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Old 08-01-2012, 05:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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why so expensive for.hybrid batteries

Why is it so darn expensive $4000, to put in a hybrid battery. Is there some sort of programming involved with the ecu?.of the Battery is 1800, where is the other 2 grand from. Im.sure I can do the job myself. Is out more complicated than just swapping them out?

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Old 08-01-2012, 06:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Labor is expensive because not every mechanic out there knows how to do it. So, they can charge what they want.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Challenge a dealer on installation costs, and they may just come back with a lower price.

Here's a story about just that, where the dealer knocked $1360 off the price just for asking: Replacing A 2001 Toyota Prius Battery Pack: What It Cost
Project MPGiata! Mods for getting 50+ MPG from a 1990 Miata
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: 70 MPG in my ecomodded, dirt cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage.
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown

has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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1.3 to 1.7 hours of labor is a small percentage of the total bill. The real issue is, you are putting close to 3k in replacing one component of the several major components in a fairly complicated 12 year old car.

Two points.

1-Do you want to gamble that no ther major component will fail.

2-What is the real value of the car, if you face a potential 3k repair bill.

These are your points to consider when you buy a used hybrid over a decade old.

I have told people for over 3 decades that when you buy an old used car, get the one that is simple with the fewest options.

Try $400 to replace a window regulator on an old Chrysler K car, probably more than the car is worth.

I've had people give me cars when they came to the point of flushing money down a toilet when repairs became a greater risk potential than replacement.

There are no 15 year old 200k mile hybrids to use as an example, but they are the most complicated cars and inevitably will be the most expensive to repair and keep on the road from year 15 and mile 200k to year 20 and mile 300k.

That is why I say buy an Echo versus a Prius if you are talking about year 2000 model cars. Not meant to start a firestorm of arguments, just an observation based on over 40 years of keeping them running.

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Old 08-01-2012, 10:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with old mech on your car buying strategy, if its 8 years old or more, you better be getting it cheap and make it last a while. At 8 years old there is a relatively small market and thus little interest, and in 2 years of driving you'll have another 25k miles on it and it'll be 10 years old. Get the best deal you can on the car that will cost the least to own and operate for however long you plan on owning it.

We bought our pacifica in feb. for 9 grand, it has every option was under 100k miles and I am intimately familiar with the 3.5l engine and 4spd trans.

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Old 08-02-2012, 02:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hopefully costs come down on batteries and folks get used to changing them out when needed. Hybrids can be a lot of fun to drive, especially a really old hybrid

You also might look at selling off your old pack to a solar user. There is a lot of current activity around folks planning on using older packs for their solar arrays. You never know, you might find a bidder!

Good luck.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ncwa View Post
You also might look at selling off your old pack to a solar user. There is a lot of current activity around folks planning on using older packs for their solar arrays. You never know, you might find a bidder!
The battery pack in a hybrid is way to small to power an off grid system, it looks like they are a 1.3kwh battery pack... that is around 1/20 the size of the battery bank that my parents off grid system has and it's even 1/3 of the size of battery pack that my electric motorcycle has, it would be a really nice battery for an electric bicycle...

Largest market that I've heard of for used Prius batteries is people who rebuild them in to refurbished battery packs because when they "go bad" it's often just one or two cells in the pack that have gone bad.

I agree that where the extra $2,000 is going is being saved, so when you come back and want to know why the repair that they did didn't fix every single issue that your 12 year old car has, they don't go broke making you happy.
Best deal you are going to get I suspect is to find someone who works on hybrids and is confident with every diagnostic that they make, I suspect that a mechanic like that is not going to talk you in to a brand new battery pack, they are going to tell you to put a used/rebuilt pack in your car, if they tell you that a brand new pack is your only option then get a 2nd opinion.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The battery is not a problem. I have done everything but rebuild an automatic transmission. So I am confident in doing any work on the car myself, including swapping out ecus,or the MG2 motor shall it fail on me, or replacing the battery pack and I do not run my cars hard. I could get one online or take the pack apart and see which cell have depleted and replace them. I have no problem buying the $500 scan tool for my laptop, and a scanguage. I have another car that I plan on selling for 3600 and banking that money should anything go wrong. I just see gas not getting any cheaper and feel that hybrid is the way to go right now until something else comes around. The car is blue booked at 5600 suggested retail and the guy wants 4490. I think the tires may be a little low but not sure about that, I think blue book says 4235 for clean retail so that will most likely be my offer. The only other cars I was looking at were the echo, and the chevy prism, but I do like the gen 1 prius look, and the 45+ mpg .

I just did not see spending 4 grand on a battery that costs between 500 and 1800 I figured labor had something to do with it.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Heck I may even sell my other car and buy an echo or a prism along with the prius, that way my girlfriend does not mess up my mpg lol

I took an 01 for a ride and loved the ride, and how it handled. I Do not want to finance more than 4500 and the VIN check through toyota allowed me to contact the service manager at the dealer who told me he remembers the owners of the car and said they took very good care of it. and that all major recalls were done. and he told me the only concern he sees is in about 40k the battery going on it. and he recommended rebuilding the pack should It go. and told me for 85 bucks they will do a hybrid test on the car should I decide to purchase it. problem is the car is about a 45 mins away from the dealer at a lot for sale. and the dealer selling the car told me over the phone that there is nothing wrong with the car and that the hybrid system checked out great for him.

I am just putting my feelers out there to see what others think

Last edited by Scottman28; 08-02-2012 at 12:21 PM..
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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They charge that much for a reason.
Because they can.

I really don't think the battery would be that difficult to replace.
I think it would be like changing out the gas tank but this is smaller and has more wires and lines going to it.

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