great shape, but I need to determine if I pump $$ into it, what is the best approach and what are my expectations post spend. (Note: My 92 camry is still going strong as a nanny car.)

    Additional thoughts you have are appreciated. I like the other posts too that explain work they've done, their approach and results post fix.

    Best, Liz

     
  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I will take it you mean P3009 everywhere you have P30009 (the codes are all five characters).

    Visit 1 looks a bit weird, as P3009 indicates high-voltage leakage somewhere; there are various possibilities that would have to be tracked down, but the 12V battery isn't one of them.

    Visit 2 looks like reasonable things to do for codes related to engine power. The C1259 is a sort of catch-all brake ECU code that would only be there because of the history of HV ECU codes.

    One thing it helps to remember about your car is that it is run by more than half a dozen different computers, and each one is especially responsible for one subsystem of the car, but they gossip a lot. C1259 is a code from the brake computer, but only because it has heard there's a code in the HV computer. P3000 is in the HV computer, but mostly because it has heard there's some juicy news in the battery computer. P3009 is high-voltage leakage detected by the battery computer, but not necessarily in the battery. High voltage could also leak in the transaxle, the inverter, or the HV wiring anywhere, though the battery and transaxle seem to be the usual suspects.

    At visit 3, you say "had all bus connectors removed, cleaned, and reinstalled" - that phrase sounds like you're talking about overhaul of the HV battery (which would be a reasonable step for a P3009) but I'd like to be sure that's what you mean. That's a fairly involved operation, how sure are you that's exactly what was done?

    It stands to reason you have P3009 again at visit 3, because wherever the leak is, visit 1 wouldn't have fixed it.

    There's a pretty simple test for whether a P3009 leak is in the battery or the wiring/inverter/transaxle; you can find posts on here about it, where you clear the P3009 and then observe exactly when it comes back (key ON without READY, or only when READY, or not until placed in gear?). Since naturally you don't want to do expensive work in one place and have the problem turn out to be elsewhere, that's a good early test to do, even before digging into the battery, transaxle, or anything else. Do you remember if that was done?

    The P3000 code comes with several possible 3-digit "INF codes" that break it down in further detail. Were those codes read and given to you?

    Have you had any more codes read since the car stopped on you 5 miles after visit 3? When you "determined" the battery was the problem at that point, was that based on any new evidence, or just a conclusion you reached because the car stopped?

    Do you have a Prius-aware code reader of your own so that you can learn what codes exist without needing a mechanic visit every time, or are you reviewing the threads on this forum for how to select a good one? Have you signed up at techinfo.toyota.com so you can view the manuals?

    Cheers,
    -Chap
     
  9. Vinextraordinare

    Vinextraordinare New Member

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    Hi Chap,
    Geez you're good. My comments inline below starting with LL.
    I will take it you mean P3009 everywhere you have P30009 (the codes are all five characters).
    LL yes
    Visit 1 looks a bit weird, as P3009 indicates high-voltage leakage somewhere; there are various possibilities that would have to be tracked down, but the 12V battery isn't one of them.

    Visit 2 looks like reasonable things to do for codes related to engine power. The C1259 is a sort of catch-all brake ECU code that would only be there because of the history of HV ECU codes.

    One thing it helps to remember about your car is that it is run by more than half a dozen different computers, and each one is especially responsible for one subsystem of the car, but they gossip a lot. C1259 is a code from the brake computer, but only because it has heard there's a code in the HV computer. P3000 is in the HV computer, but mostly because it has heard there's some juicy news in the battery computer. P3009 is high-voltage leakage detected by the battery computer, but not necessarily in the battery. High voltage could also leak in the transaxle, the inverter, or the HV wiring anywhere, though the battery and transaxle seem to be the usual suspects.

    At visit 3, you say "had all bus connectors removed, cleaned, and reinstalled" - that phrase sounds like you're talking about overhaul of the HV battery (which would be a reasonable step for a P3009) but I'd like to be sure that's what you mean. That's a fairly involved operation, how sure are you that's exactly what was done?
    LL - all 76 bolts were removed, cleaned of corrosion and put back on including bus bars.

    It stands to reason you have P3009 again at visit 3, because wherever the leak is, visit 1 wouldn't have fixed it.

    There's a pretty simple test for whether a P3009 leak is in the battery or the wiring/inverter/transaxle; you can find posts on here about it, where you clear the P3009 and then observe exactly when it comes back (key ON without READY, or only when READY, or not until placed in gear?). Since naturally you don't want to do expensive work in one place and have the problem turn out to be elsewhere, that's a good early test to do, even before digging into the battery, transaxle, or anything else. Do you remember if that was done?
    LL - I have no documentation that this was performed. It could have been, but if it was the mechanic would have found the issue. Darn.

    The P3000 code comes with several possible 3-digit "INF codes" that break it down in further detail. Were those codes read and given to you?
    LL -I have an P3000 inf 3:123 batt control sys malf.

    Have you had any more codes read since the car stopped on you 5 miles after visit 3? When you "determined" the battery was the problem at that point, was that based on any new evidence, or just a conclusion you reached because the car stopped?
    LL - You are correct it maynot be the battery - this was the advice I was given. After driving home, and parking the car, it would not start again.

    Do you have a Prius-aware code reader of your own so that you can learn what codes exist without needing a mechanic visit every time, or are you reviewing the threads on this forum for how to select a good one? Have you signed up at techinfo toyota om so you can view the manuals?

    LL -No prius aware code reader. I checked the forum for good mechanics in NE Ohio and did not see current thoughts. I will post a thread to the community however. 3) I have not looked that the manuals - I thought I was paying a mechanic instead (I used to do maintance on my camry and owned the owners manuals - but since I have two little children and a single working mother - my time/availability shifted.)

    What do you recommend at this point? Get AAA over to jump the car and see if I will turn over / start so that I can get a prius aware code reader to determine the (Key ON without Ready, ....and read the manual?)

    A thousand thanks, Liz

    Cheers,
    -Chap
     
  10. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Hi Liz,

    A jump from AAA is one thing you don't need - the Prius engine is cranked by the traction battery, so if you're ever in a situation where the battery can't crank it, you're not going anywhere unless you can find that AAA truck with the 274 volt jumper cables.

    My guess is what's happening is not that the battery is actually too discharged to crank the engine, but the HV ECU is in "no I won't crank" mode because of particular codes that are present. In the manual, there's a table of the fail-safe behaviors that go with the various different codes; some will only light a warning, some let you finish a trip but not start another, etc. ... trouble is, I don't have that table memorized. :).

    You should be able to attach a code reader for reading and even clearing codes as long as the 12 V battery is charged and the speedometer lights up.

    -Chap
     
  11. Vinextraordinare

    Vinextraordinare New Member

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    A jump from AAA is one thing you don't need - the Prius engine is cranked by the traction battery, so if you're ever in a situation where the battery can't crank it, you're not going anywhere unless you can find that AAA truck with the 274 volt jumper cables.

    My guess is what's happening is not that the battery is actually too discharged to crank the engine, but the HV ECU is in "no I won't crank" mode because of particular codes that are present. In the manual, there's a table of the fail-safe behaviors that go with the various different codes; some will only light a warning, some let you finish a trip but not start another, etc. ... trouble is, I don't have that table memorized. :).

    You should be able to attach a code reader for reading and even clearing codes as long as the 12 V battery is charged and the speedometer lights up.

    -Chap

    Great the scanner is on the way - and I'll pay Toyota for the SW and skip the AAA jump.
     
  12. vvillovv

    vvillovv Active Member

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  13. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Ok, yeah, for P3000 if the inf. code is 123 that's just saying the HV ECU has stored this code because the battery ECU has reported something. (page DI-223) The fail-safe response for P3000/123 (page DI-187) is supposed to be "limited driving". I wonder if there are also other codes now since the last time they were read. We'll know when your scanner shows up.

    -Chap
     
  14. sandy11246

    sandy11246 Junior Member

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    I realize I am responding to an older post, but just wondering if you solved you issues. I purchased a 2003 in September of 2017 and experienced similar issues. The vehicle now has 1600 miles on it since then and operating very well. Most issues involve simple fixes. If I can be of any assistance please post. I will check back here to keep up. Peace.
     
  15. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

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    I ended up with Linda's 02, last summer. It needed a new brake booster pump and she hadn't driven it for a while. I replaced the pump with one from a junk yard & replaced the inverter pump. The new in fall of 13 batteries continue to perform flawlessly. And at 203,000 miles, the car takes long trips and is a daily driver.
     
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  16. sandy11246

    sandy11246 Junior Member

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    Brian, how is the blow by situation on the ICE and does the vehicle have a OCC. I have an 02 (222889 miles) with some indications of blow by but vehicle has been operating good so far after some maintenance and an contemplating installing a OCC. Oil consumption is small, if any, but haven't taken it on any lengthy trips. Primarily town but hoping to extend range. All advise appreciated. Peace.
     
  17. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

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    The engine runs like a champ. I think Linda took meticulous care of the car, I changed out the oil, coolant (on the inverter,) and the brake fluid when I did the booster pump. It was fairly dusty when I got it, it had sat for a while, but I cleaned it up, had it painted at Maico, put some aftermarket pretty wheels on it. Looks like a new car! & over 200K it runs that way. I don't know what OCC refers to.

    I took it from Tucson to Newport OR for the eclipse & back. Amazing what a great road car it is--handles the Mtn passes and grades with ease, passes slower traffic easily!
     
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  18. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    OCC is oil catch can. There are Gen 3 threads on people installing to reduce blow by and oil consumption. On some Gen 3 blow by is bad enough to kill the head gasket.
     
  19. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

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    Thanks, I don't think blow by is a problem on the gen 1 cars.

    Every one I've seen (including ones in the junk yard) have needed new fan belts, tho.
     
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