2007 Prius pre-emptive hybrid battery replacement

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Jonathan Epstein, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. Jonathan Epstein

    Jonathan Epstein Junior Member

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    I'm thinking of giving my 2007 Prius with 127K miles to my college-age son who lives 300 miles away, and in turn 80 miles from the nearest non-dealer hybrid battery replacement shop.

    Since the logistics of replacing this battery seem to be too much for my son (especially in light of the 80 mile distance), I'm thinking of replacing the battery here in the Washington DC metro area prior to sending him off with the car.

    OTOH, I (a) would like a diagnostic reading on the battery to learn how close it is to failure, (b) am inclined to get a relatively inexpensive replacement since there are many other factors which could lead to the demise of this car. My budget is around $1000.

    So: my questions are:
    1. What is the agreed-upon standard for this diagnostic?
    2. Is there some value for the diagnostic which indicates that the battery is about to fail? And what would be the value of this diagnostic for a battery which is likely to have another 3 years of life?
    3. Can I measure this myself with a Bluetooth OBD2 device?
    4. Do you have any recommendations for non-dealer shops in the Washington DC area which are likely to be honest and do a good job with this? I see (e.g., via Craigslist) some shops which offer a partial replacement for as low as $679 with a 1-year warranty, but have no idea whether these places are reputable.
    Thanks,

    Jonathan
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no one can tell you how close it is to failure. toyota can tell you if it's healthy. think of it like your doc. you go for a check up, everything good. tomorrow? it's out of our hands.

    if you put in a refurbished battery, the likelihood of failure may be the same as the existing battery.
     
  3. Jonathan Epstein

    Jonathan Epstein Junior Member

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    Thanks.

    The Battery Power (kW) and Battery Block Voltage and Internal Resistance in this spreadsheet:

    look useful, but I don't know what "good" and "poor" values would look like.

    Your point regarding the refurbished battery is important.

    I'm not sure why only Toyota can tell me whether they think the battery is healthy or not ... a well-informed third-party should be able to do this equally well. But maybe it's worth $150 or so for the peace-of-mind of a diagnostic performed by Toyota.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you can buy 'mini vci' w/ toyota tech stream software, and compatible laptop, and do the same as toyota. if you read through the battery threads here, it will possibly up your game, but it's an awful lot of work if you aren't going full diy.
     
  5. Jonathan Epstein

    Jonathan Epstein Junior Member

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    I'd misinterpreted that I could do this with just an Android phone and my OBD2 device. You're right, I don't want to go full-bore DIY, so won't get involved in the laptop purchase.

    But my questions regarding finding reputable shops in the DC area still apply.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yes, i can't help with that, but i know that we have members down there who have purchased refurbished packs. perhaps you should add the dc area to the title to get their attention.

    i'll ping @wjtracy who lives in the area.
     
  7. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Do not buy a refurbished pack to replace your current working pack.

    If you are going to replace it, get a brand new one from Toyota and nothing else.
     
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  8. Eastside

    Eastside Member

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    Prius Hybrid Battery Repair in Annapolis. I can recommend and you can view Yelp.com reviews.
    They wil travel to your location. He may be willing to go 300 miles, if you decide to wait and then have an issue at school.

    web site priushybridrepair.com
     
    #8 Eastside, Dec 18, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
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  9. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    +1

    This was going to be my advice. It's a real possibility one could purchase a refurb'ed pack with even older cells.

    I'm nearly in the same boat as Jonathan except my '06 has already been repaired (DIY). I hope to nurse it along with grid charging till I get a new pack when my son heads off to college in 2018; car only has 47k miles ATM.
     
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  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    maybe a grid charger would be a better idea with the existing battery, since it's still fairly healthy. @jeff652 ?
     
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  11. andrewclaus

    andrewclaus Active Member

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    I could not read actual block voltage or resistance values in the spreadsheet, just formulas with variables.

    All Toyota will do is use Techstream to look at block voltage and resistance values, and see if there are any pending DTCs. I'd spend the $20 for a Mini VCI and you'll have Techstream.

    The only active battery test in Techstream is running the cooling fan.

    Many battery failures are preceded by frequent cooling fan operation, as well as rapid state of charge changes.

    Do you live in a hot climate, or run the car through multiple charge cycles every time you drive (mountain grades, for instance)? That will decrease life expectancy. If you drive mostly in a flat, northern city, you may have a pampered battery.

    Some have been able to buy a new battery from Toyota for as little as $2100. That's the route I will try if I ever need to. I will not take the chance with a rebuilt battery. Gen2 modules are now averaging 10 years of age.
     
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  12. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Like Andrew I do not see any voltages either. It does not look like a Techstream readout just alot of hex data which is unusable.

    We need battery block voltages and the delta.

    But....if your car has not thrown a master caution alarm yet the battery has not failed. Why don't you just buy a grid charger like alot of us here have done. Its a Hybrid battery 200 volt charger. If the battery is ok now it could keep the battery going for quite a long time especially if you do the discharge also.

    HybridAutomotive.com

    I have had very good results so far on my 07 @100K miles. Heat has taken its toll on my well cared for bought new 07. But, It is responding very well to a regular grid charge.
     
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  13. m.wynn

    m.wynn Senior Member

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    Add me to the opinion that if the car doesn't see harsh driving conditions and doesn't sit outside, full sun, windows up as the norm, your hybrid battery is likely in as good or better shape than pretty much any refurb you roll the dice on. A possible exception here may be moving the modules from a RECENTLY salvaged, late model Gen 3 into your Gen 2 pack. Otherwise, factory new from a dealer or hybrid shop/battery rebuilder (make sure this option is legit) is the only true, safe solution.

    In direct answer to your question, this test from Art's Automotive is about as good an indicator as to where a battery is in it's life cycle as I'm aware of. Recently divorced from Priuschat battery guru @S Keith supported a similar discharge test of his own designed to be performed with no diagnostic equipment at all. It may be too cold to pull it off at this point, though.

    Art's Automotive

    How to test HV battery state of health on your Gen 2 (answer) | PriusChat

    You do need Techstream to perform Art's test and Mini VCI is the cheapest way to obtain. VXDIAG VCX NANO for Techstream is another option, in the ~$70 range, but likely offers a bit less "buggy" performance than Mini VCI. Techstream is invaluable for any Toyota owner with even a small amount of DIY nature.

    If you go through with performing Art's discharge test, bring your results here. There are a few battery gurus here who may be able to interpret the results even more in depth than Art's grading scale.

    I'm a supporter of grid charging and HybridAutomotive's products, too. I would say do your own research here, though, as the concept does generate some conflict among the electrically savvy. I am NOT among the electrically savvy.
     
    #13 m.wynn, Dec 19, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
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  14. Jonathan Epstein

    Jonathan Epstein Junior Member

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    Thanks everyone. Unfortunately I don't have a garage and my car has spent a fair amount of its life in the sun.

    The simple "look at the battery gauge before and after overnight" hadn't occurred to me, and seems like a good starting point.

    The grid charging/discharging is a new concept to me. How often would this need to be done, since I can't picture my son doing this. E.g. if I did it every six months is it still worthwhile? Is there any reason that I can't do this on a cold winter day?

    At this point I'm inclined to roll the dice and let my son keep it in Johnson City, Tennessee which is 80 miles from Asheville, NC which has at least one shop that performs this sort of work. Apparently my auto insurance (GEICO) will tow up to 100 miles.
     
  15. jeff652

    jeff652 Senior Member

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    This may be helpful:
    How do I know if my hybrid battery is failing? - Hybrid Automotive

    We have sold thousands of charger systems, many to PriusChat members. With a battery that has not yet failed and is only showing decreased MPGs and/or recalibrations, our products are successful at restoring the battery to healthy performance levels pretty much 100% of the time.

    The Prolong Battery system only needs to be used once every few months. Cold temps are not an issue. We don't recommend using the system in temps over 110F:
    How frequently should I use the Prolong Battery Charger/Discharger on my hybrid battery? - Hybrid Automotive

    Feel free to call us at 800-589-0730 if you'd like to talk about our products with a human being and get all your questions answered :)
     
  16. goldfinger

    goldfinger Active Member

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    Don't do it! You you have another 30 - 60k miles left on your battery. Refurb batteries are only good for a year. How many miles does your son need to put on it? Maybe he needs a new car.

    You can with usbseawolf's custom Torque PIDs. http://priuschat.com/threads/gen2-prius-custom-pids-for-torque-android-app-with-formulas.95370/

    Since you're farting around with a cheap scan tool set the protocol to ISO 15765-4 CAN 11bit 500k baud so you don't corrupt your CAN bus. http://priuschat.com/threads/i-scanned-my-prius-to-death.132930/#ixzz3CJ8k8IZF
     
  17. Eastside

    Eastside Member

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    I'll bet that you'll roll a 7 and be a winner. I've seen quite a few gen2's with over 250k miles before battery issues turn up. Mine had over 300k when it failed.

    If something does happen, then check dealer prices for a Toyota new or refurbisheded battery in Bristol (37 miles), Boone (60 miles), and Knoxville ( 105 miles). The dealer installed battery comes with a three year guarantee and I don't think that it's prorated.

    I am biased against dealers in a college town, like Boone, as I've seen them take advantage of students.

    Good luck.
     
  18. DJCA

    DJCA Junior Member

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    IMHO if Geico covers 100 miles towing I think that's your answer. He's in college. If he's car-less for a week while it gets repaired, so what. It might affect his social life, but not likely much else.
     
  19. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    There are a number of expensive things that could go wrong before the HV battery shows up. The display screen could fail, the speedometer could fail, you could lose all keyfobs, the 12V battery could fade out, the car could be in a crash...

    I think it would be better to take care of unplanned maintenance as it happens. Even though the HV battery is a maintenance item that doesn't exist on conventional cars, that doesn't make it the most likely problem.

    When the GEN2 (2004-2009) first came out, there was a rash of HID headlight failures. Hardly anything unique to a hybrid, but Toyota was charging $900 to fix 2 lightbulbs. They relented the $300 per bulb price (with more than a little help from a class action lawsuit). But I think they still charge $150 per bulb, plus 2 hours labor to pull the bumper. The DIYers here pay about $50 per bulb, and an hour or so to install them. Carolyn at Luscious Garage takes 3 minutes per bulb.

    I think your biggest danger is incompetent mechanics.

    If you don't have at least 2 functional keyfobs, get more before it's an expensive emergency. If the speedometer goes out, the way to power off is to hold the power button for at least 5 seconds. Watch the condition of the 12V battery, and replace it if it's over 5 years old.
     
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