Gen 2 Hybrid Battery: Still error after replacement of one bad cell

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Boyang XU, May 27, 2020.

  1. Boyang XU

    Boyang XU New Member

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    Hello,

    I'm new to PriusChat and want to seek help from the experts in this forum.

    Back in March, I had the "P0A80 - Replace Hybrid battery Pack" error code (read using mini-VCI + Techstream), along with some related codes (P3000 and C1641). After measurement of voltages, I suspect that Cell 6 in Block 3 went bad as it voltage (6.36 V) is about 1V lower than the others (~7.6 V for 24 cells and ~7.4 V for 3 cells). So I purchased a recondition cell on eBay, shipping from UK to France (where I live). Received on May 15th and made the replacement on the same day. However, I did not balance all the voltages (the new cell is 7.77 V) because of lacking of equipment (multi-charger, power supply, etc.). Btw, one minor detail is that I broke three bolts one the bottom of the cells. It works fine for about 10 days, until today (May 27th) the same error code popped up again. I tested again using Techstream and found that the problem is in the same block (about 1V lower than other blocks)!

    I suspect the problem could be possibly due to:
    - the new cell may actually be a bad one. But I can't know without disassemble the battery again...
    - not balancing the voltages, making the other cell go bad. Can it be fixed by balancing charging again or reconditioning? I found a product called "Prolong Hybrid Battery Reconditioning Package", claiming that it can recondition the battery pack. Is it reliable?
    - need time to balance itself? I don't if it is correct, but I learned from a Youtube video that the battery can balance itself after several trips.

    So my question is:
    What is the cause of the problem and what should I do next?

    Thank you very much in advance!
     
  2. Boyang XU

    Boyang XU New Member

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    Just received emails from the Toyota 4S store nearby. He said it is necessary to replace the whole pack, which will cost me about 2000 ~ 3000 euros... :cry::cry::cry:
     
  3. Boyang XU

    Boyang XU New Member

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    By reading the old threads, I found that the word I use is not appropriate. By "cell", I actually mean "module".

    If I want to go for the reconditioning, there are, probably, two approaches (or types of products) available: (i) using balance chargers and (ii) using the Prolong Value Reconditioning Package.

    Concerning approach (i), I couldn't find any "hobbyking balance charger" for sale in France, but I found the "IMAX B6AC V2" charger on amazon.fr for €50. If I buy 7, that's €350 in total and the process may take about a week. Another problem is that I do not have power supply in the underground parking of my student residence. And it would not be appropriate if I borrow a garage/yard from a friend for a whole week and come in and out their houses for operations... The only choice for me is to carry the whole pack upstairs to my flat.

    Concerning apporach (ii), the Prolong Value Reconditioning Package can cost me about €502 (= $551.97 = $469 + $82.97 shipping). It seems that I can avoid the disassembling and have a easy recondition once or twice a year. it seems to be easy to set up so that I can leave the car at a friend's garage for 1 or 2 days without bothering them during the process.

    Does anyone know if the two types of product are equivalent? if not what are the differences? Which approach do you think is better? Thanks a lot!
     
  4. Boyang XU

    Boyang XU New Member

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    Additional info, my car also have a P0016 code, which is the problem of the timing chain, from 1 year ago till now. My advisor at Toyota gave me a quote of €1032 euros for the replacement of the distribution kit (or the timing chain kit). I haven't done it as it is too expensive and I haven't got the time to repair it myself.

    Now with the hybrid battery pack replacement (about 2k - 3k euros, I can only get the detailed quote after the appoint on June 1st), it will cost me 3-4k euros to repair the two problems at Toyota 4S store. Considering it is a 2006 Prius with about 180,000 km which I bought 3 years ago at a price of €6000, is it worth it for all the trouble? Will the hybrid battery replacement increase the value of the car if I want to sell it in the future?

    What are my options here? probably:
    (i) Repair the two problems at Toyota store (costing €3000-4000, zero labor for me, nearly zero time wasted, may increase the car's value).
    (ii) Recondition the battery myself (costing about €1500 (€500 for battery + €1000 for timing chain), a lot of labor for me, a lot of time wasted, but gain some experience).
    (iii) Trade in and buy another used car. Don't know how much the car worth for trade-in. As I just become unemployed, I can only afford a used car less than 10k euros. This is not a favored option because I will have to spend more money and can not get a very good car within 10k euros.

    Mainly struggled between option (i) and (ii). Such an headache...
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    what are the timing chain symptoms?
     
  6. LukUsc

    LukUsc Junior Member

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    iMax B6 on Chinese portals costs under $ 15, if You do not want from China, you can also see here http://www.allegro.pl (AC version price around $ 23, shipping from Poland so EU guarantee).
    Instead of the AC version, You can buy a regular DC and use any 12V + / 5A power supply, e.g. from Xbox ;) or dedicated to this charger costs about 5 €, and the DC charger is much cheaper and smaller.

    Similarly with the modules, I was thinking about the order from the US, but the cost of the shipment and time are unprofitable in my opinion. I don't know how are at Your, but I found a guy locally which acquires whole batteries and regenerates modules in the same way as EA does in the US (this is not secret knowledge and most people involved in modeling have seen the batteries in the "little finger", the only problem is to find one who wanted to explore the topic of these specific cells :D
    Sample prices of modules in the company from which I bought:
    4000 - 5000mAh around 5-7 years old - $25
    6000 - 6500mAh (like new) max. 3 years old - $40-$45

    I strongly advise You not to buy modules on eBay from unverified sources, very often they are simply removed batteries from crashed cars, in no way tested for unknown capacity.

    I did it in such a way that I sent all my modules to check and after fully testing all, we decided just to what capacity we are rebuilding the package.
    Mine battery apart from 3 modules that "died", was very unbalanced (capacity differences ranged by up to 100% between 2000 and 5000mAh), also without full regeneration replacing damaged ones would give almost nothing :D

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
    #6 LukUsc, May 30, 2020
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
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  7. Boyang XU

    Boyang XU New Member

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    No obvious symptoms except the error code. However, if listen and feel very carefully, you can feel slightly rougher idling.

    Based on what I've learned (can not garantie 100% correct), the timing chain get stretched with time, leading to bad correlation between the crankshaft and camshaft which is detected by the sensor and output an error code. The car can still drive when the stretch is not severe, but it can be very dangerous when the problem get worse, can kill the engine.
     
  8. Boyang XU

    Boyang XU New Member

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    Thank you so much for your message @LukUsc ! Appreciate it!

    The ones from Poland are nice! Definitely cheaper than France. Thanks! I also like Chinese ones but the shipping would take forever... Another problem for me is that I don't have electricity in the underground parking and I don't want to carry the battery pack upstairs. I'm no sure if it is sufficient to charge using a normal 12V car battery.

    Agree. The shipping cost may be even more than the price of the module... The one I bought from UK is 30 GBP, and the shipping is 15 GBP. Shipping from US could be even more expensive.

    Can I ask who is EA? Do you know anyone on this forum who sells quality modules? Where do you live? Does your local guy ship internationally? Thanks.

    That's really good to know! So my previous replacement without balancing is really not a good way. I will recondition the modules more thoroughly.

    By the way, do you know about the Prolong reconditioning package? Can it do the same thing as IMAX B6 chargers? Is it worth trying? Sorry for so many questions. Looking forward to your reply! :)
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    that is low mileage for a severely stretched chain, but i suppose it is possible
     
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  10. LukUsc

    LukUsc Junior Member

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    You can use a 12V Battery as power supply. But it may turn out that there is not enough electricity in it for the entire cycle.
    Discharging from what I know consumes even more energy than charging.
    Each module separately must pass min. 3 charge and discharge cycles.
    Are you going to connect with this with a larger number of iMax chargers?... After thinking about it, I'm pretty sure that above 2 pcs. IMax acu 12V will discharge... Also note that there will be no protection between the 12V Battery and the charger against excessive battery discharge - if You do not constantly monitor its voltage you can damage it.
    Also in your situation I advise against powering the iMax with acu 12V.
    So, if You ordered from the UK to France, You might as well order from PL to Fr?
    If so, in my opinion the best solution, which I also chose.
    (I didn't have chargers either, and I'd have to buy everything at once. Additionally, when I thought that the whole process would take min. 2-3 weeks, I wanted to do the first regeneration myself.)
    My way:
    I negotiated with a guy who deals with battery regeneration (batteries in general, not just a hybrid - the difference is that he treats every package he puts together as his product, and you are not charged for the "HV battery regeneration service", which often involves simply replacing the modules with a reasonably efficient and "may be durable" to terminate the warranty :D )
    But to the point :)
    I negotiated with a guest that I send all my modules to him, he tests and regenerates them as his own, after knowing in what condition my whole battery is, we decide what capacity we are rebuilding the package.
    e.g. initially I wanted to replace damaged cells with "almost new" ones with a capacity of 6000-6500mAh, but it turned out that in addition to 3 damaged, 9 other are below 3000mAh, so it was better for me to buy 12 pcs. 4500-5000mAh instead of "crazy" with "like new", which would not give me anything, because the package had about 2500mAh (as much as the weakest cell).

    Think about whether it is better to remove and pack all modules, send someone to check and regenerate (for them it is 2 days, for you 2 weeks lightly). Knowing your capacity you will determine how much and for which you exchange and only mount a ready package. ;)
    One advice, be sure to write down all module serial numbers before shipping so that you can check back later.
    If in France this type of service is definitely more expensive than, for example, $300-350 for regeneration and sale of 10 modules + balancing everything together - send to PL and that's it :D
    You will lose a few days for transport, but if You save it properly it can make sense to me.
    Below you will order only 1 or 2 iMax chargers and if one module will "diverge" from others, you will try to resuscitate it.

    At least I did it :)
    EA - Electron Automotive, you Guys from US.

    I think he can send.
    But as I wrote above. In my opinion, buying modules without checking your battery is a bit pointless.
    Look at my example. According to computer and voltage I had 3 damaged. If I had only replaced them, the error would probably have disappeared, but the battery would still have 1/3 -1/4 of factory capacity and probably in a moment another module would die... and again undressing from the beginning :)

    If you want to contact him, please write me a private message.
    In the meantime I will ask him if he will agree to send to France.
    ...He is rather a type of oldschool electronics and unfortunately doesn't use FB :) but the workshop has a properly equipped (photo)https://photos.app.goo.gl/fes3gu92Tbyn4Ena9 ... personally, I trust such a "specialist" more than pushed-out "authorized" services. But that's just my opinion, I don't want to criticize any company :)
    I don't know the exact details of their system. However, from what I know, their charger does exactly the same as all model chargers iMax / Turnigy Reaktor, however, thanks to the fact that they have developed a system for ~ 200V, they can charge all modules at the same time. But their system from what I heard does not treat modules individually - so in the case of an unbalanced battery, in my opinion, a better result can be achieved by working on the cells individually. However, later when we have a battery in good condition Prolong is definitely more convenient to use.
     
    #10 LukUsc, May 31, 2020
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  11. Dxta

    Dxta Senior Member

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    1. If you got enough time, load test those modules including the replacement you got off eBay using a car headlamp bulb.

    2. Charge and discharge them, and observe how they hold their charge.

    3. You can use a 12V power supply, to individually charge the modules if you have.

    4. You should have replaced all the modules on that block that had 6...volts.

    5. Pay specific attention also to those other modules displaying 7.33V from the other existing ones.
    You could discharge and recharge those ones(7.33V) several times and see if they catch up with those with 7.66volts.

    6. Unplug the smart unit (battery ECU) connector and check for corrosion on the pin outs.

    7. For the p0016 code, you can be rest assured that with time, you'd hear some rattle noises in the engine when you accelerate while driving.


    Regards,
    Dxta


    PS: that's a gen2 with the battery smart unit with its corroded pinout.
    The pack was OK, but I was getting a replace a hybrid pack code.
    Had to cleaned out the terminals using electronic cleaner, and resolder one of the terminals that almost fell off.
     

    Attached Files:

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  12. LukUsc

    LukUsc Junior Member

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    It is important to check them also how they react to discharge with a higher current. E.g. first / second cycle discharging 1A, next if capacity is ok we switch to a higher current e.g. 2.5A, then 3.5A
    WITH THIS CAUTION, Classic rectifier or the automatic battery charger 12V will not disconnect the voltage (they do not have the Delta peak detection function).
    It is much safer to charge with the rectifier / charger with 12V modules in pairs (14.4V). If at 12V the charger will give 5A or more, it will be too much according to me. We will get the "quick charger" effect in the best case, damage the module in the worst case. This is not what We are all about :)

    After my observations, small differences in self-discharge, such as 0.3V in 48h do not have a major impact on work under load. But I didn't do long-term tests, so it can be unreliable.
    Something new again. :D
    Thanks for the info ;)
    Can You say something more please?

    Did you secure the metal plates and battery terminals with something?



    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
    #12 LukUsc, May 31, 2020
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  13. LukUsc

    LukUsc Junior Member

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    He replied that he would not like to send internationally.
    However, if You want, I can collect the package from him and send it to You.
    This is not a big problem, one package in this or that :D
    You would just have to specify what module capacity you want? 4000-5000mAh, 6000-6500mAh, or something else in between?
    But this You will only know after cell testing...
    Therefore, although it is more difficult, in my opinion, as I wrote earlier - it is better to pack them all, give the guy to check, choose how many modules we want and pick up the ready package for assembly.
    Okay, the shipment will be more expensive, but we save a lot of time.
    Cheap is my humble opinion :)

    If you want, please write me a private message ... This topic may escape me somewhere in this mass of infos here :)
    or @: uscluk On gmail ;)


    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
    #13 LukUsc, May 31, 2020
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  14. Boyang XU

    Boyang XU New Member

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    Is there any other problems besides stretched timing chain that can lead to the P0016 error code?

    The guy at Toyota told me it is the timing chain and I need to replace it, after a 30-min diagnostics. I don't think they did anything more other than reading the code, as the engine seems to be untouched.
     
  15. Boyang XU

    Boyang XU New Member

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    Man, thank you so much for such detailed replies and advice!

    The solution of sending the whole pack to poland is really attracting, I will seriously think about it. Difficulty for me is that the postage could be very expensive and I will have no car to drive for a long period of time (2-3 weeks maybe). But I will definitely put it in my list of options.

    Tomorrow, I have an appointment with Toyota but I think they will give me a quote for the whole pack replacement. I asked some repair shops in my town but they do not repair Prius because of the high voltage. I wish I can find such a guy here in France like your guy in Poland.

    Thanks a lot! I will think over it! :)
     
  16. Boyang XU

    Boyang XU New Member

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    Thank you @Dxta !

    Now I know that my previous attempt replacing only one module instead of two and without balancing is really a bad idea. Lesson learned. I didn't check the ECU for any corrosion either. I will do it for the next disassembly.

    For the P0016 code, will it be a huge problem or danger if I continue to drive the car? Should I get it fix asap? Thanks
     
  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i would read the pertinent section of the repair manual for expert advice
     
  18. Dxta

    Dxta Senior Member

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    You should get the p0016 code sorted out immediately.

    First of all, check the engine oil in the engine. Has it being replaced? Does the oil look black and dirty? If it does, you'd get that code too.

    The timing on that car may have jumped teeth or overstretched timing chain issues you've got.

    Another possibility is that the intake camshaft gear may have a problem.

    If you're techy, you can opened up the valve cover, and turn the engine manually at the crankshaft pulley area, until #1 piston is at TDC. That way, you can confirm, if the camshaft/crankshaft are in sync with one another.
     
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  19. Dxta

    Dxta Senior Member

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    I meant the pin outs in the battery smart unit, and not the HV battery bus bars.
    I hope I got your question right though?
     
  20. LukUsc

    LukUsc Junior Member

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    I understand. I thought that before the smart unit You also took apart modules :)

    I was wondering bus bars and new screws should be protected against corrosion

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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