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[aprssig] Prius Battery Life and Replacement Cost

bob evinger wd9eka at evinger.com
Sun Aug 26 04:24:05 UTC 2007

Dust to dust cost being more than a HUMvee, I would like to see or read
that report because my personal experience would seem to dispute that,
but then I dont have personal experience with a humvee..... 

I do not have a prius.. I DO have a honda insight and have had it 7
years. I bought it new, had about 100 miles on it when I got it.  I have
put approximately 114,000 miles on it. I have had no realistically
unexpected service costs with it to date. 

I keep track of every piece of work I do on it. 

I managed to get approximately 55,000 miles on a set of the potenza
tires. I just now put my third set on earlier this summer.  

I did not have to replace the front brake pads until 110,000 and still
have plenty of pad on the back shoes.  I do use the regenerative braking
considerably(obviously). I had to replace the front rotors because
something about the way I lightly brake actually caused wear that didnt
trip the  noise makers up front and I was into the rotor before I
realized it(but got reasonably priced rotors at NAPA( $20 a piece I

I had a recall with the ECM very early on that my vehicle was part of.
Had a loose hi voltage battery connection somewhere in the system that
caused an IMA(hybrid) error condition that they had to look at around
the same time as the ECM problem. That is the only time the dealer has
ever laid their hands on it. 

whoops, I did have the primary O2 sensor bite the dust at about 105,000
miles but that seems to be the average mileage for that sensor
apparently on the insight. Car still ran mostly normal, autozone ran the
code, but didnt have the best price on the sensor. It is expensive, but
NAPA only wanted close to  1/2 what I think mother Honda wanted. Without
pulling the program up I think the sensor was around 280, honda listed
it up in the high 400's I think. 

I do my own maintenance(fluids, rotations literally just about
everything). unless something really nasty blows up which so far, knock
on wood, has not happened. I changed the rotors and pads when they
needed it, did the O2 sensor change.  But hey I build my own airplane
too so its all relative.

i will admit that the High voltage battery pack is getting pretty weak
but it has not yet tripped any check engine or IMA lights long enough
for me to take it in. I probably should take it in though and have them
check for codes as there were a couple times earlier in the summer where
I had IMA drop out on long drives but cleared on its own later.

Honda extended the IMA warranty on the insights to 10 years or 150,000
miles so I basically have another 3 years before it becomes a concern.
This warranty extension to 10 years is official, I've seen the extension
paperwork and checked with my local dealership to confirm that mine is
covered by it.

I initially was getting honest +70mpg trips on the highway with a few
85mpg trips over a 400 mile route to the Peoria hamfest and back. These
days its averaging more in the high 50's to low 60mpg range. I can still
live with that though.

so at least from my hybrid experience I have a real hard time believing
that the "dust to dust" cost of a hybrid is more than a humvee. Maybe it
is because I am thinking on the maintenance side, or the report was
comparing some hybridized suv where the gas mileage difference wouldnt
be as noticeable?

I am not 100% sure I would buy another hybrid but its not because of
maintenance costs or any other tangible. But it has made me set my sites
high.  Basically the government shuffling their feet over CAFE standards
to me is a joke. I have a personal fuel efficiency standard for my day
to day personal operation of it needs to get over 40 mpg. I ride m/c's a
big chunk of the year when I am not in the insight(raining, snowing,
icy, just plain nasty temps, i.e. below 20F) and those get less mileage
than the insight, 48mpg or so, but the "mental therapy" I get from them
far outweighs the 10+mpg difference.

I can honestly say I still love my Insight. i swore when I bought it
that I would drive the wheels off of it. I'm paying for a new m/c now so
I have to make it last at least until I get the 2 wheeler paid off.

bob evinger

On Sat, 2007-08-25 at 20:49 -0700, Dale Blanchard wrote:
> Ray McKnight wrote:
> > 
> > After watching "Who Killed the Electric Car", the subject of the
> > Prius came up.  We all love the concept of the Prius, but not so much
> > Most of the other hybrids that fail to get much better mileage than
> > A Corolla.  But the big debate revolves around battery life.  Toyota
> > And most everyone else all promise the batteries will last "the life
> > Of the car", but are not warranted past 100,000 miles.  10 years is also
> > Murmured a lot as well.  Everyone has horror stories of rechargeable battery
> > Failure, it's not a question of if, just when.  Given that a Prius with
> > A bad battery is basically useless and will have near-zero resale value.
> > The replacement cost has been quoted at anywhere between $5,500 to over
> > $7,500 (I think Ford's are up at the top end of this range).  So will
> > Prius be a throw-away 100,000 car?  Who knows for sure if the batteries
> > Can survive high mileage or longer than 10 years?  Will it be cost effective
> > To sink such a large amount of money replacing batt's in a 10+ year old
> > Vehicle?  All of this has caused most of my debating friends conclude that
> > Given the high initial acquisition cost, the cost/mile of ownership will
> > Eventually be several times higher than a car with 35+mpg costing under
> > $18,000.  And, no, I am not ignoring the environmental considerations.
> > Comments?
> > 
> > Ray - WB3ABN
> > Kingston, WA 
> >
> I read a report (don't know here it is now) that the Dust to Dust life 
> cost of operating a Hybrid is more than a Humvee.
> This took in the consideration of total longevity of each and all costs 
> involved.
> Dale
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