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Old 02-25-2019, 03:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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2008 Prius Traction Battery Replacement (planning ahead just in case)

Greetings.

Trying to have a plan in place if my 2008 Prius Traction Battery ever decides to call it quits.

I talked to my mechanic who has done the Prius Battery Replacements before and said it would cost around $3000 for him to do it. He said he buys the battery packs directly from Toyota.

I'm in Southern California and have been researching multiple companies that sell and install refurbished batteries for around $1500. These usually consist of battery packs that have cells pulled from partially failed battery packs, rebalanced, and then repackaged.

Anyone have any experience in this area? I also have to keep in mind if it will be worth spending such a large amount of money if my car isn't worth that much. Good news is I'm still under 80,000.

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Old 02-25-2019, 09:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If it fails, replacing just the bad cells is the most economical way to go. If you want all new cells, there's a guy on Priuschat selling new replacement cells for less than $1600 at newpriusbatteries.com. You just pull the battery, swap out all the cells and bus bars and put it back in.
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Old 02-25-2019, 09:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Buying used cells is like a bit of a slippery slope -- it's cheaper, but when one cell is replaced, others are bound to go bad soon. Speaking not from personal experience yet but rather from what many say over on Prius Chat.

A new battery is ~$2100 if you install it yourself.
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vman455 View Post
If it fails, replacing just the bad cells is the most economical way to go. If you want all new cells, there's a guy on Priuschat selling new replacement cells for less than $1600 at newpriusbatteries.com. You just pull the battery, swap out all the cells and bus bars and put it back in.
I personally own one of these and have observed a 40% degradation in usable capacity since June, 2018. Additionally, they have horribly inconsistent internal resistance (IR) due to shoddy construction.

Under heavy throttle, my car surges. I can watch the current surge from peak to mid-level 1-2 times per second because the high IR block voltage drops like a rock, and the car adjusts.

They are Chinese junk.

Prior to this, I had a hammered reconditioned piece of junk in my car (multiple modules were barely 50% rated capacity). It actually performed a little better due to the consistent IR.

$350 more for genuine Toyota/Panasonic is an infinitely better value.
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broski499 View Post
Greetings.

Trying to have a plan in place if my 2008 Prius Traction Battery ever decides to call it quits.

I talked to my mechanic who has done the Prius Battery Replacements before and said it would cost around $3000 for him to do it. He said he buys the battery packs directly from Toyota.

I'm in Southern California and have been researching multiple companies that sell and install refurbished batteries for around $1500. These usually consist of battery packs that have cells pulled from partially failed battery packs, rebalanced, and then repackaged.

Anyone have any experience in this area? I also have to keep in mind if it will be worth spending such a large amount of money if my car isn't worth that much. Good news is I'm still under 80,000.
List price of battery from Toyota is $1950 + tax. Buy it and install it yourself. Your mechanic is paying about $1700 for it, and he's charging you $1300 for about 3 hours of labor. Many dealerships are under $2800 OTD at this time.

The recommendations for module replacement are misplaced. What you can't tell when you are going through the process is how deteriorated they are. You can measure 28 identical voltages, but they will have wildly different capacity.

Voltage tells you WHERE you are in the SoC range - not how much charge you have.

Module replacement is typically a game of whack-a-mole. When you dig deeper, you find most accounts of module replacement involve a few trips into the pack over the course of a year.

There's nothing good about you having a low mileage Prius. Low mileage = you're not getting the benefit. And one of the worst things you can do for a hybrid is to NOT drive it. You never want a low mileage hybrid.

If you're looking to extend life and delay replacement, consider a Hybrid Automotive Prolong reconditioning package.
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S Keith View Post
List price of battery from Toyota is $1950 + tax. Buy it and install it yourself. Your mechanic is paying about $1700 for it, and he's charging you $1300 for about 3 hours of labor. Many dealerships are under $2800 OTD at this time.

The recommendations for module replacement are misplaced. What you can't tell when you are going through the process is how deteriorated they are. You can measure 28 identical voltages, but they will have wildly different capacity.

Voltage tells you WHERE you are in the SoC range - not how much charge you have.

Module replacement is typically a game of whack-a-mole. When you dig deeper, you find most accounts of module replacement involve a few trips into the pack over the course of a year.

There's nothing good about you having a low mileage Prius. Low mileage = you're not getting the benefit. And one of the worst things you can do for a hybrid is to NOT drive it. You never want a low mileage hybrid.

If you're looking to extend life and delay replacement, consider a Hybrid Automotive Prolong reconditioning package.
I bought it in 2014 with 35,000. I've put just under 50k since then. I'm not really sure why the previous owners put so little miles on it. I'll look into the reconditioning package.
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broski499 View Post
I bought it in 2014 with 35,000. I've put just under 50k since then. I'm not really sure why the previous owners put so little miles on it. I'll look into the reconditioning package.
Ah... good. You're getting some goody, and you may have rescued it before it really started to go South.

Full disclosure: I am an authorized installer of HA systems. I receive nothing for recommending their products. I recommend it because it may be a very viable option for you.

If you are an Android user, you can purchase an OBDII bluetooth reader and install Hybrid Assistant. This app can run a battery discharge test and estimate your battery health. That's probably a better first step than just buying the system.
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S Keith View Post
Ah... good. You're getting some goody, and you may have rescued it before it really started to go South.

Full disclosure: I am an authorized installer of HA systems. I receive nothing for recommending their products. I recommend it because it may be a very viable option for you.

If you are an Android user, you can purchase an OBDII bluetooth reader and install Hybrid Assistant. This app can run a battery discharge test and estimate your battery health. That's probably a better first step than just buying the system.
I appreciate the info! How difficult would you say the HA system install is? I'm pretty handy with DIY projects, just haven't attempted anything High Voltage, don't want any shocking results. Yes, I went there.

I just got a OBDII scanner but only have iPhone. I'll do a bit of googling myself but are you aware of any iOS battery health apps?

My trusty UltraGauge is still plugging along. The stand, on the other hand, is a piece of crap.
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S Keith View Post
I personally own one of these and have observed a 40% degradation in usable capacity since June, 2018. Additionally, they have horribly inconsistent internal resistance (IR) due to shoddy construction.

Under heavy throttle, my car surges. I can watch the current surge from peak to mid-level 1-2 times per second because the high IR block voltage drops like a rock, and the car adjusts.

They are Chinese junk.

Prior to this, I had a hammered reconditioned piece of junk in my car (multiple modules were barely 50% rated capacity). It actually performed a little better due to the consistent IR.

$350 more for genuine Toyota/Panasonic is an infinitely better value.
Dang, that's too bad--that looked like a good deal otherwise. Are they at least going to be decent and honor their warranty?

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