~ 5 mpg drop in self reported fuel economy after traction battery replacement

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by pbarber, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. pbarber

    pbarber Junior Member

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    2006 gen II base w/ about 90k miles. Jump in, big scare triangle w/ multiple other dash lights. POA80 and PO319 codes. Traction battery fail. Fortunately, I was just under the warranty limit (8yrs).

    Legacy Toyota of Tallahassee promptly replaced the battery. They report that a "factory reconditioned" battery was installed.

    After a wee bit o' re-learning, the car seems to run better then before, however it is now self reporting a drop in fuel economy of about 5 mpg. Prior to battery replacement, it was a very consistent 41.x mpg. After battery replacement, it's reporting ~ 36.x mpg.

    I have not had time to assess the real fuel economy yet. I'm still running on the first tank full.

    Was wondering if anyone else has experienced this?
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    doesn't warranty replacement require a new battery?
     
  3. Easy Rider

    Easy Rider Active Member

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    NO. Most warrantys specify that they will "fix" the problem but don't spell out how.

    And as for the change in MPG, give it some time and be sure the average MPG gets reset
    on the next tank fill.
     
  4. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    I too thought the warranty replacement battery is with a new pack. I am not aware of Toyota reconditioning any of the packs for the Prius. This is a interesting development or change in Toyota's policy. Maybe they have learned about reconditioning of said packs and will be offering this in the future for those who are in need of a replacement battery as their Prius ages.

    If you continue to see the drop in MPG after three or four tanks of fuel, I would suggest you go back to Toyota and mention these facts. The Prius does have to relearn some things when the 12 volt battery is disconnected. It is standard procedure to disconnect the 12 volt when you change the traction battery IIRC.

    Ron (dorunron)
     
  5. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    It is very interesting to hear that Toyota is now installing used batteries in the warranty repair process. I had not heard about that before. Toyota has no obligation to install a new part when doing warranty repairs.

    I suggest you clear the MFD mpg gauge, then take the car for a roundtrip drive of 50 miles or more, on the freeway where you can drive at 65 mph or less, and see what mpg is logged.
     
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  6. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

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    Also, check your tire pressure. The dealership may have set it to something less than what you had, based on past reports. It should be ~40psi for better mpg.
     
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  7. ursle

    ursle Gas miser

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    Gen2, check the oil level, heck, cycle the emergency brake, unhook the 12v before the reset just to start fresh.
     
  8. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Hmm, that is an interesting development, the use of reconditioned batteries for warranty replacement. Perhaps this change reflects an increasing number of failures (and hence cost of upholding the warranty) as the the number of aging Priuses increases?
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    what is the warranty on the replacement battery? if it continues on the old warranty, i guess that's okay, but if it's only one year, a reconditioned one wouldn't make sense, except in your case where the warranty is almost up. i wouldn't be happy with a reconditioned battery with a one year warranty if i had more than a year left on the original tho. there's also the possibility of more problems with reconditioned.
     
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  10. Easy Rider

    Easy Rider Active Member

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    It is also possible that there are more sources of reconditioned "old" batteries now.......and that the production of new batteries is mostly taken up with new vehicles.
     
  11. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I would like to see the receipt part number for the replacement battery, just to see if they have a different part for a reconditioned warranty batteries.

    In a business perspective it makes perfect sense for Toyota to repair warranty failures with reconditioned batteries. I would suspect there wasn't enough inventory of failed batteries to recondition so they were forced to provide new replacements. However with more units failing under warranty, they are getting these back and have a good inventory on hand. It wouldn't make sense for them to get rid of the returned batteries, they would recondition them the same way "dorman" does it and send them back out as replacements. This way saves them a lot of money and the replacements should last long enough to past the 10 year/150k mark, thus making you buy another "new" battery when it fails again.
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i wonder if you can buy a new battery from toyota now, or only reconditioned?
     
  13. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    That is a very good question bisco. I was thinking along the same lines as you.
     
  14. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    My question would be whether both new and reconditioned are offered for sale, and the relative pricing between the two. I also would be interested to know Toyota's reconditioning process.
     
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  15. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Well we still haven't seen actual proof there is a reconditioned Toyota battery out there. Just it would make sense for them to replace warranty batteries with them.....surely they have a small stockpile by now.
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

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    Reconditioned might mean new cells, just recycled case and electronics.

    For the mpg, give it a refill and run through a tank to see how it fares?
     
  17. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    "Reconditioned might mean new cells, just recycled case and electronics."
    We have an optimist amongst us. :cool:
     
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  18. greasemonkey007

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    I just got a quote from a dealer in Longview, TX for the 01 prius I just bought. He had a reconditioned pack in stock due to someone ordering it and backing out and he couldn't send it back. He priced it at $1700 instead of the normal $2400. I decided to go with a couple of used genII packs to recondition and upgrade my genI.
     
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  19. Easy Rider

    Easy Rider Active Member

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    Just because Toyota installs a recon. battery doesn't necessarily mean that THEY did the rebuild.
    I think it is highly unlikely that they would embark on that kind of a project.
    Much easier and cheaper to get them from a 3rd party.
     
  20. greasemonkey007

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    Very true! Probably why he is unable to return. Best to ask about such things if they are a concern.
     
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