Toyota Prius Battery Replacement: How Much Does it Cost and Is it Worth It

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Edgar Moulton.

12/16/2021

Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

The Toyota Prius was introduced over 20 years ago as a fantastic choice for consumers to utilize electricity and save on gas. But what happens when the benefits of rechargeable technology run out? You may be left with an expensive replacement bill for the battery. Read on to see symptoms of a dying Prius battery, how to make the battery life longer, and what to do if you don’t want to spend the money to replace it. 

Signs of Prius Hybrid Battery Troubles

There will come a time when you need a Toyota Prius replacement battery. But how can you tell when that time arrives? There are a few symptoms that happen before your battery completely dies. Here is a list of Prius hybrid battery troubles.

Decrease in fuel economy

Obviously, the whole point of having electric motors is to help power the wheels and drive your car without burning fuel. When the battery is dying, that extra power to the wheels isn’t there, which means your gasoline engine will have to work extra hard to keep the car going. This results in the gas engine burning more gasoline, decreasing your fuel economy. 

Battery is no longer holding a charge

Some Prius’ get their charge from driving it, and the battery recharges itself via the drivetrain; others require you to plug it in. No matter which version, your Prius will have a battery, and when it’s working properly, it will hold a charge. If you park your Prius overnight and you wake up the next morning only to discover that the battery isn’t at the same charge you left it at night before, it’s a sign your battery is dying. 

The cooling fan runs too often

Just like your combustion engine drive system, your electric drive system needs to be cooled down. If your cooling fan is running often (and hard), you’ll hear it. This means your battery is running hot, and you should begin thinking about replacing your Prius battery.

Battery not kicking in when it should

The whole point of having a hybrid is so that the electrical motor supplies power when the combustion engine would require too much gas to provide the same power. One instance on a Prius is during acceleration from a dead stop. Usually, the electrical motor is what powers a Prius from a dead stop. If you notice your Prius using your gasoline engine from a dead stop and not the electrical motor, it could be a sign your battery is on its way out. 

Clunky acceleration

The electric motor in your Prius is used to add additional power to the drivetrain while you’re driving along. If you're driving and all of a sudden you feel a surge in power or a decrease in power, it’s likely coming from a disruption in your electrical drive system. This will usually feel like a transmission issue, but it might be the battery, and it might be time to think about a  Toyota Prius battery replacement.

How Much Does a New Prius Battery Cost?

The cost to replace a Prius battery is going to depend on a few things. Which generation Prius you have as well as where you live are the two biggest factors when asking, “How much does a Prius battery cost?” 

Whether you’re still under warranty or if the warranty is up is also a major factor but less likely to make a difference. That’s because Toyota is a world-renowned company known for the quality and reliability of its products. Toyota offers an 8-year/100,000 mile warranty for the batteries, so it’s likely that you’ll be out of warranty by the time you need a Toyota Prius hybrid battery replacement. (This warranty is 10 years/ 150,000 miles in California and other states that have California emissions laws.) On the one hand, it’s fortunate the parts for the car last so long. On the other hand, it’s unfortunate that by the time you need to change the battery, it’s out of warranty. 

If you’re still under warranty, Toyota will replace (or fix, for battery-related problems) your battery for free. But if you’re outside of the warranty, expect to pay a lot more. Below we’ll give you a breakdown of how much you might expect to pay for a Prius battery replacement cost depending on which generation Prius you have. 

  • For a first-generation Prius, from 2001 to 2003, you can expect to pay $3649 on average. 
  • For the second-generation Prius, from 2004 to 2009, you can expect to pay around $3939.
  • For the third-generation Prius,from 2010 to 2011, expect to shell out around $4080.
  • For the fourth-generation Prius (Toyota Prius V), which is from the year 2012-2017, you’ll have to pay around $3939.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Prius Battery?

The million-dollar question: “How much does it cost to replace a Prius battery?” can be answered by saying, “It depends.” As stated above, which generation Prius you have is one of the main factors when looking into a  Toyota Prius battery replacement cost.
Usually, when it comes to getting your car fixed, the overwhelming suggestion is to take it to a trusted mechanic, not a dealership. Dealerships are notorious for charging a lot more (sometimes even double the price!) than a local mechanic would. This is not the case when it comes to replacing a Prius battery. 

Toyota has a battery recycling program that will pay you $1350 as a “core credit” as one of the benefits towards replacing a Prius battery. In general, the above prices are what you can expect to pay for a Prius battery replacement, but if you take it to a dealership, you can expect a $1350 credit for the old one. This is actually one of the only times we’ll suggest going to a dealership for a repair. 

If you do take it to a local mechanic and they don’t tell you about the “core credit,” tell them you know about it. If you don’t go to a reputable mechanic, they may try to charge you full price for the battery replacement and then sell the battery to Toyota behind your back. Then they’ll make money off you and get an extra $1350 on top of that!

The short answer is, you can expect to pay the above-average prices for a Prius battery replacement, minus the $1350 core credit. If you’re paying more than that, take it to a new dealership. 

3 Tips on How to Make a Toyota Prius Battery Last Longer

Keep your battery cool

Just like the rest of the components of your car, the battery has an ideal operating temperature. The Prius battery is meant to operate at no higher than 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The Prius battery pack has a cooling system that takes cool air from the cabin and directs it over the battery in order to keep it within the optimal operating temperature. Have your cabin air filter cleaned or replaced about once a year, as this is the main part of your electric motor cooling system.

Don’t accelerate too quickly

Like we mentioned above, the Prius’ main source of power during acceleration from a dead stop is the electric motor. Yes, electric motors are known for their instant torque, and it’s nice to get going quickly, but accelerating quickly will drain your battery much quicker than just easing onto the throttle. This quick draining of power leads to ups and downs of the battery’s overall charge, which can shorten the length of the life of your battery. 

Take the highway when possible

This may seem like the exact opposite of why you bought a hybrid vehicle in the first place, but driving at highway speeds uses more gasoline than electric. Lots of start and stop driving around the city relies on the electric motors to get going. So while using electricity to move your car might save on gas, it will inevitably use up the life of your battery. When it comes to prolonging the life of your battery, driving at highway speeds will utilize the gas engine more than the electric drive system, thus saving the lifetime of your battery. 

What Are the Alternative Options?

Getting rid of a Toyota Prius that needs a Prius battery replacement can be a bit tricky. Selling it privately might be an issue for the more eagle-eyed buyers, as they’ll know all the questions to ask. Selling a Prius with a bad battery to an unsuspecting private buyer is just bad karma. So what should you do if you have a Prius with a bad battery and don’t want to shell out to get the entire battery replaced?

Consider selling it to a junk car buyer like JunkCarsUs as your best financial option!

JunkCarsUS, will take nearly any car in any condition and buy it from you for cash on the spot... Including Toyota Prius’ with a dying battery.  Not only that, but we will give you an instant cash offer on the spot.  Or go on our website and get your instant offer from our scrap car value calculator

Trading in your old Toyota Prius for cold hard cash is as easy as 1, 2, 3 with JunkCarsUS. With over 12 years in the junk car buying industry, we have developed a simple 3-step process to sell your totaled car completely hassle-free. 

  1. Contact us! Call us at (855) 547-1550 and speak to one of our friendly customer service representatives. Give them the make, model, year, condition, and mileage on your car, and we’ll give you a top dollar cash offer on the spot.
  2. Accept our offer! Tell us the time and place that’s most convenient for you for us to pick it up. We’ll send one of our trusted and safe tow truck drivers to meet you on time. We even offer same-day pickup!
  3. Get your junk car towed for FREE! There are no hidden costs when you work with JunkCarsUS, and that includes towing. 

If you are wondering about paperwork, don’t worry. Our experts have bought enough junk cars over the years to know exactly what information goes where in the paperwork. With the information you give us over the phone, we will have it all filled out when the tow truck drivers show up. All you have to do is sign on the dotted line. 

So if you have a Prius with a dying battery and would rather sell it for cash instead of replacing the battery, contact us because we buy damaged cars. Give JunkCarsUS a call at (855) 547-1550 or go online and fill out an online application to get rid of your Toyota Prius. 

FAQ block

How much does it cost to replace a Prius battery?

This depends on what generation Prius you have as well as where you live, and even a few other factors. But expect to pay around $3500-$4000 for a complete battery replacement with a new battery. 

How to make the Toyota Prius battery last longer?

We have included a few tips on how to make the battery last longer in the article above. But two quick ones are: accelerate slower and keep your battery’s cooling system in top working order. 

How much does a new Prius battery cost?

The average price for a new Prius battery is somewhere around $3500-$4000, but be sure to check out Toyota’s battery replacement program to bring the cost down by about $1350 for a replacement. 

Edgar Moulton.

12/16/2021

Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

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