New to PiPs having battery issues

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by Dax, Nov 17, 2021.

  1. Dax

    Dax New Member

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    I’m having some issues with my 2015 PiP Base. When I charge it at public stations, no matter the brand, they only read 2.7kWh added to my 4.4kWh pack. In good temps, around 60°-70°F when I purchased it, it gets about 3 miles in a full charge. City fuel economy is awful also, my old Prius I could stretch it to 60mpg if I drove like a grandma. My PiP barely passes by 47mpg city and gets about 42 highway. But now that winter is showing up I am worried how much lower it’ll go.

    My PiP has 62,000 miles on it and I’m it’s 3rd owner. I used Dr. Prius and an OBDII sensor to do a battery test, it tells me I’m about 67% capacity left.

    I am still covered by warranty but Toyota says it only covers the traction battery if it fails completely or shows an error code that leads to a factory recall.

    I’m not sure what to do. It seems impossible to find any information about the PiPs battery or how to go about repairing it myself. Tons of things about regular gen 2, 3, and 4s, but nothing about the 12-15 PiPs. I’d replace the cells myself with balanced ones but this would be an expensive endeavor and don’t know if I should wait out my warranty just in case. If anyone knows a god tier magic tricks to kick my battery back into a healthier state without dropping thousands, I would love you forever
     
  2. LeviSmith

    LeviSmith Junior Member

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    2.7kwh is good. You have a 4.4kwh pack but you don't get to use 0-100% of it. More like 20-80%

    I'm not sure how you could get 3 miles on a full charge. That would be hard to do even if you held it at max EV the whole time. I'm thinking maybe there's a miscommunication in what your EV range is based on...

    Gas mileage could be anything from engine maintenance to tires, brakes, etc...

    I haven't heard any indication that there's anything wrong with your battery...
     
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  3. Dax

    Dax New Member

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    I’ve got no error codes at all. Oil has less than 2,000 on it. If I charge it all the way in my small city, I can’t even leave it on electric. The gas engine turns on before I get to the 55mph zone. Like I get don’t floor it, I drive it like a Prius, not a sports car.

    I have a charger at my local Price Chopper too. Exactly 1.1 miles away. Charged to full I’ll get home with only 1-2 miles of range left. It also charges to full in less than 30 minutes on a 6.5kW charger even though the charger says it’s inputting less than that.

    This is my 3rd 3rd Gen Prius but first PiP. First one was contaminated from an evap leak, second was totaled by another vehicle. I’ve driven them for six years now, so much that my old commute of just city driving I could get 60 mpg on a standard model with all seasons and only gas up once a month.

    I really don’t know what’s up with this car. The dealership I bought it from didn’t even change the air filters or charge up the car before selling it to me. Just said he gave it a full tank instead of half because I drove so far to get it.
     
  4. LeviSmith

    LeviSmith Junior Member

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    The gas engine is easy to turn on. But it should stay off if you make sure:
    -Don't use climate control(it has to start the ice for heat or defrost)
    -Don't let the power meter get to that last bar to the right(This one is real easy to accidentally do from a stop light or near 55mph or a Hill, etc). Eco mode will help.
    -Don't go over 62mph
    -Don't use B mode (it will definitely kick in if the battery gets near full)

    What mileage range does your battery show when full?

    I suppose if your mpg is a bit low then the problem lies in something like the tires, brakes, bearings or something that's increasing the resistance in EV as well but still cutting it in half or less is pretty severe unless you're just sitting in traffic using up the battery not moving for long periods...
     
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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!
    this is not making any sense.
    have you done a range test?

    do you know any of the history of the car?
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the engine will start in colder weather. it doesn't take much with a pip. you've got to do a range test.
     
  7. Dax

    Dax New Member

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    I don’t know why I came here, none of you are reading my comments…
     
  8. QuantumFireball

    QuantumFireball Active Member

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    People are reading your comments, but not everything adds up from what you have said so far.

    The usable capacity of the traction battery is only around 3 kWh when new, the full 4.4 kWh is never available to you, so 2.7 kWh for a full charge sounds fine. But the onboard charger will only charge at a maximum of 2.2 kW (at 220-240V), so your claim of a full charge in half an hour doesn't sound right (it should take 90 minutes). Is the battery indicator on the instrument cluster actually showing full? Can you show us a photo of this after a full charge?

    Obviously, 3 miles range doesn't sound right at all. Are you sure the brakes are functioning normally? A common issue is the rear caliper slide pins can seize leading to constant wear or the brakes binding - much more likely in a colder climate where the roads are salted in winter, which I assume is applicable to New York. It's best to lubricate the slide pins at least every two years or they will cause trouble.
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i don't know why you came either. it doesn't look like it can be fixed over the internet. might be time for a dealer evaluation.
     
  10. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Lots of good tips here, @Dax. If you won't read them and look into them, then you're not going to get to the bottom of your dilemma.

    On the charge, check the charge percentage to see if it's actually charging to 100%.

    On the MPG and range, check your tires, brakes, etc. to make sure something isn't impeding your progress.

    And remember that cold weather will take a humongous bite out of your EV range.
     
  11. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    After reading the OP (original post) @Dax I suspect there is a really good reason the 2015 PiP has had 3 owners.
    If it were my car I'd try to find a fourth with.

    There is no real way of recovering a weak Lithium Pack, that I know of. other than getting a backup pack, which I've seen only one person here say they've already done. And of course there were several detractor posts made about that members choice to purchase a huge? lithium pack, while his in car pack was still going strong.
    Go figger...
    It looks like about $700 and up for a PiP used pack from the recycle yards listed at car-part.com.
    Still, no guaranties a better pack will fix your cars problems. But with DrPrius reporting 60s % cap. it's no wonder you're seeing behaviors that other here don't fully understand.
     
    #11 vvillovv, Nov 23, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
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  12. QuantumFireball

    QuantumFireball Active Member

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    3 owners in 6 years is hardly extraordinary.
     
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  13. Dax

    Dax New Member

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    Honestly super helpful! I don’t mind purchasing a used battery from an dead PiP! I just could not find a website that has a used one to buy, so thank you! Never done a repair like this on my own, but I can find balanced cells in my pack with the other ones and rebuild it. Down side is if their battery is at the same capacity I’ve dropped a grand on a heavy heavy paperweight lol
     
  14. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    Neither are the amount of Lemon Cars being sold to unsuspecting buyers, besides all the other scams out there. Unless they are just unfortunate coincidences to the unbitten.

    But I think I understand that to most, any car with 2 previous owners, is not necessarily a complete write off in this car market. And I agree with that. And I could be wrong about why I suspect the PiP with issues got shuffled around a bit already. Since it's really one of the first reports of a PiP pack showing so low a % on the DrPrius Health Check and or the other Pack test.
     
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  15. Dax

    Dax New Member

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    Rear slides are working, I checked that on the lift before purchasing. My old 15 had that issue and had to get a rebuilt caliper, but even with a fully seized caliper on my old 15 that’s the one I got 60mpg in city with. Loved it, wish someone didn’t total it.

    Also, I’ll say it again. I have owned Prii for over 5 years. That is 5 winters. I am well we’ll aware of how the cold drains the traction battery. I am not on this page for solutions I can find on google. I came to a blog site for people who have experienced similar issues and have remedies. If I wanted to be told I don’t know what I’m talking about and need to spend money, I would go to Toyota. Y’all are such experts, anyone know why I had a full hybrid charge after my car sat for a week? I’m gonna go with the imbalanced cells giving me the warning signs of a failing battery. Can’t wait for the “seems unlikely but not impossible” responses, to which I say that’s not a 0% chance, and all signs point to the issue I am describing. If I wanted sas from a chat blog, again, I can go other places. I came to a forum specifically to look for advice to diagnoses my issues. I say nobody is reading my comments because, well, nobody is actually reading them -_- otherwise you wouldn’t have said anything other than your last few words.
     
  16. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    Also. please don't get the impression from my writing that I think DrPrius is dead on balls accurate. What I like about DrPrius and Hybrid Assistant is that they both give us owners who don't have techstream yet, a fairly good estimation of our packs health of lack thereof, that we can use to compare with other members test results from those apps.
     
  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    3 owners in 6 years seems like a lot to me, but i don't have any data.

    we always advise potential used plug in buyers to check the range manually.
     
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  18. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    @Dax Both of these posts below were not published yet when I commented below them.
    Your new posts should be unmonitored either now of after you post a few more times.
    Sorry that happens to everyone that starts fresh with (posts 1 - 5, I think ) to their profile.
    No biggy, just more on if possible, I would have mentioned it earlier if I'd remembered.


     
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    a lot of anger, might be the holidays
     
  20. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    The problem is that the original question is like being in 1950 and asking a scientist what the surface is like on the far side of the moon. None of us have ever seen a failing PiP traction battery even though we heard a couple reports of that happening.

    Nevertheless, if my PiP had EV range but it was greatly reduced accompanied by unusually low mpg, I would be looking for anything I could find that might be adding resistance to forward motion because reduced EV range doesn't necessarily indicate reduce battery capacity and would not make the car perform worse than a non-plugin. It's that combination of low range and low mpg that points me to a mechanical problem or maybe some kind of extra electrical load.
     
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