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My Lithium Battery Experience

Discussion in 'Prius v Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Evritz, Oct 4, 2023.

  1. Evritz

    Evritz New Member

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    I'm writing this to share my Project Lithium experience. I found it very useful to look through other folks posts so figure I will contribute my experience and try to update as I get more data with this new technology. To be clear, at this point I'm not asking for any advice, just wanting to contribute my experience on this forum for future folks who have to decide best option when their HV battery dies.

    My car: 2012 Prius V trim level 5 with ~165,000 miles primarily driven in Maryland, USA.

    Back in July my car first threw the dreaded HV system codes.
    IMG_8295.jpg
    I panicked and took it to my nearest neighborhood shop (has a good reputation with my neighbors but I don't think they know hybrids). They charged me $130 and said they found a crayon in the fan intake under the backseat and thought that caused the system to overheat and throw a code. o_O

    I drove for another month or so before the code reappeared. I looked for the closest shop with some hybrid expertise to get a diagnosis hope to confirm whether it was indeed the HV battery going belly up. (Should have gone to my trusted shop from start). They charged me like $250 to clear the code and tell me they weren't sure if the HV battery was failing, I should keep driving and drive more often than I currently do and see if driving my time/miles per week would keep the battery happy. :unsure:

    After this less than satisfying diagnosis I finally wised up and bought a VEEPEAK OBD II scanner and downloaded the Dr. Prius app.
    IMG_8483.PNG IMG_8615.PNG
    Two different longevity tests about 2 weeks apart confirmed that my HV battery was on it's way out. So, I started looking into my battery replacement options. I decided on the Lithium Project because it's much cheaper than what the dealers around me were quoting for and OEM battery and I hope it will perform better than the OEM. I know it's a relatively new option with little long-term user data so there is some risk.

    I ordered the battery for Sept. shipment (had already missed the August shipment by the time I was ready to pull trigger). My go-to trusted mechanic said they would install for ~$500. I brought car and battery and they let me know once installed there was a bad cell. Code P0b6f was being thrown. I reached out to Lithium Project via email and phone and got a fast response. They got a replacement cell in the mail same day. They also sent a return label to diagnose the bum cell. They shipped the replacement cell and equalizer cable directly to my shop and once they got the good blade they were able to install and car was ready to roll.

    Well, the HV battery was all good, but I did make a $300 mistake by leaving the OBD II scanner plugged in while I was away on vacay for ~12 days. That killed my 12v dead and had to replace that. (n)

    Now, I've got a fresh 12v and fresh lithium HV battery and that seems to have solved my problems. Anecdotally I do feel like I'm getting better acceleration, but maybe it's no more than a fresh OEM would get me after having run around with a failing battery.

    TL;DR my HV battery failed and I replaced it with a Project Lithium battery installed by my trusted shop. Shop had an issue with 1 bum blade which Project Lithium was very fast to replace at no cost to me with 2nd day air shipping. So far so good but will update if any further issues arise with my lithium battery. Oh, and when I used Dr. Prius app to test new lithium battery result was 110% life.
    IMG_9293.PNG
     
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    I know when my hv battery was replaced with oem the initial acceleration and smoothness was better.

    The big question is whether typical lithium lifetime comes close to oem. Starting out with a bad cell is concerning especially if you have to pay somebody to tear down the assembly again. I know the cylindrical NiMH aftermarket option has seen an upswing in two or three year failures.
     
  3. ColoradoCrow

    ColoradoCrow Active Member

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    I can understand the first diagnosis about the crayon in the air intake unit. That can throw a code and cause severe overheating. But only if it a blue Crayola brand crayon. Crayola and Toyota worked out the problem and through a TSB issue to Crayola they changed the formula of the blue crayon recipe. So far so good. No more leaks from my blinker fluid reservoir either.;)
     
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  4. PriusV17

    PriusV17 Active Member

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    Can you give us before and after mpg? Can you also test the car out in power mode to see if there is any big difference in performance? And if possible mpg in PWR mode.
     
  5. PriusV17

    PriusV17 Active Member

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    My work parking lot is multi floors. So I have to climb each floor to get to my spot. When in normal mode, my car will use gas. When in PWR (especially with PWR and EV at the same time), it will just use EV to climb each level. I don't burn any gas at all entering my building.
     
  6. ColoradoBoo

    ColoradoBoo Senior Member

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    Wow, great info...thanks! Our 2017 is the first hybrid we've owned so, still, learning all the nuances with that HV battery. (And checking the filter on the cooling fan often.) I'm amazed that OEM 12-volt battery is, still, testing at 100% after 6 years.

    I have an XTool D7 Bidirectional Scan tool but didn't see any settings in there for looking at that HV battery....will have to learn about this Dr Prius app and if it's updated for newer Gens.
     
  7. PriusV17

    PriusV17 Active Member

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    Jack (Project Lithium) should also consider "in-sourcing" locally. A new American battery company started and may be a good potential for in-sourcing his supply chain. They specialize specifically in LFP.

    https://americanbatteryfactory.com

    Before China dominated the LFP market because they got the patent holder (an American university) to sign over the rights so that LFP can be built only in China. But that patent has expired and now American companies can start making LFP.

    It should be a backup option because there can be more trade wars where no lithium gets traded between the two countries.
     
  8. V Sport Wagon

    V Sport Wagon Member

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    1000%. Nexcell is booming right now, I'm hoping the same thing as well that Jack will consider the in-source option. The only drawback would be cost (as you know Americans don't work for cheap).
     
  9. MPGS-LOL

    MPGS-LOL Junior Member

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    The more aggressive use of the HV battery in PWR is certainly a thing I notice during low speed EV operation with PWR mode on.
     
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  10. PriusV17

    PriusV17 Active Member

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    This is what I like about LiFePO4 (LFP) batteries. Not only do you get the 2000-3000 life cycles. But you get No Fires! (y)

     
  11. 80eagles

    80eagles New Member

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    I converted my 2012 V wagon to Nexcell V2 a month ago and changed out the HV battery volt sensor at the same time. It was really burnt inside the old one. Gas mileage improved to 58MPG from getting 48MPG with the Nihm batteries. Now I have to sell my Prolong charging/discharging units with the harness and my Nihm batteries as they are still good.
     
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  12. V Sport Wagon

    V Sport Wagon Member

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    Hand calculated mileage or going by the dash?
     
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  13. 80eagles

    80eagles New Member

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    well I use Hybrid Assistant App and the dash info to make sure its right and thats what I get
     
  14. V Sport Wagon

    V Sport Wagon Member

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    Divide miles driven by exact amount (usually at first click or exactly over squeeze it like me exactly 1 gallon for accuracy). Apps and Dash will always be 2-3 mpg high.
     
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