2016 - Volume #40, Issue #2, Page #07[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Prius Battery Fix Saves Thousands
“It’s aggravating how little they will give you when the battery goes bad on a Prius,” says Page. “After I fixed it, I drove it for another 8 to 9 months and then sold it.”
Page gives credit to the internet and sites like www.priuschat.com for the information he needed. He also met an electrical engineer with a hobby of rebuilding wrecked Prius cars. Page emphasizes the risk involved.
“High DC voltage is dangerous,” says Page. “It can kill you, so you have to learn how to do the job safely.”
Once he fixed his own battery successfully, Page began repairing others. He has completed a dozen or so since. He charges $900 for a battery he has restored and some for labor and mileage, doing the installation and reconditioning on site. He then takes the bad battery to rebuild for the next job.
“It usually runs around $1,050 with mileage,” he says. “I give a 1-year warranty. I can get another battery with a 3-year warranty, but it costs $400 more than mine.”
Page is an experienced and trained mechanic and brings those skills to the job. He has salvaged several cars for batteries for rebuilding and now also sells salvaged auto parts.
He notes that sometimes people think their battery has failed when the problem has a simpler solution. “I had a call about a bad battery, but when I hooked up my laptop, it proved to be a bad coil that I fixed for $225,” says Page.
He recalls his dealer acting like he was crazy to try and fix his own, due to the danger. “People are afraid of them and are told it is an expensive fix,” he says. “It doesn’t have to be. The cost of fixing one far outweighs trading it in.”
Doing some regular maintenance can prolong the life of the Prius battery pack. “There is a battery cooling fan in the trunk that can get plugged up,” says Page. “A dirty fan can lead to hybrid battery failure by failing to move enough air across the batteries.”
Page explains that he isn’t alone in rebuilding hybrid battery packs. “I work within driving distance of my home,” he says. “A lot of people have begun rebuilding them. It’s a nice sideline business.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Charley Page, 199 Grant 582, Redfield, Ark. 72132 (ph 870 723-0581; https://www.facebook.com/pageshybridrepair/info/).
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