Hybrid Battery Neglected

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Beowulf9879, Jun 27, 2021.

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  1. Beowulf9879

    Beowulf9879 New Member

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    I have a 2007 Prius. Off and on over the years I've had a mechanic replace the hybrid battery because of dying cells. I had the error code that denoted the usual dying cell(s) around March 2020 (P0A80). I figured I'd continue using it as usual (done this before with no issue) and then work on it in the summer. However, this was about the time that I started working remotely. With the pandemic in full swing, though, that work kept getting pushed back. As such, it has sat unused since then.

    I know I should've taken some precautions when I began, but I didn't, and I accept that. Anyway, I'm sure the fuel will be fine, I can top off the oil, and I can easily replace the 12V battery. My concern is regarding the health of the hybrid battery. I have the skills necessary to test and replace cells/whole pack myself. But I have a few questions before I commit to a plan of action (because it'll require an investment, obviously).

    1. Should I attempt to recharge the hybrid battery, then test and replace individual cells that fail the load test?
    2. Should I just replace the entire battery pack instead?
    3. If I replace the entire pack, should I just go with a NewPriusBatteries.com pack that I've seen discussed in these forums?
    4. For this year of car, with 170000 miles on it, do you think it's worth putting more money into it?
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it's kind of a personal decision, hypothetically, and financially, but if the car is in reasonably good condition, and depending on how much you plan to drive it, i would put in the newhybridbattery unless a local dealer can come close to the price.
     
  3. drone13

    drone13 Junior Member

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    If you have the skills, why wouldn't you see if you can successfully revive the pack? Based on the result you can determine whether you want to continue with that pack by replacing modules or whatever is needed to bring the pack up to useable condition or buy a new pack. I wouldn't normally recommend this, but it sounds like you are knowledgeable and can work through a charge and diagnostic of the HV battery. It makes sense, given your technical level, to do that to determine the level of issues in the pack and then make a decision on the best way to move forward.

    I'm kind of the opposite of you. I saw my battery getting weaker, dropping bars fairly quickly with AC running at max (but never saw a code or RTOD) and didn't want to go through the process of charging, balancing, and replacing modules and potentially doing that multiple times. I just wanted a fresh, new HV pack since I intend to keep my 07 Prius for a few years. I just wanted to do the work once and be done with it with confidence that the problem is resolved. But I can certainly understand you giving just a bit of effort to see how bad things really are to guide your next decision.

    The ultimate and most expensive fix is a new pack and if you want to keep the car for a few years it's a good investment. I used NewPriusBatteries and am really happy with the results, but regardless of if you use OEM or 3rd party batteries that will likely be the best fix if you intend for the car to be a keeper. If you are considering getting rid of the car, that would heavily lean towards reviving/reconditioning the pack and selling the car soon. If this is your only car that would lean toward a new battery if the downtime of reconditioning a pack would be too time consuming. Charging the existing pack and diagnosing the HV pack condition will lead you to your best option, that could be done pretty quickly to at least give you a good picture of the pack condition. I know a quick charge/discharge/charge won't tell you how far you can recondition the pack, but it will likely give you a fair indication of the pack's status to make further decisions. The other thing to keep in mind is that if you get a new pack from NewPriusBatteries there is no core charge and there is a good market for selling your old modules to defray some of the expense of the new pack.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
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  4. Beowulf9879

    Beowulf9879 New Member

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    The reason I was getting opinions is because I've personally never had or read about a hybrid battery neglected for this long. I'm not knowledgeable enough on all the fine points of battery chemistry to determine if the current battery is a complete loss at this point. But you are right, that buying a whole new pack would give confidence that no problems should creep up in the near future. I'm leaning in that direction. Where should I sell the old battery if I do this?
     
  5. drone13

    drone13 Junior Member

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    I was going off of your OP that you were comfortable with this. If you are not, then a new pack will be the easiest and most successful route to take if you are going to keep the car. The difference is really amazing with a new pack.

    If you want to sell the old modules you can use Ebay, craigslist, or any number of used sales marketplaces. Or some of the members here might purchase them from you. But it would be best to charge/discharge/charge the modules to at least determine how many modules are OK to sell. If installing a NewPriusBatteries pack you will still have the old modules and can C>D>C at your leisure to find the modules that are still useable and saleable. You will likely find that some of the modules bounce back to OK status, and you will also likely find some that won't. With a cheap $30 charger you can do the modules one at a time to get a pretty accurate indication of the module viability. Write down and save the module data results so you can give an honest assessment to the buyer if you want to sell to one of the members here. There are people on this forum that do hybrid repair as a business and being honest with them about the condition will go a long way to a good sale and keep your karma positive.

    Typical price for a module on Ebay is $25~$35/module. I think typical offers from PC members would be less but would buy all the good modules in one purchase and you wouldn't have to deal with the onsie-twosies on Ebay (not worth it to me). Here in SoCal there are quite a few local small business that sell packs they recondition (who knows how good they are), but they are always looking for modules, so that's something to explore if you have some shops in your area. Some of these shops will put all your modules on their reconditioning equipment and test them before making you an offer. They won't give you as much for the modules, but it saves you time and trouble, so that's an option.

    Tip: If you are doing individual module charging, sandwich the module between 2 blocks of wood in a vice to keep the modules from expanding during the process. Even a good module could be ruined by not doing this. These modules need compression to keep from puffing and deforming. Since your car now has a new battery pack you have the luxury of time to complete your testing. I'm doing this now to my old modules. I'm not in a hurry so it may take a bit, but the goal is to sell the modules I find are serviceable. I just don't need the old modules and they are taking up too much room on my workbench. As far as I'm concerned, this is just found money that I don't intend to miss out on.

    I have seen a number of posts of members buying old modules here, but I don't want to call out any of them. If any are interested they will probably let you know.

    Good luck
     
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  6. Beowulf9879

    Beowulf9879 New Member

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  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    chemistry is irrelevent. rebuilding is all about voltage
     
  8. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    1. This is sorta like whack-a-mole, which is an apt description, but in your OP you said you had your mechanic "replace the hybrid battery" and "several times" and I thought I heard a "neglected" in there somewhere.
    I'm not sure what that means all put together (most traction batteries last > 10 years) BUT....
    ...you can't "neglect" individual cells, so I'm leaning away from individual cell replacement here.

    2. Yup.

    3. Post pandemic, and pre "nother-pandemic" (Delta variant) I'd see who has stock before doing the coin toss. I'm thinking that the mother ship has OEM replacements for about $1,700 plus TTL, and IIRC it comes with a three year unlimited miles warranty.
    Local pricing and mileage may vary. There ARE non-OEM replacements that I might consider, including those that just sell sets of individual cells with some new hardware.
    I'm not going to recommend this company or that company except to say that there will be some that are kinda hard to get a hold of because they're SLAMMED (or? out of business) Toyota won't be out of business anytime soon.
    Probably neither will some of the larger re-manufacturers like NPB.comm.

    4. I have an 06 (GMC) with 200,000 miles on it, and I just replaced the tires which kinda ruined the looks of a $1,000 bill.(*)
    HOWEVER (comma!!) it will not take a long time $0 car payments to counter-balance that expense.
    When they wear out again in about 50,000 miles my intentions are to replace them again.

    I would get in it right now and drive to all four corners of the USofA with no worries (except for my fellow drivers.)
    SO....
    Your call.

    --------
    (*) Yes, and Grover Cleveland.
    Fun fact: Many of the $1000 bills that were taken out of circulation were shredded and recycled into building materials like insulation and roofing shingles. A part of your house might be made from $1000 bills!
     
    #8 ETC(SS), Jun 29, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2021
  9. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    I will make a similar observation to ETC(SS). My view is that having been monkeyed with this pack will become (if not already) less likely to be successfully repaired. The more modules replaced the less the pack will last. so my recommendation is to not bother doing anything further with it. Now is the time to consider replacing with new modules, whether that be new OEM or new 3rd party.
    Assuming NPB.comm = newpriusbatteries.com, a small clarification, NPB is not a remanufacturer. They are a manufacturer by virtue of having new modules manufactured for them to their specifications. These new modules are made in sets for particular hybrids and sold to their customers.
     
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