Wondering what it'll cost to replace your Toyota Prius Battery?

Blog/ Wondering what it'll cost to replace your Toyota Prius Battery?

AuthorSarah RobinsonCategory Car Advice

Why go for a Toyota car with a Prius battery? The answer is quite simple…it’ll save you a lot of money on fuel.

Yet, just like any storage cell, you can wake up to a dead battery. You might notice mysterious drops in the battery’s charge, notice your gas engine running more than it’s meant to or even discover that your battery gauge never reaches or shows ‘full ‘anymore.

This isn’t something you’re looking forward to but if you’re in this situation or want to know what your options are before going for that Prius battery-powered car then we’ve got you covered.

Relax and read on. It’ll be worth your while.

How Does A Prius Battery Work?

Inside a Toyota Prius battery are 168 1.2-Volt nickel-metal-hydride cells, which contain about 1.6 kilowatt-hours of energy. Also, its peak power output is about 27 kilowatts.

The Toyota Prius is among the most popular hybrid cars in the world. It was launched in August 1997 in Japan and has sold about 12 million units worldwide.

This car was designed to help reduce the number of harmful car emissions in urban cities.

As of 2004, the Toyota Prius was the North American Car of the Year.

What’s A Hybrid Car?

The term ‘hybrid’ is used when there are two different elements mixed or combined.

For a hybrid car, this means there will be at least two energy forms that would be used to make driving your car down the road possible.

Typically, these would be the hybrid battery [Prius batter] and an electric motor combined with your car’s gas engine. This is what gives many hybrid cars the fuel efficiency they possess.

If you’ve got a Toyota Prius, it’s the same as owning a hybrid car just as we’ve earlier explained.

A hybrid car combines the use of an electric battery drive system [in this case, the Prius battery] and an internal gas combustion engine to reduce emissions from your car and help optimize fuel usage.

Here’s How A Prius Battery Works:

When Your Car Is On High Speed.

During heavy acceleration, your car wheels will need more power. To increase the power to the wheels, your car’s gas engine and electric motor will need to work hand in hand.

This combined working effort of the electric motor and gas engine is only possible due to the power-split transmission responsible for combining the power each one puts out.

At this rate, the electric motor makes use of electricity from the battery and the generator as needed. It also gets the battery powered up by the gas engine.

When Your Car Is On Normal Acceleration.

During normal acceleration, your gas engine is much more efficient and is the only one in use. Your car’s gas engine still powers the generator. This helps to generate electricity that is in turn stored in the battery and left for later use.

Once you apply the brakes or release pressure from the pedal, your hybrid car makes use of ‘regenerative braking’ [a clever system of the hybrid].

As your car is already slowing down, there will be no need for your car to keep running the gas engine or electric motor.

There’s an end to the supply of power to the car wheels and instead, the wheels’ spinning power will power the generator.

Once electricity is generated, it’s stored in the battery and left for later use.

When Your Car Reaches A Complete Halt.

When you’re just starting your car, it gets powered by the electric motor while drawing the power from the Prius battery.

At about 15 MPH, the Toyota Prius will only make use of its electrical motor for power. It’s no surprise why hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius are more fuel-efficient for city driving than on the highway.

When you finally pull your car to a stop, the electric motor and gas engine gets turned off. To run every other thing like the headlights, radio, air conditioning and so on, the car makes use of the Prius battery’s power.

How Is My Prius Battery Different From a Normal Car Battery?

Just like we’ve earlier explained your Prius [hybrid] battery is different from other car batteries. Your Toyota Prius isn’t just equipped with only a gas engine, as a hybrid car it’s got an electric motor too.

With these features, your car will be able to travel about 25 miles by getting its power from the electric motor.

All these will need a battery that’s not just regular but more powerful. A battery that is powerful enough to provide the energy amounts needed for all the activities your hybrid car needs. Thanks to the Prius battery, this is possible.

The Prius battery has been designed to recharge as fast as possible and also to discharge fully without having any parts of it damaged. Now, that’s how your Prius battery is different from a normal car battery.

With all these breakdowns, you can see how a Toyota Prius can reach about 48 MPG while on the highway and 51 MPG while on a normal city drive.

How Long Does A Prius Battery Last?

We’re all familiar with the saying “All good things must come to an end”. The Toyota Prius battery is one of those good things. Now it’s easier for you to agree with us on this knowing how well the battery can shoulder the responsibility of an optimized fuel economic drive for thousands of miles.

The life span of your Prius battery will depend on your driving habits and other conditions. However, if you’ve got good driving conditions and habits then your battery will only be a cause of worry after it travels 100,000 miles or after 10 years of use.

So, making sure your battery remains charged, preventing your battery from losing all its charge and also making sure that it stays protected or shielded from extreme temperature conditions are other good habits that can help prolong your Prius battery’-life.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Prius Battery?

Indeed a Prius battery doesn’t come cheap and that might not be a cause for worry until its battery life has been used up and it will need replacing.

The cost of replacing your Prius battery will depend on the car model. For example, a 2001 Toyota Prius car model’s battery will be cheaper than a 2016 model.

Generally, you’ll be looking at about $2,400 - $2,700 for a new Prius battery pack excluding labor costs. With parts and labor costs included, you should expect price ranges going as high as $5,000 or more.

Before you conclude that your Prius battery needs replacement, it might just need to be reconditioned.

If the only problem with your Prius battery is its ability to hold a charge then reconditioning it is more likely to solve the problem.

Reconditioning your Prius battery will restore it to its former working condition. Reconditioning costs around $1,300 - $1,900.

What About Replacing Your Prius Battery With A Used Or Refurbished One?

You’ll still need to consider the labor costs which always stands to be an inflating factor. A used Prius battery will cost about $1,700 - $3,600 [labor costs included].

A refurbished Prius battery will cost you about $1,600 - $5,000 inclusive of labor costs.

Why Is It So Expensive To Replace The Prius Battery?

We’ve cleared the air by stating that the high costs of replacing a Prius battery are influenced by labor costs.

These labor costs are calculated or billed based on the number of hours spent while working on the replacement.

In a report, we discovered that work hours of about 3.3 hours can be billed with a rate that’s equivalent for work done for over 5 hours.

Is My Prius Battery Under Warranty?

To know this you’ll need to check out the details of the warranty that came with your car.

Typically, a Toyota Prius should come with an 8 years/100,000 miles – 10 years/150,000 miles warranty.

If your Prius battery needs replacement during this period then you can count yourself lucky as it’d be done at no charge to you.

In this case, we advise getting the work done at a dealership to make sure the work is done under full warranty and carried out by a trained expert.

If your car is no more within warranty then going for third-party hybrid dealers will save you some cash than using a car dealership.

Can I Repair My Prius Battery?

Sure, you can but before you take that plunge, we’ll like you to bear these in mind:

  • Repairs are only temporal: Just like most repairs you’d have done on your car…it’s only for a short while. This is because attention is only given to what’s wrong at the moment. That doesn’t mean you won’t end up where you started after another similar failure. Bear in mind that having a failed cell in your Prius battery replaced doesn’t guarantee that in a short while, another won’t go down the same lane.

  • It can result in a void warranty: If your car still has an ongoing warranty then replacing it is far better than having it repaired. Having it replaced as we earlier stated will be free of charge but repairing it while it still has an extended warranty leaves enough room for a void warranty.

  • Repairing instead of replacing can be dangerous: We can’t emphasize this enough but a Prius battery is not like a normal car battery that you can just rush at to carry out repairs on.

You’ll need the right tools and equipment to safely handle and disconnect a Prius battery from your car.

That aside, not just anyone can handle or work on a Prius battery. You’ll need to be trained to do that.

At the beginning of this article, we discussed how a lot of electricity gets stored in the battery. If you’re not skilled enough to handle a Prius battery, a mistake can leave you killed or badly injured.

What Other Alternative Exists Besides Repairing Or Replacing My Prius Battery?

If the costs of replacing your Prius battery won’t exceed $1,000 and is still working fine generally or it’s under a warranty then replacing the battery will be worth it.

We’ve cleared the air on having your battery fixed and if you ask for our advice on that, it’s always going to be a big NO.

If the costs of replacing your Prius battery seem way beyond your budget and you wouldn’t want to risk the dangers of having it repaired, then we’ve got a better alternative for you.

You can always sell your car to SellMax.

We’ll give you an awesome quote online and if you like what you get, we take it from there. It’s that easy.

Selling your Toyota Prius to us with its failed battery is much better than a battery repair or replacement. Most especially if your car is more than eight or ten years old in use.

Why wait any longer? Get your awesome quote now.

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