The hybrid car battery isn’t as cheap as your typical gas vehicle battery. In fact, the price might be shocking if you aren’t prepared for it. How much does a Toyota Prius battery replacement cost, for example?
On average, you may spend between $2,000 and $4,500 to replace the high voltage battery in your Toyota Prius. Even if you choose a used Prius battery, you could spend $1,500 plus the labor to have it installed. It’s best to budget ahead of time for this expense that occurs during the life of the hybrid car.
In this guide, we break down the cost of the Toyota hybrid battery. We also show the warning signs that it’s time for a replacement.
Factors Affecting Toyota Prius Battery Replacement
1. New vs. Used
The most expensive option on the table is to buy a brand-new Prius battery. In many cases, this isn’t necessary.
You can also choose a used Toyota hybrid battery, which is going to be the cheapest option. Otherwise, look for a local refurbished Prius hybrid battery for an in-between option.
2. Labor Expenses
You will need to pay a good amount of labor fees because of the specialized work that must be done. Plus, you need a mechanic that is capable of working with hybrid batteries. In general, it might only take a couple of hours to replace the battery, but these technicians charge a premium rate.
If you choose to visit a local car dealership, expect the highest labor rates. Shop around to see if a short trip to the outskirts of the city will give you a lower labor cost. Just ensure the mechanic you choose has the right qualifications for these jobs!
3. Warranty Coverage
There are some instances when the warranty will cover your Prius battery replacement. If you own a 2019 or earlier Prius model, there’s an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty on the battery. If you live in a state with California emission laws, that warranty is 10-year/150,000-mile instead.
Beginning in 2020, Toyota extended the warranty coverage. Now, all newer models include the 10-year/150,000-mile battery warranty instead. If your hybrid battery fails while under this warranty, you want to visit your local dealership for support and a free replacement.
How Often Does a Toyota Prius Battery Need to Be Replaced?
The Prius hybrid battery shouldn’t fail before the warranty ends. With this in mind, it should last a minimum of 100,000 miles or eight to ten years. Still, you will probably need to replace the battery at some point during the hybrid car’s life. The better you take care of the hybrid vehicle, the less frequently it will require a battery.
There are also some ways to temporarily fix it, but none of these are going to extend the life much longer. You are still going to replace the battery down the road, which is one of the most expensive parts of owning a hybrid.
Signs Your Toyota Prius Battery is Dying
1. Battery Doesn’t Hold a Charge
As with a regular gas engine battery, a worn-out hybrid battery won’t hold a charge the same way as it gets older. This is a tell-tale sign that it’s time for a new one.
If the battery is losing energy prematurely, you want to have it tested. Additionally, if you aren’t getting power from it when it should be fully charged, you would do good to get a replacement.
2. Reduced Fuel Economy
The Toyota Prius supplies a remarkable fuel economy rating, which is why many drivers choose to use this vehicle. Yet, when the battery starts to fail, the fuel economy is one of the first aspects to change.
If you track the fuel economy, you will get advanced notice that there’s a problem. Over time, it’s going to get worse until you replace the battery completely.
3. Fluctuating Battery Power
The great thing about driving a Prius is how easy it is to see the battery charge. Most models include an indicator showing the battery’s charge level.”
If you notice that this gauge continues to fluctuate while you drive, there could be a problem. As it increases or decreases without warning, you are probably looking at a failing hybrid battery.
4. Gas Engine Running More Frequently
If you’ve been driving your Toyota Prius for any amount of time, you know when the gas-powered engine takes over the operations. You feel the engine kick in, overtaking the battery.
As the battery starts to fail, this occurrence is going to happen more frequently. Perhaps you notice it happening during a normal commute that would have otherwise relied on the hybrid battery power. As the timing gets more frequent, the battery is clearly failing.
Reasons to Avoid Prius Battery Repairs
Earlier, we discussed how some people try to prolong the replacement with a Prius battery repair. However, there are some reasons why you should avoid these practices.
- Temporary: These hybrid battery repairs are only temporary. You aren’t going to dramatically extend the life of the battery. Even after the labor and cost of the repair, you will still need to have a replacement done anyway, thereby costing you more money in the long run.
- Voids warranty: If your hybrid battery is still under warranty coverage, repairing it is going to void it. Plus, why would you want to avoid the replacement when the battery is covered for free during this time?
- Dangerous: The hybrid battery is not like your traditional car battery. You don’t want to mess with it if you aren’t qualified or serious damage could occur.
Instead of trying to find a shortcut around the repair, bite the bullet and get it replaced. Not only will you ensure the hybrid vehicle continues running as it should, but you also guarantee plenty more miles of travel from behind the wheel of your fuel-efficient vehicle. Budget accordingly so you are never unprepared for what’s to come.