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I redneck rebalanced my prius traction battery #5461049 06/23/20 08:01 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 35,773
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eljefino Offline OP
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This is my 2006 with 272k miles. I don't talk about it much. Got it in January with a bad catalytic converter. Turns out selling an OE cat more than pays for an aftermarket replacement. LOL

Anywho, nothing was up with the battery until recently. I'd depart for work in the morning and the car would go from "80%" to "one bar" in 1/2 mile. The car by design idles to warm up unless you really romp on it, making up for the difference with electrical power. Mine would stumble as I pressed the accellerator, as if there wasn't the electricity available the car would have expected. I ran "torque" with the 2nd gen extra PIDs and noticed mostly even battery voltages. Finally, it threw code P0A80 "replace HV battery" but without any additional codes hinting at bad modules. I cleaned the battery cooling fan and fixed its faulty relay connection, to no improvement in performance. It gets (got?) 48-49 MPG vs my 2005 which gets 53-54 under the same conditions.

I tried watching the voltage sags when I gunned it and noticed momentary blips in the #2 block pair-of-modules. (Toyota monitors 14 blocks for 28 modules or 168 NiMH cells all wired in series.)

So I diagnosed a module or modules that have no shorted cells but reduced capacity, and had hopes it was #2.

I rolled the car into the garage on "three bars", nearly empty, and disassembled the pack. Used 2x 55watt fog lights to load a pair of modules (~15 volts). Took readings before turning the lights on, and after 5 minutes with them still on. Right off the bat I found a more substantial sag in #2. Went after the modules individually and one was normal but the other down a volt. Marked it with sharpie to remember it's a dud.

Worked my way down the line, found no others bad. Reassembled with two pre-owned modules, and ran them under the same test as the rest. (I wanted them balanced, and had no great way of recharging the "good" single in #2.) Passed the test and they were all within 1/10 volt at rest.

Reassembled. Car assumed I had 70 percent charge as some default. This was reevaluated by the computer within 30 seconds and I had one "pink bar". Torque reported 35% SOC.

Drove the car four miles, and the battery's up to 65% SOC now, and 7 blue-bars. This is actually great news. Under the old module it would go from nothing to "100% full" in very little time. Under normal conditions it should only get 100% full after a long downhill descent with regenerative breaking.

On to the pictures. Don't kill yourself working on these things, kids, there's 230 Volts DC if you try to find it, but it's safe if you take precautions.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Re: I redneck rebalanced my prius traction battery [Re: eljefino] #5461095 06/23/20 09:15 PM
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ctechbob Offline
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Cool, that's the first time I've seen one of the modules up close. I assume they're the same size and shape throughout the car? (The individual cells, not the module assembly)

That actually has me thinking about a Prius as a beater to drive back and forth to work.

Last edited by ctechbob; 06/23/20 09:31 PM.

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Re: I redneck rebalanced my prius traction battery [Re: eljefino] #5461116 06/23/20 09:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
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JHZR2 Offline
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Congrats. Balancing on a cell group by cell group is good practice. Taking high groups down with a resistive load is standard practice.

Have you verified that the aftermarket cat does anything good at all? I found that aftermarket ones are about as good as EOL OE cats under sniffer testing. Nothing like a Prius that is a gross polluter...

Re: I redneck rebalanced my prius traction battery [Re: eljefino] #5461123 06/23/20 10:02 PM
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JimPghPA Offline
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Did you wear linesman up to date tested rubber gloves with over-sized leather protection gloves like a regular electric worker wears when they work on dead high voltage circuits?

You probably can buy them at McMaster-Carr and they can save your life.


Boy will I be happy when ALL vehicles on public roads are autonomous.


JimPghPa

Re: I redneck rebalanced my prius traction battery [Re: eljefino] #5461145 06/23/20 11:19 PM
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CR94 Offline
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Congratulations on the success so far! I need to learn more about the battery pack and maintaining it.

Originally Posted by eljefino
... The car by design idles to warm up unless you really romp on it, making up for the difference with electrical power. ...
I don't know whether the 2nd generation (including 2006) is the same, but on my 2011 (3rd generation) that warm-up phase in which the car tries to avoid using power from the engine lasts exactly 1 minute. Therefore, to avoid heavy demand on the battery launching immediately into traffic or up a hill, I let it spend that minute warming up at a standstill or moving slowly getting out of a parking lot. I assume this delay will be best for battery longevity. It taxes my patience when I'm in a hurry to go somewhere, though. After a brief stop, with the engine still warm, it goes through the same 1-minute routine, but then I'm more likely to "romp on it" to force the engine to power the car.


2011 Toyota Prius now at 111K
1981 Mazda GLC (323) retired at 606K
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Re: I redneck rebalanced my prius traction battery [Re: JHZR2] #5461339 06/24/20 09:18 AM
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groomerz Offline
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Originally Posted by JHZR2
Congrats. Balancing on a cell group by cell group is good practice. Taking high groups down with a resistive load is standard practice.

Have you verified that the aftermarket cat does anything good at all? I found that aftermarket ones are about as good as EOL OE cats under sniffer testing. Nothing like a Prius that is a gross polluter...

Aftermarket cats are worthless per the cat recyclers. They pay 5.00 for aftermarket cars and 50 to 250 for OEM cars. You can deduce that the platinum amounts must be greater in OEM.


2002 Lexus Ls 430 98k
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Re: I redneck rebalanced my prius traction battery [Re: JHZR2] #5461421 06/24/20 11:25 AM
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dogememe Offline
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Originally Posted by JHZR2


Have you verified that the aftermarket cat does anything good at all? I found that aftermarket ones are about as good as EOL OE cats under sniffer testing. Nothing like a Prius that is a gross polluter...


Doesn't really matter, as long as the computer doesn't set a code it's good enough for smog (even in California, a 2006 won't get sniffed, just OBD2-checked, as far as I know)...


2010 Ford Escape 2.5 ~104K Miles: AMSOIL Signature Series 0W-30, Wix Filter.
2001 Chevy Suburban 5.3 ~292K Miles: Valvoline Maxlife 10W-30, ACDelco Filter.
Re: I redneck rebalanced my prius traction battery [Re: eljefino] #5461474 06/24/20 12:49 PM
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OVERKILL Offline
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Nice to see this kind of work, your dedication to keeping these things running is admirable!


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Re: I redneck rebalanced my prius traction battery [Re: eljefino] #5461596 06/24/20 03:51 PM
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diyjake Offline
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Nice work! Hopefully it keeps working for a while.

Re: I redneck rebalanced my prius traction battery [Re: groomerz] #5461611 06/24/20 04:11 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
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eljefino Offline OP
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Originally Posted by groomerz
Originally Posted by JHZR2
Congrats. Balancing on a cell group by cell group is good practice. Taking high groups down with a resistive load is standard practice.

Have you verified that the aftermarket cat does anything good at all? I found that aftermarket ones are about as good as EOL OE cats under sniffer testing. Nothing like a Prius that is a gross polluter...

Aftermarket cats are worthless per the cat recyclers. They pay 5.00 for aftermarket cars and 50 to 250 for OEM cars. You can deduce that the platinum amounts must be greater in OEM.


There's an EPA decision floating around somewhere that aftermarket cats are okay with them even if they aren't as well-built as OE, because they're put on end-of-life cars. My OBD is happy with my new one, unhappy with the old one, and my CO2 emissions are among the best on the road.

45 miles of driving today, display never went "into the green", I've got capacity back. banana

I'm not discussing my safety protocols, lest someone assume I'm an expert and follow them with a mild misunderstanding that leads to disastrous consequences. One should know what "series" battery wiring is and how increasing the number of modules between any two contacts increases the voltage potential. Normally one can "neuter" these packs by unbolting one side of terminals and removing the orange plastic insulator with integral copper bus bars like a zipper, but that had to stay in place for this test. If a reader doesn't know these basics, leave the cover on and get help.

Re: I redneck rebalanced my prius traction battery [Re: groomerz] #5462288 06/25/20 11:10 AM
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nthach Offline
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Originally Posted by groomerz

Aftermarket cats are worthless per the cat recyclers. They pay 5.00 for aftermarket cars and 50 to 250 for OEM cars. You can deduce that the platinum amounts must be greater in OEM.

Which is why thieves love the OEM Prius cats - they're being cut out left and right here. Don't ask how I know. You can't install aftermarket in CA or any state that follows CARB or OTC emissions standards either - you'll pass the OBD-II scan but fail visual.

Re: I redneck rebalanced my prius traction battery [Re: nthach] #5462291 06/25/20 11:15 AM
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kschachn Offline
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Originally Posted by nthach
Which is why thieves love the OEM Prius cats - they're being cut out left and right here. Don't ask how I know. You can't install aftermarket in CA or any state that follows CARB or OTC emissions standards either - you'll pass the OBD-II scan but fail visual.

There are no aftermarket CARB compliant converters for the Prius with an EO number?


1994 BMW 530i, 253K
1996 Honda Accord, 289K
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2000 Toyota ECHO, 290K
Re: I redneck rebalanced my prius traction battery [Re: kschachn] #5462536 06/25/20 03:43 PM
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The Critic Offline
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Originally Posted by kschachn
Originally Posted by nthach
Which is why thieves love the OEM Prius cats - they're being cut out left and right here. Don't ask how I know. You can't install aftermarket in CA or any state that follows CARB or OTC emissions standards either - you'll pass the OBD-II scan but fail visual.

There are no aftermarket CARB compliant converters for the Prius with an EO number?

None at this time.


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