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Old 09-21-2007, 11:35 AM   #1
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Death of a Hybrid

I was curious about what people will be doing with their hybrid vehicles once the warranty on the battery pack has expired and in need or replacement, or when the electric motor fails? When this happens will the car still function? Will the hybrid just be an average gas consumer? Will not having the battery warranty affect resale value? Most people don't have to worry about this, but what if you have a 2001 Hybrid. The 8 year warranty is approaching, what will you do?


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Old 09-21-2007, 11:47 AM   #2
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I wonder if the tiredness of the batteries would even be noticed by most drivers...

I doubt the electric motors will be blowing up anytime soon. More likely the ICE will go first.

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Old 09-21-2007, 11:49 AM   #3
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Edit: I think my car might ha-- my computer might have a virus. I did not type that backward. I had to type backward to get it to type normal (the mirrored link to greenhybrid) now keyboard back to normal.
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Old 09-22-2007, 02:11 PM   #4
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I have seen, on the internet, a number of honda insights where the ICE has been the weakest point, it sorta defies logic, seeing that honda is a very good engine manufacturer, in fact the largest in the world. At any rate, I would think the batteries would go next and then maybe one-day the electric motor. Electric motors have shown to be awesome long-term performers. Usually the brushes wear down to nothing or carbon build-up will stop electrical connections from being made within the motor... both are inexpensive fixes that alternator re builders for places like autozone profit heavily from. I think if honda just made a tiny 4 cylinder that it would outperform the 3 cylinder... I'd bet that the 3 cylinder design tends to be the weak point in their cylinder-deactivated 6 cylinders that they are just starting to come out with.

Maybe when they release the fcx with hydrogen fuel stacks they can lend a version of the system for retrofitting into the insight. I think Honda had extended the warranty on the insight battery packs already, and I wouldn't doubt that to keep the customers happy they would offer them some type of incentive or deal on the new fcx. At least thats what they should do.

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Old 09-22-2007, 07:31 PM   #5
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None of the hybrids are using brushed drive motors. They'll far outlast the rest of the car.

SVO's right: as the battery loses capacity, fuel consumption will rise, but the average owner probably wouldn't notice unless it's a sudden change.

From my limited reading, Insights have had the most battery problems. I've yet to read of any Toyota batt failures.
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Old 09-24-2007, 01:36 AM   #6
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What will happen to hybrids? A few positive options, for us, will be :

(1) We get the car shell (Prius or Insight), and mod it to the max, with a new drive train etc
(2) We get a nice supply of cheap electric motors (if they last so long, no-one will need to buy them!)

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Old 09-24-2007, 04:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by landspeed View Post
(1) We get the car shell (Prius or Insight), and mod it to the max, with a new drive train etc
Been done. 200+ HP at 48 MPG... Not too shabby. If I had the money, I'd get them to put one together for me.
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:34 AM   #8
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Or put the two cars together. The Prius power split device can be modded to make it run in EV only mode beyond 42 mph without damage. This project is "putting a Prius heart into an Insight":
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:04 AM   #9
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There have been some failures of early 2001/2 Prius.

There have been a small number of confirmed transaxle failures where a common factor seems to have been lack of fluid changes. Most of these failures were of the insulation of the larger electric motor-MG2. The rate is still below that of a typical automatic transmission. Though the motor can be replaced, the economics right now make a replacement with new justified.

Battery failures seem to be related to those early batteries that never have had the terminal ends sealed during a special service campaign Toyota had. Corrosion causes uneven charging/heating of the individual modules causing a module or two to fail. Once a failure occurs the whole pack must be changed. The battery failures have not been numerous at all.

Then again you see the high milage early Prius out there; Andrew Grant's taxi cabs, Jesse's 320,000+ mile Prius and many others. And high milage 2004+ seem unaffected by any systemic problems with the hybrid system. Toyota has made changes from the very early models.

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Old 09-24-2007, 06:07 AM   #10
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As for hybrid battery life and related value-of-vehicle issues, you should have a look at this. It's specifically related to Prius, but I see no reason why other brands might not handle it similarly.

According to this, it's a non-issue, at least for Prius.

Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.

Now driving '97 Civic HX; tires ~ 50 psi. '89 Volvo 240 = semi-retired.
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