What happens if the hybrid battery fails?

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Here is a battery pack partially disassembled buring the balancing process.

Hybrid batteries can be rebuilt. (I do not recommend this a s a long-term solution) Generally when a pack fails there are usually only one or two cells that are defective ( cells cannot be individually removed, 6 cells together makes up a module, there are 28 modules for a total of 168 cells, a pair of modules makes up a block, there are 14 blocks). The battery pack is removed from the car, disassembled and each module is "load" tested. Any module that fails the load test is replaced. When all modules are tested, replaced as necessary and working, the battery is re-assembled and all bus bars and hardware are cleaned and polished to remove corrosion. It is then grid charged, then drained and recharged five times to balance out the pack and restore capacity.  This process takes approximately one week. It is then tested in a car for 4-6 hours. Many places that offer this service skip the extensive balancing step because it is time consuming and requires expensive chargers, However, by skipping these crucial steps, the pack will fail again because it is still out of balance. I am no longer offering this service but still have parts and offer advice for anyone who wishes to do this themselves. A rebuilt battery is not a permanent fix but will kick the can down the road for a while. Used batteries from salvaged Prii are available. Used batteries are better because they have all original 28 modules and have never failed. Prices range from $1200-$2000* depending on age. All used batteries are grid charged and cycled 3 times. I can also install a brand new factory Toyota battery for $2600*.  Please call for more information and availability.

 

*The old pack is required for exchange.

Why do you have so many Toyota Prius?

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I specialize in Toyota Prius. Specifically 2004-2015 Toyota Prius models. I have found that these cars are virtually indestructible and have been known to last 600-700k miles in fleet and taxi services. Because they were mass produced, parts are abundant and reasonably priced. DIY service info is readily available on the internet, and although the hybrid batteries usually last 10-15 years (mileage is not as much a factor as time) they can be rebuilt or replaced with used ($1200-$2000) or new ($2600) which is a much cheaper alternative to paying the dealer $3000-$4000 for a replacement. Since I have experience with the second and third generation Prius, I have seen and done many of the repairs that are common to these cars and have come across very few that are expensive to make. I routinely average 50+ MPG on the Prius that I drive and most of them have over 100k miles. The resale value on them is fantastic and insurance is reasonable, making the total cost of ownership very low! 

How many miles per gallon can I get with a Prius? Really?

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This a great question and a difficult one to answer. Mileage varies by many factors. The main factor is the driver. Your driving style will make the biggest impact on your actual mileage. Learning how to drive your hybrid and getting the car set up right will also make a difference. There are numerous articles available online and on hybrid chat sites. If you learn how to drive them you can easily achieve 50-60 MPG with any Prius. I am happy to coach any new hybrid driver and help get the car set up correctly.

Does the hybrid battery require any maintenance?

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Typically not if the car is used regularily. The battery pack in the Prius is made up of NIMH (nickle metal hydride) cells. If the car sits for extended periods regularly( one month or more) it can self discharge. If this occurs then a grid charger is recommended to restore and balance the modules. There are several companies that make grid chargers for the Prius. There is one in particular that I recommed. It is made by http://hybridautomotive.com/gc/shop.html . The reason that I recommend this one is that it has a patented harness that you install one time that connects to the cars hybrid cooling fan and cools the pack as it is charging eliminating heat build up. It also offers an optional discharge feature which helps restore an older/ out of balance pack. I have several of these and use them in my rebuilding process and use them to balance older packs that are showing signs of starting to become out of balance. Grid charging service is available here.

Preventative care for your battery pack would be parking in a garage or covered area if possible. When that is not possible, have the windows tinted, always close the cargo shade if the car has one, invest in a windshield shade and/ or window vent shades so you can crack the windows and not get rain inside. Always use the air conditioning when its hot outside. The hybrid cooling fan pulls in cabin air to cool the battery so if you are not using AC then you are cooling your battery with hot air which will shorten it's life. If you have a pet that rides with you and sheds or you drive on dirt roads, the pet hair and dust will find its way into the cooling fan and reduce its efficiency. The fan should be cleaned periodically to keep it running well. This is a service I offer also.

Prius fuel savings calculator

Tampa Hybrids Inc.

Enter from Cypress Lane
17630 N US Highway 41 Bldg F
Lutz FL 33549
(813) 241-5307
todd@tampahybrids.com