Hybrid Battery and possible Brake Actuator issue

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by LaCajun 25, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. LaCajun 25

    LaCajun 25 New Member

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    Hi everyone. I'm Joe, from Dallas. I am the original owner of a 2006 Prius. I bought it new for my fiancee to take advantage of the single driver, carpool lane program in CA back when that was a thing. Since then, its been with us through our moves to New Orleans, DC, Santa Monica and now Dallas. Its been a great car and we've used but not abused it. Since we work remotely, we haven't driven it much over the years and it has 136K miles. We also have 2 other vehicles that we rotate the mileage on.

    in 2018, the hybrid battery threw the red triangle and it came time for it to be replaced. I wanted to get the Prolong system and diy the battery but the wife said no and I opted for a reconditioned swap, $1,000 for the swap and the guy came to me and finished it in 1hr. Much more affordable than the dealer quoted $3400.

    Fast forward to this week. After coming back from a 2 week vacation, where it sat unused, I started up the car and upon driving, it was sluggish with intermittent spurts of acceleration. No codes, but I wanted to be safe so I parked it and used a different car. Tuesday, drove it 13 miles and then got the red triangle, rear fan running continuosly, limp mode. Uh Oh, here we go again. 1 hour to drive the 13 miles home since I was only going 5-20mph with heavy load on the engine. This time, I'm ignoring the wife and I'm going to do this myself DIY. I'm trying to figure out if I should just sell it or if it is salvageable. I suspect the brake actuator is close to failure since every time I step on the brake, there's the buzzing noise and other noises (both engine on and off). Brakes still work, but there's a lot more anciliary noises that weren't there a few years ago. I've also had an issue where it will start reversing when I shift to R even though the brake is depressed, (only on startup and initial reverse).

    TLDR
    2006 Prius
    136,000 miles
    Reconditioned hybrid battery (2 yr warranty expired 2 months ago)
    New 12v battery (2019)
    oil changed regularly per mileage
    possible brake actuator failing

    Given the age of the prius, should and other possible issues, do you recommend getting the hybrid (traction?) battery fixed/reconditioned/replaced ? I put about 5-10k miles on it a year since we have other cars and trucks to use.

    I've read a few of the threads on replacing/reconditioning the hybrid battery and see it as a possible project.
    I have a multimeter, ratchets, sockets, wrenches and high speed internet for the endless youtube tutorials etc.

    1. What battery charger do you recommend? It seems like there are 2 routes people take - using a RC hobby charger system with an external power source and Prolong system. Prolong seems to be best for doing the whole battery reconditioning and is kinda plug and play, but is expensive. I assume that it can also be connected to individual modules to charge those "bad" modules. I'd like to only spend ~ $200-$300 total. But am willing to spend more if it means my life is significantly simplified.

    2. If RC hobby charger is the way to go, what are good ones to get? I see single, duo, and quad chargers, any particular ones you recommend? Some setups that I've seen online show multiple chargers connected. I assume thats to save downtime by doing multiple charges/discharges at a time. I see mention of external power sources. Do you get a 12v battery, connect it to the charger and then connect that to the modules you recharge? If I should get multiple chargers, at some point the price of the Prolong system becomes a non-issue.

    3. Do most chargers come with the cables needed, or do I need to buy that separately?

    4. Dischargers? Is that a feature of different chargers? I see mention of lightbulb fixtures. Is that something I have to build myself or can I buy that ready to go?

    5. Should I get the possible brake actuator issue resolved first? I read somewhere that if the actuator is having issues, that will diminish the regen braking and possibly the hybrid battery charging capability.
     
  2. LaCajun 25

    LaCajun 25 New Member

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    I have an iPhone and bought the veepeak obdcheck BLE obd2 scan tool.

    Using the free portion of dr. Prius app, it looks like block 2 is bad. IMG_4162.png

    I tried out the demo portion of the app and got this
    IMG_4159.png

    View attachment 195866

    iPhone ?
     
    #2 LaCajun 25, Jul 30, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  3. LaCajun 25

    LaCajun 25 New Member

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    Not knowing how the app works or if I got anything extra from the paid potion, I bought the add-on packs to do the battery and life expectancy test

    Happy IMG_4158.png
    IMG_4161.png


    iPhone ?
     
  4. LaCajun 25

    LaCajun 25 New Member

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    I also got these other codes from the demo portion of the dr. Prius app IMG_4160.png


    iPhone ?
     
  5. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    If you replace the HV Battery and brake actuator on this car, it should be reliable for another 10 years. Assuming you won't be putting many miles on it nowadays. But those 2 repairs added together will be about $2000 each.

    If the car's exterior and interior is still holding up well, my opinion is to fix the car for $4000 (actuator when the time comes). You can't find a reliable car with under 140k miles for $4000 anymore. But whatever you do, do not spend the money on another refurbished battery.

    Matt at texashybridbatteries.com will have options for you.

    If you decide to sell the car now, it would only be worth about $1500. so you decide what is best
     
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  6. LaCajun 25

    LaCajun 25 New Member

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    I'll reach out to Matt to talk over options. Thanks for the insight and advice.

    I'm leaning towards replacing the module(s) and balancing the battery. Just need to figure out which charging route to go. I see that Newpriusbattery has $1600 option for a new battery. That's appealing for some worry free driving over the next 6-10 years.
     
    Tim Jones likes this.
  7. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Of course the demo Dr Prius life expectancy “good” result was just made up and not a reflection of your car. When you paid for the real system it showed a bad battery. Trying to swap modules to get it closer to acceptable is likely to be a short term fix that can be a waste of money and time. If you are sure you want to tear it apart, at least get all new cells.

    The brake booster will almost always cycle when you start and when you press the brake. You have a problem when it runs every 15 seconds without the brake use. Or codes and hard brakes. I would not worry about it until you really have a failure in that system.

    iI agree the car should be in great shape otherwise to do major maintenance unless its a needed daily driver.
     
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  8. LaCajun 25

    LaCajun 25 New Member

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    You make a good point about the “demo” results. I doubt I could get a good battery indication since the hybrid fan is constantly running unless I clear the error lights and even then, it comes on within 10 min of starting the car.

    I’ll have to see if I can find any new cells. I may be going on a fools errand if I need to just get a new battery in the end.

    It’s kinda why I’m hesitant to get the prolong system since I wouldn’t really need it with a new battery. I may get one or two of the hobby chargers and if that works, invest in the prolong system for long term usage.


    iPhone ?
     
  9. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    The http://www.newpriusbatteries.com/ option mentioned above is a diy kit with new cells for $1600.

    Pricing | Hometown Hybrids and others can get you a new Toyota battery for $2295. Hometown will bring it to you in Dallas and install it free. Either would probably last the rest of the car’s life.
     
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  10. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    I highly recommend getting a New Battery......
     
  11. LaCajun 25

    LaCajun 25 New Member

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    Hometown hybrid is where I got my refurb battery 2 years ago. Unfortunately my warranty ended a couple months ago according to my receipt. In hindsight, I wish I had either tried to diy the fix myself or just get a new battery.

    New Prius battery is the other place I considered if going the replacement route.

    Thank you for the insight, I’m still undecided on what I’m going to do as of yet. I need to figure out what I’m going to do with the car long term.


    iPhone ?
     
  12. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    NOT to move this into a personal NOR political arena but you and the wife are (most likely) going to be getting $2400 cash from the federal government soon.

    You are in luck: Hybrid Batteries | texas-hybrid-battery

    Matt is good peeps, lives this stuff, and can help you with this decision.

    GOOD LUCK!
     
  13. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Hometown hybrids may help you out if you reach out to them. The battery is just out of warranty, they may give you a break. They are also part of this forum and they may give some goodwill if you just reach out
     
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  14. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    priusbat3.jpg priusbat5.jpg
    I replaced my battery myself. Save $650 plus tax. It's not that hard.... especially if you have another car to drive.... if you take your time and clean everything put on the New wiring harness that comes with it clean the fan blades.... it's about six hours then you can sell your old battery on Craigs list... I got $250 out of mine.That could save you $900.
     
    #14 Tim Jones, Aug 1, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  15. LaCajun 25

    LaCajun 25 New Member

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    Fortunately or unfortunately my wife and I don't qualify for the $1200 payout. When we bought the prius, we were poor graduates. Now, we're in a better place financially.

    My frugal inner tinkerer says to pull the battery, test it with the multimeter and replace whats needed and reinstall. My wife would say get rid of the car or just get a new battery and stop messing around with a new project when SHE has all sorts of other projects for me to work on.

    @fotomoto I didn't see your thread about this same exact issue until I clicked on your link. I'm in the same situation as you were then. This Texas heat really does a number on our batteries if we don't drive it everyday! Thanks for the insightful posts. When you got the battery from Matt, did you keep the core or did he keep it as part of the lower cost? After you replaced the battery, did you continue to do preventative charging with the Prolong?

    @JC91006 That's a good idea to reach out to Hometown Hybrids. I'll give them a call to see if theres anything we can work out. I had a good experience with them 2 years ago.

    @Tim Jones Which battery did you replace with? A new Toyota OEM battery or one from newpriusbattery? I'm not afraid to pull the battery and do any of the work involved with replacing or even reconditioning. Its just a matter of it taking awhile to do. Time is the one resource that is hard to come by cheaply.
     
  16. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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  17. LaCajun 25

    LaCajun 25 New Member

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    I've reached out to Hometown Hybrids and the best they can offer me is $100 off as a returning customer.

    Thanks for the photos @Tim Jones . I'll contact 2k1Toaster to see how long delays are for battery shipping. Their website shows Aug 7 but I've seen some posts suggesting it could be longer.

    If the lead time is too long, I'll have to look into other possible solutions. I may have to put the 12v battery on a tender if its going to take a long time.
     
  18. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Remember you have to pull your battery out, completely disassemble all the cells, copper straps, temperature sensors, harness, etc and then reassemble properly with new parts. I have read about guys who don’t have success the first time and have to pull it again after reinstallation. Some eventually find bolts not tight or the power interlock switch not completely plugged in.
     
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  19. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I don't think Matt at texashybridbatteries will be that much more for an OEM battery. You pretty much get what you pay for and there's no waiting for inventory or DIY.

    These batteries weigh 90 lbs and you can easily break you back bringing it in and out of the car. Unless you like that type of challenge.....

    I've worked on many of these batteries and I can tell you my back hurts for a week after I take a battery in and out. In my younger years, it hasn't been a problem, but now as I get older, I have to really think twice before I want to ruin my back for a week.
     
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  20. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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