So, you have a hybrid car, and your battery is slowly fading away as it doesn’t last as it used to in the past? Maybe your battery is due to be replaced, and you should consider looking up a hybrid battery replacement cost guide.
- What Is A Hybrid Battery?
- How Does A Hybrid Car Work?
- Hybrid Battery Types
- Dead Hybrid Battery Symptoms
- Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost
- Driving With A Dead/Dying Battery
- Final Conclusion
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Hybrids are one of the hottest categories of automobiles these days, along with electric vehicles. They started a whole movement against pure gasoline cars, with their harmful and non-eco-friendly engines.
Even though I am a gearhead, I’m starting to understand these innovations better and I start to see through the fact that gasoline vehicles are a lot of fun and make for great weekend warriors. However, they still pollute a lot and affect the environment greatly.
I personally don’t prefer electric cars because the charging (for more context, check out our guide on the hidden costs of owning an electric car) – as it currently is for the most part – takes forever. I want my battery to be recharged pretty quickly to be able to drive and enjoy my cars.
That’s why I prefer hybrids because they offer you the best of both worlds. It enables you to enjoy electric power and also a gasoline engine, as well. The next car I would get will be a hybrid for sure.
In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to hybrid power. We are going to discuss this technology, with its positive and negative sides. Then, who are the top players in the hybrid game right now? We’ll also cover the batteries and the hybrid battery replacement cost. Then, we are going to discuss if you can drive with a bad battery. So, let’s begin.
Hybrid technology has been with us for many years. It traces its roots back to the 90s when Honda and Toyota brought the first hybrid vehicles to the market. Namely, the Honda Insight was the first mass-produced hybrid car in the world. Toyota later followed it with the Prius.
This soon became one of the most recognizable models on the market when it comes to hybrid cars. The word ‘hybrid’ means that the car is a modified gasoline vehicle, a kind of hybrid between electric and gasoline. It uses two power sources and delivers plenty of benefits to the table.
Hybrid cars offered the best of both worlds – eco-friendliness, and fuel economy. The fuel economy is, in many cases, unmatched when you talk about hybrids. Most internal combustion vehicles can’t come close to these MPG numbers that the hybrids make. For example, a Prius has an endurance of around 50 MPG, which is incredible.
Currently, this technology is marginalized by electric cars. Personally, I think that’s not okay, as if we make an apples-to-apples comparison of them today, hybrid is the better technology. EVs may be a bit cleaner, but a hybrid powertrain is a lot more convenient on a daily basis.
With a hybrid, you don’t have to wait at some EV charging station for hours. All for your battery to be charged. You just go to the gas station and pour some gas. When you get home, you just plug in your battery cable and let the car charge overnight.
EVs also can charge overnight, but their batteries are massive. Depending on how your home’s electrics are, even one night might not be enough. This isn’t to mention the range that hybrids have, which is much farther than a regular EV vehicle. That’s why hybrids have a future and they deserve a lot more attention.
How Does A Hybrid Car Work
As to how a hybrid car works, it’s pretty simple. It uses both combustion and electric technologies to deliver the most out of the vehicle in terms of efficiency and fuel economy.
There are three types of hybrids, and these are:
1. Parallel Hybrids
Parallel hybrids are the most common hybrids on the market. This includes most of the hybrid cars that are on the roads at the moment in the US.
The parallel hybrid has an internal combustion engine that is connected to a transmission. Then, there is an electric motor that is connected to a small battery pack. This electric motor is helping the internal combustion motor to accelerate better and makes power delivery easier. Thus, this aids in saving a lot of energy that is usually spent while a regular gasoline car is accelerating.
Many car brands offer these hybrids. And these include the Toyota Prius and the Chevy Volt, which are among the most popular choices on the market right now.
2. Series Hybrids
The series hybrid works a bit differently. In these cars, the electric motor is the one that brings the power to the wheels. Meanwhile, the gasoline engine brings power to the battery.
The gasoline engine simply recharges the battery. Series hybrids have more EV feel compared to a regular parallel hybrid and do not feel at all like a gasoline vehicle.
The ride is much smoother and it almost resembles an EV. This is even though there is a small amount of vibration that is caused by the combustion engine. You will be able to feel this vibration, but it’s not a deal-breaker in my opinion.
One of the most popular choices for this type of hybrid vehicle is the BMW i3. This small car implements a modern design and good fuel mileage. So, if you are in the market for a hybrid, it is definitely worth checking out.
3. Plug-In Hybrid
And the last type of hybrid is a plug-in hybrid. The plug-in hybrid incorporates a bigger battery pack that adds more EV autonomy to your vehicle. With a plug-in hybrid, you can drive your car, only by using the electric motor.
These plug-in hybrids offer around 50 miles of range. This is pretty much a decent range if you only drive around town to get groceries. When you arrive at home or your office, you can plug the charger back in the car and let it get to charge.
These types of batteries also charge relatively easily, and you can get to a full charge by using your power wall charger overnight (to learn more, check out our guide on how to charge a Tesla at home). In my opinion, this is the way to go if you want a hybrid, especially if you are driving locally without straying too far out.
You will never have to turn on your gasoline engine for the most part. And when there is a reason to turn on the gasoline engine, it will be readily available and you will enjoy the range that this engine offers for longer journeys. But what about hybrid battery replacement cost? Well, we are going to cover that later.
Hybrid Battery Types
Hybrid cars usually use two types of batteries. These would be lithium-ion, and nickel hydride batteries. What differentiates these batteries is the chemistry that is inside them.
The use of nickel hydride makes the battery slower to get to a full charge compared to a regular lithium-ion battery.
Lithium-ion batteries, on the other hand, can charge faster. However, they also discharge faster than nickel hydride batteries. By discharging faster, it means that the lithium-ion delivers a lot more power and helps the vehicle to accelerate much faster than a nickel hydride battery.
The lifetime of lithium-ion batteries is also longer. That’s especially true if they are exposed to a great amount of heat. When compared to lithium-ion, nickel hydride tends to suffer more from extremely high temperatures.
The fuel economy is also on the side of lithium-ion batteries. Since they are a lot lighter compared to nickel hydride batteries, they also give a better fuel mileage because of that fact.
Lithium-ion batteries are far cheaper to make and lighter as well. This helps to make the hybrid battery replacement cost cheaper. They also charge more quickly and deliver more power to the wheels.
Basically, the whole industry has turned to these batteries. And with the recent advancements, they have reached a point where Toyota is using lithium-ion batteries in almost all their plug-in hybrids.
The battery industry does not sleep and currently are plans for far more advanced batteries than lithium-ion batteries. And these will include solid-state batteries. Solid-state batteries are expected to be superior in almost every aspect compared to regular lithium-ion batteries.
Which Are The Top Players In The Hybrid World
The hybrid market in the USA is big and has a choice for almost everyone’s taste. It doesn’t matter whether you are getting a regular commuter vehicle or a high-end luxury SUV. The top player in the hybrid segment is Toyota, which compared to other brands, the selection of hybrid cars is more diverse than other manufacturers.
It all started with the Prius, and now there is a whole lineup of cars that are hybrids. Namely, we have the Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid (make sure you’re wary of the problems with 2009 Toyota Camry), and the Toyota Avalon Hybrid. Toyota has a lot of trust in this technology and is one of the players that support the hybrid concept as much as they can.
Also on the market, there are other hybrid brands. For example, we have Honda and Hyundai. The Asian manufacturers are pushing hard when it comes to hybrids. Then, there are some American hybrids. The most popular ones would be the Ford Fusion Hybrid (just be mindful of the 2014 Ford Fusion problems), the Ford Escape Hybrid, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, and the Jeep Wrangler Hybrid.
In the luxury line up there are a lot of offerings. They include Lexus, Volvo, Honda, and BMW. They are all expecting to get their fair share from this market. And in the future, the market will continue expanding rapidly. Hence, we are expecting some new technologies and market growth globally as hybrids become a trend.
For now, let’s focus on plug-in batteries and learn more about them. Then, we can move to study the hybrid battery replacement cost.
Bad Hybrid Battery Symptoms
Like with every other component in your vehicle, when the hybrid battery decides to give up, it exhibits symptoms that you will notice. However, you need to train your senses to figure out that it’s the hybrid battery that decided to die on you.
That’s why we are here for. We will go through all of the symptoms of a dead hybrid battery and then we will look into the dead hybrid battery replacement cost. So, let’s investigate the symptoms.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost, Symptoms #1: Decreased Charge
These dead battery cells cannot be revived, and the battery will only function with those cells that actually work. But soon, more cells will start to die. This means that other cells are going to follow them and stop working. For more insight, check out our write-up on how to charge a completely dead car battery.
In the end, you are going to end up with a dead battery that won’t charge at all. The only solution then will be to get a new battery for your hybrid vehicle. And you are probably interested in hybrid battery replacement costs. Well, we are going to cover that in great detail later in this article.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost, Symptoms #2: Increased Usage Of The Engine
If the battery starts to die, it will start from one or two cells and spread to the whole battery. As the failures spread in the battery, you are going to start losing charge and the internal combustion will be more and more engaged in working.
This will affect your power output. This is the case because the battery is helping the internal combustion engine to work. And since there isn’t a battery anymore to power the electric motor, the internal combustion engine has to do it all by itself.
This will result in greater stress on the engine and more things to fail as well. This is since your car was built from the factory to work with a battery this will not be a good situation for your vehicle.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost, Symptoms #3: Battery Does Not Want To Charge
If the battery does not want to charge, it means that the battery is completely dead. Let’s say you plug in your battery to charge and you get an error message. This is a clear sign that there is something wrong and has to be checked. Since other components around the battery convert the energy.
Maybe some of them have failed. So, to be sure about why your battery does not want to hold a charge, you will have to diagnose the issue. And this can only be done by a certified mechanic for your vehicle.
Take your car to a workshop and tell them that you have a problem. If the whole battery is dead, they will tell you that you have to change the battery and they will quote you a hybrid battery replacement cost. And it’s up to you if you want to change the battery.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost, Symptoms #4: Fluctuations In The State Of Charge
If the charge fluctuates it also means that you are having a problem with your battery. It is not normal for the charge to fluctuate all of a sudden. For example, you charge your battery and the charge jumps to 60% and then returns to 20%, and then again fluctuates.
All of this is because of an unreliable battery. These types of batteries are the most dangerous because you never know what you can expect from them. It’s basically some internal failure that messes up the charge. This has to be checked immediately, to conclude what is causing the battery to give up and cause all these issues.
After diagnosing, it is time to start the repair. If the battery is repairable, the technician will repair it or if it’s not, they will mention to you the hybrid battery replacement cost and how much it’s going to cost to replace the whole battery pack.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost, Symptoms #5: Significant Drop In MPG
Since the battery is dead, your MPG will drop. Maybe you were getting 50 MPG before your battery died. Now you can expect to get around 25-30 MPG.
This has a huge impact on fuel economy, and you won’t like this if you’re used to running your car cheaply. This is not to mention the overloading of the engine. The engine will be extremely overloaded since there is no electric motor to give it a hand when it’s running.
This stress can also affect the components inside of the engine as well and it can almost scrap your engine as well. The result is that you will pay for a used engine as well as for a new battery pack.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost, Symptoms #6: Noises Coming From The Engine
Noises, when you connect the battery to get a charge, are also noted. These may sound like electricity sparks or other malfunctions connected to the electrical components in the vehicle.
This does not sound very good and can cause some shorting and fire in a worst-case scenario. You don’t want a car that has a malfunctioned electrical component. If I were you, I would look for a hybrid battery replacement cost and swap the malfunctioned battery pack with a new one as soon as possible.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost, Symptoms #7: Warning Lights On The Dashboard
One of the most common and obvious signs of a failing hybrid battery is the illumination of warning lights on the dashboard. When the battery is not functioning properly, the vehicle’s management system will trigger various warning lights, such as the check engine light or a specific hybrid system warning light.
It is essential to address these warnings promptly by consulting a professional or referring to the vehicle’s owner manual to understand the issue. Ignoring these lights can lead to more severe problems and higher costs in the long run.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost, Symptoms #8: Decreased Performance And Acceleration
Another sign of a dying hybrid battery is a noticeable decrease in the vehicle’s performance and acceleration. The hybrid battery is responsible for providing power to the electric motor, which assists the internal combustion engine in propelling the vehicle.
When the battery is not able to supply adequate power, the vehicle may struggle to accelerate, and you may notice a lack of responsiveness when pressing the gas pedal. This can be particularly dangerous when merging onto highways or overtaking other vehicles.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost, Symptoms #9: Excessive Engine Vibration
Hybrid vehicles are designed to operate smoothly and quietly, especially when running on electric power. However, if you notice excessive vibration from the engine, it may indicate that the hybrid battery is not providing enough power, forcing the internal combustion engine to work harder. This excessive workload can cause the engine to vibrate more than usual, signaling a potential issue with the hybrid battery.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost, Symptoms #10: Frequent Need To Refuel
If you find yourself needing to refuel more often than usual, it may be due to a failing hybrid battery. A properly functioning hybrid battery allows the vehicle to operate more efficiently by using electric power to assist the internal combustion engine, thereby reducing fuel consumption. However, when the battery is not performing optimally, the vehicle will rely more on the gasoline engine, leading to increased fuel consumption.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost, Symptoms #11: Vehicle Struggling To Start
A properly functioning hybrid battery is crucial for starting the vehicle. If you notice that your vehicle is struggling to start or requires multiple attempts to turn over, it may indicate that the hybrid battery is not providing enough power to start the vehicle. This issue can be particularly problematic in cold weather, as the battery’s performance can be further compromised.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost, Symptoms #12: Old Age Of The Vehicle
The age of the vehicle can also be a significant factor in the health of the hybrid battery. Most hybrid batteries are designed to last for a specific number of years or miles, typically around 8-10 years or 100,000-150,000 miles. However, factors such as driving habits, climate, and proper maintenance can affect the battery’s lifespan. If your vehicle is approaching or has exceeded this age or mileage, it may be time to consider a hybrid battery replacement.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost, Symptoms #13: Unusual Smells
Unusual smells, particularly a rotten egg or sulfuric odor, can indicate a problem with the hybrid battery. This smell is often associated with an overheating battery or a battery that is not charging properly. It is essential to address this issue promptly, as an overheating battery can be a fire hazard.
In conclusion, recognizing the signs of a failing hybrid battery is crucial to maintaining your vehicle’s performance and safety. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is advisable to consult a professional or refer to your vehicle’s owner manual for further guidance.
Additionally, it is essential to consider the hybrid battery replacement cost and make an informed decision on whether to repair or replace the battery. Ultimately, addressing these issues promptly can help extend the life of your vehicle and ensure a smooth and safe driving experience.
Hybrid Battery Replacement
As we said, batteries do not last forever and have to be changed at some point. As they age, they tend to fail and cause issues. So, the best thing to do is to replace them altogether.
Changing your battery will also going to refresh your car and will improve its performance in the long run. And the hybrid battery replacement cost is not affordable. But if you are running a Toyota, you will enjoy some discounts with the $1350 core credit that Toyota offers for your old battery.
This will drastically reduce the costs of replacing the battery with a new one.
The average price for a 1st generation Prius is $3,649. For the second and third generations, this price goes up and reaches almost $4,000. So, keep this in mind if you are in the market for a used Prius.
For the Camry Hybrid, the costs are usually around $4,800 for a new battery pack. The same thing goes for the Toyota Avalon. The Toyota Highlander, on the other hand, has a more expensive battery, and it’s going to set you back around $6,000.
Other hybrids have similar prices. The greater the battery pack, the greater the cost to replace it.
Rebuilt, Remanufactured, Reconditioned, or Used Batteries
When replacing a hybrid battery pack, one does not necessarily have to opt for a brand-new battery. There are several other cost-effective options available.
- Rebuilt Hybrid Battery: A rebuilt battery is one where the damaged cells or components have been replaced with new ones. This is a cost-effective option compared to buying a new battery. However, the performance may not be as good as a new battery, and it may not come with a warranty.
- Remanufactured Hybrid Battery: A remanufactured battery is one that has been completely disassembled, and all its components have been cleaned, tested, and replaced if necessary. This type of battery often comes with a warranty and offers performance almost as good as a new battery.
- Reconditioned Hybrid Battery: This is a battery that has been restored to its original condition by draining and refilling the electrolyte and balancing the cells. It is a short-term solution and may not last very long, but it is also the least expensive option.
- Used Hybrid Battery: A used battery is one that has been removed from another vehicle. It is the cheapest option, but it also comes with the highest risk. The battery may be close to its end of life and may not last very long.
When considering the cost of a hybrid battery, it is important to factor in the cost of labor for installation. Specialized training is required to remove the old battery and install the new one. The labor costs can vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle and can add several hundred dollars to the total cost of battery replacement.
What to Look Out For
When considering the replacement of a hybrid battery pack, there are several important factors to keep in mind.
- Warranty: It is always advisable to choose a battery that comes with a warranty. This ensures that if the battery fails within the warranty period, it will be replaced at no additional cost.
- Diagnostic Report: Before purchasing a used or rebuilt battery, it is essential to ask for a diagnostic report of the battery’s health. This will give you an idea of the battery’s condition and how long it is likely to last.
- Installation Costs: The cost of labor for installing the battery can vary significantly depending on the make and model of the vehicle. It is important to get a quote for the installation costs before making a decision.
- Vehicle Compatibility: Not all batteries are compatible with all vehicles. It is important to ensure that the battery you are considering is compatible with your vehicle.
Replacing a hybrid battery pack can be a significant expense, but there are several options available that can help reduce the cost. Whether you choose a rebuilt, remanufactured, reconditioned, or used battery, it is important to consider the warranty, ask for a diagnostic report, factor in the installation costs, and ensure the battery is compatible with your vehicle. By considering all these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose the best option for your needs.
How Long Do Hybrid Batteries Last
Toyota claims that its batteries last for 20 years and can go more than 200,000 miles. Some owners have reported that they went as far as 300,000 with the same battery before they needed a replacement.
Meanwhile, some batteries don’t even survive 150,000 miles. It all depends on luck, with some other factors concerning how you drive them. There are billions of factors that affect these batteries that we are not even aware of, to be honest.
If Hybrid Battery Dies Can You Still Drive The Car
Yes, you can drive your car with a dead hybrid battery. Driving without a battery will not affect your car, except that you will not be able to use that extra power from the battery and your MPG will drop significantly. So, you’re better off looking at a hybrid battery replacement cost and replacing your old battery.
Hybrid Car Battery Replacement Facts:
- Hybrid car batteries cost between $1,000 and $8,000 to replace, depending on the make and model of your car and whether you go for a new or refurbished battery.
- Hybrid batteries can last up to 150,000 miles with proper maintenance and are usually warranted by the manufacturer for up to 10 years.
- Rebuilt hybrid batteries are a cheaper alternative to new batteries but may not provide the same performance or come with warranties.
- Reconditioned batteries are a short-term option that can restore unusable batteries to usable condition but may not last very long.
- Used hybrid batteries can save you thousands of dollars but should be thoroughly checked for their health before purchasing.
- The cost of installation for a new battery can add several hundred dollars or more to the total cost of replacement, depending on the make and model of your car and the hourly rate of labor.
- Hybrid car batteries represent a significant portion of the total cost of owning a car.
- Hybrid vehicles use different batteries than traditional gasoline-only vehicles.
- There are few options available for comparing prices of hybrid batteries.
- Hybrid car batteries can affect fuel economy, and caution should be exercised when purchasing a used battery.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost: In Conclusion…
In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to hybrid technology and hybrid batteries. We discussed how these cars work and what are the types of hybrid vehicles. The parallel hybrid and the plug-in hybrid are the most popular vehicles that people usually get and also, and they are the most eco-friendly as well.
Then we have covered the types of batteries that are used in plug-in hybrids. Then, we covered the symptoms of a dead battery and the hybrid battery replacement cost. The cost to replace is not cheap, but you’ve got to replace it sooner or later.
FAQs On Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost
If you’re still curious to learn more about a hybrid battery replacement cost, our FAQs here might help…
Do Hybrid Cars Need To Be Charged
Whether or not a hybrid vehicle needs to be charged is dependent on what type of hybrid powertrain it uses. For example, there are MHEVs (mild-hybrids) or self-charging hybrid cars (like the Prius or the new Honda Civic). These types of hybrids usually can’t be charged up manually. Instead, they would proactively use an internal combustion engine as a sort of generator, not just to power the car, but also to charge up the battery (alongside other systems like regenerative braking). Then, there are PHEVs (plug-in hybrids), which can be plugged in and charged up like an EV. Although, it’s not necessary to charge them manually, as the engine can kick in should the battery die.
How Much Are Hybrid Batteries
Compared to an EV – which has far larger and more complex batteries – hybrid vehicles feature battery packs that also need replacing. Over time, the battery cells are due and need to be replaced outright to ensure that you have a maximal electric range. However, hybrid battery packs are incredibly expensive to replace – still, it’s cheaper than an EV. It’s common for a hybrid battery replacement to cost between $3,000 to $6,000. The final tally will be dependent on the make and model of the car. If you need cheaper options, then some brands offer credit back to you for trading in your old battery for recycling. Or, you could also opt for refurbished batteries instead of brand-new ones.
Is A Hybrid Car Worth It
There are numerous pros and cons to getting a hybrid vehicle over a traditional ICE or a full-on EV. For some, a hybrid vehicle is a great step-up over an ICE. And, it could be a good stepping stone or compromise between an EV and an ICE. For starters, hybrids generally offer you better fuel economy and lower emissions compared to an ICE. Yet, it won’t force you into range anxiety and needing to cope with a lackluster charging infrastructure like an EV would – at least, for the time being. Although, there are certainly some downsides. For example, a hybrid vehicle can’t boast the same eco-friendly nature or maximal fuel savings as an EV.
Are Hybrid Cars Reliable
In the early days of hybrid vehicles, their reliability was questionable, owing to the use of new and then-unexplored technologies. But following years of refinement, a hybrid today is generally pretty reliable. Theoretically, a hybrid has more components than an ICE-only car. This includes a battery pack, motors, inverters, regenerative brakes, and more so in between. Therefore, logic would suggest that having more stuff to go wrong would lower the reliability of a hybrid vehicle. But, the addition of a hybrid setup also means that you’re putting less strain on the engine and ICE parts, leading them to need less maintenance and servicing.
How Much Is A Hybrid Car
On average, studies show that hybrid cars are roughly 20% costlier than their pure-ICE counterparts. This is owing to the addition of a complex hybrid powertrain. With more parts – including batteries, motors, regenerative brakes, inverters, and so on – it means that the consumer has to pay more to get them. Nevertheless, hybrid cars would still be cheaper than an equivalent EV, with the cheapest hybrids starting in at $20,000. On top of that, if you get a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), you might be eligible for a tax credit of up to $7,500 when you purchase it. This is on top of the potential fuel savings when you leverage that hybrid system more often.