How to Change Your Toyota Prius Battery

How to Change Your Toyota Prius Battery


At Maxat Hybrid Repair, we go ‘beyond the job’ of the average car repair shop.  By this, we mean to say that our goal is not solely limited to fixing your hybrid vehicle.  We also aim to educate our customers so that they can reduce their costs and understand when our assistance may or may not be necessary.  With this goal in mind, we would like to provide you with some tips on changing the battery in your Toyota Prius.


How to Change a Toyota Prius 12 Volt Battery


If your Toyota Prius seems to have lost power to the lights, radio or smaller vehicle parts not associated with the engine, you can rest easy knowing that this can be fixed without replacing the large 200 volt battery that is used to drive the car in the electric mode – saving you time and a whole lot of money.  The much smaller 12 volt battery powers accessories throughout the car and can be changed by you as the consumer.  This battery is oddly found in the trunk, and can be replaced in about 30 minutes to an hour.


This battery will probably last between five and ten years, but can die off much quicker than this if run for longer periods of time.  To replace this battery, you will need several tools on hand, including socket options, a drive ratchet and preferably an extension attachment, and a flat head screwdriver.


Some readers might be better off browsing instructional videos online, or you can follow these steps to change this smaller battery:


  • Open the hatchback and remove any carpet or floor mat coverings.
  • Remove the plastic storage bin, exposing the spare tire.
  • Unsnap the plastic molding on the far right, in the rear of the trunk.
  • Remove the air duct on top of the battery using the appropriate socket size.
  • Remove the cables and plastic housing from the battery.
  • Loosen the 10 mm bolt and lift the terminal straight up.
  • Do not allow this terminal to touch any car parts.
  • Remove the battery hold down with the appropriate socket size.
  • Pull the vent tube straight out of the battery and, without pulling it from the car, set it out of the way.
  • Remove the negative battery terminal and wire from the battery and replace with new battery.


Finding a replacement battery for the Prius


The Toyota Prius battery can be purchased from a Toyota dealer, or consider stopping at our repair center and pick up a 12V battery that we have in stock. Price for Toyota Prius 2004-newer is $220 installed + Tax.


The  battery comes with 24 or 36 Month warranty.  We’re offer a replacement battery for the Prius that should work for the 2004 and newer model Prius that is equipped with a smart key system.  Some cheaper battery manufactured will not fit properly in a Prius that is not equipped with the smart key.  Make sure you purchase a battery that fits your hybrid specifications.


Feel free to call us for consultation about your battery needs: 916-500-7070

Myths Associated with the Toyota Prius

Addressing Common Myths Associated with the Toyota Prius


At Maxat Hybrid Repair, we go aim to educate our customers regarding the true facts of hybrid vehicles.  From cost effective repairs to common issues to look for, we aim to help each and every potential customer by revealing the facts behind hybrids.  With this goal in mind, we would like to clear the air on some common myths on the Toyota Prius that would convince a buyer whether purchasing a Prius is the best or worst decision of their lives.


“Prius batteries don’t last long and the car is useless once the battery dies.”

The reason this myth has become so common over the years is due to the battery problems associated with the early 2000s models of the Prius.  Owners of these early models may have had to replace the battery pack due to its smaller size and shorter lifespan, but Toyota has since addressed the battery issue in later models of the Prius.  By 2004, the Prius had become the ultra-reliable vehicle you see today.  These batteries tend to last over ten years, but this can vary on vehicle usage.


“Prius batteries cost thousands to replace and ruin the value of the car.”

This statement may actually be true depending on your battery repair solution (click here to see our prices), the number of years and miles on you Prius and the overall car market.  If your Prius battery dies, it very well might cost you a few thousand to replace with a new battery if you go through the Toyota dealer.  However, independent mechanics like Maxat Hybrid Repair can offer a more cost-effective repair option.  Whether the option is to repair or replace the battery, you can be sure that you will get a better deal outside of the Toyota dealership.  While battery fixes can be expensive, a Prius owner offsets this cost by saving on common repairs seen in other vehicles and the cost of fuel over the lifespan of the vehicle.


“The Prius explodes.”

A common misconception is that batteries are explosive.  The truth is that a gas-powered vehicle is at a far greater risk to explode from a collision than a battery-powered vehicle like the Toyota Prius.


“The Prius is more harmful to the environment than big trucks and SUVs.”

This myth is also generated by the misconception that a user will need to replace the battery several times over the life of the vehicle.  The truth is that the Prius uses the same amount of plastic and metal in the production of the vehicle as a similarly sized sedan.  As far as the concerns with the battery, the environmental impact is minimal when considering the difference in fuel being burned by a gas-powered vehicle.

“The Prius is guaranteed to save you money.”

As much as we would like to make such a guarantee, the fact is that not all Priuses are created equal and the cost savings really depends on vehicle use and unexpected repairs.  The Prius will often cost more than other small sedan options when purchasing brand new.  The difference in price is only offset when driving a high number of miles per year, which is not the case for every driver.  Buying a used Prius is more comparable to used sedans of similar age and mileage and is more likely to save you money over the life of the vehicle.  An even bigger factor in cost savings is the price of gas.  While the Prius will undoubtedly save your gas money, the impact of the savings is dependent on the price of cost year-over-year.


Make an appointment

Call us: 916-500-7070

Common Maintenance Issues for Hybrid Cars




Common Maintenance Issues for Hybrid Cars


Like any other vehicle on the road, Hybrid cars will run in to maintenance issues from time to time.  Preparing yourself through early education as an owner of a hybrid car can help you better understand what issues might arise and when.  Here at Maxat Hybrid Repair, our goal is to not only fix common maintenance issues at a much lower price than competitors, but also to educate our customers about the issues so that they can fully understand the work being done on their vehicle.


Our repair shop specializes in the maintenance and repair of hybrid cars, such as the Toyota Prius, the Nissan Altima Hybrid or the Honda Civic Hybrid.  From routine maintenance to replacing your hybrid battery, our shop has you covered at a fraction of the repair cost found at other shops.  To better understand the issues you might experience as a hybrid car owner, here is a list of common maintenance issues found in hybrid cars.


Routine Maintenance

Similar to regular gas engine cars, hybrid cars require the changing of air filters and oil. However, oil changes are much less frequent in hybrid cars than regular gas engine cars. Often, the hybrid car only needs to get an oil change every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Air filters for hybrid cars should be replaced about every 40,000 miles.


Battery Life

In comparison to gas engine cars, a hybrid car tends to see more maintenance issues with the hybrid battery.  The hybrid battery life is not always reliable and can die off sooner than expected.  Between repair and replacement, hybrid batteries tend to have very high replacement costs.  We have written about several hybrid battery issues on our blog in the past, seen here (P3030 or P3009) and here (P0A80).


German Hybrids Check Engine Light

In general, Hybrid car owners do not have engine problems as often as regular gas engine car owners.  The exception to this is found in German model hybrid cars, made by Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen.  In these vehicles, owners have had issues with the engine light coming on or staying on without relaying codes that show an actual problem.  This glitch can be somewhat of a nuisance, but is also causes safety issues if the engine of the vehicle really needs to be checked and owners do not trust it when it lights up.


Keys to Hybrid Maintenance Survival

If you are already a Hybrid car owner, you can surely speak for the masses and tell others how enjoyable hybrid cars are to drive and own.  However, you may also be one of the owners that have seen these common maintenance issues firsthand and know the downside to owning a hybrid car when it comes to cost.  If you are able to educate yourself on common maintenance issues ahead of problems, keep up with routine maintenance and get all your vehicle work done by a trustworthy shop like ours, then keeping your car healthy and on the road should not be an issue.

Make an appointment

Call us: 916-500-7070

2005 taxi prius Did not start

I had a taxi prius today, that did not start. After diagnostic i opened inverter and found that inverter burned inside. Its had a fire inside.
Conclusion do not clear dtc codes and continue to drive, it will overload a hybrid system. Repair will be a lot more after the fact