Ok to drive if HV Battery is dead?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by JamesT, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. JamesT

    JamesT Junior Member

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    My 2005 Prius started showing all the symptoms of a dead/dying hv battery this morning. The dashboard lit up, the battery fan kicked on and my mpg dropped to 35mph. I was half way to work, so I just continued. I have been checking around and I can get it replaced for about $1000.00 reconditioned, but they have a 7-10 day waiting list. The dealership wants $3500.00 minimum, and says that I should not drive it at all and have it towed. Is this true? Can I drive on gas alone until I find a solution? Thanks.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no. the hybrid battery starts the ice, you might get stranded if it gets too low. get a cheap rental until you're up and running, all the best!(y)
     
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  3. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    As you have found since you drove it to work even after the dash lit up, the Prius does have limited use. However over time you will get to where the Prius will go no more. Some have disconnected the 12 volt battery long enough to clear the codes and get it going again. However, even that is only a bandaid. I can't say how long your battery will last.

    You have a lot of options you can do. It is up to you and your wallet/budget.

    Best of luck to you, and sorry to hear you are having battery problems. It does happen, but only to a small percentage of the Prius out there on the road today. It seems though it is inevitable that all Prius at one time or another will have a traction battery failure. That is logical since all batteries have a life cycle. NIMH batteries do have a limited amount of cycles they can be charged and discharged.

    You might give these folks a call. I see you are in Houston like myself. From what I have heard they seem to be having a good success rate.

    Prius Battery Repair of Houston - About UsĀ 

    Ron (dorunron)
     
  4. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Please understand that the Prius operates with the ICE and the battery. If you remove the battery, the car will not start. I believe that is what bisco is pointing out.

    Ron
     
  5. JamesT

    JamesT Junior Member

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    Thanks. Dorunron, I tried that place, they are the ones with a 7-10 day waiting list. Does it make sense to shop around dealerships, or will it be the same price everywhere?
     
  6. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    You could try but likely the same everywhere (dealers).

    There is a user on here named Houston Hybrids, you might try contacting that user???
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    there have been reports here of great descrepencies between dealerships. never hurts to make a few calls.
     
  8. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    $3,500 at a dealership is about right. I have seen prices over $5,000 at some!

    The Prius cannot drive on gas alone. (As opposed to the Honda Insight hybrid, which can drive indefinitely without the hybrid battery.)
    Driving with a failing battery is a risk in the sense that it can leave you stranded unexpectedly.
     
  9. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    James,

    Autonation over on 45 South has a internet sales dept. Talk to Jake over there on the phone. Tell him you want to get a traction battery for a online price. I think it is cheaper than retail. My other computer has the link in it. But you can Google it and find the number. Make sure you talk to Jake in "Internet Parts" sales. He is a great guy and will help you. Once you get the battery on order, rent yourself a truck or something and go get the battery. Then slap it in the Prius. There might be a core charge but you will get that back as long as you return your old battery if the case is not all bent up. I think you will have to swap the controller or ICU's from the old battery to the new one. Tell Jake you will pay cash or write a check when you get there unless you plan to use a credit card. I do that all the time, he gives me the online prices and I pickup the stuff there in will call. Saves big bucks if I buy several things or a big ticket item.

    A decent mechanic should be able to put the battery in for you. I don't have a recommendation on that aspect. I was going to talk to my buddy who is a mechanic if I ever needed one and was out of warranty. Sorry to hear there is a wait for the folks I recommended. I have heard good comments about them, but haven't done business with them.

    Hope all of this helps you James,

    Ron
     
  10. JamesT

    JamesT Junior Member

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    I just talked to a Toyota dealer that says the new hv battery will come with the 8 year warranty, is this true? I plan to drive this car another 3-4 years, so if the dealer battery has an 8 year warranty it might be worth it to pay more for the dealer.
     
  11. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    I have not heard of any dealer offering 8 year warranty on a replacement part. Standard warranty for all replacement parts is 1yr 12,000 miles.
    Get it in writing first.
     
  12. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    5 years ago parts had a 1 year unlimited mileage warranty. If the dealer states there is an 8 year warranty get it in writing.
     
  13. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    I am with the two poster's above. Get that in writing. (8 year warranty on new battery going in used Prius). All any of have heard is 12 months, 12K miles. Which dealer told you that James?
     
  14. JamesT

    JamesT Junior Member

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    I didn't believe the 8 year warranty, think it was just an inexperienced service associate. Every other dealer said 1 year parts and labor. Finally decided to just take it to a dealer, since I wanted my car back in a reasonable amount of time. Also, having a brand new battery was appealing since I plan to keep my Prius another 3 or 4 years. The 3rd party battery people I talked to could not commit to a specific date when they would be able to do it because there were dozens ahead of me. Hopefully if there is such a demand companies will step in and fill this market. I know if I had the technical know how and was more hands on, I would.

    On an interesting note, I did finally drive the car to the dealership that was going to fix it after two different service managers told me it would be ok. It was only 5 miles away from where I was parked, so I figured it would be ok. One service manager who was 30 miles away, said people often drive around on just the engine when they are trying to decide. He thought me driving 30 miles would be fine. I didn't want to take the chance so I opted for the closer dealership. Either Toyota does not train their service managers well, or no one really knows the answer to my original question.
     
  15. JamesT

    JamesT Junior Member

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    Dealership just called and said the HV ECU is bad as well as the battery. Is that to be expected? He said the total for the battery and ecu and labor is $3830.00, is that a good price considering its a dealership?
     
  16. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

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    It is very much more rare for the HV ECU to fail than the battery itself. The dealers seem to want to replace both at the same time, for some reason, but I would want to see the DTC's that they read before doing so. If they are charging you for a new HV ECU, it might be better to get a used part for a fraction of their cost.
     
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  17. Michael K

    Michael K Junior Member

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    I have first hand experience driving my prius with a bad hv battery. If you drive it too much, it WILL kill your transaxle. The MG1 is forced to work constantly trying to recharge the battery. By doing this, it causes the MG1 motor to overheat if you travel over 70mph. I'd get a rental for 7 days and have the car towed to the hybrid place. I was able to replace the transaxle myself but the cheapest I could find for that was gonna be $1000. You could get a sweet rental for that price.
     
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  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how much of the 3800 is he ecu?
     
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  19. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    JamesT,

    If you don't mind, please reference the name, address, city, state and name of the service writer along with all of the cost's for each part including any taxes, core charges, etc plus a final total of your bill. This will benefit all of us here plus anyone in the future who is needing to do what you are doing and is considering using the dealer to do the work.

    Thank you!

    Ron (dorunron)
     
  20. JamesT

    JamesT Junior Member

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    Here's the invoice. I got it done at Fred Haas Toyota Country in Houston, TX.
     

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