Brazilians Are Learning How To Recondition Toyota Prius Hybrid Batteries
All over the world, many people are enjoying the benefits of hybrid technology. With the Toyota Prius being such a dominant leader, more countries are having to learn how to repair them.
In Florianopolis Brazil, there is a company that has recognized the importance of this. Doutor-IE is a company that has, for the past few years, been helping Brazilian shops learn how to repair and diagnose hybrids such as the Toyota Prius. The place they are learning from is a convention called Circuito Dotour-IE.
The event, Circuito Doutor-IE is an event very similar to Vision, the Hi-Tech Training Expo in Kansas. The idea is to get industry professionals from all over to lecture and teach about repair and diagnostic tactics. A key takeaway this year has been hybrid training. Why? Brazil is now starting to catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to this technology. Now that they have it, the need to know how to repair it should it fail.
Brazilian Repair Shops See The Value In Battery Repair
When I was asked to fly to Brazil and present on hybrid battery reconditioning, I was nervous. As an automotive professional who has spent countless hours working on hybrid batteries, I can tell you I know how they work. The hard part about my job is trying to help other people see the value in battery maintenance and repair as an alternative to full pack replacement. Unless it is necessary to replace the entire pack.
The nervousness I felt was unprecedented. I was over 6,700 miles from home in a foreign country where I did not speak the language, and I am an American, so I stand out. It was not those things I was worried about, though; it was making sure that all these hundreds of technicians and shop owners understood the value in my message.
Seventy minutes later, as I stepped down off the stage, I had people rush me with questions on how to get started. Why? Because everything that I was able to show them is correct. NiMH or Nickel Metal Hydride batteries fail. They fail because the internal resistance gets too high from voltage depressions building up and causing a voltage drop in the module. Unbalanced packs will set a trouble code. Easy as that.
Once I explained how reconditioning worked they all wanted to know more. I then told them about how "new" batteries people are putting in their Prius' and Honda's are no more than a reconditioned unit using the same processes that I just described. They knew what they wanted to do. That is why they saw the value in it.
Brazilians Shops Are Cutting Edge
The people of Brazil are problem solvers because they have to be. They have to learn how to fix things because their country is in a harder economic crunch than the United States. They need solutions that can keep Prius's or other hybrids on the road.
This conference helps the shop owners and technicians take a more systematic approach to fixing them right the first time. They do it because they know that it will help build their economy, and that is what I admire about them. The owner of the company that is hosting this event has flown all over the world. He does this to gain a better understanding of how vehicle systems work and function. He then presents what he has learned back in Brazil. That is dedication.
Hybrid Battery Reconditioning Does Work
Hybrid batteries fail, and we all know it. Toyota has its famous P0A80, Honda has its P1446, and other Nickel based batteries fail similarly.
Because Prius has such a significant impact in the hybrid world, Brazillian shops know they need to understand how these systems work. From this training that I was able to provide for them, they see now what took us years to follow. The batteries will fail, they can be repaired, and they need to be maintained.
Through knowing that alone, Brazil will now be capable of contributing to helping the carbon footprint of these hybrid power plants. If we can double the expected life of the battery, this will drastically reduce the amount of production needed to replace the aging technology. They get it, and you should get it too because it works.
If it did not work, there would be no aftermarket companies that have built a multimillion-dollar business based on the exact same technology that I have been preaching. It is common practice in the industry to do this process.
I do not know about you, but here is what I think. If I can spend less money on my car overtime just because I took care of it initially, that will do a few things. First, it will cost me less as a consumer to own and operate the vehicle. Second, it will allow me to do my part in reducing the carbon footprint that we all leave behind. Third, I can help other people to learn about and do it too.
Brazil gets this; they know how difficult it can be for people to have expensive breakdowns. They know that taking care of their car means they can have it last longer, which helps it be affordable to them. I have learned a huge lesson from this trip. I feel privileged to have been able to share this topic with such amazing people. Thank you, Brazil, for allowing me to help you change the world.
Thank you for reading, please be sure to check out my other hot story, This one secret can double the expected life of your Toyota Prius hybrid battery.
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting