Hybrid car owners know that their car’s battery is an important part of their vehicle’s overall operation. Hybrid cars use a 12-volt lead-acid battery and gasoline like a standard vehicle while also drawing energy from an electric battery. The hybrid car’s battery is not like the traditional car’s batteries that can be bought for around $30 to $50. Hybrid battery replacements can go from $3,000 to $5,000 depending on the battery. It is not cheap to replace one that is why many hybrid car owners are choosing to have their hybrid batteries recondition instead. Hybrid battery reconditioning cost can go from $750 to $1,500. But what is a hybrid battery reconditioning? Continue reading to understand how it works and how it can extend the life of your hybrid battery.
Hybrid Battery Reconditioning Cost: What is a hybrid battery?
Hybrid cars are getting more attention today and many auto manufacturers are set to make these cars more advanced and efficient. But no matter how advanced they get, people still find it hard to own one because it is not that affordable and it is not widely available yet.
A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that has a gas-powered motor and an electric motor with a hybrid battery that is rechargeable and has the capacity and enough power to move a large vehicle. It is basically a combination of an electric car and a traditional car. It can switch flawlessly between power sources that drivers may not even feel the transition.
Hybrid batteries are made of many cells that are connected in series, packed into a plastic or metal container. These packed cells are called modules or sticks. The modules are grouped into packs and there are subsystems that support the packs. To ensure that the hybrid batteries will last long, cooling, heating, high voltage leak detection, relays, voltage and amperage management are added.
When the driver depressed the brake pedal, it produces an energy that recharges the hybrid battery. It is known as the process of regenerative braking. A hybrid vehicle has an outstanding energy efficiency thanks to its ability to switch between electric and gas power.
A hybrid vehicle can provide an outstanding energy efficiency and at the same, it is also environmentally friendly but it has some drawbacks. One of which is that the hybrid battery has a limited lifespan and a hybrid vehicle cannot run without its hybrid battery. A hybrid battery can cost you thousands of dollars to replace. Fortunately, there is a new way to fix or prolong the life of your hybrid battery by doing a hybrid battery reconditioning. The hybrid battery reconditioning cost is a lot cheaper than replacing your hybrid battery.
Hybrid Battery Reconditioning Cost: What is a hybrid battery reconditioning?
Knowing what is a hybrid battery reconditioning and how it is done will help you get a better idea why the hybrid battery reconditioning cost is not that cheap. Hybrid battery reconditioning is the process of diagnostics and methods done to separate damaged modules or cells for replacement. This process involves low rate charging and balancing the battery pack, deep discharging the battery pack to break down crystal formations or voltage depressions within the battery, and repeating the process again for at least two to four times to ensure that you get the desired result.
Hybrid battery reconditioning is done to restore the lost battery capacity to a usable state and to equalize the cell voltage levels. The reconditioning process allows the hybrid battery to have more usable capacity.
The hybrid battery reconditioning process typically involves:
- Taking your old hybrid battery out from your hybrid vehicle.
- Testing the hybrid battery and determining its current overall health state.
- Disassembling of the battery and the modules will be attached to a Charge / Discharge Cycler machine This process restores their ability to store electrical energy.
- Testing the modules to determine their capacities.
- The modules will be grouped with the other modules that have the same power and capacity. Bad modules will be replaced with the same specification as the rest.
- When the final charging is done, the modules will be tested again.
- The hybrid battery will be reassembled with the good modules or cells inside the pack.
The hybrid battery reconditioning process is basically combining the charging or balancing process and the deep discharging process many times to recondition it.
Hybrid Battery Reconditioning Cost: How much does it cost to recondition a hybrid battery?
If you are already at that point where your battery is failing and your hybrid vehicle is showing symptoms of a failing one, you will be given several options to fix it. One is to have it repaired, recondition it, or replace it with a new one.
Repairing a hybrid battery can be done when you have a battery pack that has few damaged cells. You can choose to have it repaired instead but without proper diagnosis, it will be hard to know how many cells are damaged and where they are positioned. It is best that you have your hybrid battery checked by a specialist that has the right equipment for diagnosing batteries. If it is found that there are several modules that are damaged and are unrepairable then it will be better to have the whole battery replaced. Replacing your hybrid battery can cost you around $3,000 to $5,000 depending on the battery.
You can also consider a hybrid battery reconditioning. The hybrid battery reconditioning cost is less expensive than replacing your hybrid battery. Aside from saving a few bucks, hybrid reconditioning can also boost your hybrid vehicle’s performance and can increase its fuel efficiency. The hybrid battery reconditioning cost is said to be cheaper for about one-fourth the price of replacing the whole hybrid battery with an estimated cost between $750 and $1,500. With this price, you will be able to restore your battery and extend its lifespan.
There are also some trouble codes that can be fixed by a hybrid battery reconditioning like the trouble codes P0A80, P3006, P3017, and P3018 found on a Toyota Prius and trouble codes P1433, P1447, P1449, P1600, and P07AF on a Honda Civic or Insight.
Hybrid Battery Reconditioning Cost: How do I know if my hybrid battery is bad?
Hybrid batteries usually last long but certain driving habits, how you maintain your vehicle, and the conditions you drive on can affect its lifespan. Your hybrid battery’s module can also wear down and fail over time. Replacing the whole unit can cost thousands of dollars and the hybrid battery reconditioning cost might be a lot cheaper but it is still something you should not have to deal with before hitting a certain mileage. That is why it is important that you take heed of the early signs and symptoms of a failing hybrid battery before it’s too late. Here are some of the symptoms of a failing hybrid battery.
- Decreased fuel economy.
One of the most common symptoms of a failing hybrid battery is a decreased fuel economy. Your hybrid battery is the one that provides energy to fuel your car. If you have a failing battery, the car will resort to getting the needed power on your vehicle’s gas combustion engine. Frequent trips to a gas station is an indication that you have a bad hybrid battery.
- State of Charge or SOC fluctuations.
If you notice that your hybrid battery’s SOC is fluctuating wildly, it could mean that you have a failing hybrid battery or perhaps a problem with your charging system. It is best that you have it checked and repaired immediately to prevent more serious problems.
- Your hybrid battery is not holding a charge.
If you charge your battery overnight and you wake up to a low battery, it is a sure indication that you have a failing hybrid battery. The battery’s ultimate function is to store energy. The battery can fail due to the changing chemistry that occurs within the battery and the levels of internal resistance on each cell will be increased. When this happens, instead of storing energy within the cell, the energy will be lost and is converted into heat that could result in overheating that can damage your modules or cells.
- Usage of the internal combustion engine is increased.
If your hybrid car is using its internal combustion engine most of the time, it must be because of a faulty hybrid battery.
- You hear strange engine noises.
With your hybrid car using its internal combustion engine most of the time, it is likely that it will cause problems to occur within its system. You may hear strange noises coming from the engine as it tries to accelerate.
It is recommended that if you notice any of the symptoms of a failing hybrid battery, have your unit checked and inspected by a specialist to get the right diagnosis. It is important to know what causes the problem so you can take the appropriate action to correct it immediately.
Hybrid Battery Reconditioning Cost: Can you still drive a hybrid without the battery?
Just like any other vehicle, hybrid cars will also get to experience problems with its parts such as the battery. As you know, the battery is where the hybrid car gets its energy. So what happens if it suddenly fails or has reached the end of its lifespan? Can you still drive your hybrid car without a working battery?
Modern hybrid batteries can last for at least 100,000 miles but these batteries can also be subjected to problems and they can unexpectedly fail. For this reason, many hybrid vehicles have been provided with lengthy warranties such as the Toyota Prius that offers a 100,000-mile battery warranty. If your hybrid car has a warranty and the battery failed before hitting the 100,000 mileage, then you don’t have to worry about the replacement cost or the hybrid battery reconditioning cost.
But what if your hybrid battery has suddenly failed before you could even get the installation done, can you drive it? To answer that, let us refresh our memory with the basics. It was mentioned earlier that hybrid cars are powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. The electric motor is powered by the energy stored in the main hybrid battery. Now, this hybrid battery remains charged by regenerative braking. This means that every time the brakes are applied, the car’s kinetic energy will be converted back to stored energy. It is the same energy that keeps the electric motor running. This is why hybrid cars have great fuel economy because they don’t rely much on the car’s gasoline to run.
If your main hybrid battery is dead or has failed, you won’t be able to drive your car effectively. You might be able to jump-start it but it won’t run correctly either. The hybrid car will need its hybrid battery in order to operate properly.
There are people who also ask, can hybrid cars run without gasoline? The answer is still a no. While a hybrid car can run using only its electric motor, it is not built or designed to run without a gasoline in its tank. If you drive your hybrid car without gasoline, it can result in severe damage to its hybrid system. Even if your hybrid car is using its electric motor most of the time, it is still important that you fill up your gas tank all the time.
Hybrid Battery Reconditioning Cost: Final Word
It is true that hybrid batteries last longer and are more efficient but they are not immune to imperfections and problems. It will eventually wear down or will reach the end of its lifespan. A battery replacement might be inevitable but there is a cheaper way to extend its life. The hybrid battery reconditioning cost might be a lot cheaper than replacing the whole battery but it gets the work done. It extends the life of the battery that can be used for another six years. Plus, it also helps improve its performance.