The Motorcells™ Guide to Toyota Prius Battery Problems

by Motorcells Staff

Real-world, practical experience with Toyota Prius HV battery issues is paramount when dealing with an aging Prius. Here is some wisdom after renewing thousands of Prius batteries for customers.
Toyota Camry & Toyota Prius hybrid battery

Firstly, do any of the following symbols look familiar? Is your mechanic telling you that they are reading a P0A80 code from your Prius?

1) Prius Dashboard Lights & Reduced Performance

Your check engine, VSC, triangle of death, and exclamation mark just came on. Your gas mileage has plummeted. Your Prius has over 100,000 miles and you’re afraid that the problem is your High Voltage (HV) Prius Battery. The big one.

A sense of panic comes over you – because this is the problem you’ve been dreading. Is your Prius’s time up?

First, take a deep breath. Your Prius may very well have a lot more time and miles left before going to the junk yard.

Second, remember that most Prius vehicles drive for 200,000+ miles without any major problems. These are amazing cars.

Now, practically speaking, where do you go from here?

2) Professional Diagnosis

First, it’s very important to accurately diagnose the issue. The Toyota Service Shop is a great place to start – but not the only place. Well-qualified and well-reviewed, reputable hybrid battery repair shops are another option. (ie. You can always give us a call). The key to diagnosis is to make sure that the mechanic has a powerful vehicle scanner that can pick up all of the correct codes. Most repair shop scanners do not pick up the appropriate codes – they only pick up very general-purpose codes (like a P0A80 code) – and diagnosis from these codes can be highly problematic and lead you to spend thousands of dollars without solving the true underlying problems with your vehicle. This is where experience and specialization are key.

Frankly, your local Toyota dealership is the best bet for Prius diagnosis if you’re not in or near the state of Indiana or Chicago where we can properly diagnose the vehicle for you. When requesting a diagnostic from Toyota, you need to request UPFRONT a detailed print-out of the diagnostic codes when they are finished. This should be included in the diagnostic fee at no additional cost. Make sure they hand you the print-out before paying for the diagnostic. You have to fight for your own interests as a consumer. If you are interested in a no-cost diagnosis, you can request a complimentary ODB II code reading from your favorite auto parts store – Autozone or O’Reilly’s, for example – then give us a call and tell us the codes. We can diagnose many issues right over the phone and are happy to talk you through your options.

3) Prius HV Hybrid Battery Repair or Replacement

After a proper diagnosis removes the possibility of a separate underlying issue (like an electrical fault, inverter water pump, or transmission issue), we can now – with confidence – replace your Prius HV battery with a new, renewed, or repaired hybrid battery at Motorcells. You can read more about each type of battery we offer on the Prius hybrid battery product page.. We are so confident in our process, that we offer an excellent warranty on Prius and Camry hybrid batteries.

The critical aspect for consumers is a proper, honest diagnosis of your Prius. We have heard about far too many people paying for a new Prius battery from the dealership, only to discover that the problem was not, in fact, the HV battery. Please, please, please – when in doubt – give us a call and we’ll give you a second opinion at no cost to you whatsoever.

WARNING: Toyota Service usually gets it right, but we have seen them misdiagnose underlying issues as HV battery issues.  You can always contact us to get a second opinion – we can give you some insight over the phone after a diagnosis from Toyota.

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