hybrid battery longevity

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by u0dn71, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. jeff652

    jeff652 Senior Member

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    Here are the symptoms to watch for related to battery aging:
    Prolong® Battery Systems FAQ - Hybrid Automotive

    Users of our systems as preventative maintenance on their batteries report increased EV mode, slightly better fuel economy (couple MPGs - not a lot), and less parasitic drag on the gas engine from the elimination background battery charging.
     
  2. u0dn71

    u0dn71 Junior Member

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    Jeff
    Thanks.
    1 fuel economy
    No noticeable change
    2 negative battery recalibration
    No noticeable
    3. Full to empty
    No noticeable sudden dropping
     
  3. stephensprius

    stephensprius Active Member

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    there are several examples, even on this chat that have well over 300,000 miles. I wouldn't be too concerned. My guess is you will get bored of the vehicle before the vehicle needs major repairs. At least that's what I am hoping for with my wife's 2013 Prius. Currently sitting at 80k miles.
     
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  4. u0dn71

    u0dn71 Junior Member

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    I would like to do that
    But I don’t have techstream
     
  5. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    I am not sure what "that" is but many people here monitor their battery voltages using some Android applications or a ScanGuage II.
     
  6. jeff652

    jeff652 Senior Member

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    That video was not even using our products. I sense you are trying to be fair with us but please do not incorrectly associate homemade user mistakes with people who use our products. It is hardly a reflection of our products what some random person chooses to do in their own garage when they have never purchased a single thing from us.
     
  7. taxibuddy

    taxibuddy Junior Member

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    Maybe I misinterpreted your reply about the wiring error. I don't want to go back to that huge thread and try to dig it up. It never occurred to me there would be more than one system discharging Prius batteries with light bulbs.

    I would personally never design a system that relied on Joe Average arresting the discharge before calamity, particularly when the instructions recommend a deep discharge and the individual cell voltages are unknown and you need Joe to get it right several times. Research into aviation disasters has shown that monitoring is something humans are particularly bad at.

    But clearly there are happy customers and everyone can form their own opinion about whether they want to risk a light bulb discharge or not. I would not attempt it with my battery but that's more a reflection that I don't trust myself to do it than anything else.
     
  8. jeff652

    jeff652 Senior Member

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    Yeah you are not alone in this concern. This is why we created the Prolong Discharger that automates the discharge process and eliminates all the guesswork & risk. It's a small incremental cost for a lot of peace of mind. It also helps that NiMh cells are a lot more durable than people often think. They can survive low current over discharge and short duration polarity reversal without damage. There are white papers from cell manufacturers that attest to this. We have many customers (and even myself with my own batteries a few times early on) who have over discharged their batteries accidentally - after recharging them they are fine. But I agree the Prolong Discharger that automates everything and eliminates that risk would be better for potential users who share your concerns :).
     
    #28 jeff652, Mar 30, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
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  9. taxibuddy

    taxibuddy Junior Member

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    I guess the smiley is because you know I didn't actually endorse your product. Very clever. Misleading as heck, but still quite clever.

    I don't feel as obligated now to be neutral, however, so I will say that if anyone asked me about using any of these products I would tell them to run the other way. These forums have demonstrated that a competent guy ruined his pack by not following the directions close enough. His fault, of course. But the recommended procedure put him in a situation that could have easily been avoided. I have (many) other reservations as well, but that one is enough that I would tell people not to even think about.

    Of course I'm just a guy on the internet but I am also an electrical engineer who has been working professionally on battery electric vehicles since the 90s. I'm happy to let you have the last word, but please don't put words in my mouth. Many thanks!
     
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  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    You do realize people have been charging and maintaining batteries for long periods of time :whistle:?

    All the Prolong equipment does is allow you to grid charge and discharge the hv battery all at once;).

    Now that the Intelligent Discharger is there, there is minimal risk of reversal. While you still have to wait once the top end balancing is completed prior to starting the Prius, the equipment couldn’t be easier to use:).

    I just completed a 2 cycle reconditioning and our Prius with 176 k miles on it:

    83938E0E-7CA4-4722-99A0-2F2D74CEA56E.jpeg 020F141E-3F2B-4B7E-B3B7-1162AF43579B.jpeg 50AF912F-7CAD-4B1C-A60A-816F644F7EEF.jpeg BC13B79E-65A7-4E04-850C-31D8E3D5C722.jpeg

    Works as advertised (y)
     
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  11. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Professionally, I've been using NiMh battery packs since 2004 and LiOn since 2011 in Canon cameras; all of which came with chargers that also provide balancing/reconditioning functions. Although I no longer use the NiMh cameras, I still have and regularly use the original 2011 LiOn battery that still works as new (I'm sure it's degraded but it appears to be equal to my other LiOn from 2015).

    Me thinks there's something to this battery maintenance stuff.....
     
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  12. taxibuddy

    taxibuddy Junior Member

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    Yes, I'm one of them! I have designed battery management systems for transportation.

    I apologize if I made it sound like I was not familiar with the principle of operation. The principle of operation is clear to me.

    A great number of people are unwilling to accept the risk because of the high cost associated with a failure. Everyone's tolerance for risk is different and I'm definitely not going to attempt to tell you how to maintain your car. I disagree strongly that it couldn't be easier to use. It could be much easier to use. Unfortunately, there is such a tiny market for this system that we're unlikely to see an easier to use system.
    I've got you beat by a decade on the battery experience but it does sound like you have more experience with camera batteries than I do.

    There is definitely something to the battery maintenance thing, but in this particular case I judge that the associated risks are high compared to the benefits especially considering the very high cost of the system. The last time I looked, the light bulb discharge was still being offered. There is no doubt in my mind that if every Prius owner used this system that annually a certain percentage of batteries would be ruined by it. And to be clear, it would be leaving the discharging running too long. The automatic system is considerably more expensive which further erodes the cost benefit analysis. Couple this the fact that if you actually do have a bad cell that this system won't help you. The manufacturer doesn't claim otherwise. And finally, you need to add on the fact that the Prius engine unfortunately isn't reliable in the long term and the system just makes less and less sense.

    It seems like I've clearly offended some people on this and for that I apologize. My hope is that the people who chose to do this are the self-selected meticulous types because that kind of personality is surely needed when you start playing with an unregulated discharge.
     
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  13. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Quite a few people go down this avenue because of the high cost of the new OEM alternative.

    That is why @jeff652 has designed the Intelligent Discharger for consumer use to make the process easier and more foolproof..

    Prolong® Battery Discharger – Hybrid Automotive

    And the Prolong Pro systems for garage professionals.

    ProlongPro Hybrid Battery Reconditioning System – Hybrid Automotive


    Actually, they claim the reconditioning system will prolong the life of thre remaining modules after the bad one is replaced. They even offer good used modules for sale now.

    Replacement Toyota Prius Module – Hybrid Automotive
     
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  14. taxibuddy

    taxibuddy Junior Member

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    Once a cell is replaced, there is a matching problem which is implicitly acknowledged by selling replacements based on cell mileage. Mileage is a crude method of matching cells though. Using a combination of calendar age and cell mileage would be better but still not really sufficient to match the cells.

    Basically my point of view comes down to this:
    • cost: too high
    • time required: far too high (car essentially unavailable for three days, and needlessly so!)
    • potential for error: unacceptably high (with the light bulb method) or even higher cost (with the other method)
    • pack faults avoided: some but not all
    Some things that could go wrong:
    • You make an honest mistake and end up needing a replacement pack because you tried to do "the right thing" (this is documented to have occurred)
    • You misunderstand the documentation and ruin your pack.
    • You lengthen your pack's life to just beyond the warranty period and miss out on getting a new Toyota pack installed for free by Toyota. (the original owner of my car had a pack replacement under warranty at less than 100k miles)
    • You do it perfectly spending massive amount of time but blow a head gasket and decide against a $3000 replacement (or $1500 repair where the problem is likely to recur)
    • Your needs change, you sell the car, and you are left with hardware of no use to you with such a niche market that you likely have to unload it at huge discount. The buyer of your Prius won't pay extra for all the work you did. In fact, you might scare off the buyer who is likely to be much less knowledgeable than you those of us on this forum.
    • Your needs don't change, but your car is totalled. Your new Prius is plug-in or an Eco or a future model year that is unlikely to use NiMH. Again, you are left with hardware you can't use and you have spent so much time that, as it turns out, was simply wasted.
    • You do it perfectly, spending six days a year changing light bulbs and so on, but you have a bad cell that and faults are still thrown. You buy a replacement cell that matches your mileage and luckily it's a good match, but you have to either disassemble the pack yourself or pay someone to do it (again increasing your cost). Since you were trying to save money in the first place, you decide to do it yourself. You don't have the right tools and PPE so you go buy it (increasing your cost), or maybe you don't and take your chances. Unfortunately there plenty of ways that can go sideways beyond just property damage.
    There are so many ways to lose and only a few ways to win. That's my calculation. Your calculation can be different. You may be confident about your ability to work in the pack if a cell needs replacement. You may not suffer from the new car bug. You may live in Sri Lanka and not really have a warranty. You may really enjoy visiting your garage to change light bulbs. You may get a great deal of satisfaction about wringing every last hour of life out of the pack for environmental reasons.

    Matters or risk and reward come down to opinion, and I hope that the forum is tolerant of differing opinions. And even if not, it was be a courtesy to refrain from straw man arguments or placing words in someone else's mouth.
     
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  15. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    What do you suggest as an alternative to those seeing signs of a weakening or failed pack?
     
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  16. ALS

    ALS Active Member

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    My 2010 Showed a P0A7F code which shows a deteriorating HV Battery. Toyota won't cover it since my warranty ran out six months before but they are giving me $750 towards the replacement. Basically I get a yellow triangle and that there is a problem roughly every two to three weeks. It started at 73,500 miles just to let the rest of your know these HV batteries do not last 200K miles.

    This is the last Hybrid I'll ever buy. I'll have more money into repairs on this car than I have into my 1997 Volvo with 125K miles on it.
     
  17. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I can only tell you what my personal philosophy was in regards to my HV battery,
    I didn't worry about it. As long as the vehicle was working, and the battery was functioning in a reliable, "normal" manner, then I was happy.
    To me? I approached the battery as being pretty binary....working and good, or failing and bad. My thought was if I had the Prius and intended to keep it beyond HV battery failure, -when it failed, I'd just replace it.
    Even though some owners and users will obviously disagree with me, for the most part, I approached the battery itself as a non-user maintenance item.

    I didn't want to get into replacing individual cells, trying to balance the battery, looking for ways to get Frankenstein to take a few extra steps.

    Prolong system aside? I pretty much looked at the battery as something that had very little preventative maintenance possible. Batteries are going to eventually fail, you can't really prevent that in totality.
    The Prius HV battery has a pretty good track record. Seems like most people can at least get 8-10 years warranty period out of them, and then sometimes significantly more time. And that was good enough for me.

    My "preventative" action, would be to invest into a side account, specifically for HV battery replacement when it becomes obvious it needs to be done.
    My day to day life with my Prius....was just not worrying about HV battery health.

    At 7 model years, and only 108,000 miles? And also no real symptoms of failure manifesting. My approach would be to enjoy your Prius and try not to worry about it.
     
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  18. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    What did you do when you battery failed? How many miles and years on your car?
     
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  19. Sporin

    Sporin Prius Noob

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    "just to let the rest of your know these HV batteries do not last 200K miles."

    That may be your opinion, but it's not a statement of fact. Lots and lots and lots of these batteries last for hundreds of thousands of miles.

    If your battery started having problems at 73k miles, why didn't you push to have it fixed or replaced under the Toyota Warranty? Why let it just dribble until you were out of warranty? The 10 year/150k Hybrid warranty was a big piece of mind thing for me when I bought my car in 2010. I'm at 145k now and already decided that I'd keep it as long as the battery was working properly. I figure by the time I'm worried about it, the rest of the car will be tired enough that it won't be worth my money/effort to replace it.

    Things like Prolong's system might be just fine if you are the type of person who likes to fiddle and fuss and look for problems where they really don't exist. But I'm with @taxibuddy on this one... I doubt the efforts and expense is really worth it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    As always, I could be wrong, and your opinion might vary. Cheers.
     
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  20. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    It's no longer a given that CARB state owners get the full 10/150 because many (especially California owners) now only get the 8/100k for hybrid components while only emissions equipment remains at 10/150. Only 3 CARB states (WA., DE, & PENN) still get the hybrid components covered. Very confusing.

    See pages 24-27. https://www.toyota.com/t3Portal/document/omms-s/T-MMS-Prius/pdf/2016PriusWSG.pdf
     
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