Newly replaced battery failing?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Alex Wilsey, Jul 12, 2021.

  1. Alex Wilsey

    Alex Wilsey New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2021
    23
    4
    0
    Location:
    Drexel Hill, PA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Soooooo I am in a huge bind right now. I got my partner an 05 Prius that’s high mileage and it is driving me crazy. I love the car, he just drives it because he doesn’t really care about cars. We had a major motor problem about two months ago and it ended up being a TSB for the windshield washer cowl on the 05 that causes the spark plugs and coils to corrode and the engine misfires randomly. Stealership got him for about $500. No issues since.

    now my anxiety is through the roof. The previous owner paid nearly $2,500 for a completely rebuilt battery to be installed that was professionally balanced. It was done in December and he even gave us the warranty until late May just to be safe. The previous owner gave us all the service records and necessary cards for the car in case we had an issue. The HV battery has always behaved really well. You could get it into the green coming off the ramp on the highway and obviously enough, it would go away pretty quick after stopping then accelerating again. Last week the “replace hybrid battery” code was thrown. I literally flipped my lid. Called the battery guy and he wants me to fork him over $500 to replace it again. I laughed at him like the damn joker because I was so upset!

    my partner got the genius idea to plug my extra code reader in and clear the codes. It’s been something like 8-10 days…..no codes. But his mileage is a tad down. It usually got 40-41 (he has a lead foot and is on the highway a lot). Now it is more like 38-40.

    Now let me preface this before I finish my details, this code appeared after we sat in the car with the air on in the heat due to a heat wave last week. We ran the battery all the way down to two bars then that’s when the motor would usually kick in. Instead of doing that, we parked the car and went to bed. My guess is that with the low battery after running the air so hard could have possibly tripped it.

    Now after clearing the codes it hasn’t done it since. Still drives totally fine, the motor does not immediately kick on as designed, but Myself or my partner have not gotten to a green bar yet since this happened. And right before this happened it was totally normal.

    I ran the diagnostic screen and the 12v battery seems to hover around 11.9-12.0-12.1, but when I put the car in gear it drops to somewhere around 11.5 then up to 14.4v, which makes me wonder if my 12v is going bad and was run really low and tripped the hybrid system.

    the battery DOES charge up to the highest blue bar most of the time, and if I floor it up to 60mph I maybe lose one or two bars. No major drop. No loss of charge overnight. I’m extremely suspect of the 12v but don’t want to fork the cash over (it has the smart key so of course I need the $250 battery), do I sound crazy?!?

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,

    AFW
     
  2. Alex Wilsey

    Alex Wilsey New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2021
    23
    4
    0
    Location:
    Drexel Hill, PA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I forgot to add that if I drive on the highway I can get the MPG’s up really quickly. I can get it from 38.5mpg to 41+ in 20 mins on the highway. I think I have the pulse and glide down. My partner doesn’t give a hoot and if he is going 70, it doesn’t matter how he got to that. I’m insane about maintaining cars, so he doesn’t need to worry!
     
  3. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    3,886
    2,015
    2
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    The 12v battery could be extremely bad causing a much higher charge current from the hv battery. Load test the 12v battery, often free at auto supplies. Change if bad. This could be part of the problem with your friend's car. There is no such thing as reconditioning a 12v battery.

    Sad to say but refurb hv batteries fail quickly. I never recommend them and honestly, they are most useful to flip a car. Given the age of the vehicle, I would wait until it codes again and then take the $500 option. If you want to keep it three to five years, bite the bullet and buy a new hv battery. Depending on your market and resourcefulness, it could be $1600 -$2500.

    Prius is not a low cost econ box to maintain. They are fine for the first buyer and have decent resale if they look and drive good. Having a good independent hybrid shop is essential with an older Prius if diy is not your thing.
     
    #3 rjparker, Jul 12, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2021
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    94,259
    42,722
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    stand pat for now, it may have been an aberration due to the heat and a/c as you said. you could get the dr prius app to check the health
     
  5. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    6,321
    2,645
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    The hybrid battery pack sounds like it was a used one that was professionally rebuilt with a warranty of as much as 3 years... A brand new hybrid battery for similar price will be good for 10+ years. If you lived near me when those dash lights that your partner learned to clear come on too often, I could replace the latest failed module and hunt for soon to fail modules for a few hundred dollars.

    As for the 12v battery... Yours sounds like its at the end of the life. Prius 12v are different than a regular car's 12v because they don't start then engine, they just power up the computers and then the hybrid battery starts the engine and powers everything till the car is shut off. So a 12v in a Prius can be really bad and still do its job. Because of this uniqueness there's lots of price gouging and 12v for Prius are a rip-off. But fear not, here's a link to a 12v that is only $100 and has 10 amp-hours more than the $250 ones: https://ebay.us/vN4JsP

    If you decide to buy one of these let me know and I'll explain the terminal mounting bolts to buy at the hardware store and slight change you need to make to mount it.
     
  6. donbright

    donbright Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    153
    104
    33
    Location:
    oklahoma
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    "The previous owner paid nearly $2,500 for a completely rebuilt battery to be installed that was professionally balanced. It was done in December and he even gave us the warranty until late May just to be safe"

    That price is uhm, rather unusual, since a new battery pack can be had for about that price (or if you are DIY, $1600). Did this "rebuilt" pack have brand new modules inside of it? If not, then what justifies that price?

    Where, exactly did the prev owner get this done? What is the name of the rebuilt battery on the paperwork? Is the warranty on the rebuilt battery really only 6 months (Dec-May)? Even companies like GreenBean that sell "reconditioned" (rebuilt) battery packs have several years warranty - and GreenBean is less $$$ than this.
     
    #6 donbright, Jul 14, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021
  7. TinyTim

    TinyTim Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2016
    331
    208
    0
    Location:
    Seattle
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I wanted to mention GreenBean as well as was stated above. I have a friend with a Toyota Highlander circa 2012/2013. His battery went out just after the Toyota battery warranty expired. Toyota gave him the middle finger. He went with greenbean. So far so good. He is a high mileage driver and said that it has a lifetime warranty and is transferable. If the battery dies they come out and swap it out for a new one for no charge for the life of the car.

    I think he has probably put on 20K on it in the last 7 or 8 months. So far so good.
     
  8. Alex Wilsey

    Alex Wilsey New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2021
    23
    4
    0
    Location:
    Drexel Hill, PA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II

    I do have the receipt somewhere and it says a reconditioned battery. I believe he also had the battery controller replaced because the old one was on its way out. Don't take my word on that though, I have to find the paperwork but he did go to a guy that was reputable. I spoke to the guy and he tried explaining it but it was a bit hard to understand what he said, I didn't tell him to screw off, but that he needs to make good in his product and he seemed pretty willing to help out (he also had a thick accent, so I am not sure if he was jerking me around or trying to formulate a more coherent sentence and as someone who has been taking a second language and currently pursing a degree in said language, it seemed to be a bit of "I am trying to explain this but my words are not working" also, I experience this sometimes when trying to quickly speak spanish, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt). The actual battery install and parts were around $2k and he paid an extra $500 for a warranty. God forbid, it might be a year but I am almost certain it was 6 months. I have to find the papers and double check.

    I have a suspicion that it is the 12v because my partner likes the music nice and loud (I replaced the blown JBL speakers) and he likes everything on. So I am wondering that the hybrid battery might be compensating for the degraded 12v, or maybe even the fact that the 12v may be the incorrect one since this model has the smart key and usually requires a higher ah battery.
     
  9. Alex Wilsey

    Alex Wilsey New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2021
    23
    4
    0
    Location:
    Drexel Hill, PA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    The funny thing is that this has only happened one time, probably 10 days ago now. He has been driving it daily ever since and it seems okay, no lights, nothing. I have a strong inclination that it is the 12v because the volts drop below 12 when turning the car on then jump back up. From the cars that I have worked on ('14 Soul Base/manual, '13 optima, '03 E320 (this thing died because of electrical issues ironically) and '04 f-150 lariat) now I do understand that this is a much different beast, but every time a battery has gone bad is when the voltage dropped below 12 when starting vs new when it would stay above 12 when starting. Correct me if I am wrong though!

    I am still seriously looking into the $100 battery though and figuring out the retrofit for the bracket because that is a great deal. I am used to both ends of the spectrum in parts prices because I had my beloved Mercedes and I had to donate it because I got so pissed with the electrical system after 261k miles. The battery in that thing is a monster and costs about $300 and it a royal b*tch to replace. Then there is my '14 soul that was about $120 installed for a battery, but that car is bare bones, It did not need much. So $100 sounds like it is worth a college try to me!
     
  10. Alex Wilsey

    Alex Wilsey New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2021
    23
    4
    0
    Location:
    Drexel Hill, PA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I l
    I am holding tight for the next week or so. I turn 21 in a few days and I am going into the city (Philly baby!) for a calm night and a nice dinner, so I am trying to save some cash for that and heaven forbid I want to go further with this fix. I will definitely get the app though. I do have a bluetooth reader and I love that thing, so I might shell out the money for the torque app and check the cell blocks anyways, but with how my partner drives I am not horribly concerned. I know the ICE is running really well because it just was repaired by the stealership with new plugs and coils, and it runs smooth as silk. Compared to other 200k+ motors I have seen, this one runs amazing. My old cars with 200k+ ran like crap, but granted, this one runs much less since it is a hybrid in nature.
     
    bisco likes this.
  11. Alex Wilsey

    Alex Wilsey New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2021
    23
    4
    0
    Location:
    Drexel Hill, PA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    If it gets to that point, I might jump and do the greenbean if the original battery guy jerks me around. I have a hybrid mechanic near me and they are wonderful. Super nice and professional, he even told me that greenbean are reputable and that he does use dorman because of affordability, but if i got my own he would have no issue installing it for me. He even said the dorman units are not the best, and that if I got my hands on a greenbean that it would be ideal. He is a local mechanic that specializes in toyota hybrids and has amazing reviews. His honesty and attitude also brought me to use him more often with my other cars in the near future. There are lots of quacks in my area, and if I get a good one I keep returning. Thank heavens I have two good mechanics and a great body shop guy. If anyone is in Philly Ill give you the info!
     
    SFO likes this.
  12. donbright

    donbright Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    153
    104
    33
    Location:
    oklahoma
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I don't mean to promote GreenBean, I'm just saying that it doesn't make sense to me for someone to sell a very similar product to GreenBean (used modules) for a vastly higher price than GreenBean but a worse warranty than GreenBean. I went with newpriusbatteries which is $1600 parts + warranty for new modules, labor was DIY. Other folks have been able to shop around and find new batteries for less than $2500, even from dealerships. Anyways good luck.
     
  13. Toffer

    Toffer New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2021
    13
    6
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    green Bean has only a 2 year warranty and cost around $2,000
     
  14. TinyTim

    TinyTim Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2016
    331
    208
    0
    Location:
    Seattle
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Two
  15. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    2,504
    769
    0
    Location:
    Arcadia, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    Green bean shifted from a lifetime warranty to a 3 year unlimited mileage warranty a little while back. That said for a little more money $30 for the $1649 Gen 3 kit, you can upgrade to lifetime. Not a big price hike like I was originally fearing.

    We're on our 9th year on our '12 v and would likely go lithium if I needed to pay for a battery, although the Green Bean is still tempting...

    moto g(7) power ?
     
  16. Alex Wilsey

    Alex Wilsey New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2021
    23
    4
    0
    Location:
    Drexel Hill, PA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I am back! It finally came back on! It has been working perfectly ever since the last time it came on and today all of a sudden, BAM, all lights on. UGH! Last time this happened it was very hot outside and my guess is that the heat has a part to play in this. It has been really hot the past two days and my guess is that the fan might be a bit clogged up and the battery is exhibiting some heat related changes. When it is anywhere from 75-90 there seem to be no issues until the heat spikes and it has a tendency to freak out. once the codes are cleared it is totally back back to normal and getting 40mpg no problem. So weird! I don't know what to do! I think I may just keep resetting the codes at this point. The guy that installed it seems to be a quack.

    The funny thing is that it holds charge normally too. All lights are on, and the battery charges to one or two bars before full and works totally fine. Does not drain fast, but all check engine/hybrid lights are on. GRRRRR!
     
  17. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    2,504
    769
    0
    Location:
    Arcadia, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    Does your mechanic believe the problem is the battery?
     
  18. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    14,292
    10,095
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    What did you find the codes to be this time before you cleared them?
     
  19. burrito

    burrito Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2021
    230
    83
    0
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Have you cleaner out the battery cooling fan and the air intake?
     
  20. Alex Wilsey

    Alex Wilsey New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2021
    23
    4
    0
    Location:
    Drexel Hill, PA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    That is my next thing to do.

    The code was also P0A80 which is the death code in my eyes. Funny thing is that my partner just clocked 45.4mpg on this last tank. He got over 450 miles since the last fill (I did the math, on board computer is spot on). The code happened about halfway through this fill up too. I am going to clean the cooling fan next because I think that is what the issue is. My guess is that it is dirty and it gets just hot enough in there for the computer to lose its mind. It is kept in the sun too, so I would not be surprised if the heat is a serious factor because we have had a 90-98 degree week here on the East Coast. That means that it is significantly hotter inside the cab and probably another step hotter since it is kept in a densely populated area with newly paved roads, added heat factor.

    He has driven over 150 miles since the freakout for the battery and it is driving perfectly. He is going to get it inspected this week and heaven forbid there is a pending code, we have an exemption for emissions due to a larger repair that the stealership did a few months back, replacing coil packs and plugs due to a misfiring issue from the faulty windshield washer cowl that Toyota corrected after the 2005 model year. It has been about 6 months since that issue and Toyota actually did a really nice job fixing it, which took about $500, but having that peace of mind that it was done correctly makes me very happy.

    There is apparently an exceptional hybrid battery diagnostic and repair guy down where I am at school in Annapolis, MD. He has almost all 5 star reviews and is really good about fixing quirks in refurbished packs (like I am troubled with) instead of full replacements. That is my next step if cleaning the fan doesn't fix the problem.
     
Loading...