Now that you’ve driven your hybrid a few miles down the road, you may be starting to think about your hybrid’s battery life.
When your battery starts losing charge, you may be able to get a reconditioned hybrid battery instead of repairing it (which can be risky), or buying a brand new one from the dealer (which can be expensive).
But what is battery reconditioning? Here, we’ll answer that as well as let you know how to know when your battery may need replacing, what steps we take when we recondition hybrid batteries and the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing this option over new.
How Can You Tell That Your Battery is Losing Charge?
While ten years or 150,000 miles might seem like a lot, there will come a time when your battery will begin to lose charge. The average hybrid battery loses 2% of performance every year. Some ways that you can tell that your battery is losing charge include:
- Decreased gas mileage (reduced range on the battery)
- Erratic charge or not holding a charge
- The engine running more than it should
- Strange engine sounds
- Error lights on your dash
What Is Battery Reconditioning?
When a hybrid battery is reconditioned, a professional determines the remaining usable cells and separates the weak ones from the bad ones. Typically, the weak and bad cells get discarded, while the usable ones receive reconditioning using specific methods proprietary to your battery brand.
We’ll get into general details about the process below.
Reconditioning hybrid batteries on your own is possible. However, it requires the proper equipment, time, and expertise, and we recommend that you purchase reconditioned batteries that have been professionally done.
At Exclusively Hybrid, our batteries go through a deep discharge. Then we utilize a process of charging and balancing the battery pack. These two steps will repeat several times during this procedure to restore any lost capacity, making it viable once again.
The hybrid battery reconditioning process involves a process of deeply discharging the battery while recharging and balancing it. It’s necessary to repeat the charging and discharging process multiple times for full battery reconditioning.
The final results of the hybrid car battery reconditioning process include:
- Restoring lost battery capacity
- Equalizing cell voltage levels
- Deep discharging
- Breaking down crystal formations in battery modules or cells
- Breaking down voltage depressions in battery cells
Sometimes, only specific cells need replacing to replenish the life of the battery. When mechanics do this, it involves:
- Testing to find the failed or failing module: This requires a battery module load tester to identify which module has failed or is in the process of failing.
- Replacing the failed module: Some brands’ failed modules are more successful in replacing than others.
- Reconditioning again: Once they replace the failed module, it will need to work through all the reconditioning steps again. Going through reconditioning again allows the new module to equalize with the battery pack.
When the battery cell reconditioning process is complete, you’ll get a battery with more charge capacity than it previously had.
But keep in mind – when a mechanic only replaces a few bad cells, your other cells are still aging, and will likely need replacement in the future. Your best bet is to purchase a completely reconditioned battery.
The Benefits of Reconditioned Hybrid Batteries
A brand new hybrid car battery can cost anywhere from $3,000 up to over $6,000, depending on the type your vehicle requires. Reconditioned options will vary from $1,000 to $4,000, making this a more affordable choice for many individuals.
Reconditioned batteries can provide another few years of use, depending on the usage. This extension in life makes reconditioning a viable option for your hybrid.
What’s the Advantage of Reconditioned Hybrid Batteries from a Professional Company?
While you can recondition your battery at home or even replace bad cells, purchasing a reconditioned battery ensures a better quality battery with less risk of damage.
While a new hybrid Lexus or Toyota battery can cost up to $7,000, a reconditioned one from Exclusively Hybrid will be between $900 and $2000. Buying a refurbished hybrid battery can usually save you between $2,000 and $4,000.
A reconditioned hybrid battery that you purchase from a replacement or repair company undergoes a more rigorous reconditioning process than you can perform on your own. A professional company will:
- Test to determine the battery’s overall health based on the manufacturer’s standards
- Restore the modules’ or cells’ ability to hold a charge
- Ensure modules don’t drain or lose charge by allowing them to sit for a month
- Rebuild by keeping the good cells and replacing the bad ones
- Reassemble the battery pack
- Replace copper tabs on the terminals to deter corrosion
- Test for quality in a real-world driving simulation
What’s Your Next Step?
Hybrid battery reconditioning takes a lot of work and time. If you don’t want to do it on your own or just want to start with a fresh new battery, Exclusively Hybrid can help you with your hybrid battery needs for Lexus and Toyota. They also sell both refurbished and new hybrid batteries for Lexus and Toyota. You’ll find that they’re less expensive than the ones at your dealership.
If you’re dissatisfied with your current hybrid battery lifespan, our batteries solve that problem as well. The way we configure our batteries keeps the battery cells cooler to improve the battery’s longevity.
Exclusively Hybrid wants to help you with your new or refurbished hybrid battery needs for your Toyota or Lexus hybrid vehicle. Be sure to contact us for more information.