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Old 05-21-2012, 01:35 PM   #1
XDCX
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Default Value of a Used Toyota Prius with a Bad Main Battery Pack

I've often wondered what the valuation would be when some of the early Toyota Prius cars hit the market and required the replacement of their main battery packs. How much would a Dealer have to adjust the ACV of a trade if he/she knew the battery pack needed to be replaced?

Well, part of that mystery was answered this weekend when TNT Auction sold a 2000 Toyota Prius that needed a new main battery pack. Here's a screen-shot of the auction results:




Frankly, I was surprised the Prius sold for that much - I was also surprised to see that the battery pack failed at a relatively low mileage. Perhaps battery life for the Prius is based more on time than miles.

On a final note, I have no idea how difficult it is to replace a battery pack or whether it's a common practice to use used parts from vehicles that had been totaled due to collision. Maybe that explains the high selling price?
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:16 PM   #2
mr4t60e
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When laptops I own get old enough to have bad batteries, they cease to function as laptops and become corded desktop computers. You can't really do that with a car but I would find it very difficult to justify the cost of replacing the battery pack on a 12 year old car.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:26 AM   #3
lsx only
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I was hoping it would bring 500 or less no love for a toyota here!!!
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mr4t60e View Post
When laptops I own get old enough to have bad batteries, they cease to function as laptops and become corded desktop computers. You can't really do that with a car but I would find it very difficult to justify the cost of replacing the battery pack on a 12 year old car.
That's a great point - What happens to a Toyota Prius when the market value of the car falls to the point it's no longer worth replacing the battery pack?

At first I was thinking it would just become a low powered gasoline vehicle that had to lug around a heavy/worthless battery, but the more I think about it I start to wonder if a Prius with a bad battery pack would even be drivable?

I'll do a Google search later today when I get some time and see if I can find the answer.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:03 AM   #5
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I was hoping it would bring 500 or less no love for a toyota here!!!
That's what I would have thought too, but I did some checking on Ebay and I was surprised to learn it's not too expensive to replace the battery pack on a Prius.

There's one shop in Las Vegas (which, ironically, is where the car in the auction above is located) that will replace the battery in a Prius for $1199 and that includes the installation. Here's the link - click here
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XDCX View Post
That's a great point - What happens to a Toyota Prius when the market value of the car falls to the point it's no longer worth replacing the battery pack?

At first I was thinking it would just become a low powered gasoline vehicle that had to lug around a heavy/worthless battery, but the more I think about it I start to wonder if a Prius with a bad battery pack would even be drivable?

I'll do a Google search later today when I get some time and see if I can find the answer.
I moved my comment to the prior post which contains the link.

Last edited by 79LilRedExpress; 05-22-2012 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by XDCX View Post
That's what I would have thought too, but I did some checking on Ebay and I was surprised to learn it's not too expensive to replace the battery pack on a Prius.

There's one shop in Las Vegas (which, ironically, is where the car in the auction above is located) that will replace the battery in a Prius for $1199 and that includes the installation. Here's the link - click here
That's great news if you have a 2001, 2002, or 2003... But the one at auction is a 2000 model and I did not see an application in your link for a 2000.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 79LilRedExpress View Post
That's great news if you have a 2001, 2002, or 2003... But the one at auction is a 2000 model and I did not see an application in your link for a 2000.
Good observation - you have a keen eye for detail.

I did another Ebay search and couldn't find any batteries for a 2000 Prius, 2001 was always the first year listed.

Then I looked at the TNT Auction listing again and noticed the listing has to be wrong. I did some more searching and learned that Toyota didn't build a Prius for the U.S. until 2001 and the VIN number in the auction listing has a "1" in the field that designates the model year.

If a dealer bought the Prius above and paid $3,400, by the time he/she paid auction fees, towing fees and had the battery pack replaced they'd probably have $5,200 into the vehicle. Assuming there wasn't too much extra work that needed to be done it looks like the dealer who bought that vehicle will be able to make some money.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:55 PM   #9
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That's a great point - What happens to a Toyota Prius when the market value of the car falls to the point it's no longer worth replacing the battery pack?

At first I was thinking it would just become a low powered gasoline vehicle that had to lug around a heavy/worthless battery, but the more I think about it I start to wonder if a Prius with a bad battery pack would even be drivable?

I'll do a Google search later today when I get some time and see if I can find the answer.
OK, I did the Google search and it appears a person could still drive a Prius with a bad main battery but it wouldn't be a great experience.

The vehicle would be very slow off the line because it doesn't have any assist from the electric motors and I don't think the A/C or the electric power steering would work.

The other negative is the driver would have to keep the 12 volt battery that starts the gasoline engine charged because the battery typically receives its charge from the main battery pack.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:58 PM   #10
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At first I was thinking it would just become a low powered gasoline vehicle that had to lug around a heavy/worthless battery, but the more I think about it I start to wonder if a Prius with a bad battery pack would even be drivable?
According to Wikipedia, the main battery in the Prius only weighs 118 pounds. I would have lost money on that bet.

That's all for today's edition of MythBusters.......
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