Skip to main content

Don't Buy A New Toyota Prius Hybrid Battery - Have It Repaired Instead

Coast to Coast, there are Toyota Prius hybrid battery repair options available to you. Here's what they can do for you.


Toyota's Prius is known to go well past 250,000 miles without battery issues. If you own a Toyota Prius Hybrid you may find that at some point well into its natural life the battery needs a little bit of TLC. If your car is under the hybrid warranty, the place to go is your local Toyota dealer. They will correct the problem and have you back on the road quickly and at no cost to you. However, if your Prius hybrid has a battery issue and it is past its warranty, you don't want to head to the dealer. Rather, you need to more cost-effectively deal with the issue. Toyota's solution is to replace the battery at a very high cost. However, in many or most cases, the battery is repairable, and at a very affordable price. Single hundreds of dollars rather than multiple thousands of dollars.

prius battery repair stationToyota Prius Hybrid Battery Failure
If your Prius is giving you a warning that the hybrid battery has failed, you may panic and assume the cost will be more than the value of the car, or that it may be a cost so high you cannot afford to deal with it. This is usually not the case. Also, the car is drivable in most cases. We can't comment on whether the vehicle is safe to drive long distances, or exactly how much performance will be degraded, but you can certainly get home. How do we know? We spoke to a ride-share driver with over 1 million miles logged in multiple 250K+ mile hybrids. He told us that he has driven Prius cars with failed batteries on numerous occasions.

Toyota Prius Battery Failure - What Happens
Inside a hybrid battery from Toyota, there are many individual battery cells all working along together happily. When they fail, it is typically because one or more cells are no longer able to sustain the power that they are required to. In other words, they fail. The good news is that they can be replaced. The bad news is that this is not a job that can be done by every owner. Many owners who are comfortable with electronics and basic car repair do fix the battery themselves with Prius hybrid battery cells they buy online. The cells are usually under $50 each. There are endless Youtube videos from these folks that show you what they did and how you can also repair your Prius Hybrid battery.

Prius battery repairHow Can You Get A Prius Hybrid Battery Repaired?
If you don't want to pull your own car apart and try your best to repair it yourself, we certainly understand. Many jobs are best left to those with the tools, time, and experience to handle it efficiently and quickly. Luckily, there is a growing network of shops that will do the work. We could list them out for you, but unfortunately, that list would age quickly and be inaccurate. Plus, we don't know the shops or how they are rated.

Instead, we suggest owners try the Prius Owners Group on Facebook. The group has multiple members who have had batteries repaired and there may be one in your area. Like Len Maka's shop in Orange County, California. Or Pleasant Street Auto in Norwood Mass. You can check their Google reviews and maybe ask a FB club member how they made out with the repair on their Prius Hybrid Battery. Another option is to buy a reconditioned battery. For more on that topic, please see our prior story.

If you repair Prius hybrid batteries, or if you have had good luck with a repair done by a shop near you, why not post the name in our comments section below? You may well help a fellow owner out of a jam.

Watch Make A Toyota Prius Hybrid Battery Last Past 350,000 Miles Performing Your Own Replacement and Subscribe to Torque News Youtube Channel for Auto Industry Daily News Analysis.

John Goreham tweets at @johngoreham. Please send him news tips and follow us at @TorqueNewsAuto. See you in the next story titled "Bolt, Leaf, and Tesla Owners Take Note: AAA Temporarily Suspends Emergency Battery Electric Vehicle Charging Program."

Image Notes: Prius Battery Images courtesy of John Caleb Warren's Youtube Video (see link in story) and Len Maka.


David Neff (not verified)    June 18, 2019 - 6:32PM

My Prius Nickel Metal Hydride battery in my 2010 Prius failed after 130,000 miles and I looked into having it reconditioned or repaired. I found a goverment report that stated the expected life of these batteries was 160,000 miles and because I had spent a lot of extra time in my car doing business on my phone while it was running I decided the best option was to replace it with a new one. It cost $3,200.00 after getting a $1,200 core rebate. Now I can expect another 160,000 miles of normal driving instead of it failing again after replacing the one cell that failed first. I think the bandaid approach will cost more in the long run because all cells will fail soon if close to the 160,000 mile expected life of the drive battery.

Joe (not verified)    June 18, 2019 - 10:03PM

In reply to by David Neff (not verified)

I don't necessarily disagree with you. Since it helps if we both use the same numbers, I'll just use yours without verifying them.

If the average lifetime is 160k miles, that is the expected lifetime until the first cell failure. Generally nimh cells last 500-100 charges. That's a large window. Considering that the Prius battery has many cells (168 total in 28 groups of 6) you're likely to get your first failed cell early in the failure window. So that 160k miles is likely the beginning of the typical failure window, placing the upper somewhere nearer 300k miles.

This leads me to conclude that it makes sense to replace the first few cells. I'll probably repair 3 failed cells (replaceable in groups of 6) before replacing the pack due to the failure window.

Alternately you could replace each of the individual batteries in the pack, likely for less than a full replacement pack.

I'll probably replace my entire car right around 220k miles, since the car will likely be worth less than the replacement cost.

Terry Neu (not verified)    November 4, 2019 - 10:54PM

In reply to by David Neff (not verified)

I agree that the band aid approach of just changing a cell or two may well have to be repeated periodically. I had my battery replaced at 147000 by Green bean for $1500. They came to my house, did the job and were gone in 90 minutes. At 13 months and 24000 miles later, all is still in food order. Their warranty was 5 years with no mileage limit. It is now lifetime. There is one limitation. If you don't drive the car for a 30 day period the warranty is void. Inactivity is the killer. I learned this the hard way. The guy I bought my Prius from had let it sit for months. Otherwise from what I read on the Internet, these batteries can last almost forever.

Marin (not verified)    July 23, 2020 - 3:22PM

In reply to by Terry Neu (not verified)

I bought my Prius 2005 in 2016 with 67000km only. I thought the battery will fail soon because of low mileage but not happened. I worked in remote area oil gas leaving the car in garage many times for 1,2,3 or 4 months. The secret founded on is to leave the battery fully charged before to leave it for long time. So always in Drive D, with both brakes on and acceleration on maximum. I always found the car how I left it. As a safety for the small battery I connected a solar panel 30x20cm (180mA) to compensate the loses. Just only because is time consuming to replace. I never image that will work so good. Even in the evening before to leave it in parking I always forced charging. It is excellent in the morning.

Adriana (not verified)    July 10, 2022 - 7:39AM

In reply to by Terry Neu (not verified)

My partner and I stumbled over here from a different page
and thought I may as well check things out.
I like what I see so now i am following you.
Look forward to looking over your web page repeatedly.
aid for ukraine

David Borrelli (not verified)    December 4, 2020 - 1:47PM

In reply to by David Neff (not verified)

I know it’s not exactly the same thing as a Toyota Prius, but I work on hybrid mass transit buses. The entire system is literally like a giant Toyota Prius. The transmission is just a scaled up Prius transmission that happens to have an extra reduction gear for operation below 15 mph. Otherwise it is identical to a Prius system just scaled up. It also operates at about triple the voltage because it is about 600 V. However it uses the same 7.2 V 6.5 amp hour battery cells that you would find in a Prius. It has been our experience that the vast majority of cells stay in excellent operating condition. Typically it is cells toward the middle of the pack that fail because they run hotter. Usually just replacing those cells results on a battery that will operate trouble free for years afterwards. I currently own a 2008 Toyota Highlander hybrid because with five kids I need a seven passenger car, and it currently has 217,000 miles on the original battery. If the battery ever failed I would want to replace just the cells that need replacing because a replacement remanufactured battery would exceed the bluebook value of the vehicle. Not only that but a vast majority of the cells would likely be perfectly good. Due to the way battery life is managed by the vehicles operating system, when it is at a “full charge” the batteries are actually only at 80% of the actual charge capacity. When the battery is “fully discharged” it is still at 20% of the actual charge capacity. This strategy drastically reduces the strain on the battery cells and allows them to last a very long time. The battery calls that don’t run hot tend to last an extremely long time. Many of our older hybrid buses are over 15 years old with over 1 million stop and go city miles on them, and about 85% of the cells are original.

Marc Gerstein (not verified)    April 25, 2021 - 9:14PM

In reply to by David Neff (not verified)

You are correct the prius nickel metal hydride batteries last 100k-175k very rare they make it too 200k my prius hybrid battery failed at 147k. I had an option to buy a rebuilt battery as changing out cells imo is not a good idea. I bought a greentec hybrid battery with brand new cells for 1570$ including tax and installation. When one cell goes bad the others start failing too, Not worth the headache and worth the investment because my 2009 generation 2 prius is in great condition and I get average 47-53 mpg. Here is too another flawless 147k ;-)

Matt (not verified)    November 1, 2021 - 10:16PM

In reply to by David Neff (not verified)

I have replaced 5 individual cells over the last 3 years. First cell failure was around 185k mark im almost at 250k right now. Each cell costs about 30-40 bucks on Amazon or eBay. I have under $200 in repairing it myself. I have it down to under an hour to replace a cell. I know of at least 1 company who sells rebuilt packs for about 1500 to 2000 depending on year and they have a lifetime warranty. I'm assuming they offer that knowing people usually won't own the car long enough and if they do need to repair it they probably do the same thing I do. Super cheap. Quite frankly the best option.

Ken (not verified)    July 12, 2022 - 11:27PM

In reply to by Matt (not verified)

I live in Melbourne and have a 2008 Toyota Camry hybrid. Hybrid battery fail. I can test and replace cells if needed but concerned about balancing issues. Should I attempt repair or buy replaced battery pack? Any suggestions?

Tony Okrongly (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 7:13AM

This is the most I’ll informed article I’ve ever read on this subject. Do you have any actual experience with Prius batteries? Rebuild it yourself? You have to balance the packs!

For 2006-2009 Prius models you can buy a new pack that will last 10 years for about $2000. Getting a rebuilt one or rebuilding only lasts about 2 years and costs a grand. Anyone who goes to a Toyota dealership for this is crazy. The dealership is way too expensive.

This is the 2nd article I’ve read here that is words that are just put together but have little bearin in reality.

John Goreham    June 19, 2019 - 10:50AM

In reply to by Tony Okrongly (not verified)

Yes, we here at TN do have experience with rebuilt Prius batteries. Two of us are owners. Contributor Jesse Rudavsky is our main resource for long-term Prius issues and repairs. His Prius with over 352K miles had a first cell failure at about 258K. Jesse is not a mechanic and has performed the battery repairs himself. He is driving his Prius as I type this. We also communicated with battery repair professionals (one on each coast) who routinely repair batteries for under $400 and warranty them following the repair. Third, we spoke to a dealership specializing in used Prius cars in Mass. They regularly have batteries repaired at low cost with great results. How much more real can we make it? You can join the dialogue at the FB Prius Owners Club. The link at the end of the third paragraph has instruction on battery balancing.

Britta (not verified)    February 21, 2020 - 3:11PM

In reply to by John Goreham

Thanks you. Im a new prius owner and i think i need batterry or a refurbish one maybe some new cells. I just starting to learn abput all these thing and feel a bit overwhelmed. Do you know of any battery repair places in new orleans or serounding areas.

Michael (not verified)    September 11, 2020 - 6:50AM

In reply to by Tony Okrongly (not verified)

I agree installing one at Toyota is crazy but after researching batteries I decided to just buy an oem prius battery from Toyota and have it installed at my local mechanic who charges just a fraction of what the dealership would have charged me. Now i did almost go with green bean battery company because of the warranty but I've been reading allot of reviews that when the batteries do go bad which they will becuaw they are rebuilt not new ones than they can give you a hard time replacing them. I took a little chance but after the original battery in my 2010 toyota prius gave me over 10+ years and 200k miles I thought why not get another of the same where I will take care of it better than I did last round. Oh and the gen 3 battery they gave ne has gen 4 cells in them so thats a plus!

Danielle Fazzolari (not verified)    October 12, 2020 - 2:38PM

In reply to by Tony Okrongly (not verified)

Hi Tony. I just bought a 2007 prius from my friend, with 119K miles on it. the battery just failed. i'm trying to make a decision on how to replace it - modules or an entire new battery pack. you said going to the dealership is way too expensive, i agree. where do you suggest i buy a new battery from? i will then educate myself to replace it and do the labor.

Nathan (not verified)    December 20, 2021 - 7:01PM

In reply to by Tony Okrongly (not verified)

I have to disagree 100%. My neighbor and her family have 6 hybrid toyotas and ive repaired the batteries in all of them. I've replaced anywhere from 2 to 6 panels at a time and have never had to work on the same car 2 times. The first one I did was 3 years ago and she does non emergency medical transport so drives everyday all day. So for less than $100 in most her cars in parts she has a car that operates as normal and saved alot of money. One of the cars has 200k miles on it since repair and no problems so I guess it depends on each person and how deep their pockets are to buy a whole replacement.

Graeme (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 10:04AM

I am the original owner of a 2004 Prius with over 193,000 miles. It is my daily use car. I have had ZERO problems with the main battery. Last week the car was at the dealer for repair of an unrelated problem & I asked them to test the battery as well. NO problem with it.

I have had a long career in calibration of electronic test I measuring equipment. So for me, the credibility of this article was immediately suspect because of the lead photo showing a $6.00 (or free with coupon) multimeter from Harbor Freight being used. Any measurements in a commercial environment should be made with a high quality CALIBRATED meter.

John Goreham    June 19, 2019 - 10:58AM

In reply to by Graeme (not verified)

Scroll down to the second image which shows a battery connected to a laptop if you prefer an image of a battery repair professional. Our story includes examples of professional and also non-pro owners repairing the batteries. I worked for Honeywell's Vulcain instrumentation division as well as Thermo-Fisher Scientific for a decade. The funny thing about those cheap meters is that they produce the same readings as the pricey ones (in my experience). But feel free to pay more to read 7 volts if you like.

Dennis (not verified)    February 6, 2020 - 2:01AM

In reply to by Graeme (not verified)

I worked in electronic instrumentation too. You don't need a DVM with PPM accuracy for this application, nor do you need the electrometer input that you get with the finest instruments. Those are for high precision applications or for use as NBS traceable transfer standards. The HF freebie/cheapie is adequate for most battery work.

Phil Johnson (not verified)    September 10, 2019 - 3:17PM

I have 2004 Prius - 2 tired hybid cells [dealer diagnosed here at wetaskiwin Alberta Canada ] Please share with me any contacts who can assist in replacing battery... We love this car too much to abandon 'her'. Thx !

DESMOND AMENSON (not verified)    September 12, 2019 - 2:06PM

I took my 2005 Prius to a mechanical shop and they diagnosed the car and said four batteries are dead and must be replaced before the batteries can function well. Please I want to know if its possible that way for the battery to function well

Munzer (not verified)    September 30, 2019 - 10:41AM

changing weak cells is good solution based on the car overall condition and running miles, here our local agent reject this solution as they mention this is temp solution and soon or later all the cells will failed.