2011 Prius - Maybe time for a new hybrid battery?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Rupert B Puppenstein, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. Rupert B Puppenstein

    Rupert B Puppenstein Active Member

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    I noticed the past few days that my battery indicator doesn’t easily get to full anymore, and when I sit parked, the battery indicator doesn’t go down at all, yet the engine will shut off and start up again. My gas mileage all of a sudden has plummeted, like barely 40 mpg after fill up a day ago, and I did a long highway drive that usually would help it climb with it barely budging. Has anyone else experienced this? If it is the hybrid battery, is it worth replacing? I assume we are looking at $3,000 minimum?
     
  2. tankyuong

    tankyuong Senior Member

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    Should be fine until the battery code pops up
     
  3. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    If you're using the heater, it won't be as efficient
     
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  4. Rupert B Puppenstein

    Rupert B Puppenstein Active Member

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    At that point, would the car still run? My biggest worry is being out with my baby and toddler and having the car quit. I’m solo most of the week, so handling that by myself would be a nightmare.
     
  5. mikey_t

    mikey_t Active Member

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    When my hybrid battery died the engine sill ran and I drove the car home with a bunch of codes on the dash. The cost to replace at my dealership was around $4000, but luckily I'm in a CARB state and came in just under the warranty.
     
  6. Rupert B Puppenstein

    Rupert B Puppenstein Active Member

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    My car is just under ten years old, so we missed the warranty covering it, which in the grand scheme of things, is a compliment to Toyota. Overall, this car hasn’t been expensive at all to maintain. It’s just never fun paying for any work on a car.
     
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  7. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Getting a new battery is the best, most reliable option.

    When my 2018 gen4 reaches 8 years or 100k, I will get a(nother) grid charger.
     
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  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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  10. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Wait......what ??
    Doesn't that model use "waste" engine heat to heat the cabin ?

    If so, it should be more efficient than running the AC.
    And only a tiny bit less efficient than just the vents.
     
  11. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    I recommend getting an OBDII bluetooth enabled adapter that plugs into the diagnostic port under the dash. Then run the Dr. Prius app which includes 2 tests, one whether the battery is functioning properly and another that estimates how much reserve is left.

    Hybrid battery diagnostic and repair tool for Toyota and Lexus
     
  12. Rupert B Puppenstein

    Rupert B Puppenstein Active Member

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  13. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    As these cars age, there could be other high costs items you may need. For example, many people have had problems with oil burning on these 2011 cars. Also almost all of the gen3 cars will eventually need a headgasket replacement around 200k miles, as they seem to all be failing at some point around that mileage. And then there is the expensive electronic braking system that may fail down the road as well (as with the previous generation).

    So you are at the point where this car will eventually need multiple $2000+ repairs. So you have to consider if you want to keep this 10 year old car and start putting money in it or maybe consider selling it and getting a newer model without these needed repairs for another 10 years.
     
  14. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    How long have you owned the car?

    The most common sign of battery failure is rapid charging and discharging.

    the battery draining when you first start it up and drive away in the morning is a very common scenario on a week, or low capacity battery.
     
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    For the first few minutes after start up, you’ll notice the engine runs at steady fast-idle, regardless if you’re coasting or accelerating. This is because the car’s motivation is totally from the hybrid battery for that time.

    if you’re battery has reduced capacity this period will be especially taxing on state-of-charge.
     
  16. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    And this is why hybrids NEED to be driven; often, and for long periods of time. Heavy users like high miles commuters, delivery, taxi, etc., are the ones who get a lot of trouble free battery miles and long(er) battery lives.

    This guy could easily reach 300+k trouble free HV battery miles: Update: 100k miles on my new 2020 Prius | PriusChat
     
  17. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Different car, different battery, different age so not relevant.
     
  18. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    And I think you have drawn an erroneous conclusion from the data.
    It could be that TIME is more important than USE in the battery wearing out.
    Just maybe.

    An example for clarity:
    The chemistry and construction of the battery means that it will last 10 years (just for example).
    For the person who drives a LOT in those 10 years, it would appear that a lot of use is good for it.......because he got a LOT of miles.
    When the next person doesn't drive much at all and gets the same 10 years.
    Indicating that this statement has NO merit whatsoever:
    " And this is why hybrids NEED to be driven; often, and for long periods of time. "
    Just maybe. :)
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Our 2010 has build date aug 09, and when we bought it in nov 10 it had 10~ kms on the odo (not 10k, 10). Ten years plus after purchase, it has 89k kms. Hybrid battery performance seems the same as day one.
     
  20. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    The same scenarios can be found in the early days in both the gen 2 and 3 forums (see 2fas4u threads). I simply picked that gen 4 thread as a current example (rinse, lather, repeat).

    That's what I'm saying. Those folks using their vehicles a lot from the beginning are getting TIME to work for them. Those types of driving cycles are also easy(er) on the HV battery (win-win). Time, use, and temps are the BIG three factors.

    Depleting most of a vehicle's life at the beginning of the its natural cycle makes the most sense/cents; hybrids especially. Use it or lose it.

    That's not the whole picture: they lose capacity, fuel economy, and acceleration and increased emissions (see fuel economy). Use it or lose it.
     
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