Replacing the Battery in a Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius has been a very dependable car but there is a life span on the nickel metal hybrid battery packs. There are several replacement options available to Prius owners approaching replacement time. If you have seen reduced performance or a warning light coming on the dash it is probably time to look at replacing your batteries. This usually happens around 150,000 miles and should be taken care of. You could look at it this way, the Toyota Prius transmission has no wearable parts, so if you were to compare the cost of replacing the batteries to the cost of replacing a transmission in a less reliable car you are way ahead of the game.
The first option you have for replacing the batteries in your Toyota Prius is to have it done at the dealership an experience that many consumers have walk away with sticker shock. Many of the batteries sold by an aftermarket company or the dealership are remanufactured which is not a terrible thing if the manufacturer did the job correctly.
For a remanufactured battery pack for the Toyota Prius that goes into a 2000 to 2003, the cost runs $1400.00 and for 2004 to 2010 the batteries will cost around $1500.00. You can go online and it is possible to find individual replacement batteries at a low price to get you back on the road, but mixing and matching batteries for a hybrid is a bad idea. The cells in the batteries need to be balanced properly by using professional equipment. Ignoring this can lead to a hydrogen fire or overcharged cells.
If you are on a tight budget and do not mind doing a little leg work, finding replacement batteries in a junk yard can sometime cost as little as $600.00. The only disadvantage to this you have no idea how long the batteries will last you. Toyota has been selling the Prius since 1999 which tells you there a lot of them out there on the road today. Many have reached battery replacement and when you are ready, keep in mind it is not going to be cheap, but it does not have to leave you broke either. When it does come time to replace the battery is it recommended to have either a Toyota dealer or certified repair shop do it for you. You can find many online by searching for Prius Repair San Diego or similar keywords.