I don't recommend the aftermarket battery from newpriusbatteries

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by scottie1134, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. scottie1134

    scottie1134 New Member

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    So my hybrid battery started going bad about a year ago. I first replaced the bad cells. But the other cells started going bad systematically leaving the car stranded a couple times. So I bit the bullet and bought the upgraded aftermarket battery. What a mistake that was. The installation was fairly easy and straight forward. But I did not like how the main battery connections to the disconnect switch are routed. It puts a super high amount of stress on them. And it pushes the cables against the metal shell now. Which worries me about vibration at a 100k miles or so. I put some extra insulation around the main cables there. And I didn't like how the hard plastic retainers couldn't really be used properly either. But I'm okay with most aftermarket changes like this. It isn't optimal, but it isn't a deal breaker either.
    The performance is what I disliked the most. My fuel economy dropped pretty drastically. I went from a comfortable 44-46 mpg to 39-41. The hybrid battery drains super fast. I purposely drove a road that has a big grade going to downhill to make sure the hybrid battery got a full charge. And it did. Showed full for the first time with this new battery. But it went to almost nothing the first freeway on ramp to 65 mph.
    I tried discussing possible issues with the seller. But he always just pointed the problem to something else in my car. The only thing I changed, was the battery. Nothing else. I even inflated the tires to 80 psi in hopes that I could get better mpg. Which I lowered back down to normal pressures once I saw no realistic increase in MPG. I had an alignment done. No change.
    The assured me the battery can't be bad. And he's correct. So that only can mean this aftermarket battery is not anywhere close to equivalent to the stock battery. And this after I've put over 2000 miles on this new aftermarket battery. I have checked the voltages with my mini vcm. Everything looks normal. It just performs very poorly.
    So I have just accepted that my fuel economy is just going to be less with this new aftermarket battery. That was until I took my first long distance trip. Cruise control wouldn't even keep it at 65 on long uphill grades. I was falling to below 50 mph on some stretches. On the bigger grades, cruise control would just shut off. I can hear the engine pretty much the whole time. And the fuel mileage on that trip was 37 mph. This isn't speeding either. So that sucked pretty hard. There were some semi trucks passing me on the big grades. And I've driven this stretch of freeway in this car a few times already.
    But after about 3000 miles and 4 months on this aftermarket battery, I felt it was time to give a review to warn other people about it. And maybe I am just a one off case scenario here. But the seller/manufacture of the battery was not helpful.
    One weird thing about this aftermarket battery, it doesn't matter how fast or slow I go, the MPG about 40 mpg. I can go city streets to work everyday, with super slow acceleration, long braking distances, little no use of the brake pedal, it doesn't have a significant difference in the MPG. It seems to have rested at 40-41 mpg now. I can go 90 mph, as long as the battery has enough charge to do so, and I'll still get 40-41 mpg. I can go 65 mph, same mpg. So if I'm running late for work, I don't really even need to concern myself with hypermiling. My MPG will be pretty much the same.
    All said and done, I really wish I would have just bought the factory battery. I fell for the sale's pitch of this aftermarket battery. And I didn't know the factory battery was almost comparable in price. I kept seeing upwards of $2500 for a new toyota battery. Now I realize that was this seller quoting those prices. My fault for not reading further into these posts about this battery. As later in the posts, members here were pointing out how far off his statement was. So I figured I'd title this post as a warning for future prius owners when it comes time to invest in your old prius. Because I really like this prius, until this battery.
     
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  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    fix your old failed battery and put it back in the car. See if anything changes.

    It could be the battery causing issues or it could just be your driving. Ex 80psi air pressure? 90mph on the freeway? You need to look into this a little more.....

    but with all things, there can be defective products and if so, this should be replaced if the battery is not up to snuff (maybe just a single block)
     
  3. pasadena_commut

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    By "upgraded" are you referring to the ones with cylindrical cells? I once had a conversation with a fellow who researches NiMH batteries. He thought the prismatic type used in the Prius were much better than the cylindrical ones used in the Honda Civic Hybrid (and apparently also used in at least one non-Toyota new battery pack for the Prius). My own experience with a replacement pack for my last car, a HCH, was that the pack went bad very quickly. Above and beyond the theoretical differences in the two battery types, the quality of the Chinese made cylindrical batteries seems not to be so good. Conversely I have not yet heard anybody claim that Toyota's replacement packs are not as good as their original ones.
     
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  4. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    You can load test the modules, see if the capacity is similar in the entire pack.

    I had a 2006 that had engine issues that have new poor mileage, even with a new battery. The engine would need more than usual battery assistance on hills and it brought the SOC charge lower at a much faster rate.

    But you mentioned this happened right after the change, so I think you should load test
     
  5. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    I'll say the same thing I said before. It is highly unlikely that a battery can be causing the problems you are seeing. With a high mileage vehicle such as yours, it is much more likely that something else like brakes, tires, engine itself, etc is contributing to lower mpgs. The battery was needed but it wasn't the only thing needed.

    The batteries are tested in production multiple times and before shipment. While highly unlikely, it is possible you got a test escape. But the symptoms you describe is not similar to what you would have with a bad battery as you'd see codes. What you are seeing is that your car is working harder to go forwards than it should be. That lowers the mpg's and does everything you are seeing. I'd start looking to see what is causing that.
     
  6. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Not the same. The whole reason the product exists is because the modules that existed previous were crap. Our modules are as close as possible to the prismatics but in cylindrical form. It does mean ours is more dense (less volume for the same energy) which is one reason why back in the early 1990's they had to go with Prismatics even though they wanted to use cylindricals. Technology improved over 30 years and the cylindrical form factor is no longer a limitation.

    The Honda hybrid system is the limiting factor. One reason I don't sell batteries for the Honda hybrids even though I own some.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    please repost this in one of the two (or both) newpriusbatteries threads, so other users can comment
     
  8. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    It did NOT happen right after the change according to previous emails. The efficiency dropped gradually over time and became very bad. The original battery also died and it was replaced at that time. This is common to most failed batteries but it also masks other problems that aren't the battery. When the battery is new and the problems don't go away, that means something else is causing it.

    If there is actually a problem with the battery, we can swap it for another kit. But I see no evidence it is the kit.
     
  9. scottie1134

    scottie1134 New Member

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    It DID happen right after the change. There was no other changes. Even with the old battery, my mpg was better. I needed something more reliable. I didn't want to keep replacing modules with used modules from ebay. I did that 2 times before going with the new battery. I was hoping that maybe the battery would start performing better? And this might not make any sense. I didn't want to have to settle for this less performing battery. But I'm not a fan of taking the battery in and out of this car. I was hoping this would be the last time I would ever have to take the battery out. And I don't want to be constantly looking at diagnosing my sudden drop in MPG, when there was only 1 single change. The battery was that only change. Absolutely no other changes took place. Same tires. I had an alignment done. The car drives straight. I was a very conscientious driver before this battery change. Now I don't really care about getting that extra MPG, because it just won't happen. If this battery is not defective, then it can only mean the battery is not capable. The work required to swap a battery from my other prius into this prius, just isn't worth the work to me now. I've settled with this 40 mpg on average. It sucks. But the car is driveable. It's not as good as it was before the battery change. But it still gets the job done. I get to my work and back. The long trip freeway drives will be the worst part about it. My friends were just laughing when the semi was passing us. It was pretty funny. I haven't really experienced that since I was a youngster in my first 1990 civic wagon. It totally caught me off guard when I couldn't maintain the speed limit. It was sad and funny at the same time.
    All in all, the car still works. $1600 to not have to buy another car is still a good move. I was really expecting good things from this battery. It looked really slick. Good packaging and fast shipping. It just didn't perform as advertised for me. And I have no recourse for it. The seller's only answer was that the battery is good and something else is wrong with my car. And maybe that is the case? But all signs point to the battery. I have given this about 3000 miles or so and about 3-4 months to come around. I don't think it's going to suddenly improve. I hopefully won't even have this car long enough to worry about when the battery is going to stop working. So as long as the this car gets upwards of 38 mpg, and still runs, I'll settle for that.
     
  10. scottie1134

    scottie1134 New Member

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    I can get to 90 briefly as long as there's no head wind, for a short period. Like around 2 miles. I can usually keep an 80 mph with the faster flow of traffic going down hill. It won't maintain 80 mph going up hill. And I'm not talking about a big hills. I would say about a 500 feet elevation change over approximately 10 miles or so.
    I was all about the hypermiling life before this. I get about 46-48 mpg in my prius V. And I get about 52 mpg in my prius C. But the prius C is obviously a lighter smaller car. And it's new with very little miles on it. The Prius V is big and has 113K on it right now. I kept this 2006 Prius as a commuter to work and back. I was driving my Prius V before replacing the battery on this 06 Prius. And my average MPG going to work on city streets in my V was about 48 mpg. If I took the freeway at 65 mph average speed, it would get 44 mpg. If I wanted to maintain 75 mph on the freeway, the V would get about 42 mpg. If I pushed it to 80 to 90 mph, it would get about 39-40 mpg. It's an obviously bigger and less aerodynamic car. It's like a van. My 06 Prius, the main one we're discussing here, just losses a charge really really fast. And very rarely does it ever show a full charge. Because it's always draining so fast. City streets or freeway, it doesn't seem to matter. The only time I see a full charge on my display screen, is when going down a long grade with little to no throttle. I'm right next to the mountains here, so I have a stretch of road that will finally show a full charge. As long as no one is behind me. Because I'll go well below the posted speed to achieve a full charge on the battery. But I don't want to piss off the guy behind me, by going substantially below the posted speed, just for the sake an MPG. If I was to get like 4 mpg, then I'd consider making the people behind me suffer that little stretch where the car starts to slow down.
    The 80 psi was temporary for 1 round trip. I just wanted to see if this would have a significant impact. It didn't. But I do keep my tire pressures at 60.
     
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  11. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    What jumps out at me on this report is the lack of codes. Most everything that can go wrong with the battery (and all of the electronics) sets some sort of code. Anything as bad as what you describe would probably set the triangle of death.

    Something's dragging, like a brake or a broken part in the engine or transmission. I'd still expect a code to be set. No handling problems?

    This just doesn't smell like a battery problem. Do a full Techstream health check to see if there are any codes set that aren't serious enough to trigger the triangle of death.
     
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  12. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    You should check your max tire pressure rating, I don't think 60 psi is a safe level. they should max out at 50.

    The battery SOC meter in the car is not an overall reading of the complete 28 modules in the pack (14 in your case). It pretty much reads the lowest block and the highest block voltages. So if you have a weak block, it would charge and discharge quickly. That's because the energy storage capacity is reduced in a weak module. Also the car's design is not to fully charge and discharge the battery, you SOC meter should hold around 5-7 bars. If it's fluctuating up and down a lot, there's something not exactly right. And that something else could be anything...bad engine, brakes, battery, anything. As mentioned on my earlier post, I had a 2006 that did this with a newer battery and it was the weak engine I had in the car that caused the issues.

    I have read you can do load testing of the battery with apps like Dr. Prius and hybrid assistant. I haven't done it myself but there should be some write up on it. You can load test the pack and see if there is indeed a weak block that's causing you to see the reduced capacity and quick discharges. It only takes 1 block out of the 14 to do what you're seeing.
     
  13. NortTexSalv04Prius

    NortTexSalv04Prius Active Member

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    Okay , first thanks to the OP of the thread. I am also a owner of this battery pack style as well. The past five years I have purchased and tried rebuilt Dorman hybrid battery pack, Toyota OEM hybrid battery pack, and the "NewPriusBatteries" hybrid battery pack.

    The Dorman fail on the first get go and I swap that pack for a warranty return which failed as well then got a OEM Toyota and had no issue

    I tested my New Prius Batteries and had the similar issues the OP has stated.
    The Toyota OEM pack is the best way to go.

    IMHO
    New Prius Batteries
    Really have the following issues

    Will have additional labor assemble time because of a inferior design structure quality

    Not OEM quality level

    Cylindrical Pack/Cell lifespan quality not independently third party tested
     
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  14. scottie1134

    scottie1134 New Member

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    I did the health check with my mini vcm. I don't have access to the full techstream. No codes.
    I did have the red triangle a few times before replacing the battery. But that was for the 2 times before I replaced the battery. That was when I tested and replaced a few cells.
     
  15. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    First I'm hearing of this. You bought a kit and it had problems? Returned it?

    These issues as described however don't sound like a battery pack issue. We've had nothing but positive outcomes from people that have sent in updates many thousands of miles later
     
  16. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    What you're saying is the battery capacity is not like an OEM battery? Where it won't throw a failure code but the battery is very weak?
     
  17. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    A weak battery (low capacity) will not throw codes as long as the modules are in relative balance.

    However for this to be true of our brand new pack, we would needed to have failed capacity in all 14 new modules. Once one module has poor capacity it will charge and discharge out of whack with the rest of the pack. This is the same things that causes whack-a-mole replacements. If 13 of the 14 new modules were good at 6.5Ah and the 14th below that, even by a little bit, codes WOULD be thrown. The only way for this to be true without codes being thrown is that all 14 modules would have had to be faulty and missed detection at the factory multiple times and at the shop in Colorado before shipment. All 14 would have to fail yet pass the tests. This would mean we basically had no tests. It is highly unlikely for this to be possible. It is possible, but the number is so low, it is what a non-engineer would call impossible.

    All of our equipment, at 2 separate geolocations with 3 different models of test equipment, would have to be faulty or not calibrated in the same way to fail in the same way. Highly unlikely. That's why test plans are written that way. Different equipment, different areas run by different people needing to get the same results multiple times and at different times.
     
  18. NortTexSalv04Prius

    NortTexSalv04Prius Active Member

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    I would like to Return the kit if that is what you are suggesting?
     
  19. NortTexSalv04Prius

    NortTexSalv04Prius Active Member

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    Yes has issues and problems
     
  20. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    If it is not used, then we can take it back. We have had no returns, yet we have had multiple people claiming to have purchased kits ask for refunds and returns that never made orders.

    You can PM me your order number or email me. I don't seem to have a record of any email about your problems. Like I said, all has been good except for people with installation problems which have been worked through.

    And still without any type of codes, it's unlikely it actually is the battery. These are going in vehicles with 200k or 300k miles. It's not going to be like brand new.
     
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