Gen3 Traction Battery Replacement by Greentec

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by BlackHawk1776, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. BlackHawk1776

    BlackHawk1776 New Member

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    I've been lurking on the forums here for a couple of years and even more in June when my Gen3 Prius (2010) had a couple hiccups while driving over the Grapevine just north of Los Angeles. So I've read most all of the posts about who's replacing batteries, found articles about what dealers quote (my dealer quoted the normal $4000 for the battery so I was happy they weren't insane.) But when the hiccups started (and MPG started going down) I did all of the research so I'd be ready if the battery went. It did end up giving me the triangle of death at 231,000 miles, made it to the dealer and back (50 miles each way) for their $145 diagnosis that I needed a $4000 battery. I'd not found anything that seemed to me as a better option than Greentec; honestly the dealer was the only other viable option I could see in my locality.

    The initial phone call went well, fairly short - I basically knew what I needed and didn't really ask a bunch of questions, I kinda felt like I wanted to be sold on the idea initially but I'm glad I didn't ask and Cindy didn't try to. She sent me the quote via email as I'd asked (promptly) and after an evening of mulling it over I opted for the 'new battery' with 4 year warranty which is new cells and a new fan mounted to core / recycled shell. This is really preferable to someone trying to make a new battery tray as in my IT career no one ever makes a battery tray as well as the OEM. The fan being replaced was a very positive item for me since my own fan was starting to make noise which usually means the bearing/bushing is wearing out.

    The tech came on site to my house (I live in outside of a very small town in a rural part of Northern California so the on site service was awesome.)

    He called ahead, arrived exactly on time in a well used Prius of his own. The job took about 1.5 hours or so, and was done VERY METHODICALLY. I've got a couple of pictures from the process but he was slow and careful - not slow like wasting time but slow and precise. He had the car apart in no time flat, had a near pile of the body parts that had to be removed. The battery itself took a while of removing fasteners. He eventually had the old battery out, got the new unit in, fastened. I believe he started the car and let it run while reinstalling the body panels. Everything went back together smooth, the car showed no signs of issues and my fuel economy is very near where it used to be; I can't yet say it is 100% back but due to my 50 mile drive up and down hills, the variance I get in MPG based on season (spring and fall are best - no heat, no AC running) not to mention the variance in number of people in the vehicle and whether I get a really 'perfect' drive if no other vehicles slow my roll.

    Overall, I'm thus far I'm very satisfied with my choice, the only thing the dealer was going to do better was a firmware update (which being in IT I'm all about firmware updates) but that wasn't worth $1000 and the loss of the 4 year warranty on a vehicle that has thus far (even with it's older firmware revision) has been stellar. I'd have to recommend this vendor to anyone - the tech that did my battery was one of two in the area and he came out of their Sacramento area location. A+
     
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  2. ALS

    ALS Active Member

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    Glad you found someone that could replace the battery reasonably. Went through this earlier this month 78K miles on my 2010. I was lucky that I could get a $750 credit from Toyota and the dealer also gave me a few hundred off the Toyota factory battery. $2285 installed with tax.

    If Toyota and my dealer hadn't stepped up, I would have also gone a similar route that you did.
     
  3. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Great post.
    Are you certain it was a new fan and not a used fan?

    How long ago was this work done?

    What was the final price?
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    did i miss the price?
     
  5. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Uh, did you just happen to check that the cells were, in fact, new and not reconditioned or used ones? Also interested in final all-up price as otherwise your experience seems quite positive.
     
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  6. BlackHawk1776

    BlackHawk1776 New Member

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    I had to look up the quote for the total cost as the actual invoices were split into a $350 deposit and a $2579.13 final invoice - the total of $2350 for the battery, $350 install plus our state sales tax adds up to $2929.13 for on site installation; the car was still drive-able (though there was very evident power surging when going up our steep 1/4 mile driveway) so I wasn't going to risk the drive for the $200 saving for in shop installation.

    They have a separate product of 3rd generation Prius battery 're-manufactured' for $1250 with a 1 year warranty but I REALLY liked the idea of the 4 year warranty.

    I didn't disassemble the already fully assembled unit (in fact I didn't physically touch it at any point, though I did take pictures - it looks identical to my old unit) nor am I qualified to do any sort of in depth testing of batteries, they are providing a 4 year warranty on the unit though and they've been around for more than 4 years and with the increased numbers of hybrid or vehicles with batteries I don't expect to have any trouble with warranty claims if it came to that. I've never needed to vet the mechanics to that level who work on my ICE vehicles nor the parts they've used - but again I'm not qualified to do such; to have something of that type done would take a David Horowitz or Joel Grover style of investigative reporting where the news station does a half hour program with commercials and pays for an independant 3rd party to take that deep dive. To that end though, I DID research everything possible about the company when my battery hiccuped in June - I watched every youtube video, examined what was said, not said, what was in the background of the videos, etc. I read all of the Yelp reviews for all nearby locations, I looked on these and other forums to find as much info as possible, both good and bad. I got the vibe that there were a lot of skeptics (which is great because how else do we get to tough questions) but other than one or two negative Yelp reviews that were in the minority I found nothing that gave me a nervous feeling about the company. I've certainly had my opinion swayed 180 degrees in both positive and negative directions after reading online reviews of products or companies. Which is why I did want to write this review here - my experience in 2018 with a little more detail than one might get from a Yelp review.

    ALS - considering you had that happen at 78,000 miles it is great to hear that you got properly taken care of. Did they also perform the firmware update? Alas that is the only thing I didn't get from Greentec that would have been a bonus from the dealer. I work in IT so I'm all about firmware updates (with caution though - they do great things but I have on multiple occasions seen firmware updates fail and result in junked parts.) Here in CA and as I understand it other 'CARB' states they bump the battery warranty up to 150,000 not sure if that was relevant to you since you were well under the 'normal' 100,000 mile traction battery warranty.

    ericbecky,

    On the same level as the battery unit I didn't get down to brass tacks and directly inspect the fan; the technician seemed on his game and did state the word new; though I cannot verify that for certain. I can say that my old fan DID make noise every time it came one since the hiccup started (and upon inspection I verified my old fan did NOT have any dog hair or large build up of dust/contaminants in it so I take that as it just having a worn bushing after 231,000 miles) and the new fan I've not heard at all so it is either working correctly or it doesn't work at all. However I'd suspect the vehicle would throw a code if it wasn't spinning - fans reporting rotational speed is really common these days all the way down to your desktop computer's case fan.

    With the influx of batteries I'd suspect this company is looking to build their reputation and business as this market wont be getting smaller and could end up being the major replacement to your basic auto shop in the future. If they built themselves on a good foundation now they could be in great position for massive growth in the next 10 years.

    For my part if I have any further experience with the transaction then I'll be sure to post back and let everyone know - it's been a couple of weeks and thus far I'm still seeing *good* results - not *great* as the MPG certainly *IS NOT* BETTER than the factory battery when in good health - it is significantly better than my factory battery in recent months however; and in that it could be ever so slightly less but I've also not had the opportunity to do the basics like check my tires, etc. I also didn't keep records detailed enough (the real tell would be if I'd kept the mileage of each tank for the past couple of years, but I generally just track the mileage on a daily basis of my drive to and from work round trip but only in memory which is not scientific) that I want to say categorically it is or is not on par - if it's not on par, it is VERY close but on the lower side within a small enough rage that simply making sure my tires are properly inflated could make a difference. Unfortunately Costco gas stations don't have things like free air and water and I keep forgetting to check it when I'm at home. (I usually do all of my vehicles at the same time when my calendar reminder comes up.)
     
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  7. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    I asked about the fan because had not heard of companies offering a new fan.
    Maybe a different fan (from another battery/car), but not a new one.
    Was just trying to keep up on the latest offerings.

    If I really need to know I suppose I could just call them sometime.
     
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  8. ALS

    ALS Active Member

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    I would expect that they did update it.
     
  9. BlackHawk1776

    BlackHawk1776 New Member

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    So here we are almost a year later for a real world status report. I just filled up the tank a few minutes ago and the fuel economy for the entire tank was 47.0 MPG. At any given time the MPG estimate the car shows is lower than it used to be however the per tank MPG is pretty spot on considering the driving I do (50 miles each way and hilly!) so I'm going to give the overall experience an A-. I think I've got between 0% and 2.5% MPG loss as unsubstantiated guess based on my observation of the car's MPG over the past several years of driving it. If I was 100% sure I'd lost 0% and noticed no difference at all then I'd have rated it an A. I'd have given an A+ or higher rating had I gained some amount of MPG. So I'd have ZERO trouble recommending this solution to other owners after a year of driving the car and only a small possibility of very minimal MPG loss that is so small I definitely can't quantify it.

    I've also had to really think this out - I have a 2018 Prius I'd bought just before the batter on the 2010 went out and it took an amount of thinking to make sure that I was comparing the 2010 with Greentec battery & 245k miles to the 2010 with the factory battery & 230k miles. The 2018 gets about 10 - 20% better mileage given the same drive and other circumstances; which Toyota as I recall expects 10% better however the additional display features do aid the driver in saving a bit more fuel at times without trying to be a hypermiler.
     
  10. DrTooth

    DrTooth New Member

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    I was just going to ask for an update on this but you've already provided one a few months ago!
    I'm in a maybe-similar situation, ALSO in northern CA and I just got off the phone with Greentec Sacramento (my childhood best friend's parent's were from Ukiah, the Hancocks, small town maybe you've heard of them?).
    I bought my 2007 Prius in June 2019 at 132k miles I think, I commute a bit and I'm around 155k now and got the red triangle last night when I went to start up. I test drove 15 minutes with my OBD II scanner going and took several screenshots, Block 07 was consistently 1.5 V lower than the rest (15.3 V compared to 18.86 - 17.08 V <- is that level and range OK for healthy blocks?) so after spending a few hours reading and lurking here I'm asking myself the same questions many have, and I'm looking at my options.
    I bought the car with salvage title due to front right fender bender for $4k with plans to drive it a couple years, so a new dealer battery is not the plan.
    I'm typically a DIY guy but what I've read seems like more of an investment of time and money on equipment than I can make right now.
    Another hybrid place in Sacramento will replace bad cells and do some maintenance, probably cycle, for $950, but I think with the years and miles on it now it probably won't be long until other cells act up and whack-a-mole with bad cells would end up being an expensive game, especially since I'm not changing them myself.
    So I'm thinking of getting the full battery replaced with a Greentec remanufactured one. Probably the $850 with the 12-month warranty.
    [​IMG]
    I'm glad your experience was a good one with Greentec, and I hope to have the same! Anyone's input is welcome, I'm just about to make an appointment with Greentec.
    Just wanted to say thanks for sharing OP!
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how many years would you like to keep her?
     
  12. DrTooth

    DrTooth New Member

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    1 maybe 2, so I take a gamble with 12-month warranty, or $400 for peace of mind just in case is what I'm thinking/debating.
     
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  13. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    You can get a kit of new cells for $1600 delivered and sell some of you old good modules to lower the cost further. That basically gives you a new battery pack. I doubt the Greentec will last the warranty period without needing to be replaced at least once.
     
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  14. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    I'm wondering if the $1650 greentec seen above is using the same Chinese D-Cell-like modules as the kit? Anybody opened one of those?
     
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  15. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    There is a company selling a kit ether same brackets but cells that test as a lower capacity than their rating. @2k1Toaster knows rechargeable batteries and has sourced quality cells.
     
  16. tallprius

    tallprius Junior Member

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    I bought a rebuilt GreenBean battery after 203,000 miles. They have a LIFETIME warranty on their rebuilt battery which is transferable to next owner. I had removed all the panels to look at battery and fan so it only took them about 30 minutes to install. They cleared the codes and test drove the car. The total price was $1650 including the install and would have included both removing interior panels to expose battery and replacing those interior panels.
    I am amazed by lifetime warranty and am determined to start living healthy to test the warranty. My only The problem since install is a slight rattling noise from the battery case but maybe that is because the battery is still exposed with no panels carpet put back yet. Car runs great no lights no triangles etc. If I get 5 years from the Green Bean battery and can sell prius with a intact lifetime battery warranty that was great deal !
     
    #16 tallprius, Jan 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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  18. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    One time transfer within 30 days, must follow the vehicle it was originally installed in.

    Hybrid Battery Warranty Policy | Greentec Auto
     
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    makes sense, i'd probably go the same route
     
  20. George W

    George W Active Member

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    I almost purchased a GB product in October, and it appears they have raised their prices to match the competition. To be fair, they also raised their warranty, but still are dealing with used batteries. Sorry this happened.
     
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