Thinking of buying a Toyota Prius? A Prius not only saves you considerable gas money, but it also delivers when it comes to style, comfort, and performance. Better yet, it’s always nice to know you’re doing your part to save the environment. What’s not to love?
But there’s one burning question that’s stopping you from buying one.
How long will a hybrid battery last?
More to the point, does it come with a Prius battery warranty that offers enough coverage to make the purchase worth it in the long run?
Once you’re done reading this article, you’ll know what to expect from a Prius battery in terms of its lifespan, warranty coverage, and what your best options are if your hybrid battery fails after the warranty period.
In other words, you get all the answers you need to maximize your Toyota Prius ownership experience and to navigate better your finances if you become a Prius owner.
Ready? Let’s get the ball rolling.
How long will a Prius battery last?
Many potential Prius owners ask this question all the time.
If we were to give you a default answer it’d be, “as long as a typical car would last.”
Want a more specific answer? The general consensus among Prius owners is that a Prius battery would last around 8 to 10 years and between 120,000 to 160,000 miles.
Not bad, right?
But like all things in life, it depends.
At the end of the day, a hybrid battery’s longevity depends on many factors, such as the owner’s driving habits, the car’s age, usage rate, driving conditions, and more.
If you’re, say, a full-time Uber driver who drives over 1,000 miles per week, then chances are you’re going to cut your Prius battery’s life expectancy in half.
On the other hand, keeping your Prius battery well-maintained and maintaining good driving habits can also go a long way into extending your Prius battery’s lifespan.
Regardless of which spectrum you fall as a Prius owner, one thing’s for certain: you want to extend the shelf-life of your Prius hybrid battery for as long as possible.
With that said, as a consumer, you deserve some form of guarantee from the car manufacturer (Toyota) that the hybrid battery that comes with your Prius will work as intended, and that they will provide the necessary repairs and replacements should the hybrid battery fail before its time.
Which brings us to…
Toyota Prius Battery Warranty: Coverage
Buying a Toyota Prius, or any car for that matter, is a big investment. And to protect that investment, you need to make sure that what you’re buying comes with a generous warranty coverage.
Thankfully, Toyota delivers on that end.
For Toyota Prius models released before 2020, you get a warranty battery coverage of 10 years or 150,000 miles in states that have adopted California emission laws, and 8 years or 100,000 miles in states that follow federal standards.
Also, Toyota has recently offered an extended warranty. Starting with 2020-year-models, Toyota has increased the coverage for all hybrid vehicles from 8 years or 100,000 miles, to 10 years from the date of first use, or 150,000 miles whichever comes first.
If your hybrid battery dies on you before the warranty expires, all you need to do is take your vehicle to a Toyota dealership and they’ll give you a battery replacement and even install it for you for free! Can’t get any more straightforward than that.
Your Prius Battery warranty has expired—what now?
Once your warranty has expired, all repairs will be your financial responsibility.
Yep, scary thought. But what you can do is slow down the degradation of your hybrid battery through good driving habits and regular maintenance. Taking off slowly, stopping slowly, keeping the battery power level to under 80% but no lower than 35%—all these preventive measures can go a long way into prolonging the lifespan of your Prius battery. More importantly, you need to be always on the lookout for signs of battery failure and address them quickly.
Here are telltale signs of a failing hybrid battery to look out for:
- Strange engine noises. When the battery is underperforming, the ICE (internal combustion engine) tends to pick up the slack, which causes the unusual noises.
- Decreased MPG. If there’s a sudden drop in MPG, that could mean your hybrid battery is not charging to full capacity.
- Fluctuations in state of charge. Large swings in your state of charge could indicate issues with your battery.
- Dramatic drops in battery bars. A sudden drop in battery bars could be a sign that your battery is losing its capacity.
If your hybrid battery is experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s time that you have it checked.
Repair or replace, that is the question
Once you have your Prius battery checked, it’s time for you to decide whether to have it repaired or replaced.
Hybrid battery repairs
A few damaged cells account for most early hybrid battery failures. Remember, a hybrid battery comprises many cells. When only a few cells are damaged, it doesn’t make financial sense to replace the entire hybrid battery cell. So why not just replace the ones that have been damaged? However, It won’t do to only replace the damaged cells, you also need to balance the battery pack to ensure the battery’s longevity.
If the damaged cells are more than a handful, replacing all of them is not the best course of action, either. You might as well replace the entire battery cell right? However, if you don’t have the budget to buy a new hybrid battery, the next best (or cheaper) option is to do a hybrid battery reconditioning/rejuvenation, which is done by charging and balancing the battery’s cells. In a way, it’s like breathing new life into your hybrid battery.
But mind you, a reconditioned battery is not the same as a new battery. It is highly unlikely that a reconditioned battery will last as long as a new battery. Think of battery reconditioning as a way for you to extend the lifespan of your battery (it can give you an estimated 60,000 additional miles). The biggest draw of battery reconditioning is that it allows you to extend the shelf-life of your Prius battery by paying only a fraction of the price of a new hybrid battery.
Hybrid battery replacement: costs and considerations
Sometimes, the better option is to just replace the hybrid battery altogether, especially if your Prius battery is over 10 years old. Because at the end of the day, a new hybrid battery will always be better than a repaired one.
That does beg the question:
How much would it cost you to buy a new hybrid battery?
To answer that, you have to ask the following questions:
- What’s the make and model of your hybrid car?
- Where are you buying it from?
What’s the make and model of your Prius car?
When buying a Prius battery from a Toyota dealership, expect to spend between $3k and $4—labor or installation charges not included.
To give you an idea, here’s a list of various hybrid Toyota models since 2001 (these are dealership prices):
2001-2003 Toyota Prius (1st generation) – $3,649
2004-2009 Toyota Prius (2nd generation) – $3,939
2010-2011 Toyota Prius (3rd generation) – $4,080
2012-2015 Toyota Prius Liftback – $3,939
2012-2016 Toyota Prius V – $3,939
2012-2016 Toyota Prius C – $3,807
As you can see, dealership prices aren’t exactly cheap. Toyota dealerships are notorious for charging high prices. Which isn’t surprising considering big companies like Toyota have tight margins and high overhead costs.
However, you still want to give your Toyota dealer a call to see what options they have on offer. Besides, buying from a Toyota dealership feels more “official,” which can give you some peace of mind. If you don’t mind the cost, buying a replacement hybrid battery from a Toyota dealership is not a bad call.
Buying from a private seller
If spending at least $3k for a replacement hybrid battery is out of the question, fret not! You can buy one for half the price from a private seller or a hybrid specialty shop. Of course, you don’t just go for the cheapest battery available. You want to score one from a seller you can trust, and who has a reputable track record for selling reliable hybrid battery units. And for obvious reasons, it’s always a good idea to find an independent shop that has a highly trained and experienced hybrid mechanic.
More importantly, you want to make sure that the seller you’re buying from offers a generous Prius battery warranty. Why? Because a Prius battery warranty is a seal of trust between you and the seller. It’s proof that they stand behind their product, that the hybrid battery they’re selling you has been manufactured with the utmost care and with the highest standards in mind.
Toyota Prius vehicles are known for their reliability, safety, and performance, and buying one is one of the great investments you can make as a car owner.
A Prius battery warranty serves as a good foundation for maximizing that investment. After all, you want to make sure you’re covered should your hybrid car have issues and defects during the initial ownership period. And if your hybrid battery goes out of warranty and starts to fail? It’s nice to know there are many available options out there that are more financially prudent and sustainable than what you’ll get from Toyota dealerships.
Need a refurbished or a new Prius hybrid battery? Make sure to check out our offerings. Buy one of our new hybrid batteries and enjoy our exclusive 4-year warranty!
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