How do you know when your Hybrid Battery needs to be serviced or replaced? This is the scary part of owning a Hybrid Vehicle, waiting and hoping that it will last forever. Most people will wait until they see the dreaded; Triangle of Death, trouble code light comes on. Then it’s too late and you have to do something immediately. What if there were a better way to know the State of Health of your Hybrid Battery and budget and plan for your known maintenance. Without any trouble code, how do you know the State of Health of your Hybrid Battery, it is called a “Stress Test” and this is a very good test to find out the State of Health.
For this test you will need to find a repair shop that has a scan tool that can gather the live data from you hybrid battery. Special diagnostic tools like the “TechStream” for Toyota or Aftermarket scan tool like Matco or Snap-on will provide the data needed to perform the Stress Test.
Basically what happens during the test is first is to find a safe vacant back street to perform the stress test, once you are ready to start the test, the technician will need clear the Diagnostic Trouble Codes so the car is not in low propulsion mode or limp mode. The data from your hybrid battery is collected and recorded first. Then turn on live data collection and then accelerate the car at full throttle, up to 30 mph and then shifted into neutral prior to braking, so as to not let the regenerative brakes add energy back into the battery, coming to a complete stop. This is repeated five times in a row, stressing the capacity of the battery. Now with the data gathered from the live test, you will now know the true State of Health of your Hybrid Battery. Now you will know when it is time for your Hybrid Battery Reconditioning.
There are not many repair shop that are not trained, including dealerships, nor have ever heard of a Stress Test, even though they probably have the scan too to complete the test. I spend 30% of my time educating people and repair shops on how to properly test the State of Health, so be educated about your Hybrid Vehicles Health and remember, after seven years all Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries are out of balance and need to be rebalanced to perform properly and regain the expected high fuel mileage.
At this time you will need to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the Stress Test worksheet and I will be happy to help you with any of your hybrid vehicle questions.
I hope this helps you to be more in tune with your Hybrid Vehicles and now know how to properly check your batteries STATE OF HEALTH!