My HV battery replacement experience - Australia.

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by uart, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Overall it was fairly positive. The original HV battery (2005 pruis) lasted 13 years and 314000 km before finally throwing all the warning lights a few weeks back. It finally died on a long descent near home, but it had been showing signs of weakness (reduced capacity) for quite a while. I had been expecting it's imminent failure for some time, so it definitely wasn't a shock or anything.

    Not a very large number of Prius here in Australia, so I couldn't locate any low mileage donor cars to even consider a secondhand battery. And I definitely didn't want a rebuilt battery, given some of the issues that I've seen people on the forums here report with them.

    A new battery from Toyota cost less than I was expecting, $2430 AUD (about $1865 USD) from my local dealer without any shopping around. I should have fitted it myself but was short on time so the dealer did it and the total price was $2890 AUD ($2196 USD) all up. I dropped off the car to them in the morning (it was still driveable but only just) and it was ready for pick up just after lunch time. The guys also did the steering recall while they had it.

    Picked it up that afternoon and it hasn't driven this nicely since it was new. I immediately noticed much more stable SOC levels than I've seen for a long time (mostly staying at 6 blue bars) and much longer "glide" distances. I can definietly notice more power, with the electric motors much more willing to "put in". It also seems quieter and drives more smoothly, probably because the petrol engine is doing less peak work.

    TBH, I probably should have got a new battery a year or two ago and not even waited for the old one to "officially die". It's a much nicer car to drive like this. :)
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    congrats! sounds like a great decision and a reasonable price. how long do you hope to keep her?
     
  3. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Now that it's got the new battery I'll definitely keep it for a few more years. There were no other problems with the car and it's been amazingly reliable.

    I know that a lot of people think it's not worth spending anything on a car this old, but I do all the maintenance and I really know its history, so fixing it seemed a much safer bet than say buying a cheap one second hand where everything is an unknown.

    With the price of petrol here and the amount of kms I drive, it will pay for the battery in under 20 months. :)
     
  4. Jamie85063

    Jamie85063 New Member

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    How is the new battery going are you noticing better fuel economy at all?
    I've just ordered a new traction battery from Toyota here in Australia today for my 2006 Prius and it was $2428.55. I decided it was better just to get a new genuine battery at that price then all the other options.
     
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  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I've began mentioning this in the threads where people were asking about high mileage used Prii that they were thinking about purchasing.

    My comment was to save some money for a battery replacement (just in case) and if it does happen, it's like getting a new car for the price of a new battery. Good to see that there is actually a PC member that has replaced their battery with a new OEM one and has reported that it drives like it was new.
     
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  6. Jamie85063

    Jamie85063 New Member

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    Yes when I bought mine a month ago I was told the traction battery had been reconditioned. I still factored in I may need a new battery soon after purchasing and that's turned out to be the case. Still think I have a great car soon to be with new battery. Just replaced the 12v as well I do like to have my cars as reliable as possible. If you buy a second hand Prius and factor the battery into the purchase cost and buy accordingly all good.
     
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  7. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Hi Jamie. Yeah I've been interested to see how that goes too. I've been monitoring it and was going to update this thread with that info as soon as I'd run a couple of tanks through it. :)

    Yes there's definitely been an improvement. Hard to say exactly how much (so many other variables and my wife drives it more than me), but at this stage I'd say around 5% (possibly even a bit more) from what I've seen so far.
     
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  8. Jamie85063

    Jamie85063 New Member

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    Thanks for the update 5% sounds good so far and that's what I was hoping for as a minimum improvement in economy with mine. I just picked up and fitted my new HV battery today. Just did a test drive of 30 KLM and seems much better and very stable on the battery gauge now. Will see how the economy goes.
     
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  9. Jamie85063

    Jamie85063 New Member

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    I have now completed a tank of fuel in the Prius after the new battery being fitted ( by my self it was good to do as I now have a good idea how it all fits together) my previous tanks were around 4.1-4.2 l/100klm this last tank on the new battery I got 3.807 l/100klm over a distance of 1123.2 KLM. So I'm very happy with that so far hope it stay's this good.
     
  10. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Did doing it yourself affect the Toyota battery warranty?
    In the US it is a 1 year warranty if you install it but a 3 year warranty if done by the dealer.
     
  11. Jamie85063

    Jamie85063 New Member

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    I was told by Toyota the Battery comes with an 8 year warranty regardless if they or I fit it. They did want me to make an appointment with them to fit the battery when I made the order. I said that I will fit it myself they were a little surprised when I said that. I asked if I still get the 8 year warranty and they said yes. Not that I am expecting to need it. I was also told that Toyota had recently increased the warranty from 3 to 8 year's. This is for Australia.
     
  12. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Those figures align pretty well with my improvements in fuel economy too Jamie.

    Up until this last week my wife had been on holidays, so I've been driving the Prius more than normal (she is the usual driver). And that's made it hard to judge the improvements because I usually get about 10% better fuel economy than her anyway. Last week however she averaged 4.0 whereas she would normally average about 4.3 (L/100k), so not too dissimilar to what you have noticed. It's about a 7 to 8 percent improvement. :)

    There is one other improvement that was totally unexpected however, and that is the engine oil consumption seems to have drastically reduced since the new battery has been installed. It has used almost no oil (maybe 100 to 150 mL) over the past 4000 km whereas previously it would have used about 500 to 600 mL over that distance. So oil consumption seems to have reduced by about 75%, which is totally crazy as nothing has even been touched in the engine.

    This one has me really scratching my head because I can't see why it should have any effect, and TBH I've been reluctant to even mention it here until I have more data. As I noted above, the driving pattern has been a little different over the past month or so, and that might be all that it is. It might also be due to it doing a lot less engine braking (as it does when the battery is full) since it's had the new battery.

    Anyway, now that my wife is back to using it in her usual driving pattern I should be able to get some more solid data on this apparent reduction in oil consumption over the next few weeks. It does a lot more big hills (small mountains) in her normal commute and I think that was causing a huge amount of engine braking. I'll see how the oil consumption is holding up after a few weeks of her normal driving and update my findings here. :)
     
    #12 uart, Jan 19, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  13. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    The engine runs less due to the new battery. That is part of the increase in fuel economy.
     
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  14. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    That's great! Can't remember who, or when, but someone or maybe more than one posted herr noting the same thing about oil consumption reduced with a new battery. Very interesting!

    As the battery ages, more load on the engine, more load on a already high mileage engine when that point happens. Small engine, fairly large hatch back, and that 1.5 engine is workin pretty hard. I think that is a recipe for oil consumption on old high milage Gen 2's. Gen 3 oil consumption is a different story...
     
  15. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Well the engine probably runs about 10 percent less around town (but not so much on the open road). So that's nowhere near enough to account for the 75 to 80 percent reduction that I've noticed in oil consumption. There is definitely something else going on here as well. I'm just not totally sure what it is yet.
     
    #15 uart, Jan 19, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
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  16. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Yes engine load is generally less with the new battery, as is the percentage of the time that the engine runs (due to spending a bit more time in full EV mode, especially around town) as noted by Prodigyplace above. I'm sure that's at least part of the story. :)

    I've got some suspicions that when the HSD spins the engine to dump charge (like in B mode or when descending a big hill with the SOC maxed out) that it's doing so at high RPM and under fairly high vacuum, and that this causes a disproportionate amount oil consumption compared to normal driving (probably through the valve guide seals).

    I noticed this once before a few years ago when holidaying in the mountains and doing heaps of engine braking (B mode) on big descents to save stressing the battery. My oil consumption was quite a bit more than normal at the time, almost double as I recall. I actually thought I might have damaged the engine or something, but as soon as I went back to driving in my usual terrain then the oil consumption went back to normal. I mentioned it here and several other members told me that they'd had exactly the same experience - significantly increased oil consumption when driving in terrain that causes a lot of engine braking. So I think that this might be the main factor at play here. So far with the new battery it has hardly ever been maxed out, so none or very little engine braking or charge dumping.

     
  17. plastermaster

    plastermaster Junior Member

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    Interesting point about the oil. It might just be a coincidence. A few years ago I started using a LOT more oil, going through a qt/700 miles or so. Sometimes though it uses less. Recently I went about 1500 miles and the dipstick hadn't really changed any. I have heard that the compression rings can get stuck in a bad position where the gaps are lined up and it increases the oil usage.
     
  18. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Well... Congrats...

    I remember a couple-few years ago we spent lots of time chatting on here because we both had similar symptoms with our Hybrid battery. Still haven't replaced mine, but then one of my gardening clients' Prius had her Hybrid battery warning code happen and her mechanic said a replacement she can't afford was the only option. So instead after making sure it wasn't a dirty hybrid cooling fan, as well as replacing her 12 volts battery, I pulled her hybrid battery and sure enough all 28 batteries were at exactly 7.5 volts and not a bad cell in the whole thing.

    Turns out the actual problem had nothing to do with the batteries. The actual problem is significant corrosion of the cheap copper plated bus plates that connect all the batteries together in a series. When you connect that many batteries together in a row it just takes one bad corrosion weakened connection to get the Prius to decide the Hybrid failed and throw the dreaded P0A080 Hybrid battery code. This corrosion also is what causes sudden charge level drop / classic signs of an aging battery.

    The coolest part about this experience is that my other buddy gave me a link to a company that makes high quality CNC milled replacement bus plates that are twice as thick and solid, not plated. Also got a link for replacement nuts too.

    NEW Hybrid Battery Bus Bars (26 pcs) Toyota Prius Gen 2/3 2004-2015 - Reflex Concepts LLC
    NSPIN5X12YLW - Spin Nut Yellow Zinc [NSPIN5X12YLW] - $0.35 : Bel-Metric, Metric Hardware, Metric Fasteners, Metric Bolts, Metric Nuts & Time-Sert Thread Repair

    So now other than the voltage sensors and the actual battery posts, the battery circuit is going to be rebuilt will all brand new higher quality parts. Might even put a little anti-corrosion stuff on it too... And even better news is that because my friend is short on cash she's using her credit card to buy these parts and so she can keep labor cash she has to pay me as low as possible, I had her pay me in part by buying an an extra set of bus plates and nuts so I can rebuild my own battery to. So nice to finally have a solution for this concern!

    In conclusion, remember back in the 60's and 70's when one of the most common problems with a car not starting was a due to corrosion around the 12 volt battery? Well, that doesn't happen very much these days because they found lots of ways to prevent that corrosion, while still keeping manufacturing costs down. Hybrid battery design, especially older Prius batteries are so vulnerable to corrosion that I'd recommend doing this bus bar and nut replacement as a preventative before the hybrid error code even lights up. Wish Prius chat told me that long ago, but had to find out the truth elsewhere.
     
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  19. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    Look what I just did an hour ago! I get on here and hit my notifications, and your post is the one I see! Hopefully this will solve my problem. Fingers crossed. These bus bars look AWFUL!
     

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  20. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    Rough!
     

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