Our Battery Testing Lab is getting a lot of questions from people who fall for some misleading advertising from dishonest and/or incompetent amature battery rebuilders.
Please find below quick Check List of Top 5 “How To Spot Dodgy Hybrid Battery Rebuilders”.
Some “battery shops” have very colorful web sites promising things which are too good to be true. We suspect they are just not planning to be on the market for a long time hence promising things they can not deliver.
Here is the list:
#1 They are promising to “recondition failed battery to 95% of original capacity”
They could mention some “proprietary algorythm” of charge/discharge cycles. They could create an impression that they are capable to “recondition” bad modules.
Your failed battery had already done hundreds of charge – discharge cycles, some modules had dried out and lost capacity permanently. Cycling bad modules few more times or applying pulse charging will not bring them back.
#2 They say “there is usually one failed module – change it and she’ll be fine”.
Such cheap “battery specialists” will come to your place equipped with voltmeter or pirated Techstream . They may “identify one failed module” (as they can not spot other nearly dead ones), change it and weeks later another module will fail.
We have noted that the number of failed or nearly dead modules in the Prius packs could reach 40%, see animated GIF on our front page – two failed packs from 2010 Z30 Prius.
#3 They are offering installation of the trickle charger inside your hybrid car or the use of externall so called Grid Charger or any other Power Supply.
That is pointless and had never been supported by the reputable field tests. To support claims like that proper tests have to be undertaken by the authorised Lab (not by the people who sell those chargers).
Reduction of capacity loss in cars which used Grid Chargers had never been demonstrated by any reputable Lab.
#4 They promise 5 year unlimited milage warranty on “rebuild pack” for extremely discounted price.
Toyota provides 2-3 year limited warranty on the replacement packs and depending on the territory – warranty is limited to 100000 or 150000 miles (or kms in some coutries).
Taxis could easily make 300000 kms in New Zealand in 5 years – that is about time when the battery dies. Taxis in Australia could make 600000 kms in 5 years.
Offering unjustified warranty for very discounted price sounds too good to be true. Companies who make such promises may have plans to go into liquidation after collecting enough cash from gallable customers.
#5 They are offering nickel plating bus bars “to extend battery life”.
That is waste of your time and money.