hybrid battery longevity

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

  1. ALS

    ALS Active Member

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    NOPE, I live in Pa. and Toyota said that my warranty on the HV Battery is only 8 years or 100K miles. BTW I just passed 75K miles this weekend. See page 27. You can tell me until you're blue in the face that Prius batteries last 150K or more, mine didn't. The car passed eight years in July and I got the first code in December.

    In my case Prius batteries have a life expectancy of 8.5 years or 73,500 miles. You're not the one who has to come up with $2,000 for a new battery. Lucky for me I found a dealer online willing to sell me one for $515 less than any of the dealers by me. So with the $750 Toyota giving me towards the battery it's going to cost me $1,465 plus shipping, installation and taxes.

    Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, never going to happen again. I'll never buy another Hybrid after dealing with this battery problem.
     
    #41 ALS, Apr 3, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  2. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    Obviously you are correct that yours didn't and you have every right to whatever feelings you have. I would say that yours is a premature failure. Saying that Prius batteries last 150K or more is not a claim that premature failures never occur. So, I would say that both statements are right.
     
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  3. Sporin

    Sporin Prius Noob

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    What @royrose said, your experience is your experience and I'm sure I'd be just as pissed if it were me. Still... it's not the norm, data-wise. I'm not trying to be argumentative or belittle your issues.
     
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  4. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Yup. The original one in my 06 only lasted about 44k miles (little ol' lady was original owner) but was out of warranty due to time. I know that's WAY out of the norm and had no issues buying another new Toyota pack.
     
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  5. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    "
    I think my post was pretty clear....it was my personal approach on how to deal with owning a vehicle with a Hybrid Battery. It was just the attitude and approach I personally took.

    I'm answering the OP's query, and their HV battery has NOT failed.

    My answer would be different if the OP was asking what to do because the Hybrid Battery was failing or had failed, or even showing potential symptoms of failing, that is NOT the case.

    Given the OP's situation....I stand by my opinion.
     
  6. taxibuddy

    taxibuddy Junior Member

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    Under warranty, I would go straight to the dealer and lobby for a replacement. If they refused, I would ask that they fully document my complaint on their service form including any data I had recorded from TechStream. The purpose it to put myself into a good position to ask for assistance from Toyota if the battery fails outside warranty.

    If the warranty has already expired, that certainly changes the equation and then it's a tougher choice and all the options are bad. You can choose to spend a significant sum and weekends changing light bulbs. You can spend a lot more and at least not have to change light bulbs, but you're still spending an awful lot of time and the car's out of commission. You can not spend any of that money and put it toward a new Toyota pack. That's the spendiest but safest choice. You can try to find a low mileage salvaged pack which is the first thing I would look for. You can buy the third party replacement pack frequently advertised on these forums. Some brave souls have done that already, but the jury's still out on the longevity of the Chinese cells.

    The way I personally handled this is something that's not going to apply to anyone else, but I'll go ahead and tell you just so you understand the way I think. I bought my car at auction at a price low enough that I don't mind if I have to replace an engine or a battery. If I end up having to replace both in the short term, I will have lost my bet. I got lucky in that my pack was already replaced under warranty, but through reading these forums I have since learned that the Prius has a lot of high dollar parts beyond the engine and pack.

    This in combination with having two high dollar vulnerable components, the engine and pack, means that the Prius is fundamentally a risky car to buy economically. At the that's how I view the Gen 3. If the engine were rock solid, the math would work out a lot better for the Prolong system, but the limited life engine adds a high degree of economic risk.

    In one thread on here, someone added a second Prius in the family and the comment was made that now a Prolong system makes more sense and indeed it does. If I was operating a fleet, I'd hold my nose and buy one or build my own (fairly easy to do). But it wouldn't touch my cars that were still under warranty, and I'd modify the procedure to make it safer. (I would end with the battery at midrange state of charge and wouldn't discharge as deeply.) The geographic sharing idea also makes it a lot more attractive although I'd insist on a written partnership agreement laying out the terms. Going to a shop that can do it for you would be a great option if you had a shop with the right equipment that you trusted for a decent price. It might be hard to find that though.

    There really aren't any good answers. All the options have associated risk and none of them are cheap. My dream is a proven and inexpensive third party replacement pack. While I'm dreaming, it's NMC with a balancing BMS but reports out data as if it's a perfectly behaved NiMH pack. Hey, I can dream!

    The two things I would say to anyone in this situation are there's a chance that you'll buy the Prolong system and invest all that time and money and your pack will still fail. All it takes for this to happen is one bad cell. If that person is willing to take that risk (which is not an unreasonable position especially if you like to tinker), then I would say you absolutely need to read the ongoing saga of the Prolong users on this very forum. You'll see what can go wrong, the time required, and the homebrew nature of the product (at least in the early days; I can't speak to whether some of the technical writing problems have been fixed or not.)
     
  7. ALS

    ALS Active Member

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    taxibuddy, great post.

    You hit the nail on the head as they say. If I could go somewhere close and get the pack checked out say balanced $150 and maybe ID a bad cell or two and replace them for a couple hundred together I'd go for it. But spending $700 on an unknown quantity in a balancing system that may or may not solve the problem isn't even close to being in the cards when I can get a brand new pack for under $1500 with a warranty. If the total repair only cost $1,000-$1200 I'd wouldn't be that upset but when the service writer says it's going to be $3250 before tax you get pretty ticked off really quick.

    I have already had to replace three out of the four wheel hubs before 60K miles. Then there is the rust issue that keeps popping up that the body shop at the dealer says that they've never seen on a Prius ever. Every year or two I have to spend $125-$150 to sand and paint the drivers side door sill. No where else just in that one spot, it rusts under the plastic Prius insert.

    I'm hoping to get to at least July or August before having to replace the pack.
     
  8. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Ok, thanks for the answer but you really bring nothing new to the discussion that hasn't already been said before. This is understandable since you're new here. (I'm not trying to talk down to you)

    To me, the answer is for Toyota to simply reduce the price to something more realistic and inline with the street value of these vehicles at the age/miles they're at now when an out of warranty battery is needed. Something like: $1,000 pack + $3-400 dealer labor + taxes = ~$1500 OTD.

    Toyota would reap HUGE amounts of goodwill, improved reputation, and stronger loyalty from both the legions of original owners and the new, used buyers who currently have a very sour taste in their mouths because they (usually unknowingly) bought a car with an expensive time bomb that's ticking or has exploded (not literally). Additional benefit: used car values would increase eventually allowing new Prius prices to rise accordingly. And another benefit for the dealer: more cars returning to their service bays so they get more attempts to upsell additional services (brakes, waterpumps, tuneups); as always buyer beware! ;)

    FWIW
     
    #48 fotomoto, Apr 5, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  9. ALS

    ALS Active Member

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    We think a like on this. I wouldn't have had an issue if they would have upped the good will payment and I could have gotten out the door for $1000 plus tax. I would have been a happy camper. You know stuff happens when you own a car, instead Toyota probably lost a customer for life over this situation. I'm happy that Toyota Corporate gave me money towards the new battery I was hoping the dealer would have stepped up and gave me a deal discounting the battery. Nope they want full boat on the battery. So instead I have to go online and buy it out of state to get the price down.

    Been a Volvo owner since 1981 and one thing I always hear from ex Volvo owners, I never had an issue with Volvo it was how I was treated at the dealer that caused me to change my loyalty to another brand.
     
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