New Prius owner, old Prius problem

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by BuildingInspectorBrian, Jul 16, 2021.

  1. BuildingInspectorBrian

    BuildingInspectorBrian Junior Member

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    Hi guys, I purchased a used 2005 Prius with 130k mileage. The previous owner stated they had the battery pack replaced (I'm only learning about the nitty gritty details of this now).

    I put 6k miles on the vehicle and have owned it for three months. I was getting 48.5 to 49.4 mpg. The battery pack has now thrown a code and I purchased an OBD2 reader to confirm. Module 6 is low. I'm fairly handy and not afraid to do the work, but I don't have any way to balance the battery and am unsure of a reliable seller of modules.

    I am in the Tacoma area (Seattle for those unfamiliar with the PNW). I saw Priuscamper is a fairly local guy but the direct chat button is broken for me for some reason.

    This isn't my long term solution. I'm on a fairly tight budget until next year and I figure I can chase a few bad modules until I have the cash to replace with a new aftermarket battery.

    Can anyone give me some recommendations for purchasing new modules?

    Also, does replacing the modules directly adjoining the bad module sound unreasonable as a precaution in case the overheating of the module caused additional damage?

    Last but not least, will not balancing the battery be so detrimental to the pack as to keep me from driving it a few k more miles until I have the resources to do the above noted aftermarket swap?
     
  2. BuildingInspectorBrian

    BuildingInspectorBrian Junior Member

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    Screenshot_20210716-153517_Dr Prius.jpg

    Screenshot_20210716-153841_Dr Prius.jpg

    Do I need to worry about 1 & 16 as well or is that just end of pack charging norms?
     
    #2 BuildingInspectorBrian, Jul 17, 2021
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2021
  3. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Since you no longer have the original 2005 battery in your car, it's supposedly been replaced by previous owner, you could have either a better newer than 2005 battery pack or a complete Frankenstein pack. If you are just looking for a cheap way out until you get the funds, then all you're going to be doing are module swaps. Get the car going until another module fails.

    With only 130k miles (if these are true miles), I would not hesitate to put in a new battery pack to give you long lasting reliable service. The only other high cost item that will fail eventually fail would be the brake actuator. All the other stuff (not including engine/trans) will be quite minor.
     
  4. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    As you are learning, used, refurbished, reconditioned and or repainted hv battery packs are not reliable but are the cheapest way to keep the car going, at least the first time. Verify when and where the battery pack was changed. There may be a warranty.
     
  5. BuildingInspectorBrian

    BuildingInspectorBrian Junior Member

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    I am fairly certain the miles are true miles. I am uncertain about the battery pack replacement. The former owner gave me a huge stack of dealership receipts and other receipts and the mileage reported when it was sold to them two years prior from the original owner was only 97k. When I went through the receipts after the transaction there was no pack replacement receipt as had been discussed prior.

    I am planning on keeping the car for as long as possible as a commuter and a backup for the wife and kids. The Seattle area is a good climate for the Prius and it's a huge help for the family to have a good and reliable vehicle that can fit all five of us.


    Yeah, I'm definatly learning. Lol, I thought I did a lot of research before I decided to purchase a Prius, but you never learn as much as you do when things go wrong. Failure is a great teacher. As noted above I don't have the receipt. I purchased the vehicle through a private party and have no way to contact the seller after this long of a time.

    Does anybody know if there's a way to check if it's the original pack?

    I really appreciate all the knowledge on this forum, and normally I wouldn't ask for help but there's a lot to sift through.

    Thank you all for taking the time to help out.
     
  6. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Welcome to PriusChat!!
    Put an @ sign in front of @PriusCamper and it should ping him, depending on the settings of course. His email and phone are also on here.
    There are a bunch of decent modules around these parts, try @TMR-JWAP or @ericbecky - both will set you right on many levels.

    FYI : your posts are being moderated until you've posted five times.
     
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  7. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    There is a seal on an original pack so Toyota can tell if tampering occurs which voids any warranty from Toyota. We have seen people get advice on this site to tear into their packs and later find out they "had" a 150k mile factory warranty they could have used (carb states).

    Most of the time used battery guys swap out individual modules without concern for "balancing". It works but they end up with date codes in the assembly that don't match. You have to dig deep to see the codes so at this point it really does not really matter.

    My guess is the seller swapped a couple of modules which typically works for a period of months or a year.
     
  8. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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  10. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Well... Because you're a building inspector you probably have a thermal camera, which is a great way to find modules that are running too hot. As for replacement modules my buddy Joe in Bend has $30K in testing equipment and his modules always end up as the strongest ones in a rebuilt pack so ordering them from him is the way to go: 2nd Life Battery | Refurbished Hybrid Batteries Distributor Let me know if you need any additional help. There's lots of info on youtube about how to replace modules and some of the videos are made by idiots who don't know what they're doing so be careful. Also to charge and balance, maybe even do some reconditioning, here's a thread you'll be interested in: Build Hybrid Battery Maintenance Gear For Under $100 | Page 2 | PriusChat
     
  11. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    I've seen seals on aftermarket rebuilt packs for their own warranty. I've never once seen a seal on an OEM Prius pack, not even on a brand new replacement pack?
     
  12. BuildingInspectorBrian

    BuildingInspectorBrian Junior Member

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    I assume (ugh, I hate that word) given you've pinged all the appropriate users, my doing so would be superfluous. I am in need of help though, so here goes nothing. @PriusCamper @ericbecky @TMR-JWAP might as well give it a try give me the best chance of success.

    Guess it's time for the teardown. I'll check the vin first.


    That's actually the one I was looking at, there are a couple other similar packs that caught my eye as well. It seems the aftermarket battery market has a few choices now.

    Thank you all for your replies, guess it's time to start wrenching. (And I guess I can't reply because that violates new user policies. "My" post included links.)
     
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  13. BuildingInspectorBrian

    BuildingInspectorBrian Junior Member

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    Awesome!!!! That's exactly what I was hoping for. I am a building inspector, but not that kind. Lol, you're thinking existing buildings. I do new construction inspection on engineered buildings (i.e. high rise, mid rise, commercial and custom engineered homes, with the occasional road, bridge, airport or dock thrown in). So no thermal camera here.
     
  14. BuildingInspectorBrian

    BuildingInspectorBrian Junior Member

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    @PriusCamper I have placed my order for the modules. I got partially through the recommended page on building a battery maintainer for under $100, that may be a bit beyond my soldering skills. Lol.

    Just as a note Joseph at 2nd life battery was really responsive. I was confused about the pricing listed on the website and he responded very quickly to my confusion and set me straight.

    Thanks again guys! Hopefully I can keep my new to me prius running happily in the family for many years to come. Please continue to comment and educate me on any roadblocks or suggestions on how I should continue. I'm looking forward to learning as much as possible in the coming days and weeks.
     
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  15. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    If the previous owner said pack was replaced, it clearly was replaced with garbage.

    Definitely not a new pack.

    I suspect when you open it up you will find a mess. Corrosion on wires. Corrosion on buss bars. Perhaps even corrosion on orange computer connector.

    You can play the whack-a-mole game for as long as it is fun for you. (And doesn't irritate your family too much when it randomly breaks down). Keep extra modules on hand so you'll be ready for the next failure.

    A New pack would likely be ~$2,000 retail from the Toyota parts department. If you buy this, I can guarantee it will well outlast any Used or repaired pack.

    Again, as long as you are having fun, and don't need a reliable car long term, playing whack a mole replacing oneofule at a time can be a good option. I have been know. To do it with my personal cars.

    If you ever need assistance, feel free to call me any time 608-729-4082. Always glad to help.
     
  16. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Decent modules for smartphones now, and not much money. I keep thinking about buying one.
     
  17. BuildingInspectorBrian

    BuildingInspectorBrian Junior Member

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  18. BuildingInspectorBrian

    BuildingInspectorBrian Junior Member

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    Just opened the back and exposed the shell. @rjparker @PriusCamper @ericbecky

    Will keep you updated as I continue.

    Just got the modules this afternoon. All registered as 8.1 v or better. Thanks for the recommendation and 2nd life for the quick shipping.

    It doesn't appear to be too bad in here(the traction battery compartment).Anybody notice anything I should be aware of?
     
  19. BuildingInspectorBrian

    BuildingInspectorBrian Junior Member

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  20. BuildingInspectorBrian

    BuildingInspectorBrian Junior Member

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    Fan is surprisingly clean
     
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