1. Attachments are working again! Check out this thread for more details and to report any other bugs.

Prius 12v Battery Replacement - dealer or independent auto shop?

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by SCDC, Dec 1, 2023.

  1. SCDC

    SCDC New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2023
    4
    0
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Vehicle:
    2019 Prius
    Model:
    XLE
    After servicing my 2019 Prius, the Toyota dealer said the 4 1/2 year old 12V auxiliary battery needs replacement, quoting $336 for replacement. They tested the battery at actual CCA 230 vs. 295 Factory CCA. I’ve not noticed any problems and the vehicle only has 14,800 miles, but I don’t drive every day and mostly drive short distances in the city, which may be a factor contributing to battery deterioration.

    Another reliable auto shop I’ve used in the past quoted me $275 for installing an Interstate MTX battery with a 3 year warranty.

    My question: Is a dealer-installed Toyota battery preferable to an after market brand? I’ve read that all auto batteries in the US are manufactured by a few companies and rebranded for different outlets. But Toyota implies their batteries are specially designed for their vehicles. I’m a novice at all things vehicle-related and would appreciate any advice from the experts on this site.
     
  2. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    1,267
    860
    0
    Location:
    Monument, CO
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    107,683
    48,934
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Anyone can replace it. But first, get a free load test at auto zone
     
  4. BiomedO1

    BiomedO1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2021
    1,310
    717
    0
    Location:
    SacTown, Ca
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    LE
    Welcome to the forum!

    IMHO: the difference between 230cc vs 295cc is nominal. As long as the battery has enough juice to close the heavy-duty relays to the traction battery - the traction battery takes over virtually all functions. I've know people with aux. Prius batteries down to 10VDC or less and the car still starts up.
    Since you don't drive much, have your mechanic install an automatic battery maintainer. They use these on motorcycles, boats, and RV's - So when you want to use them, the battery isn't dead. You should be able to avoid battery replacement for years to come. Don't forget to check/top-off the battery electrolytes yearly - that's why those 'sealed' batteries die after a certain amount of time. I personality get at least 10 years out of a non-sealed lead acid battery, on average, all it takes is annual maintenance.
    If your dead set on replacing the battery, any shop can do that. You may lose some of your presets and the car may run funny for a day - ECU relearning engine/sensor set-points.

    Hope this helps....
     
  5. SCDC

    SCDC New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2023
    4
    0
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Vehicle:
    2019 Prius
    Model:
    XLE
    Thanks everyone for your input. First, I’ll stop worrying that the battery is about to die any minute! My takeaway from the responses is that there is nothing sacred about “official” Toyota replacement batteries. As for DIY, I’m a 70 year old female with no mechanical experience and it’s a bit late to start. Re the battery maintainer, I’ve read about them on this site but assume they need to be plugged into an outlet? Unfortunately, I live in a big city and park on the street without access to an outlet. Meanwhile, I’ll get that load check from Autozone and look into the Walmart Everstart Max at Walmart recommended above. Again, grateful for the expert advice and for taking the time to respond.

    Btw I’ve driven this Prius and a Gen2 before it for 15 years. I travel quite a lot and never had the battery die while parked on the street due to lack of use.
     
  6. BiomedO1

    BiomedO1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2021
    1,310
    717
    0
    Location:
    SacTown, Ca
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    LE
    In your case, I would get a cheap jump pack and read the section on, or bookmark - How to jump start your car. A lot of the roadside assistant people aren't familiar with how to properly jump-start a Prius. Going into the cold winter months, this would come in handy - even with a new battery.

    Hope this helps...
     
  7. Doug McC

    Doug McC Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2022
    947
    347
    0
    Location:
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    2022 Prius
    Model:
    XLE
    FWIW: The “nothing sacred about a Toyota battery” is somewhat true. However, the Toyota battery installed by the dealership comes with an 8 year warranty (compared with a 3 year warranty) PLUS the first 2 years of the warranty is 100% (meaning if it were to fail it wouldn’t cost you anything to replace it), which the Walmart battery won’t come close to that (neither does the Interstate). So for $60 you get more than double the warranty.
    Have the mechanic you used before test the battery. If that test shows the same results as your dealership test then I would have it replaced. As the temperatures drop the battery will loose capacity so if it fails you it will most likely occur on a cold winter day. I am not positive, but I believe the Toyota battery warranty includes them coming out and getting you going. Walmart DEFINITELY won’t.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    54,639
    38,199
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    What's your parking situation; are you garage parked with AC power outlets, or no?

    If yes, I'd get a good quality, smart charger, around 4 amp rating. Use it 'round the clock when the car is is sitting idle for more than a day at a time.

    If not, I'd look into a battery cut-off switch, to stop the steady drain any 12 volt battery experiences, in a modern car. The downside of the latter is you will loose stuff, radio presets for starters, and "maybe" auto-up on the windows. I was just musing, if it would be possible to wire in a compact, easily removable battery, that would supply enough voltage to retain memories, when the 12 volt battery is disconnected.
     
  9. Doug McC

    Doug McC Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2022
    947
    347
    0
    Location:
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    2022 Prius
    Model:
    XLE
    I believe she provided the answer to your question when she stated “Unfortunately, I live in a big city and park on the street…”.
    But then again, maybe I’m wrong on that point.
     
    Pulse07 and Mendel Leisk like this.
  10. SCDC

    SCDC New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2023
    4
    0
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Vehicle:
    2019 Prius
    Model:
    XLE
    Thanks. Really important reminder about the Toyota warranty, although I think I saw that on a thread on the site before. After going back and forth, I’m now leaning towards the dealer-installed battery for the warranty, despite all the unnecessary stuff they try to get me to do on my low mileage car!

    appreciate the suggestion but probably conform to female stereotypes and will rely on Roadside Assistance in case of emergency! I haven’t had to jump start my current Prius, but never had a problem with my previous Gen2 the couple of times the battery drained..

    Yes, I park on the street and actually haven’t had a problem with battery dying even while traveling in winter.
     
    #10 SCDC, Dec 4, 2023
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2023
  11. SCDC

    SCDC New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2023
    4
    0
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Vehicle:
    2019 Prius
    Model:
    XLE
    Thanks everyone, really appreciate the advice and have decided to go with the Toyota battery for the superior warranty. Muchas Gracias!
     
  12. parked

    parked Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    35
    16
    0
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I just did a lot of comparison shopping for a replacement 12V battery for my 2017.
    I linked to a spreadsheet I made for the batteries and suppliers I checked in post #8 here: https://priuschat.com/threads/2017-12-volt-battery-replacement.245304/#post-3409998

    12V battery replacement is a trivial task for someone with modest mechanical experience.
    I'm going to order the AC Delco AGM from Summit Racing in about 2 minutes. It's a superior battery to a traditional flooded lead-acid battery, but you do need to have a charger that is designed to properly charge absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries, or they can be damaged.
     
  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    54,639
    38,199
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    I’m not that up on it, but on my CTEK the only diff is a slightly higher charging voltage, for “spiral wound” (looks like a 6-pack) AGM’s. Rectangular AGMs, and reg batteries charge the same, just voltage a few tenths of a volt lower. If you charge a spiral wound AGM without the higher voltage, no harm, maybe just not as fully charged.
     
    parked likes this.
  14. parked

    parked Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    35
    16
    0
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I definitely don't fully understand the differences between these battery types. Most of what I've read says AGM batteries use a slightly higher charging voltage (a couple tenths of a volt, like you said), but that they can be damaged by going much above that. Where a flooded battery would electrolyze the water into gas at higher voltage--which could be refilled--an AGM battery would blow its seal from excess gas pressure, which would doom the battery.

    I just ordered the AC Delco from Summit, so I'll be the $166 guinea pig here. My OEM Toyota Yuasa battery has a sticker right on it that says it's an LN1, 45 Ah, and a measly 295 CCA. A caveat for anyone else ordering online: lead-acid battery returns are a hazardous materials shipment, which means it could be somewhere between complicated to economically impractical to send a shipment back yourself. And come to think of it, that might complicate the warranty, which I didn't think to ask about before I ordered it. EDIT: I just spoke with Summit Racing, and they said if there were a warranty claim, they'd ask me to have the battery tested somewhere and send them a photo of the test results, then they would have me recycle the battery and ship me out a replacement. That's good to know!
     
    #14 parked, Dec 4, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2023
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  15. Doug McC

    Doug McC Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2022
    947
    347
    0
    Location:
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    2022 Prius
    Model:
    XLE
    John Kelly of Weber University addressed the issue of using the wrong type of battery in your vehicle (sorry, but I’m not going to try and find which video it was in, I figure if a person is interested enough they can find it). Additionally, the Battery University addresses this issue. FWIW it might be worth the time to check out the facts.
     
    Pulse07 and parked like this.
  16. The Big Sleaze

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2019
    276
    60
    0
    Location:
    'frisco
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius
    Model:
    Two Eco
    $275 to install a $180 battery sounds crazy, especially for returning customer. But I guess when a Shop does it they've got to do some sort of systems check so you don't just run down or fry the new battery. When I worked at a gas station installation of batteries, wiper blades, etc was free.

    Someone mentioned Toyota Dealer new battery comes with 8 year warranty. What about the factory Toyota battery in my 3yr old 2020 Prime???
     
  17. Doug McC

    Doug McC Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2022
    947
    347
    0
    Location:
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    2022 Prius
    Model:
    XLE
    Perhaps reading your Warranty Maintenance Guide might provide that information.
     
  18. Drakxyfly

    Drakxyfly Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2023
    111
    23
    0
    Location:
    Usa
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius
    Model:
    LE
    Go buy the battery from AutoZone and the guy will probably swap it for you. Give him $20 and call it a day.
     
  19. parked

    parked Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    35
    16
    0
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I haven't found any sources that said not to use an AGM battery in place of a flooded battery, including searching on Battery University. In fact, several sources (Consumer Reports and some battery sellers have said it's a better performing battery and isn't a problem.) The only real caution I've seen is to take care when using a battery charger--specifically in the bulk charging phase, where a constant-current flooded battery charger might hit as high as 17 V to maintain a constant charging current. That voltage is no bueno for AGM batteries, which could cause too much electrolysis and pop their seals. The regular charging system in the car shouldn't exceed 15 volts, so that's less of a concern in situ.

    BTW, I just received my AC Delco LN1AGM battery today from Summit. Very well packaged and at $166 incl tax, put on my doorstep for less than a Walmart flooded battery, where I'd still have to return the core. Pretty pleased with my first experience with Summit.