Prius battery replacement experience

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by kkeane, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    I was close, but no cigar. After checking, it is the option one above "Alert Preferences" which is just "Preferences". The first two preferences are:
    • Automatically watch threads that you create or when you reply...
      • and receive email notifications of replies
    which need to be checked.

    Hopes that helps (this time).
     
  2. kkeane

    kkeane Junior Member

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    Another update, after 7000+ miles with the second battery. My Dorman replacement battery has been performing almost miraculously well. For the first 5000 miles, I actually got consistently well above 50 mpg with mostly freeway driving - and that included going from sea level to 4000 feet every day. It was an improvement of around 7 mpg compared with the original battery before it failed. After 5000 miles, the battery seemed to settle down to a more normal behavior. There were some minor symptoms that made me suspect a creeping-up problem, but that could also have been due to the heat wave, or to me being hyper-sensitive.

    Alas, this is going to be my last update. I took the car to a Toyota dealer for routine maintenance, the major one including changing the inverter coolant and replacing the spark plugs. The dealer gave the car a clean bill of health. Six hours later, the dashboard lit up on the freeway, so I thought "oh ***** there goes the battery". After towing it to a dealer (a different one), the car sat in a lot for two days before the technicians could check it out. Both batteries were dead. After recharging the batteries, there were no stored codes. Eventually, the dealer #2 did find the cause. There actually was nothing seriously wrong with the car.

    One of the spark plugs had been improperly installed. Even going to a reputable Toyota dealer doesn't protect you from the bad luck of occasional shoddy work. Re-seating the connection solved the problem, and the car is now working flawlessly. But by then I had traded in the Prius. Having to have it towed three times in three months just is too much, even though all problems should now be fixed. It was as much an emotional as a financial decision. Even though I loved the Prius, we decided to go for a traditional gasoline car because of where we live.

    Well now somebody is going to get luckky and find a Prius in excellent shape with a nearly new hybrid battery for sale at a low price.

    In summary: replacing the hybrid battery yourself is easy if you know what you are doing and you are certain that the battery is the problem.

    One concern can be the warranty. To be clear: Dorman gave me zero trouble and honored the warranty with no problems. They also indicated that they would have honored it a second time if my most recent breakdown had been caused by the battery.

    But comparing Dorman's three-year warranty with Toyota's one-year warranty turns out to be apples and oranges. Even with the warranty exchange, I still had to pay for the labor to diagnose and replace the battery.

    The bigger issue is that the warranty terms are not well thought out. Dorman uses basically the same warranty procedure as for all other parts: you have to haul the bad part to whatever auto part store you bought it from, and pick up the replacement. That could have been an issue if the battery had failed out of state far from the nearest store of that auto parts chain.

    The other problem with the warranty relates to the core return. If you are asking for a refund for your purchase price, you have to return the battery (again to the auto part store you bought it from) - but then you are left with no battery to return for a core refund.

    Bottom line: Dorman seems to be as good as it gets with respect to refurbished batteries, but despite the higher price and shorter warranty period, Toyota may actually end up being the better deal.
     
  3. gatorglenn

    gatorglenn Member

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    Thanks for sharing your story. I had to replace my hybrid battery in my 2007 last year. After researching and talking to several people I decided to buy a new Toyota battery. It did help that I got a great deal on it from a local Toyota dealer. I ended up installing it myself which was not my first choice but the dealer could not get it done as quickly as I wanted because I was about to go out of town.

    The Dorman and other remanufactured batteries seem to have a lot more problems than the Toyota one. So even spending a little more on the factory battery saves headaches and money later if the other battery has to be replaced under warranty.

    Glenn
     
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  4. MTL_hihy

    MTL_hihy Active Member

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    New battery modules are really only available to Toyota so even if Dorman did a good job rebuilding them it's hard to see what specs they use versus the companies that Toyota subcontracts to. I'm not surprised to find out the aftermarket ones may not be worth the savings in the end.
     
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  5. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Just a "heads up" here. Even with a conventional gasoline car, if a mechanic makes a mistake and stuffs something up, and you continue to drive without any heed for how it is performing, or any warnings or anomalies displayed on the dash, then you could still end up needing a tow.
     
  6. f.s.prius

    f.s.prius Junior Member

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    I also replaced a traction battery with a Dorman in April 2016. This battery failed May 2017. I'm in L.A. area inland so heat could be an issue. In the process of replacing under warranty from Dorman.

    It was no trouble getting a replacement authorized from Dorman, phone call and reported codes; they gave me auth. number to give to retailer.

    I went with Dorman for the warranty and that it could be sourced from NAPA relatively easily if it failed; which it has. FYI Rockauto sells a battery $400 cheaper (same warranty) and they have a warehouse in San Bernadino if you are in the area. Did not know about this warehouse location when I originally replaced.

    I believe Toyota now offers replacement batteries without some components that need to be transferred from original. Had this been an option this is how I would have gone as I believe they are new cells. However I think they only have warranty if replaced at a dealer.

    Still have a little under 2 years left on Dorman warranty, hopefully will not need it again. Or I will get pretty good at replacing. Plan on getting the Prolong charger towards end of warranty no matter what.

    Also the original battery failed around 110k, car is not garage kept and I think the heat contributed to its short life. Car has been in Texas and California its whole life.
     
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  7. gatorglenn

    gatorglenn Member

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    I bought a new battery from Toyota. I believe if installed at a dealer it has a three year warranty, otherwise a one year warranty. I went for the factory replacement because I have a lot more faith in it lasting longer then a rebuilt one. The Dorman has a great warranty but many people have to replace them frequently and I didn't want to do that.

    I think that the hybrid batteries life is determined by multiple factors. Time, mileage, and heat are the main ones but they also seem to like to be driven frequently instead of sitting unused a lot. Low miles does not mean it will last longer from what I read.

    Glenn
     
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  8. Data Daedalus

    Data Daedalus Senior Member

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    I purchased my 2008 Prius 2nd Gen "Tspirit" (UK) used, back in 2013 - with approximately 55,000 miles on the clock. In the first 5 years, it had done approximately 11,000 miles a year average.

    Fast forward to the present; after 4 years of remarkably trouble free ownership/ motoring, the Prius now has 95,800 miles on the clock and HV battery performance is as good as it was when I first bought the vehicle.

    I'm hoping the HV power pack will last to at least between 150,000 and 180,000 miles; I use this vehicle for commuting in London all year round, and of course for domestic use when I'm not working.

    It does the same 36 mile round trip every Monday to Friday, except for 2 weeks at Xmas and in August each year.

    Apart from the occasional blistering London heat wave (last year it hit 35c or whereabouts if I recall) which barely lasts a week or two, the vehicle operates in a largely temperate climate zone, where Artic and Nevada desert temperature extremes are very rare or nonexistent. I consciously use my A/C to channel chilled air towards the HV battery on such hell fire days.

    Incidentally, this is the first time ever, that I'm taking a vehicle through the 100,000 mile barrier without fear.

    The Gen 2 is built like a Dreadnought Battleship (whatever that actually is...), and long may she sail...!!!

    I do believe this will prolong the life of most Prii's HV traction batteries in the UK.

    Extreme heat does indeed, usually seem to play a major role in Prii HV battery failure.


    iPhone ?
     
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  9. DevChatt

    DevChatt Junior Member

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    What do you mean by it hasn't been driven enough for a 11 year old car such that you had the hunch the battery will he due to be replaced?

    Wondering for my knowledge since I'm in a Similiar boat with an 06 I baught at 80k miles.
     
  10. Data Daedalus

    Data Daedalus Senior Member

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    I probably wouldn't worry so much. Where was / is the vehicle's regular climate zone of operations? If it's been toasting in the bare sizzling rays of Sun, in Nevada desert conditions every day of its life, then there's a chance of premature failure.

    On the other hand, if it's been regularly garaged / parked in a covered garage / car park in the same toasty conditions above, but though driven sparingly, got enough of a drive to keep the NiMH battery healthy, it could still last a very low long time indeed. There are still 1st generation Prii out there plodding along on their original batteries too.....and their mileages might also be barely over 100,000 miles.

    Don't worry too much about it - take heart in the fact that, unless you've had the greatest misfortune to have been saddled with a "lemon" (t'was a lemon straight from the factory....as in!)....the Prius Gen II was doubtlessly over engineered - and most owners know this to be true.

    Just sit back and enjoy the vehicle

    * p.s. I call mine "The Spaceship". Ergo, I find it extremely difficult to use the word "car" when describing the Prius. Hence my repeated use of the word "vehicle"......(as in Orbital Vehicle)....




    iPhone ?
     
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  11. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Thought I would throw in a used battery question. Has anyone ever bought a low mileage used battery that may have been in the salvage yard for many months or a year? Is their a concern that the hv battery may have discharged low enough that the car won’t start?
     
  12. Dxta

    Dxta Senior Member

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    Something new here. Does this mean, any failure in the Prius mechanical system, would herald the HV battery draining?
     
  13. Dxta

    Dxta Senior Member

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    Yeah, probably may not start the car. I'm currently working on a Camry hybrid battery, that has being parked for years or stayed for long, that was imported from the USA.

    I think what really matters in so e cases is that you got to just should I say, do some work, cleaning the bus bars, and charging the pack up to standard voltage.

    Don't get me wrong. Some batteries from such salvage yards, fire up, immediately when installed without even charging then up.
     
  14. Birdman85

    Birdman85 New Member

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    Hi guys I’m new to Prius chat here.Im looking at a 08 T-Spirit with 60.000 miles for £5500 very clean with a full main dealer history as recently as 58.000 miles.Just wanted to know how long I can expect the hv battery to last?Also does anybody know of any specialist out there in the uk.
     
  15. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Welcome to PC, and congratulations on the new ride.

    Obviously, I don't know anything about specialists in your area. As for the battery, there's no way to really know for sure. But, in some states over here, the battery warranty is 10 years or 150,000 miles. For the rest of the country it's 8 years or 100,000 miles. Probably similar on your side of the pond. So Toyota builds them to last at least that long. Not all make it, of course, but the vast majority do. In fact, I think most go way over that. Either way, replacing the battery isn't as big of a deal as some folks fear.
     
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  16. Birdman85

    Birdman85 New Member

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    Thanks Jerrymildred for the reply you guys have got a very good warranty period in the states,I’m not sure if you can have an extended warranty plan setup or not sure if my Gen 2 is too old?
    I’ve also seen that you can replace modules but not sure how economical this is.
     
  17. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    In the UK, you can have a "Hybrid Health Check" (HHC) performed either complimentary as part of a service (by a Toyota Service Centre/Dealer) or as a separate paid for service for around £35-£40. However this can only be done while the car is under 10 years old (from first in service date). If you get this done just before the 10th anniversary it lasts till the end of the 10th year. So, you may just be in or out with a '08. What an HHC does is extends the warranty on the HV battery by a year each time it is done. Other than that it is as JerryMildred says.

    As far as independent hybrid specialist goes, I think they are few and far between in the UK. Most try and find a good honest dealer and use them. With the fixed price servicing, it is not too bad.
     
    #37 dolj, Sep 2, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
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  18. Haschwalt

    Haschwalt Member

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    What is a Prolong charger setup?
     
  19. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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  20. Haschwalt

    Haschwalt Member

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    Can I use a 40Ah lithium iron phosphate battery to trickle charge it or does this setup have to be hooked to shore power. I tend to be on the road a lot & I tend to camp so I like to use ready mode for the AC at night. How much do these tend to cost after installation (and is it something I can install easily myself?)
     
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