Worth a rebuilt hybrid battery?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by Louis Horvath, Aug 9, 2022.

  1. Louis Horvath

    Louis Horvath New Member

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    I'm in a pickle.
    Prius 2005 with nearly 400,000 km (~250,000 miles)
    Second time I get the infamous red triangle. Four years ago I got code P0A80 and changed the hybrid battery myself (after reading lots on PriusChat ... thank you!). All fixed.
    Last week an independent vendor told me he had a spare hybrid battery so I drove 60 km (~40 miles) to be told he didn't have one (geez ....).
    He read the codes and told me this :
    P3000, cell #8 is bad. There was errors for the ABS brakes and ECUs but he didn't give them to me. He reset the error codes.
    At that moment my car started to have "hiccups". It tries to charge the hybrid battery for 1-2 seconds and then stops. The vendor told me it's the first time he's seen this.

    At that point I disconnected the (small, 12v) battery for 10 minutes to reset the system hoping the hiccups would stop. Didn't help.

    Since the vendor didn't have a replacement hybrid battery I drove back home. Fan on the batteries was on all the time until the car just stopped charging the hybrid battery. Nearly all the 60 kms back were without battery assistance. I live way up so I had to do some "sporty" driving.

    The car's pretty rusty and I dont have enough money to afford a more recent one (and the prices are just ridiculous anyways).

    So the question is : do you think changing the hybrid battery is a waste of money?
    Now I don't have a properly working car so I'm kinda backed into a corner.

    I've ordered an ODBII reader so I'll update this article with more info when I get some.

    I'm pretty good around computers so last time I changed the Hybrid battery it was a cinch. Hopefully this time it's as easy although that bad luck with that vendor didn't help.
     
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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!
    how many km since you replaced the hybrid battery?

    is it a new oem?

    new batteries are in great shortage right now.

    if everything else is working, maybe look for an inexpensive rebuilt with a warranty, but you have to expect some other major expenses to come along
     
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  3. Louis Horvath

    Louis Horvath New Member

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    TL:DR : It was a swap from a Prius with a dead display, was told it was the original battery.

    Long form : First time I had the red triangle of death I was lucky. My neighbor had an identical Prius but it's display electronics was dead (no display whatsoever yet the car worked). The good news was that the hybrid battery was fine (it was made in the Philippines and was never replaced if that makes any difference). Bought the car for 500$ C (a deal!). Wound up swapping the battery by myself.
    I don't know what the KM on that battery was since the car's display was shot.
    What I know is that when I put the battery in, my car I was at ~280,000 km. I'm now at ~400,000 km.
    A pretty good deal.
    BTW, I wound up exchanging my neighbor's Prius (with my old battery) for four cords of wood. Worth about 400$ C
    I can't complain :)

    Now you tell me new batteries are in great shortage. I'm guessing from my experience, rebuilt are also rare. I have little to no interest in combining two batteries to make a good one since I don't have the equipment to balance the batteries out (and test things out proper).

    The mechanical parts of the car are working A1 except for the check engine light. Also the 12v battery is, at rest, is a teeny bit below specs.

    For the rest, the car feels like it's 17 yo LOL
     
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  4. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Given your financial situation, your best option is to pull the pack and test the modules and spend $35 on a replacement module from: https://2ndlifebattery.com/contact-us/ Sometimes on the first bad module you can simply swap it out and get a solid year of hassle free driving. Sometimes not so much.
     
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  5. Louis Horvath

    Louis Horvath New Member

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    Thank you so much for your reply!
    Buying an individual module was part of my possible scenarios.
    That's assuming there's no more gremlins lurking around :) P3000 could mean a broken ICU or - I'm thinking - corroded battery harnesses
    Do you know if I need any special equipment to change the module or is a regular battery tester good enough to test the other modules?
     
  6. Louis Horvath

    Louis Horvath New Member

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    Note : The first time I replaced the hybrid battery, all the bolts holding the battery together had corrosion on them. Cleaning the didn't seem to help.
     
  7. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    I don't know where you are but I bought a battery from the hybrid doctor in Virginia for my Gen 3 which is similar to the Gen 2 and so far it's worked out very well it was $500 all balanced within three Delta blah blah blah. All seems good if I get a year or two out of it I'm reasonably happy any longer even better but it seems to work really well The guy did a good job
     
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  8. mr_guy_mann

    mr_guy_mann Senior Member

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    P3000 is the hybrid control ecu saying "hey, there's a code in the HV battery ecu- better go over there and check it out!"

    Certain can be a bad battery module- might want get a capable scantool to see what the battery ecu has to say.

    Usually when the hybrid control sees a problem, it tells the ABS, "No regen for you!" . So the ABS will set codes for that.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  9. Another

    Another Senior Member

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    Eventually cars die.
     
  10. Louis Horvath

    Louis Horvath New Member

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    Thanks for the info. Makes perfect sense. I'm getting my ODB2 scanner any minute now and I'll know more about the codes (I'll post them here).
    A local used hybrid battery vendor told me he believes all the codes are caused by my bad battery module.
    Apart from a check engine light everything else was perfect before (well apart from the part where the car is turning into a rust bucket LOL).
     
  11. Louis Horvath

    Louis Horvath New Member

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    Been there, done that! So far, cars don't run away fearing for their demise when I try to get in so I'm good.
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i haven't read that rebuilts are rare, possibly because they aren't sitting on container ships in the pacific. it's certainly worth a few calls. idk about your location, but around here, when you search hybrid vehicle repair, most of the hits are battery rebuilders.
     
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  13. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Someone on here recently mentioned there's over 200 people on waiting list in the US for OEM replacement packs. Clearly Toyota underestimated how impossible it is to upgrade to a newer car right now and with the value of used Prius doubling on the west coast there's lots of people who will wait as long as it takes to get a replacement pack rather than moving on.
     
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  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    most of the world got caught with their pants down. it's a result of how the supply chains were set up, and manipulated over the years.
    when everything is good, it's nearly flawless, but one little hiccup and whammo!
     
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  15. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    "Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing is a production model in which items are created to meet demand, not created in surplus or in advance of need. The purpose of JIT production is to avoid the waste associated with overproduction, waiting and excess inventory, three of the seven waste categories defined in the Toyota Production System (known in North America as the lean production model). The JIT concept was described by Henry Ford in his 1923 book, My Life and Work:

    We have found in buying materials that it is not worthwhile to buy for other than immediate needs. We buy only enough to fit into the plan of production, taking into consideration the state of transportation at the time. If transportation were perfect and an even flow of materials could be assured, it would not be necessary to carry any stock whatsoever. The carloads of raw materials would arrive on schedule and in the planned order and amounts, and go from the railway cars into production. That would save a great deal of money, for it would give a very rapid turnover and thus decrease the amount of money tied up in materials."

    What is just-in-time manufacturing (JIT manufacturing)? - Definition from WhatIs.com
     
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  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i used to work in inventory management. a whole host of outside influences were always causing shortages or over abundance.
    idk anything about automobile manufacturing, but in our business, weather, factory issues, shipping, customer whims, etc., were always upsetting the applecart
     
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  17. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Never a shortage of cookie crumbs though, just apple cart parts... A guy like you never has a shortage of cookie crumbs!
     
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  18. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    A multimeter and a 12v 50w light bulb is the minimum requirement... But a hobby charger used for remote control cars that can charge up these 8v NiMh batteries is helpful, so is a high voltage trickle charger too: Build Hybrid Battery Maintenance Gear For Under $100 | PriusChat

    But how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go? Once you get your existing pack working again it's worth finding a second pack that you can take your time rebuilding so when you first repair job needs more work, you just swap packs and only have an hour of down time for your car.
     
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  19. Louis Horvath

    Louis Horvath New Member

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    I'm waiting for a replacement hybrid battery as we speak.
    I've got a quote for a replacement module for #8 that's apparently shot in my case.
    I've taken the whole battery apart before (not the one I have now but the previous one) and I've got a multimeter so in theory I'm good to go if I can't find a rebuilt hybrid battery.
    I had a RC Model battery charger four years ago but I lent it and the person broke it.
    Note: Last time I took a hybrid battery apart, there was a lot of deposits on the connectors on the side of the battery modules. Where we live there's a lot of humidity (but it's not sea water, thank god).
    UPDATE
    Got my ODBII reader, works fine but there was no codes; had to unplug the 12v battery when I went to the battery vendor this week, the car was acting weird trying to recharge the hybrid battery. Good news : no new codes since.
    My car however still has a red triangle and has the ABS light on.
    Intuition tells me changing the hybrid battery will fix the issue although it's bad news if there's shortages on that front.
     
  20. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    If you still have warning lights, then you definitely have error codes. What app are you using? It Probably is not programmed with Prius-specific error codes. Try a different app!
     
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