How often does a battery in a Prius need to be replaced?

I looked into this recently and to summarize here is what I found:

  • It should be good for 10 years or so, easily. You can look up Toyota’s Web pages for details on this subject.
  • Some say 140,000 miles. Some say 150,000. I say drive until you need the replacement.
  • When it fails, Toyota dealers replace all of the battery, that is foolish, period! In addition,  it’s very costly, $3,000 or $4,000. That sucks
  • If it fails, you can usually run the car, but the economy is gone and you’ll probably have warning lights to ignore. Been there, done that! If there were another, different, engine fault then you wouldn’t know.
  • It’s not the whole battery that fails, it’s just one or maybe two cells. That is where we come in.  We only replace what you need to restore the battery to its original working condition. In addition, we build our own batteries for even greater savings.
  • There are lots of independent repairers  out there that can find that cell and replace it for a fraction of the cost of a full battery.  Please pick one that holds a repair license and has a reputable reputation. Paul is the best in the business if you reside in Florida.
prius batteries florida

Question….Can I fix it myself? – It is possible to fix it yourself, but you’d need a cell, usually an entire battery from a scrapyard is the only way to get this. And you’d have to be very good at mending things, or very, very, lucky. On top of that you will need a laptop with the right cable to read the computer system of your Prius to get the right diagnosis codes.

Question…What if it is not the battery?  Sometimes it’s not the cells, but the control circuitry that goes with it. Big problem. At this point Paul will tell you how to fix the problem at the cheapest cost possible

Conclusion….if you own a Prius and you have warning lights the best start is to have Paul give you a full diagnosis report on your car.  This cost nothing.  In most cases it it most likely a bad cell that requires replacing.  This is a 4-5 hour job that can take place right at your home.  No need to bring the car to us.  We have a fully mobile system that will do the repairs right at your location. Please call us at (727) 565-5685.

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Licensed vs. Un-licensed – Choosing A Hybrid Auto Technician?

Licensed vs. Unlicensed – A Very Important Choice!

Licensed Toyota Hybrid Battery Repair FloridaIf your Toyota Prius or Camry hybrid system needs service, you want confidence in your mechanic. When you take you car in for repairs, you want assurance the technician doing the work not only knows what he’s doing but has proper training to deal with unexpected problems. YOU WANT A LICENSED & INSURED TECHNICIAN! PERIOD!  No Exceptions!

Ideally, you need a licensed & insured mechanic, someone who has the education and hands-on experience, and , more important, a certification to fulfill such work.  We understand,  the cost may be slightly higher but think of this, do you really want an unlicensed mechanic from Craigslist or an unlicensed company doing the work on your car? And then some say “we come to you”…Are they insured?  If they get hurt on your property will your insurance policy cover them and then skyrocket your rates.

So, Again…Is A License And Insurance Really Necessary?

hybrid battery replacements of tampa bay floridaWhen you hire an auto mechanic, it pays to be meticulous in selecting the best available professional. Affordable Hybrid Repair Of Tampa Bay is a fully licensed Motor Vehicle repair shop. Doing a quick search online we have found several hybrid battery repair “so-called” specialists operating unlicensed. Most are found on Craigslist and other online websites. As a hybrid owner you must use caution.  You may receive the response, ” I can do the job for less“, well, that’s true, but this can later cost you thousands of hard earned bucks and even higher rates on your insurance policy .

How To Find A Licensed Auto Mechanic

It’s possible to find independent shops in your area that are licensed to repair cars. Here, we need to know the reputation the business has and if their license is actually current. Some unscrupulous companies will apply for a license their first year of operation but never renew it or hire mechanics with little to no formal training and hide them behind a valid business license. In this it is best by checking out local review sites to find out which repair shops are licensed, honest,  and which aren’t above standard.

The Risks Of Bad Repairs

toyota camry hybrid batteries in floridaIf the work you’re getting done is happening in someone’s home garage or is half what a dealership would charge, or they claim they come to you without first displaying a license permit there’s a good chance you are you dealing with an unlicensed mechanic.  Also, here is another con. If major damage has been done to your hybrid battery or electrical system,  can it be traced back to the work performed by an unlicensed tech? The recourse may be timely and expensive going through the court system to regain losses. You might be able to have it reinstated after a court proceeding, but this is a time-consuming and expensive process.

Safety is also an issue with poor workmanship. Mechanics who don’t have proper training cut corners, and that puts you at risk on the road. An improperly installed hybrid battery on a Prius or Camry can result in thousands of dollars in damages.

Our Conclusion:

The licensed professional is worth his weight in oil, and in most states multiple licenses are required to run a shop. If you’re hiring a mechanic to do any work on your car, always make sure he or she has a current certification and experience to back up the price. If you live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida be assured that you are getting the finest work here at Affordable Hybrid Battery Repair of Tampa Bay.

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RED TRIANGLE Gen 2 2005-2009 Prius Transmission Failure, Inverter Problems

Gen 2 Prius (2004-2009) RED TRIANGLE Transmission Failure, Inverter Problems

driving extended periods with red warning lightRed Triangle Warning – Long ago we published an article on the Gen 1-3 transmission failure .  Around the same time we predicted Gen 1-3 transmissions would be more robust.  While this remains statistically true, our experience has proven that they are not immune to transmission problems of their own.  And many times they come on due to extended period s of driving with the red “Triangle of Death”.

Common symptoms of this problem include:

Whining/growling noise when engine starts
Rattling/banging when driving
Car refuses to “ready”
Engine cannot start (“whizz” noise when cranking)
Master warning light (red triangle)
Diagnostic trouble codes will include the following error codes….

P0AA6, info codes 526, 613: High Voltage Isolation Fault
P0A7A: Generator Inverter Fail (over current by inverter assembly malfunction)
P0A92: MG1 malfunction

Many companies currently operate an overnight shift 7 days a week dedicated to hybrid cars that serve as taxi cabs.  With this experience we can describe Gen 2 Prius transmission failure as routine, somewhere between 150-250k miles just from their research alone.  The most common indication is trouble code P0AA6 (with no other known symptoms), but we have also seen broken chains, failed bearings, bad MG1s (trouble code P0A7A and P0A92), and seized planetaries altogether. 

We have also seen these problems on many other privately owned cars, as they get much older.  Not only have we seen failures in transmissions and inverters due to driving with the red triangle warning in the process we’ve developed industry-leading procedures for testing insulation, impedance, and mechanical problems to prove this issue.  We are leaps and bounds ahead of the dealer.

Right now we can repair the car at a fraction of dealer cost with second hand units and honest labor charges. Over the years we have replaced dozens of Gen 2 Prius batteries and inverters due to running the car while the red triangle warning is still showing issues.

Transmission Noise You May Hear:

driving a prius with red triangleThere is a flat needle bearing that holds the planetary gearset from the MG1 case.  This bearing is the weakest mechanical link, prone to failure over time.  Once it collapses, the gear it supports falls inward against the load of the chain and grinds into the case of MG1.  Early signs are a whine when the engine starts .  Long term the chain will break and when MG1 attempts to crank the engine the planetary freewheels with a “whizzing” sound. You will know what we mean when you hear it.

Winding deterioration is also possible in MG1, the smaller motor/generator inside the Toyota HSD transmission. Symptoms may be similar to the noises of a bad bearing or broken chain, because MG1 is engaged when the car attempts to crank the engine. Sometimes the gearset makes noise, but sometimes the motor is bad enough that the inverter will simply default when attempting to engage it, much like a bad starter making a single “click” noise when trying to turn over an older model car . When attempting to “ready”, the click is heard and then the warning lights appear, and the car is incapable of starting the engine. The vehicle will still move under the power of MG2 (the traction motor) but the HV battery will eventually deplete to the point that it will ready off and it will no longer attempt to restart at all. At this point the damage is done.

Both of the trouble codes relate to the inverter, which is why it is so often condemned as the source of the real problem. The inverter provides power to the motors, and when a short in the inverter current peaks, it in turn, sets off  a warning code. This is exactly the same scenario as P3125, info code 287 with Gen 1 Prius. Sadly,  We expect many inverters will be thrown at Gen 2 Prius, despite the experience with earlier models.

Cost of the problem?

gen 2,3,4 red triangle of deathWell, this can cost you upwards of $2500.00 to $3500.00 for a transmission problem but we can still save you thousands by eliminating the problem altogether.  When you see the warning light give us a quick call and we will give you and honest answer on how to keep your hybrid running for years without draining your entire savings.

Give us a call at 727-565-5685. Ask for Paul.  I will give you an honest up front answer.  We have been know to save many Tampa Bay customers thousands of dollars. Just ask our previous customers.

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HID Headlight Installation For Toyota Prius Gen 1-3

Headlight Installation For Toyota Prius Gen 1-3

Toyota Prius HID bulbsHeadlight Installation – There’s nothing the media loves more than a nice juicy auto problem. Imagine that your Prius headlights fail, and replacing them cost you THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS  !!! This is very common to hear.

Well, that’s the premise of a late June story in AdAge, which discussed a potential problem with the optional  high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights fitted to the second-generation Toyota Prius in model years 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. Are you aware of this Prius issue?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received hundreds of complaints from Prius owners about HID lamp failures and, according to this bogus story, opened a full blown investigation into the matter.

Watching the statistics of the Prius

The AdAge story cites well over 338 complaints received, although our search of the NHTSA complaints system produced just 117  listings for complaints about the 2005-2008 of the title ….Toyota Prius – categorized under “Exterior Lighting-Headlights”.

The bulk of them, numbering almost 80, were for the 2006 model year. And it’s worth noting that those complaints covered all headlight problems, not just those having to do with the HID lights. So..what should you do if you have headlight problems?

Many of the complaints cite dealer repair costs exceeding $1,000, in some cases as high as $1,800 to replace two entire HID light units and two control modules, which are electronic components that provide power to the lights.  We can replace them for just $450.00.  That is for 2 headlamps!  Really a fraction of the cost!

We’ll wait to see what the NHTSA comes up with, but as the commentor on the AdAge story notes, headlight bulbs are a consumable item for cars–like wiper blades, brake pads, and tires. Which is to say, sometimes they do fail and need to be replaced. My own father-in-law had his Gen 3 lights blow at 85,000 miles where as I, with my Gen 3, never replaced my headlamp bulbs ever and surpassed the 187,000 mile mark.

Whether they are failing at a higher rate than expected will depend on statistical analysis, and the NHTSA wrote to Toyota in May asking for more data.

Price / Sticker shock?

The HID bulbs have a rated life twice as long as standard bulbs, and give three times the light while using about half the power. But they’re also much more expensive: the list price for one bulb is $150, against $12 to $15 for a standard headlight bulb. Ouchhh!

We suspect the high cost of a new HID bulb may come as a shock to Prius owners, makingheadlight installation them more likely to suspect a defect.  Either way,  we can replace these at a much cheaper price.

It may be, that unscrupulous dealers are exacerbating the high cost of the bulbs. They may be imposing exorbitant labor charges for unnecessary work, like removing the Prius front bumper shield to swap out a dead bulb, or even replacing entire HID units at $330 apiece. Replacing a single Prius headlight bulb, according to the service manual, takes less than 15 minutes.

It may also be that the problem lies not with the lights themselves, but with a $250 control module and/or associated wiring.

Meanwhile, perhaps inevitably, a lawsuit has been filed in Los Angeles on behalf of a Toyota Prius owner in Putnam County, New York. The firm of Girard Gibbs is seeking class-action status for their suit, calling the bulb failures “a dangerous but undisclosed safety defect.”

This reminds us somewhat of the supposed Prius “sudden acceleration” issue, in which a handful of owners claimed that their hybrids experienced complete brake failure while accelerating wildly out of control.

What should YOU do?

cheap headlights toyota priusIf you have a Prius with HID headlights, and one of your bulbs fails, it may be worth trying to repair it yourself. But good luck, you will need some specialty tools to remove the rear of the headlamp assembly to access the bulb!  I will also add that you may need to get some help, most likely from a dealer, to finish the project! Dealers can charge you $275 to $375 (per bulb).

Do yourself a favor, call Paul and ask him for an estimate.  You will thank us later.


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Cheapest Prices On Toyota Prius Hybrid Batteries & Coolant Pumps

Cheapest Prices on Toyota Prius and Camry Hybrid Battery and Coolant Pump!

cheap hybrid batteries in FloridaAre you looking for the cheapest prices on Hybrid Batteries in Florida and need help? At Affordable Hybrid Batteries of Tampa Bay we offer the lowest prices on hybrid batteries for Toyota Prius & Toyota Camry. We also offer the lowest and cheapest prices on your inverter coolant pump. Not only do we offer the best price on hybrid batteries and coolant pumps but we install them at your home! We offer this service at no extra charge. We have excellent references as well as highest recommendations and warranties than any other other company! We give you the best of the best service!!! Call Paul now at 7275655685


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Cheapest Price On A Toyota Prius Hybrid Battery

Like many articles on Cheapest cost for a hybrid battery, this one started with a reader question. Scott Stone wrote:

I’m interested in buying a new Toyota Prius hybrid. I hope you can answer a couple of questions that will help me.

(1) Are the rechargable batteries guaranteed for 8 years or longer? If they fail at 7 years and 11 months, do you get them replaced free of charge, or are they prorated?

(2) What happens to the resale value of a Prius if you want to keep it for six or seven years, knowing the cost of replacing batteries is anywhere from $500.00 – $3,000?

cheap hybrid batteries in Florida

They’re both good questions.

To answer the first one, “The battery pack in any hybrid Toyota is warranted either for 10 years or 150,000 miles (in states with California emissions laws) or 8 years or 100,000 miles in all other states.”

And,  “There’s no pro-rating at all. The battery will be replaced at no cost if necessary during the warranty period.” What a sweet deal!

As for the effect on used Prius prices, there doesn’t appear to be a discount for older Prius based on concerns about the life of the rechargeable battery pack.

2003,2004,2005,2006,2007,2008 toyota prius batteryIndeed, Toyota says the battery pack is one of the least-frequently replaced items across all Prius models. And some proportion of the packs it has to replace haven’t failed, but were damaged in collisions or other accidents.

The cost of the pack varies with the year of the Prius. Replacement batteries for the 2001-2003 Prius cost $2,299, and those for the more common 2004-2009 model currently run $2,588.  Call us for some pricing as low as $500 for a hybrid battery rebuild right at your home.  Really!  We come to you!

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Toyota Prius Dashboard Warning Lights – What Do They Mean?

What Are Toyota Dashboard Warning Lights and What Do They Mean?

warning lights red triangle toyota priusHave you ever been driving your Toyota Prius and had some warning lights appear on your dashboard? It can be troubling, confusing and aggravating when you don’t know what, if anything, is wrong with your new car. In many cases, it is likely nothing, but in the event that it is, it is so important that you get your vehicle into your local Toyota Service Department. Your dashboard lighting up like a Christmas tree is something out of a driver’s nightmare and with that concern in mind, lets discuss these lights and what they really mean.

What Are Toyota Dashboard Warning Lights and What Do They Mean? at J. Pauley Toyota-Fort Smith ARAll of those little lights on your dashboard come in two primary categories — indicator lights and warning lights. Indicator lights are there to alert you to a potential issue that may require your attention or simply let you know system is activated. Warning lights are more serious and should be addressed as soon as possible before you continue on. Color is a helpful way to help you understand the gravity of your vehicle’s situation. If a dashboard light is green or blue, it generally indicates that a system is on or operating, such as your high beams being on. When you see red or yellow, it may indicate a serious problem or safety issue and you should have your vehicle checked by a certified Toyota technician as soon as possible. Take a look at a few common and important dashboard warning lights and indicators.

Check Engine Warning Light

Not a a light you want to see light up on your dashboard — the check engine light is serious business. This dashboard warning light can indicate any number of problems with the electronic engine control, electronic throttle control and electronic automatic transmission control systems. Get your Toyota Tacoma serviced immediately if you see this warning light flicker on, as it could severely impact your safety down the road.

Low Engine Oil Pressure Warning Light

When your engine oil pressure is low, it can lead to even more significant issues without immediate attention and this warning light will let you know. If you see the low engine oil pressure warning light come on, it may mean there is more significant damage to your vehicle that could cause a vehicle malfunction or accident in the future.

ABS Warning Light

Few things are as crucial to your safety when you are driving than your brakes, so when you see the ABS warning light it is serious. This warning light generally points to an issue with your anti-lock brakes or the Brake Assist system. You can see how a malfunction of this system while on the road, could cause an accident and negatively impact your safety, so it is vital that you get your vehicle serviced immediately if you see this dashboard warning light come on.

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Hybrid Battery Life: What You Need to Know

Toyota Prius Hybrid Battery – What You Need to Know

hybrid batteryWhile hybrid cars entered the mainstream car market over 15 years ago, they’ve grown in popularity and spread across nearly every platform of vehicle today. As the 10- and 15-year marks of ownership are reached, hybrid battery life and maintenance questions have begun to pop up. How long do batteries last? What are the performance issues that arise? How does one go about replacing hybrid’s battery?  That is always the thousand dollar question.

The Why

The battery technology in your hybrid vehicle is similar to that of your smartphone and other modern devices; in fact, for the most part, they both use Lithium-Ion batteries — the ones in your car just have a far higher capacity. The battery in your devices typically gets charged to 100 percent and then discharged to nearly 0 percent, which can substantially shorten the lifespan of the battery.

In a hybrid car, software programs generally allow the battery to be charged to around 80 percent and only down to about 40 percent, which helps them last a lot longer than your typical battery . With that said, chemistry is still chemistry and the materials responsible for creating electricity within the pack can deplete and wear out over time, leaving the battery in a partially operational state.

The Tell tale Signs Your Battery Is At Deaths Door

As a hybrid crosses the 100K-mile mark and the vehicle takes on a new life in its older years, the battery systems that power the drive train will start to wear out and fail. While there’s no real deal “test” for the lifespan or health of the battery, the best indicator of a properly functioning pack is the vehicle’s fuel economy. If the battery is working correctly, fuel consumption shouldn’t change all that much. But as the battery begins to fail, the gas engine will start to pick up more of the slack and you’ll see a decline in miles per gallon.

If your hybrid is getting lower gas mileage than it used to, the battery may be the culprit. Most manufacturers warranty the batteries for about eight years or 100,000 miles, so if it fails prematurely, your vehicle may be covered.


prius camry hybrid battery cheapest costWhile different hybrids use different size batteries, the cost of replacement is generally between $2,000 and $4,000. Depending on the vehicle the physical battery replacement can be simple. The batteries are typically located in the trunk of the car or under the back seat. Putting it simply the job involves removing the clamps that hold it in place, unplugging the old battery and then installing the new one. Of course there are a few vehicle specific safety steps involved due to the high voltages used by these batteries. Finally a technician may need to use special tools to make sure the hybrid system is functioning properly.

That is where we come in. Paul at Affordable Hybrid Battery Repair will come to you, yes, come to your home, business, or location and give your battery a full diagnostic checkup.  In most cases we can just replace a cell at a fraction of the cost of dealerships.  We do service Prius, Camry, Highlander, and Lexus Hybrid Systems.  Call for details and current specials.  (727)565-5685. You can also visit our Hybrid Battery sister site.

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Warning Lights On Prius & Camry Hybrids! Help!

Hybrid Warning Lights?  Read On…

warning lights red triangle toyota priusI’ve only had my 2001 Prius Classic about 3 weeks. Today that warning screen came on showing the Main Battery symbol and the Car/Exclamation mark symbol. The dealership said it’s okay to drive it but bring it in Monday when the Prius guy shows up. The car seems to be running fine, I don’t smell anything, the oil is OK, power, A/C, etc seems to be ok. I hate when this happens within a technology I don’t understand. It reminds of the those “Fatal Error” messages I used to always get when I first got my computer. I also hate that I might be in for a battery or other repair that will wipe out any gas savings I might have for years. Any advice to give?

My Prius Story To Share

2nd generation priusMy 2005 Prius has about 224,800 miles on it. I has been driving okay until yesterday. While driving, there are many warning lights coming up, including the check engine light, Red Triangle, VSC and “!” lights are all on. I asked autozone to pull out the code to be “P0A80, replacing hybrid battery pack”. Does it mean I need to get a new battery? I heard it is very expensive, around $3000. Do I need to spend $150 to let Toyota Dealer to diagnose it again, just to be sure it is the hybrid battery problem?

In the mean time, after reading some posts from the forum, I did the following diagnoses myself:
1. I take out the fuel cap, and put it on until it clicks. It did not help
2. I tried to see whether it is the 12V auxiliary battery problem by checking the vehicle in the maintenance mode. I did it twice under two conditions
Now after the the car has been sitting/idling for 16 hours, I press the power button once and turned the head light signal 3 times while holding the MFD Info button, then “Menu”, “Display Check” and “Vehicle Signal Check”. I saw my battery voltage to be 11.9V . Then I press power button again and release, the voltage became 11.4V, less than the 12V as suggested. Then I press the brake pedal and press power again, enter into “ready” mode, the voltage shows 14.1V, which is supposed to be normal.
After driving the car for 30-60min, I followed the above procedure and checked the voltage again. The readings are: 12.5V (unloaded), 12.0V(loaded), and 14.1V (at Ready position).

I was told by a technician that the first time check was not accurate because the car has been sitting in the cold weather (30-37F) for 16 hours, it is normal that the battery to read 11.9V (unloaded). As he pointed out, the battery voltage returned to normal after driving 30-60min.

What is the best option to me at this point? I don’t want to spend another $3000 for my car because it is already old and has >200,000 mileage on it. Looks like I can do the following two things:
(1). Get a used battery. How much this will cost including installation?
(2). Trade in the vehicle and get a new one.

My Opinion…

affordable hybrid repair tampa bayWorking on Toyota Prius systems for years we have helped many Prius owners diagnose their hybrid system.  While the dealership now charges a $98.00 charge just to “figure” out what wrong we can come to you.  But here’s the catch, and a positive one at that.  Most Prius owners end up going to their dealership and finding out it is the main hybrid battery that is the culprit.  They will come to you and put you into a panic attack with a bill topping $3,000.00.  Our company will come to you, explain just what is going on with your hybrid system and rebuild just the bad cells saving you big bucks$$$$. 

Please do not feel that you must be loyal to your dealership at the sake of depleting your savings account.  Call me now for a full diagnosis.  (727) 565-5685 – Paul


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How much does it cost to replace a hybrid battery?

Hybrid Batteries and The Cost To Replace

2nd generation toyota priusIt’s a fact of life, all batteries fail. Computers can power down during presentations and cell phone calls can drop in the midst of an important crisis. Now it seems that you can add cars to that list of worries. Hybrid and electric cars are gaining more popularity in showrooms worldwide as gas prices rise and the environment degrades, and these cars use large arrays of batteries as a power source.

Of course, considering past experience, a potential hybrid or electric vehicle buyer will may ponder over  a couple questions, namely, “How much will it cost to replace one?”

Cost Of A New Hybrid Battery?

For the record, hybrid batteries are only very distant cousins to those used in laptops and cell phones, so you don’t have to worry about your car dying in the middle of a drive. As for cost, most experts agree a replacement hybrid car battery can range anywhere from $1,000 to more than $6,000, depending on the year and make of your car, this , of course is without dealership or independent labor costs.

While this may seem like a big expense, car makers are set on reducing prices. Why would they do that? It comes down to this. Car manufacturers want their products to succeed. Failures in performance hinder that success, so most hybrid car batteries are designed to last the lifetime of the automobile. The state of charge, temperature and longevity in each battery are carefully managed by automakers who know full well that any setback could throw a wrench into the growth of the still relatively new hybrid market.

affordable hybrid repair tampa bayThat said, the stage is now set for a leap forward in hybrid car battery technology. For the past several years, the vast majority of batteries were made from a nickel metal hydride (NiMH) formula, but lithium-ion — the new kid on the technology block — may take over the hybrid world in the coming years. The shift from NiMH to lithium-ion will likely come with a price, both in terms of dollars and experimentation. At the end of the day, though, the questions remain: How much it will cost to replace a hybrid battery now?

Give us a call for a full battery checkup.  We start our battery replacement costs at $499.00 installed right at your location.


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