// Replacing the Hybrid Battery!
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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Replacing the Hybrid Battery!

    Has anyone else out there had to replace their hybrid battery?

    We have a 2001 Prius w/ 145,000 miles. Last week the Master Warning Light came on along with the check engine light. This had happened once a few months ago and the dealership was not able to give us a good explanation of why. This time when the lights came on they said the codes indicated that the computer controlling the battery needed to be replaced and most likely the hybrid battery as well. The full cost of the replacing the computer and hybrid battery is $5000!!!

    I knew someday we were going to be hit with this cost, but I really had no sense of how much it would be as no one was ever able to tell us. In fact, we will be the first Prius in our area to have the battery replaced because it actually wore out (as opposed to being warrantied).

    I checked w/ an independent mechanic on the wholesale cost of a new hybrid battery and he said just the battery alone w/ no markup is $3500.

    Anybody out there have any experience with having their hybrid battery replaced? If yes, what did you pay for it? Anybody try using a salvaged battery and computer?

    For the rest of you Prius owners, you might want to start up your battery replacement fund now! This repair is not cheap.

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  3. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Sorry to hear you're getting hit with such a big bill like that. I don't have anything to add, but I do appreciate your posting it. I was wondering what the replacement cost would be myself. I didn't find anything on cost, but did see that Toyota expects them to last 150K miles based on bench testing.

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    where do you live?

    "California Emissions State" registered hybrid have an extended warranty over the hybrid system - battery and computer - covering ten years...

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    $5K Repair in NC

    I live in Raleigh, NC. I kept the all the original paperwork that came with the car and everything seems to say the warranty on the Hybrid system is 100,000 miles or 96 months - whichever comes first.

    My Prius has 145,000 miles on it - so maybe that's consistent with the expected life of the battery. (I read somewhere that cabbies in Canada had gotten over 200K on their Prius' but I'm sure that was over a shorter time period if that makes a difference.)

    In the past, whenever I asked how long the hybrid battery would last I never got an answer since I guess this is new territory for the mechanics at the dealership. If I had had the expectation from the beginning that 150K was about what I'd get out of it, maybe I wouldn't be feeling so shocked at this point. Though, actually, it's not the fact that the battery has to be replaced that's so shocking, but the actual price tag! I think I was bracing myself for a $1200 repair not a $5000 one.

    I drive all my cars into the ground and typically when I get into the territory of expensive repairs (and I'm talking $1000 dollar repairs here) the wheels are about ready to fall off the car, so I don't feel bad about selling the car or having it scrapped altogether. My 2001 Prius, on the other hand, is still a young car by my standards - only 5 years old. I hate that my other car - a 15 year old Mazda Protege w/ over 210K miles has now become my "good" vehicle! It still runs very reliably after all these years.

    I suppose most Prius owners are fairly affluent and were like me buying the car at least partly because they felt they were making a good environmental choice - not an economic one, but even so a $5K repair is so out of line w/ the amount of money one expects to pay for making for a car repair. I wonder what is going to happen as all the Prius' now on the road start to approach the useful life of their battery?

    I couldn't in good conscious sell the car to another person and stick them w/ the repair (though that Master Warning Light might give it away!). I doubt a dealership would give me much on it as a trade-in if I confessed to the fact that the battery was about to die.

    I won't be surprised if there is mysterious spate of Prius' being pushed into lakes at about 150K miles on the odometer. Guess I'll just tell the insurance adjuster I forgot to put the parking brake on...

  6. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    It might not be the Battery

    NC .... back up a Minute .... you said that they need to change the Computer controlling the Battery . The ECM ( Electric Control Modular ) that controls the battery flow is known for failing between 140,000 and 150,000 miles. Have them replace the unit and you should get an additional 50,000 to 80,000 miles out of your Prius......... I would not say that your Battery has gone bad (Per-say, Maybe a Little worn out) ........ unless you based out the unit ( Driving without the 4 cly ......... using up all the energy in the battery ). Talk with DAN on www.Priusonline.com he is a True Mechanical and Battery GuRu.....

  7. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    My HV battery nightmare….

    OK, here we go. I can’t get help from customer support, so I need the support OF customers.

    I bought my 2001 Classic from Carmax on March 31st, 2007 and drove it over 500 miles in 3 days. It easily averaged 50 mpg overall, up to 60 mpg at times, with no problems or warning symbols that I could detect. Then I took it to a the largest Toyota dealer in the state, at about 60K miles, for a full checkup, and now it’s been in their shop for 3 weeks.

    At first they said they found a stored trouble code and it needed new spark plugs, gasket, injectors, and a new computer, all for free under Toyota warranty. They loaned me a new free Camry and did the work, and replaced the aux battery, too, and then it wouldn’t start.

    I’ve talked with 4 levels of the dealer’s mechanics and managers, and they say the HV battery is basically dead, and they’ve been trying to start it every day, but the ICE won’t start. They’ve been trying to get the only HV battery charger in the region to try charging it, and if it can’t be, they’ll replace it free, but they may not get the charger until May 2nd.

    I trust this dealer because a friend has been satisfied with their service on her Corolla for 15 years, but I need my Prius back and running, and the dealer isn’t making any progress. They don’t know, or won’t say, if the HV battery was drained during their work. I want to be driving my Prius when I’m making loan payments and buying an extended warranty this month. The Carmax 30-day warranty runs out soon, but Toyota seems to be struggling with its responsibility to fix the hybrid system. They just say, “We’ll make it right. Keep driving that free Camry. You’re going to have a great car.” But WHEN?

    I have a document of the crankshaft position sensor recall repair, but from reading internet posts, I think it has missed out on a number of recalls, such as the steering box item.

    Here is data from a live laptop printout of the HV battery that the mechanic did for me April 19th. The printout says “2003 Prius 1NZ-FXE.” It may say 2003 because that’s the latest ECM-reading program for the 2001. Some values were cleared when disconnecting and connecting the 12V battery. The charge indicator on the Energy touch screen showed maybe ¼ charge. He showed me that the ICE would not start. He said the ICE will start once the HV battery is charged, because he has charged several others.

    Battery SOC 0.0 %
    WIN -20.0 KW
    WOUT 0.0 KW
    Delta SOC 20.0 %
    IB Main Battery 0.00 A
    Battery Blck Min Voltage 8.07 V
    Min Battery Block No 8 #
    Battery Block Max Voltage 14.06 V
    Max Battery Block No 19 #
    Battery Temperature 1 68 F
    Battery Temperature 2 64.4 F
    Battery Temperature 3 66.2 F
    Battery Temperature 4 68 F
    Battery Inside Air Temp 66.2 F
    Normal Status Yes
    Pre Onboard Charge No
    Onboard Charge Status No
    Outer Charge Status No
    Cooling Fan Lo OFF
    Cooling Fan Mid OFF
    Cooling Fan Hi OFF
    VMF Fan Voltage 0.000 V
    SBL Fan Stop Request OFF
    Auxiliary Battery Voltage 10.937 V
    EQTR Charge Start Sig OFF
    EQCO Front Relay OFF
    Estimat of Ex Charg Hour 0.0 Hr
    Battery Blck Voltage 1 13.48 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 2 12.11 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 3 10.31 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 4 9.70 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 5 9.21 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 6 8.56 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 7 8.63 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 8 8.09 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 9 9.14 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 10 8.51 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 11 8.73 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 12 10.12 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 13 10.47 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 14 10.80 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 15 11.65 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 16 12.72 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 17 12.76 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 18 13.51 V
    Battery Blck Voltage 19 14.06 V
    Inside Resist 1 0.024 ohm
    Inside Resist 2 0.022 ohm
    Inside Resist 3 0.022 ohm
    Inside Resist 4 0.023 ohm
    Inside Resist 5 0.023 ohm
    Inside Resist 6 0.022 ohm
    Inside Resist 7 0.023 ohm
    Inside Resist 8 0.021 ohm
    Inside Resist 9 0.022 ohm
    Inside Resist 10 0.023 ohm
    Inside Resist 11 0.022 ohm
    Inside Resist 12 0.024 ohm
    Inside Resist 13 0.022 ohm
    Inside Resist 14 0.022 ohm
    Inside Resist 15 0.022 ohm
    Inside Resist 16 0.022 ohm
    Inside Resist 17 0.022 ohm
    Inside Resist 18 0.021 ohm
    Inside Resist 19 0.022 ohm
    Onboard Charge Time 0 times
    Battery Low Time 0 times
    BC Inhibit Time 0 times
    Battery HI Time 0 times
    IG OFF Hour 0 Hr
    IG ON Hour 0.04 Hr
    The Stored DTC Num 0
    ECU Code 47030A

    The mechanic says he’s charging the small battery, and Toyota won’t let him replace the HV battery without trying the charger. The charger may actually even out the voltage variation after a while. He says if the charger doesn’t work, they can get a new HV battery overnight. The charger should be in on May 2nd. He says he’s doing everything he can for me, but still has no theory on what happened to the HV battery.

    So far Prius enthusiasts have expressed opinions on both sides - that the dealer really doesn’t know how the HV battery died and I should be glad they’re treating me so well, or that they goofed and won’t admit it and I should keep investigating. The fact that I brought in a Prius running fine and it “shortly” became a Prius that won’t start doesn’t add up. It appears that they started out trying to perform work according to EG006-02, “M.I.L. ‘ON,’ Misfire,” and somehow goofed. I’m not accusing anyone, I just want to involve and inform as many enthusiasts as possible so I won’t feel so alone without my Prius.

    I’d appreciate any advice you guys can provide, and I’ll keep you posted.


  8. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Day 29, HV battery “repair”

    Folks offered both cautionary and encouraging comments on my service concerns, but after nearly a month, I finally turned in the loaner and picked up my 2001 Prius… done just right!

    The dealer started out doing an injector repair required by a code stored in the ECM, and they explained that the delay was due to the coincidental occurrence of 3 problems: the fuel pump died while finishing injector replacement; the HV battery died while repeatedly trying to restart the car; then Toyota management in Georgia squabbled over the only HV battery charger in the southeast.

    So still, I am "The Luckiest Dog In The Known Universe” because I got a lot of free stuff, including a thorough inspection, a service history review, valve adjustment check, labor, loaner, and materials. With new injectors and associated materials, engine computer, fuel tank with fuel pump, and small battery, my Prius is completely up-to-date, for free! The tech even says all the HV pack cells vary by 0 volts.

    The upshot is, if Toyota takes away your Prius for repairs for a long time, it REALLY pays to be patient.

    And, I think we all learned that Toyota needs to have more than one HV battery charger in the southeast.

    So if your Prius needs work in the Charlotte NC area, the best place to take it is Scott Clark’s Toyota on Independence Boulevard. They certainly went out of there way to satisfy me, considering how extremely impatient I was.

  9. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007

    My Check engine diagnostic - Replace Catalytic Converter

    I have 140K miles on my 2001 Prius. Check engine light came on and I thought the worse, the Hyrid battery pack. Turns out dealer says the Catalytic Converter will cost $2,500.

    I did replace the main computer a few years back (under warranty). Between this, and other warranty replacements along with 4 windsheilds replaced and 5set of tires (I followed all the rules with the tires), I will not buy another Hybrid unless I can be guarenteed the replacement cost for major items is much more reasonable.

  10. #9

    I recently test drove a

    I recently test drove a Prius 2008 at a Toyota Dealership in orlando. if I'm not mistaken, the battery has a 8 yrs warranty.

    I would double triple check on that!

    Best of luck!

  11. #10

    I am all for the electric

    I am all for the electric car, however hybrids are not the answer to our future cars, nor is Hydrogen. An Engineer in San Diego.

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