seeking advice regarding red triangle on 2006 Prius with 179K

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by SR13, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. MrK(2)

    MrK(2) Junior Member

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    I guess I'm about a month late to weigh in on this, but in December 2013, I had my HV battery replaced with a battery purported to have come out of a wrecked 2009 Prius. The cost, including installation, was $700 plus tax AND they let me keep my old battery. It took them about 3 hours to remove and reinstall, and I was back on the road. They offered a 12 month unlimited mileage warranty.

    That was 37,892 miles ago, and the replacement battery is still going strong. Really, if you can trust the vendor, there is no reason why a used or 'rebuilt' battery cannot function for several years. If you are anywhere near St. Louis, I could refer you to these folks. They deal with a lot of Pruises.

    Dale
     
  2. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Dale,
    I hope this was not through Elite Automotive. (Owensville)
    If so, I would guess it is not from a 2009.
    If you call me I can explain how you can quickly check.

    Elite has scammed other members on this board who got their money back in full because of Elite's misrepresentation.
     
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  3. MrK(2)

    MrK(2) Junior Member

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    Since Owensville MO sounded familiar, I checked the name on the invoice. It IS Elite. I'll try to give you a call on Tuesday.
     
  4. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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  5. MrK(2)

    MrK(2) Junior Member

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    Eric,
    I appreciate the time you took to chat with me. At your suggestion, I pulled the 2 bolts that hold down the trim over the HV battery so I could see the serial number. The number has a different format from the picture in the thread you attached, so I'm not sure how to interpret it. It is: 2345P247110096180026. I assume the "P" is the year code, but what year?

    As I mentioned, the battery is still going strong. Earlier I said the cells were within 0.7 volts of each other, but that was wrong. They are actually within 0.07 volts of each other (low = 15.38 volts; high = 15.43 volts).

    Based upon Elite's reputation, I guess I have to consider myself very, very lucky that I've gotten a good battery, regardless of its true age. In the future, I'll be a bit more judicious passing out Elite's name as a battery source.

    Dale
     
  6. Sarge

    Sarge Active Member

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    Not sure if the OP has had his car done yet, but if the car is otherwise in good shape, I would recommend getting the battery replaced, even if paying full pop to Toyota, particularly if the 3yr warranty is true (it is the first I have heard of this).

    I was in a similar situation 3 years ago, my HV battery on my '06 failed at a similar mileage (273K KM / 170K miles), I think I had the same codes. 3 dealers all quoted me about the same for a NEW battery replacement (~$3500), but I lucked out finding and independent shop in Toronto who could rebuild it for a fraction of the price ($1200) and he backs his work with 1 year/unlimited mileage. I did some research on him and he had a good reputation and offered all kinds of references, so I decided to take the chance.

    3 years and 112K KM (70K miles) later, and she continues to run great! I have also gone back to him for a few minor mechanical jobs (wheel bearings, muffler repair, engine misfiring, mysterious triangle of death which was the result of simply a shorted wire!) which he was able to fix quickly and inexpensively. :). I highly recommend him for anyone within driving distance of Toronto... It would be worth the road trip/hotel stay.

    The way I see it, with a failed battery, you will get very little on trade or sale. Best to get it repaired or replaced one way or the other, and worst case you can the sell if for a premium as a Prius with a brand new battery pack. :). The car is otherwise rock solid and you are giving away a goldmine if you don't at least get it repaired....

    Just my $0.02.
     
  7. Priusfromevil

    Priusfromevil Junior Member

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    Had this happen to me in 2013. I have a 2006, and it had approx 110k miles (going by memory). GreenTec was an option as they had a shop in local KCMO, but I needed it done ASAP, so Molle Toyota in KC did it. I haggled a little bit with service guy, he knocked off a few hundred, settled at ~$2800 all done. It was a brand new Toyota battery with a one year warranty.
    Just sharing my experience.
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Active Member

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    Well, here I am again. HV battery charge started fluctuating rapidly this morning (like the last time it was on it's way out), and as expected, the triangle of death came on a few hours later on the way home. <sigh>. Did I curse myself?

    Am I the first to have an HV battery fail twice on the same car? :confused: Anyway, it's not quite that bad of luck, since it is the same pack which was rebuilt (4 cells changed) and I drive a LOT for my job. Car is currently at 386K KM (241K miles), so she doesn't owe me anything... The rebuild lasted me almost exactly 3 years and 113K km, so I think that was a reasonable $1K spend (compared to $3K+ of a new pack). I saved more than that in gas in that time, compared to a similar size car.

    Good news is I am still in the early stage of failure, as my ScanGauge was able to clear the codes, so I probably have a few days. ;) I'll see how long it takes to come back.

    My long term plan was to wait for the Prime, but I still have reservations about the 4-seat thing, and smaller cargo. We have a Leaf as our other car, so a regular Prius (Tech package and Moonroof :cool:, which I still miss from my Integra before the Prius) probably makes more sense anyway, for travel and family.

    I did have my eye on a used PiP, but it's 7-hours drive away, and at the end of the day, only a few thousand less than a new lift back. PiPs are very rare in Canada. Since my '06 has some other work coming up it might be time to trade it in and move on... :unsure: Besides, I should be taking advantage of the tax write off benefits of a newer vehicle, with my job.

    Ahhh, decisions, decisions....o_O
     
  9. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Not with the type of repair you undertook. With repaired HV batteries, it is quite common for problems with it within 3 years, sometimes as quick as 3 months. The longevity is directly proportional to the skill and care of the repairer.

    Just to be clear, your battery repair/exchange is not a true battery replacement as you had a repaired/remanufactured battery swapped for your failing battery, or you had your failed battery removed and modules that were deemed to be failed replaced with modules that were considered to be in better condition that were harvested from another failed pack. Your reworked battery was then reinstalled in your vehicle. A true replacement battery is one where all the modules inside are factory new.

    That you got 3 years out of it means you were not ripped off.

    The only way to get another 10 years out of a replacement HV battery is to get a genuine new battery that contain all new factory fresh modules. Even the Toyota remanufactured batteries (where they are available) contain all new modules.
     
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  10. Sarge

    Sarge Active Member

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    Oh, please don't get me wrong, perhaps my message was misinterpreted. I know the chance of a repeat failure was there when going the route of a rebuild (or used battery), I just don't recall reading any threads about it.

    Further, I am not suggesting I was ripped off, in fact I felt I did quite well with the the cost vs longevity I got out of it. Like I said, I don't feel the car owes me anything at this point, it has served me very well over the past decade. :) I trust my mechanic who did the work for me (and regret not finding him sooner!), and I plan to take the car back to him for at least a diagnostic to confirm the issue and extent of the problem; how many cells are acting up. I know he will fix it again if I ask him to, and likely give me a good price as a return customer and a 'friend' as I have got to know him, but the bottom line remains, if I put $500-$1000 into it again, will I see it again when I sell/trade the car? While it could be a selling point since he does back his work with his own 1 year warranty, with 400K, it will be hard to find anyone giving me anything for the car (despite the otherwise great shape of the car), and I doubt I will have it for 3 more years with the driving I do.

    I am actually a bit sad at the idea of letting her go, but I also do realize the age is starting to take a toll... (Sigh)
     
  11. amnyce

    amnyce Junior Member

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    It amazes me that Toyota gives you a new battery, and only warranties it for one year. I bought a Dorman, and I have a 3 year, unlimited miles warranty ... Installed it myself, so out of pocket it cost me about $1,500. I bought the $100 safety gloves ....
     
  12. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    The warranty on a product does not indicate how long the product will last. Longer warranty does not mean it's a better product.

    Many years ago, Hyundai and Kia both offered long warranties on their crappy cars (and they still do offer long warranties now).....much longer warranty than Toyota and Honda.
     
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  13. amnyce

    amnyce Junior Member

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    Stand behind your product. I like knowing I have 3 years on mine ... just in case ...
     
  14. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    You will definitely need the 3 years on a rebuilt.....most of those modules are from failed 2004-2006 packs. 10+ years on them.

    A new Toyota pack is brand new, starts from 0.
     
  15. jadziasman

    jadziasman Prius owner emeritus

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    Toyota just changed the warranty to three years and unlimited miles on their new HV battery if the stealership does the installation, one year if you install it. Swapping out your old battery for the new Toyota battery is more complicated than putting in a Dorman. Most reasonably intelligent amateur mechanics could manage to do the Toyota battery swap without f***ing it up.
     
  16. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    The analogy is like buying a 2006 Prius for $5000 and getting a 3 year warranty vs. a 2016 for $7000 and getting a 1 year warranty. Which one will be more trouble free? 2006 will see the dealership 10 times in 3 years for repairs vs 2016 will not see the dealership much at all.
     
  17. Sarge

    Sarge Active Member

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    Well, I had my HV battery rebuilt again, and just got the car back and she's driving great again. :) I got 114K km (3 years) out of the last rebuild for $1200, and it cost me $700 this time around... Pretty good ROI compared to a new battery, I say.

    At least it got the car back on the road, but he did warn me it is only buying some time, and he recommends I make a decision on my next car sooner rather than later, as it is 10 years old and approaching 400k KM.

    The way I see it, with that repair cost there is nothing to lose, since the car had basically zero value in it's failed battery state, and now I can get at least what it cost me for the repair in sale/trade. My mechanic said he would give me $1000 for the car just for parts.

    Anyway, the quest continues for my next car.... Possibly a used PiP. :)
     
  18. jadziasman

    jadziasman Prius owner emeritus

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    2013 Chevy Volts are really cheap right now, Sarge. At least they are in the metro Detroit area. Any Volts near Milton, which is a Toronto suburb isn't it? Low mileage 2013 Volts are going for as little as $13,500 US. Hell, I'm tempted and I hate GM for all of the problems they've given me with the wonderful Chevys, Buicks, and Pontiacs we've owned since the early 70s. BTW, I only have two Nissans and my Prius currently.
     
  19. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I don't think your rebuild this time around will get you another 3 years. The last rebuild was made from good modules under 10 years old. The rebuild you have now is most likely done with 2004-2006 modules, which are over 10 years old. So based on that, you should prepare for that PIP you want.
     
  20. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    ^^^ +1 to what JC said.

    I would almost agree, as long as you don't mind the inconvenience of the car being in the shop 3 or 4 times over the following 10 years.

    But if you do the math, you have put $1900 into it. You are getting close to what a new battery will cost. You still have to look forward to further repairs, possibly 1 or two more, whereas on a new battery in the first instance you would be trucking along and had no problems yet, and the prospect of no problems for at least another 5 to 7 years.

    I'm just saying with the benefit of hindsight, other people may make a different decision from what you made. But it is horses for courses, only the person at the time can weigh up all the factors.
     
    #40 dolj, May 17, 2016
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
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