If you own a Toyota Prius, you may be wondering when the battery needs to be changed. Before addressing that problem, it is important to note that there are actually two batteries in a Prius: the hybrid battery and a regular car battery. Read on to learn when to replace a car battery and when to replace the hybrid battery.
The Hybrid Drivetrain Battery
Toyota Priuses also have a large battery that is used by the hybrid engine. This battery is designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle and rarely needs replacement unless the car is in an accident. Of course, like all batteries, it can fail with wear and tear.
Some estimates expect that the battery will last ten years or more. Other estimates place the lifespan at around 140,000 miles. Like a normal car battery, this can depend on the climate, the driving style and other factors. This battery is under warranty if purchased new, so maintenance is usually taken care of by Toyota except on very old models.
A full replacement can be done at the Toyota dealership and is fairly expensive if it isn’t within the battery warranty. Some independent mechanics will repair the battery by replacing failed cells. This can be done for significantly less than a complete replacement.
The 12v Standard Battery
Like other vehicles, your Toyota Prius has a normal 12v car battery. This is used to start the internal combustion portion of your engine. It is important for the smooth operation of your vehicle. Ignition is the most notable function of this battery. Additionally, the vehicle’s accessory power runs from this battery.
The life of a car battery is usually around four years. However, this can vary significantly depending on the climate the car is used in and driving style. For example, lots of very short trips tend to decrease the life of a battery.
A light will illuminate on your battery indicating that the charge is low when the battery needs to be replaced. Additionally, if your car has a hard time starting, it is likely time for a replacement. For more information, consult the owner’s manual. If you have misplaced your owner’s manual, use a free VIN lookup tool to find a replacement. Consider also buying the service manual for your car.
The replacement needs to match the current battery. Most auto stores have online tools for finding the best Toyota Prius batteries. Disconnect the battery one cable at a time starting with the negative. Swap the batteries then reconnect the cables starting with the positive.
Get a Replacement Battery for Your Prius
The good news is that you likely don’t have to worry about the battery for the hybrid engine any time soon. However, you may need to replace the standard car battery. If you are approaching the four-year mark, it is time to start paying attention to signs of your battery failing.
If you get a warning light or just think your battery is getting old, order a new one. Replacing batteries is easy if you are patient enough to do it safely and correctly.