Replace Hybrid Battery before it dies or just wait and see?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Stoner, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Stoner

    Stoner Junior Member

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    The title I guess says it all. Is it better to replace the hybrid battery before it dies?

    My 170K 2008 Prius is doing great. In early 2019 I decided to keep the car after putting 170K miles on it over the last 10 years driving across Alligator Alley (I-75 Naples to Miami) to work. I was able to clear codes through replacement of both coolant valves, water pump, thermostat, transaxle fluid and have religiously kept the oil changed. I had a body shop repair some minor dents and dings then had them put a gorgeous original color (white) paint job, new front grille and repair the rear latch.

    It is now late 2019 and I have started to notice the first mile driving the hybrid battery charge drops from near full to 1 pink bar, but then charges up completely within the next 1-2 miles... Weird, but I wonder if my battery is finally showing signs of dying? Further, my 12volt battery is pushing 4 years old. Could this be the problem?

    I'm retired and have kept and maintained the car for sentimental reasons as it has always been "rock solid".
    I only drive it around town.

    Your thoughts on whether to bite the bullet and replace the hybrid battery before it dies naturally?
    ps: Its always been a south Florida car and parked outside most of its life.
     
  2. les.warden

    les.warden Junior Member

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    Mine died while in the garage. I felt lucky. When it dies, nothing will work. The control voltage goes away so...nothing. You wanna be out and about when that happens? I replaced mine with a yellow top battery. More costly, lasts longer. Fit like a glove.
     
  3. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Yes, this is a common indicator.

    Short trips=tough on batteries as the ICE is frequently in warmup mode and thus calling on the EV side for power.

    Warm climate=tougher on batteries.


    GOOD LUCK!


    OP is referring to the HV battery not the 12 volt.
     
  4. Stoner

    Stoner Junior Member

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    Thanks for your reply Les. Where did you purchase your battery? And is "yellow top" a company name?
    I can replace the battery myself. Any recommendation(s) of where to buy a refurbished battery? I live in south Florida.
    I know there is a company in Tampa, Fl and there is Texas Hybrids (in Texas of course). Suggestions?
     
  5. les.warden

    les.warden Junior Member

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    Sorry! I thought you were referring to the starter battery. My hybrid battery is still fine. In Illinois, 2008 Prius, 130K miles.
     
  6. Stoner

    Stoner Junior Member

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    So this is an indicator of my Hybrid Battery dying...thought so.
    I can replace the battery myself. Any recommendation(s) of where to buy a refurbished battery? I live in south Florida.
    I know there is a company in Tampa, Fl and there is Texas Hybrids (in Texas of course). Suggestions?
     
  7. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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  8. les.warden

    les.warden Junior Member

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    I’m mostly a DIY person so I’m always doing research. I’ll throw in here, readers digest version, what I’ve read throughout the forums concerning the hybrid battery replacements.

    A lot of refurbished hybrids have had particular bad cells replaced with good cells. That doesn’t make the cells left any newer, so they’ll age out quicker than the newer ones, then it’s back to the drawing board.

    I’ve read that Toyota will work with you on a new hybrid battery. Basically get a brand new one for half price. This is because they take your old one, refurbish it, and use it in third world countries as a storage component. Worth asking around.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. royrose

    royrose Active Member

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    And, since you are able to replace it yourself, you can then sell some of the old, still working, modules through EBAY. So, your net cost could be about $1300. If you buy a Toyota OEM battery you have to give them your old "core"

    My suggestion is to get an OBDII bluetooth adapter and run the Dr. Prius App hybrid battery health tests. That would give you an overall estimate of battery health and help you decide whether to replace it now vs continuing to use it until it dies.
     
  10. royrose

    royrose Active Member

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    I believe they discount the battery only if you are barely out of warranty or just over 100,000 miles. For a 2008 with 170k, he would have to pay full price ( something over $1600) and give them his core.
     
  11. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    And pay the additional $1350 core charge till the core is approved and the funds returned.
     
  12. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Typical signs of an unbalanced HV battery, it may not need replacing for 1k's of miles if properly balanced.

    Doubtful that the 12v is the problem, but pull out the voltmeter and give it a check none the less.
    With such little usage, it might be prudent to just balance the HV battery and save the funds for bigger repairs down the road.
    Depends on how mission critical the vehicle is, can you afford to be stranded or a no show for an appointment?
    If parked in the blazing sun all the time, at least crack the windows. The HV battery doesn't like to be heat soaked.
     
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  13. Stoner

    Stoner Junior Member

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    Thank you for all your replies...I would not know where to begin "balance the HV battery" . I've read a few threads here and it takes quite a while to do then with a low voltage charger and other equipment I suppose.
    I may check around for a shop that balances HV batteries first.
    FYI, I called my local Toyota dealer today and a new HV battery installed with 12 month warranty=$3500 bucks! A new battery without install is $1900 with NO warranty....nice of them. Advanced auto sell refurbished at $1400 (12 month warranty) or $1723 (18 month warranty).
    I'll keep reading my threads if you think of something else you meant to say. Thanks!
     
  14. royrose

    royrose Active Member

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    So your dealer is essentially charging $1600 for installation. That's outrageous (but not uncommon from Toyota dealers). The warranty on a new OEM battery is irrelevant because failure in the first few years is unheard of but I believe that the standard warranty on a new battery installed by a dealer is 3 years. So, I'm suspicious of your dealer's honesty.

    Green Bean battery sells refurbished batteries for $1449 with mobile installation and lifetime warranty. Since refurbished batteries fail after a while, I guess they just keep replacing them until you sell or junk your car. If it were me I would choose that or 2K1Toaster's new ones.
     
  15. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    #15 Tim Jones, Nov 18, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  16. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Also need to read the fine print. Some don't cover subsequent labor after the initial installation.
     
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  17. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    And what if your hundreds or thousands of miles away from the installer (rebuilt) and it goes out. Are they going to drive to your location in a day or two?
     
    #17 Tim Jones, Nov 18, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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  18. royrose

    royrose Active Member

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    I have not used them and cannot vouch for them. They do not cover diagnostics (you have to document the diagnostic code) or towing but say the warranty is transferable and that they will come to you in 42 of the mainland 48 states. Here is a direct cut and paste from their web site:

    We've got you covered for a A LIFETIME

    Installation included in warranty coverage

    Coverage anywhere in our service area, great if you travel or move

    No hidden charges. Period.
     
    #18 royrose, Nov 18, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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  19. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    That's the key here.

    Just keep driving until the battery dies a natural death. A failed battery will not leave you immediately stranded. When it does fail you'll be able to drive it in to get repaired. Considering what you have already invested in this car it deserves a new Toyota battery and nothing else.

    He's a bit of a drive from you but Todd at Tampa Hybrids would take good care of you.
     
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  20. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    Who’s lifetime, your battery’s or the company? That warranty is not sustainable in the long run. It’s impossible for them to continue with that warranty in the long run.
     
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