I have been working on repairing Prius' now for quite some time. The car has become a somewhat familiar sight for me. I am relatively well versed in most of the issues that come up with these cars and have a good set of resources on what to do when they break.
I found out recently how to fix a Prius using a Camry hybrid. It was one of those dumb luck things that were worth me spending $150 to find out. That roll of the dice, however, was worth it. Here is what I learned from the experience.
Toyota Camry Hybrid And Prius Share The Same Battery
Let me be clear on this, the hybrid batteries are not the same. The Camry hybrid has 34 modules, and the Prius (2 through some 4th generation) have 28 modules. The part that is the same happens to be the individual modules.
If you think about it, why would Toyota make several different module styles to fit all the different vehicles? They would not unless they had to. Now, some other Toyota and Lexus hybrids do have different module styles that would not work with this, but lucky for us, Camry hybrid does.
The prismatic modules that are so common in these cars can also be found in the Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid, as well. Though at the time of writing this, I am uncertain of how many modules are in that pack. Ok, so the blades are the same, so what? Well, what if you get two failed modules in your pack and are having a hard time sourcing good ones for your Prius? Yep, look for a wrecked Camry, which is precisely what I did with a pack I put together.
Search For More Than Just A Prius Pack If You Know How To Rebuild It
When I bought my $1000 Prius, the pack that was in it, was shot. I had multiple failed modules and a pack with well over 245,000 miles on it. I was not sure if I should buy a new pack or repair this one. I needed options for replacement or repair.
As I began to search for modules with the same wear and tear, to hopefully rebuild this pack, I came across a wrecked Camry hybrid pack on the Facebook marketplace. I thought about it, did some Google searching, and from what I could tell, the pack modules seemed to be the same. It was $150 and had 140,000 on it, which was 100k less than mine. I decided to roll the dice.
Camry Modules Work In A Prius Pack
Once I was able to open up the Camry hybrid pack, I felt relief. I measured out the modules to be sure, but they were identical in every way. I then was excited to get these modules in and put the car back together.
Once I put in the newer modules, I used the Prolong system to charge and balance the pack. The reconditioning process proved successful once I was able to turn the car on and go for a drive. No more check engine light, no more forced charging, no more poor performance, and best of all, 45 smiles per gallon. (yes, I purposely used smiles there, because I was grinning ear to ear.)
The total cost, without the Prolong equipment, to "fix" the battery was about 200 dollars. I had also invested in making some nickel plating solution to help with battery bus bar corrosion. Even with the Prolong system, I was still under 1000 dollars for a complete rebuilt, balanced, and properly repaired Toyota Prius traction battery. What a total win, fo me and for other Prius owners as well.
If you are a DIY person who wants to fix your battery for a fraction of the cost, it is possible. My results are not uncommon, and others have done it for even less. Doing it for less, though, can require more of your time. I used the Prolong consumer charge and discharge system to help with time management. Otherwise, I would have load tested each module individually.
So if you have the dreaded P0A80 replace hybrid battery code, know you have options. Learning about how to do this is simple: if you can turn on the shower at your friends' house, you can fix your hybrid battery.
Thank you for reading. I hope your Monday is off to a great start. Be sure to check out my other story, Prius Holds Value Better Than Honda Civic Hybrid
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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