Battery Conditioning as Preventive Maint

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by The Critic, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. CaliforniaBear

    CaliforniaBear Clearwater Blue Metallic

    Oct 9, 2012
    Northern California
    2012 Prius
    Plug-in Base
    Pretty much all the "publicity" is exactly that, publicity, not a hard look at the technology its advantages and disadvantages. There are exactly 5 shops in the whole USA that provide this type of service. When this technology is reviewed by Car and Driver and Consumer Reports I'll pay some attention. And then, only if it does not void my 10 year 15000 mile warranty on the HV battery.
    tumbleweed likes this.
  2. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

    Mar 25, 2009
    2009 Prius
    A reference list of published scientific papers and/or issued patents would be much more persuasive than saying "ask any scientist". Thanks!
  3. VicVinegar

    VicVinegar Member

    Jun 21, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    2013 Prius
    The question would be if this service, if it works, would provide the same long-term performance as a replacement battery. It looks like the service is hardly priced like a "routine" item. $500 for the diagnosis, good towards the actual service would lead me to believe the actual service has to be around $1k. How long does that theoretical $1k buy you? Does it need to be conditioned again in a year? How does that compare to a reman battery?
    minkus likes this.
  4. Matt Curry

    Matt Curry New Member

    Jul 11, 2013
    2008 Prius
    For the doubters out there I thought I'd post some recent testimonials from customers. BTW, I wouldn't listen ANYTHING Jack Rosbro says, he has NO IDEA what he is talking about....jack doesn't know JACK!

    Dean, (from Lloyd's Tire and Auto in Santa Cruz)
    A quick note to be followed by a more extensive thank you and report on the performance of the reconditioning of
    our prius batteries. We left the next day for Yosemite and got up to 55 mpg's going through los banos.
    arrived at 3,500 ft with about 50 mpg and returned home with about 50 even though we were running
    the air condition for most of the trip home with 97 degree heat. We have never gotten close to 55 mpg
    and haven't seen anywhere near 50 mpg's for at least 3 years. I cannot remember getting more than
    46 mpg in the last few years.

    We are utterly stoked and amazed as one of the main reasons in buying the Prius was for its
    gas mileage. The car also seemed to have a little more power climbing which we did a lot of going
    over 6,000 ft.

    Thank you. I will definitely let me eco co-horts know about this service and results. It was interesting as
    the park service employee we stayed with said they had to replace two Prius batteries due to winter
    non-use and they were expensive.


    History (from Good Works Auto Repair in Tempe, AZ)

    We purchased our Prius new in the summer of 2005. Then we were consistently getting between 45 and 48 mpg. Eight years later we currently get 33 to 36 mpg. The drop has been gradual over time, but more dramatic in the last 3 years.

    The initial acceleration has also diminished. I remember when we purchased the vehicle, being surprise how much zip it had for a 4-cylinder hybrid. Now, and for the last 3-4 years, the car hesitates slightly when you step on the accelerator. The acceleration is no longer immediate.

    After Service

    After the hybrid battery service, my wife and I both noticed the improved acceleration (the zip was back). The gas mileage was greatly improved as well, back in the 40s.

    We have driven our Prius in-town for about a month now since the service. I just filled up the car and calculated the millage.

    Start ODO: 126090

    End ODO: 126600

    Difference: 510 miles

    Gallons: 11.1

    Current Fuel Efficiency: 45.9 mpg

    Needless to say we are very satisfied with the hybrid battery service performed a Good Works.

    Brian Bonner

    On Fri, May 31, 2013 at 12:35 PM, Brian Bonner wrote:

    We purchased our Prius new in the summer of 2005. Then we were consistently get between 45 and 48 mpg. Eight years later we currently get 33 to 36 mpg. The drop has been gradual over time, but more dramatic in the last 3 years.

    The initial acceleration has also diminished. I remember when we purchased the vehicle, being surprise how much zip it had for a 4-cylinder. Now, and for the last 3-4 years, the car hesitates slightly when you step on the accelerator. The acceleration is no longer immediate.

    I hope this helps.

    Brian Bonner
    ( iPhone)
    Dean Schwartz likes this.
  5. bunnychiu

    bunnychiu New Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    2005 Prius

    Hi Britprius,

    I am a dumb? guinea pig who just paid for this service. At 178K and 8 yrs old, my hybrid battery died and I was quoted by shop to replace a new battery for $3100. Desperate and inexperienced, I googled 'prius battery replacement' and ended up at Santa Monica Hybrid.

    They gave me a free diagnostic, took a few pictures of the battery, and offered to replace some modules and recondition for $2000 with 12 months 12K warranty. The claim is my battery will be 'restored' to 95% of its original condition, so I should be able to get a few more years out of the battery.

    The service is done and I am picking up my car tomorrow.
    I based my decision on an article I read from Automotive Research and Design, thinking it was a real nonprofit group for automotive design, when it was just the inventor's business website. stupid me. I hope this guys is legit and his technology is legit. I do not find any negative stuff about this business (just lots of skepticism and snark on this site, but it was after I already committed to the service.. sigh) some of the licensees/autoshops seem like legit businesses with overall good Yelp reviews. In California, the hybrid battery carries at 150K/10 yr warranty, so this business aims to those with expired warranties.
    so, I would take the car to the dealership if it is under warranty (100K for most states) because Toyota always replaces the entire battery with a new one.

    For now, I will post the photos from diagnostic and the report (after completion). PS dog hair in my car got sucked into the vent connected to the battery cooling fan. Even though my battery died at 177K, it was possible the clogged fan caused the battery to overheat. I wish my battery conked out last year at 140K so I could have had Toyota replace my battery.

    I will keep you posted and hope my gamble pays off and contributes towards the Priuschat community.

    Attached Files:

  6. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

    Jun 14, 2010
    Herefordshire England
    2008 Prius
    Please do keep us updated. I agree the dog hairs were possibly partly responsible for the demise of your battery. I hope they cleaned out the cooling fan when they worked on your battery.
    I would like to see some real information from this company rather than just the sales pitch that for most purposes is meaningless.
    I am now over 100,000 miles on my Prius and will be taking it in for an intermediate service and hybrid check for the extended battery guarantee. The service is the shortest service done in the UK although the 100,000 mile service is a major service most of the extra work I have already done.
    The coolant for the inverter should have been changed with the pump recall, only the engine coolant has not been changed. The only reason I took the car to the dealer for services was to keep the service book stamped, and can now add the extended battery guarantee.
    Cars in the UK sell easier at a better price with a full set of service stamps.

    John (Britprius)
    dorunron likes this.
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

    Oct 17, 2010
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    2010 Prius
    Regarding clogged fan: consider putting in a filter (after ensuring the fan's been cleaned).

    I put a piece of vacuum cleaner motor filter in behind our fan inlet grill. I check it periodically with a flash light. So far very little accumulation.
  8. jeff652

    jeff652 Senior Member

    Feb 6, 2014
    Silicon Valley
    2005 Prius
    Battery Conditioning as Preventive Maintenance is a wise investment. Doing it yourself as many times as you want for under $400 is a very cost effective way to extend the traction battery life. The NiMh battery cells benefit immensely from occasional rebalancing and infrequent deep cycling. We have been doing this in the Honda crowd for years to recover and extend the life of Honda hybrid IMA battery packs. Toyota has much better hybrid battery management than Honda but the underlying issues with NiMh cells and self-discharge & imbalance drift are still present. Our sub-$400 in car Prius traction battery charger/rebalancer (aka grid charger) is a very safe, cost effective way to rebalance the battery cells as preventative maintenance.

    I personally rebalance the cells in my 2005 Prius every time I change the oil or anytime the car sits unused for more than a week. Twice a year I deep discharge the pack to break down any sulfation that might occur. The battery has 130k miles on it and is still very strong. It's the same principle as preventative maintenance for the gas engine or transmission. The sooner a traction battery charger/rebalancer is regularly used on a battery, the longer the battery life will be extended.
  9. ikepro

    ikepro New Member

    Apr 26, 2016
    2001 Prius
    John I have read your comments on adding naoh to the battery to restore the cell. Can this procedure be use on a defective cell? The car I got sat for 3 years since no one could fix it. I was happy to have found the problems and fix what was tampered with. The battery is just over 8 years old and I have found 4 bad cells. I placed 2 gen 2 cells in the stack with no problem. The cells run nearly 8 volts per block. What do you recommend to a retired Bell lab worker?