12 Months Later

*Knock on wood* I have had absolutely no problems with the Prius. More than 25 000 km later and it’s as though the battery never gave me any trouble in the first place. There’s not a lot more to say about it than that, really. If the battery isn’t giving you any trouble, the car just drives. I don’t have any easy way of determining the pack’s health, and it’s completely possible that I’ve wrecked everything and shortened the lifespan of the traction battery, but it sure doesn’t seem to be the case. I have over 250 000 extremely rough kilometers on the car – I did construction and renovation projects to help pay for university, and used the Prius as a truck. I’m sure that contributed to the early wear of the battery pack, as there was an inordinate amount of dirt and debris in the car that probably very few other Prius in the world are subjected to. For example, I once filled the back with the waste shingles and roof debris from a re-roofing job. So that all said, I think the battery is probably one of the “healthier” pieces of the Prius as it stands right now. It’s missing most of its front bumper, and numerous non-essential pieces of the body. A small oil leak, a couple rust spots, but it still runs.

Would I do it again?

Absolutely. Particularly having done it before, but looking back, if I were doing it for the first time I still think it was well worth it. I very briefly thought about trying to set up a business offering assistance with other people’s hybrids, but I really don’t care enough to learn all I would need to do it properly. I’d certainly help anyone looking to do it themselves though. It’s utterly preposterous that the status quo is “sell us your old pack, we’ll sell you a new one”. I learned a massive amount, overcame most of my fear of electricity, and saved a few thousand dollars. I’m lucky enough to both work at a job that is very accommodating with allowing me to work from home when I needed to, and having a partner who was willing to ferry me around a bit. That bought me the ~1 month I needed to diagnose what was wrong with the Prius, research my options, buy everything I needed, wait for it to ship, fix the battery, and put it back together.

2 thoughts on “12 Months Later

  1. Fred

    Hello

    I have Toyota Camry Hybrid LE 2015
    185 000 km I have battery fault
    Now I have 225 000 km
    We replaced 6 cells, but after 3 weeks the error comes agat. I am still able to reset it, but it comes to often if I am driving continuously in the city. If only work-home than no errors.
    I am in Hamilton Ontario
    Do you repair hybrid batteries?

    Reply
  2. tobymurray Post author

    Hey Fred, when you say 6 cells I assume you mean 6 modules (the things that are pictured leaning against each other here: https://technicallyrural.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/dsc_0205.jpg?w=1920)? I’ve never tried replacing a single cell within a module – I’ve read that it can be done, but didn’t seem worthwhile for me. That’s a significant number of modules to have replaced! How did you determine which ones to replace?
    How did you go about replacing the modules? Did you pair the modules by capacity and balance the whole pack? A bit naively, it sounds like perhaps one of the modules is badly paired or over/under performing so when it charges/discharges significantly (on long drives) the voltage drifts beyond the acceptable threshold.
    I have only worked on my own battery, professionals have significantly more sophisticated equipment although as I understand it the process doesn’t differ too much, just waaaaay faster and more consistent. Googling quickly it looks like there is a place near you that provides exactly that service: https://www.ericsautohamilton.ca/hybrid-repair-and-service – have you reached out to them?

    Reply

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