Reconditioning Hybrid batteries

Thomas Diagnostician Cleburne, Texas Posted   Latest  
Question
Electrical
Rebuilding Hyrbid Batteries
Reconditioning Hybrid Batteries

Hello,

Have a 2005 Toyota Prius hybrid. Regarding the hybrid battery pack has anyone had success rebuilding these? I see them marketed as rebuilt or reconditioned. From what I've gathered you could test and remove the bad cells and install cells from another hybrid battery that test good. This sounds to me like swapping cells from one to another. Or is there truly a way to recondition the hybrid battery cells. If so would anyone happen to know what equipment would be used to recondition these properly so they last past a year or more. I see some of these places that specialize in hybrids are offering 2 to 3 years warranty on rebuilt hybrid battery packs. How is it they are able to offer such a guarantee? The last shop I was at, we had a guy who would rebuild these but this was just testing the bad cells and swapping out for better testing cells. The cars would leave but they would be back within 6 months to a year. If its possible to recondition these how so and what experiences have you guys had with rebuilding these as far as length of time before they fail again. I'm seeing more hybrids as these start to age. Like to give the customer several different options or they may just have to bite the bullet and get a new dealer hybrid battery.

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Josh Service Manager
Greensboro, North Carolina
Josh Default
 

These are probably the "easiest" batteries to recondition but they do require special equipment and training. I performed a research capstone project on the very subject when completing my B.S. degree a a few years ago. Dr. Mark Quarto is hands down the authority on this subject and he monitors these forums so I'm sure he may chime in as well. The equipment you need is available through his…

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Ethan Educator
Rapid City, South Dakota
Ethan Default
 

Hello, The problem with only going after the currently failed cell is that you begin to chase your tail. I have found that if you can perform a true diagnosis of each cells individual capacity then you can gain information as to what ones will last longer than others. Many people have trying making tooling to test the cells from using transformers, resistors, bulbs to discharge the cell and…

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Matt Technician
Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Hey Thomas, My shop offers in-house battery rebuilding. We only offer this service for the Toyota Prius. We identify the failed module (assembly of cells) , replace it with a known good like-one, clean all the bus bars and nuts, apply stabilant 22 to all the module connections then charge the pack as a whole on our high-voltage charger. This is considered a "crude" rebuild as we do not cycle…

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Isaac Owner/Technician
Hurdle Mills, North Carolina
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My recommendation would be to replace with genuine Toyota batteries. Reconditioning batteries should not be done unless you have a lot of experience with the process and have a LOT of used modules around with as close to matching capacity as possible. Regarding reman genuine Toyota batteries, prices have come down to where they are very competitive with aftermarket batteries with far superior…

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Dwayne Owner/Technician
Myerstown, Pennsylvania
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I have replaced cells in hybrid batteries on Prius's with used ones purchased off of Ebay. But most of the time it seemed another cell would fail in a few months. So I really don't like doing it, much prefer installing new (from Toyota).

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Paul Owner/Technician
Boulder, Colorado
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If it's a customer car do yourself a favor and recommend new OE battery, absolutely the best option and zero comeback chance. Anything rebuilt/refurbished/remanufactured will likely die in 0-18 months, regardless of the vendors warranty. We charge 4 hours labor including swapping the relay bits etc on the bench to the new Toyota battery. Ends up being $2500 installed + tax for the customer, good…

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
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If its for your personal vehicle have at it. A customers vehicle, dont bother. The price of a brand new battery from Toyoyta WITH a warranty is equal to most reman batteries prices out there. I guarantee you there is not one reman battery on the market that will last 10 years 100k( This is the minimum lifespan I have seen on Prius batteries. I work on the "trendy Westside" where Prius are…

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Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael Default
 

As others have said here, don't waste your time unless you have a stock of good used cells and the proper equipment to test them with. You can give individual cells a charge with a conventional charger. However, you must clamp them pretty tight in a vice and look at them with a thermal imager after charging. If the image isn't uniform, chuck the cell and try again. I am familiar with Dr…

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Dr. Engineer
Port Angeles, Washington
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Thomas: The short answer to your question is NiMH battery packs can easily be rebuilt/repaired by cycling and screening the modules/cells. I know that this may strike a sensitive nerve on this forum but, after working with NiMH for more than 23 years, it really isn't very difficult to build really good battery packs. It's a matter of knowing how. A little history: One of the issues within the…

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
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I think the main issue Doc,is, as you stated,proper training on this type of service. Who is teaching the proper cycling technique out there?(besides your company) Also I think cost and convenience are an issue for many. Fact is, a customer can walk away with a brand new(relatively trouble free) battery for under 4k, in under 1 days time, and go about their life for the next 10 years or 100k…

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Dr. Engineer
Port Angeles, Washington
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Hi Rudy: Thanks much for the thoughtful comments. Yep, training is the key, supported by the equipment. However, we've found that IF the customers are somewhat educated, they will bring their vehicles in for high voltage battery balancing BEFORE the battery has a hard fault. One of the key metrics for battery long life is balance. In general, the longer it stays balanced, the longer the life…

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Joel Diagnostician
Soquel, California
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here is California , we are certified hybried shop every single battery pack rebuilt/ recondition is for sure a come back, 3 years warranty I do not belive any single battery pack has last more than 3 years , the boss bougth the expensive machine and charger for high voltage, 2 technician were sent out to virginia to the hybried shop , for training for about a week, they dischrage all modules…

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Dr. Engineer
Port Angeles, Washington
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Hi Joel: Much appreciate the comments and experiences. I would completely agree with you on the feedback I've received from many of our clients on Cardone or Dorman. I'm not bashing them, just providing feedback from those that have been using their products. I'm hoping this changes but, unsure what their plans for these products. As for rebuilding battery packs, it's unfortunate that the…

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Thomas Diagnostician
Cleburne, Texas
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Dr. Quarto, Thank you for the insightful response. It does rather make sense in how this technology was rather introduced and moved quickly into the diagnosing and repairing phase and not really letting the technology sink in to how it really works. What classes and information to do this properly would you recommend? Books, courses, seminars , etc. This sounds crazy but I'm willing to take a…

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Dr. Engineer
Port Angeles, Washington
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Hi Thomas: We probably should take this conversation off-line, as I don't think (assumption) that most on this forum have interest in the rebuilding, balancing, etc. For those following this thread, is my assumption correct or incorrect? Please send me an email at: … and we can discuss further.

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