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Can you still drive a Toyota Hybrid after you get the high voltage battery (hybrid battery) failure?

If you car is getting older how much do you have to worry about the hybrid (high voltage) battery. Not that much! Here is why?

From what we have observed there are three failure modes:

  1. Total failure of the battery. Rarely happens!

The engine will not turn over. Oddly enough this failure might be repairable because if can be caused by a broken sense wire in the battery pack. (ODB code P3030) Toyota uses very small wires every two battery modules to sense the voltage in the pack. They break very easily but normally should not be exposed to any stress that will break them.

  • Too much voltage variation throughout the pack. (ODB code P3006)
  • This causes the red triangle of death but the car still drives decently. However, when a battery is in this condition it is only a matter of weeks or months before the next condition occurs. If you are driving and the engine suddenly starts speeding up and the brake light lights the next condition has occurred. But you can drive the car in this condition and the error code can come and go (red traingle turn off for a while) but this condition will degrade to the next one. In this condition the battery can be generating a lot of heat and if you want to get as much life from the pack as possible fix it as soon as possible.

  • One or more battery cells have totally failed.
  • The computers stop using the battery altogether. In this state the car drives VERY BADLY (Engine always running rapidly, jerky starts, less power and high stress on the transmission.) We can not recommend you drive the car in this condition. In an emergency you can pull over and turn off the ignition and drive again but when you brake the car will go back into this condition. (So you have to leave a lot of distance in front of you so you rarely have to break.) Toyota engineered the car well so it keeps on driving if at all possible. (Good engineering!) In this condition it is not a good idea.

    For all three of the above conditions we can help you. Go to our Hybrid battery repair page.

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