Chris is Wrong, Don’t Try to Replace This on Your Car (It Can Kill You)

Chris is Wrong, Don’t Try to Replace This on Your Car (It Can Kill You)

rev up your engines this is a car that I
would never buy used but I would buy new Toyota Prius
now they’ve been making Toyota Priuses for 23 years now they’ve sold over 6
point 1 million of these Prius hybrid so far and if you know anything about
Toyota they generally try to perfect things over time they don’t throw the
baby away with the bathwater they see a problem they tend to fix it over time at the heart of the prius we look under the good it’s different than most car it’s got a Hybrid Synergy Drive it’s got a gasoline engine in
conjunction with electric batteries and a generator and it’s just system that
makes it a good new car to buy but a bad car to buy used with higher mileage not
as naughty as it sounds think you better gas mileage in stop and go traffic and in town that you do on the highway they regenerate power when the car is
slowing down it uses generators in the braking system to recharge the battery
and then when you take off it uses the battery to help boost the power of the
vehicle now if you drive like a real snail you can go a little distance here
and there by just having it in an electric mode but as soon as you really
step on the gas to take off the gasoline engine up turn on not the exception to
this is the Prius prime it was a plug-in hybrid you could run on electricity
alone or use the engine but really the electricity max it would gonna be about 25 miles so it really was still just a hybrid gasoline-electric but in order to
get this phenomenal gas mileage in town the gasoline engine has to sync with the
computers and the battery and the electric motor inside to make it run
right you can see on a dash here it tells you what’s happening how it’s
charging there’s various levels that you can check out on the displays you can
see here there’s all kinds of information that you can get it’s kind
of wild if you’re really a tech person you know you’re gonna have fun playing
around with stuff here we go here it’s showing how it’s charging what it’s working on it
needless to say it’s a very complex computer on
operation but in a case of this 2011 hey it said over a hundred thousand miles
are pretty much trouble-free operation so far but with a disclaimer here up to
today now it’s got a problem with the regenerative braking system that can end
up costing a small fortune to fix aren’t you seeing a use one has over a hundred
thousand miles on it that can often be a big mistake
that’s one reason they’re so cheap to buy used I had a customer a couple of
years ago buy used one with one hundred and forty
thousand miles on it for fifteen hundred dollars they thought what a deal until
the generator went out now on a normal car my old Celica the alternator charges the battery I can replace an alternator on one of these things for less than a couple hundred bucks but not so on this
Prius because it doesn’t have an alternator it’s got a generator it’s a
generator motor it generates electricity and it run stuff and to make things even
more complicated these priuses are combination of alternating electricity
and direct electricity they’re very very very complex machines they’re not
something a do-it-yourselfer or corner guy to gas stations gonna be able
to figure out when they have a serious problem with the drivetrain system in
the case of my customer the generator which is hidden why inside here on the
transmission transactional assembly went bad and it was going to cost over fifty
nine hundred bucks to replace it because of this cramped design the engine and
the transmission assembly has to be removed as a unit and then you have to
replace the generator assembly transaxle put it all back in 59 er bucks for car
that the guy paid $1,500 for needless to say he ended up junk in the car he
didn’t bother fixing but on a positive side he had 150,000 miles on it or so
too so it lasted a long time for the original owner that’s why if you’re
gonna buy one of these things you buy it brand new you don’t buy a used one with
higher mileage now being a hybrid car it’s got a huge battery pack you take
all this crap out here then you can see the battery pack that’s
the side of it here you notice this orange when you see orange on this
that’s the high voltage electricity normal cars have 12 volt batteries now
you can stick your tongue on them touch them and nothing’s gonna happen but these are
over 200 volts they can kill you that is a particular turn off when you pull on
that switch you can shut the power of the battery off so somebody’s working on
a car they don’t like refute themselves as orange wires here same thing it’s
warning you that’s the super-high power you don’t mess with that stuff
you need serious electricians equipment for that stuff you gotta have inner
gloves and then you have to have outer gloves that are sealed young blow them
up before you test and see if they have leaks if they have leaks you throw them
away by another set and you have to have very expensive analytical gauges to work
on these things and if you were planning on testing these systems and working on
them yourself you’d have to buy all of that equipment the gloves and everything
but you’d also have to buy some very expensive gauges you need very low
testing equipment to test some of the circuits and also very high for the
200-plus of all parts of the system so you’d be spending thousands and
thousands on tools really it’s dangerous stuff I don’t advise so many
messing around with it unless they have a lot of knowledge of electricity now
going back to the battery pack they have a certain lifespan they generally last
quite some time ten years or more is not on uncommon on these things but when they do go bad then you’re in a real bizarre situation now the last time I
priced the battery for a car like this a real brand new one from Toyota was over
three thousand dollars now of course there’s guys that refurbished them
sometimes those cost as little as $1,100 a little there’s still a lot of money
but they’re not all that dependable realize it’s better and this is actually
a battery pack it’s a bunch of smaller batteries connected together so when
they go bad some of those battery cells go bad and there’s all kinds of
equipment and analyzed it would tell you which battery cells are bad
so which ones you’d have to take out and replace and solder back in even if
that’s done correctly and that’s a big if right there but
enough the bad ones are taken away you still got half or more of the old ones
in there that are old and wearing so they never last as long as the original
I’ve had customers get 12 13 14 years out of the original Toyota battery I’ve
seen people put in those refurbished ones year and a half two years later
they go bad and you’re back to square one another reason I tell people don’t
buy a high mileage used Prius you’re just gambling but in their defense for a
new one and maybe small engines but man combined with the electric motor
they are very zippy little cars they get up and go of course you have the image
of the Eco people and since the main driving force of this is the gasoline
engine it’s an it gets in cycle it’s a little differently regulated but it’s
got spark plugs and the air filter you can maintain it yourself like any
gasoline engine don’t be scared away by the idea that it’s a different
gasoline engine that’s just a design that started a long time ago and it was
never popular because even though it was more efficient and got better fuel
mileage it also had less power so they were never popular until now because
when you add the gasoline engine with the battery pack an electric motor
running it because even though this little engine only puts
out 73 horsepower the electric motor adds an additional 60 horsepower so it
almost doubles the power and that’s plenty of power combined to make this
thing zip along so in this case when you want gas mileage on a highway it’s only
running let’s see how many horsepower engine but when you want to accelerate
on a highway or accelerate and stop and go traffic the electric motor adds an
additional 60 so it almost doubles the horsepower and if you know anything
about electric motors they have instant torque so they’re actually better for
acceleration in gasoline engines so when you need to accelerate that electronic
motor gives it a ton of boost so there’s zippy little cars get great
gas mileage as you can see inside there are comfy they have cool designs up
there’s no regular transmission so there’s a big hole there and you go to
the back seat there’s a decent amount of room and then even a trunk
that’s good space because they put the battery mid there so you still got a lot
of room all around it for stuff you see what their split rear window in the back
they got top class and bottom glass so there’s no blind spots you can see quite
well behind some of these cars man they got blind spots everywhere but this is
well made they even got little peek holes in the left and the right so just
like a Swiss watch these things hum along quite well but exactly the same as
a Swiss watch when they do break you better start opening up your wallet
because they are not cheap vehicles to repair I’ve never had a single customer
buy a brand new Prius and not be happy with the vehicle but I’ve had a whole
bunch that bought them used and said I’m never buying another one of
these things cost a fortune to repair which is why I tell my own customers
when they’re looking for used cars you buy two used car
don’t buy a hybrid version you want a camry get one with just a regular
gasoline don’t get a hybrid there’s just so much complexity you get older it
costs so much money to fix and there’s very few guys who actually know how to
work on them correctly even more so than normal cars batteries go bad over time
even if they’re just sitting there sometimes it did you say yeah they go
bad even faster maybe you find a 15 year old Prius it’s only got 60,000 miles on
it still it’s probably not a good idea to buy one or pay much money for one
because that battery is probably gonna go out for any soon and if somebody
tries to sell you used one and says well I just replaced the battery last year
hey I’m assuming they replaced therefore one of these refurbished batteries and
they generally go out after a year or two or three they’re not gonna last 10
years or more like the original one did so if you are thinking about buying a
used one the battery has been replaced get the paperwork for it to see what
type of battery was put in it was a brand new toyota one perfectly fine but if
it’s a refurbished one yeah I’d look elsewhere myself and I and all
the truths about Toyota Priuses the good the bad and the ugly so you can make a
wise decision so if you never want to miss another one
of my new car repair videos, remember to ring that Bell

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. My problem with Chris’s Prius battery replacement video is that he’s encouraging DIY amateurs to mess with high voltage electrical systems. This is not like a DIY brake job, only trained mechanics who understand electrical system should mess with hybrid batteries. It’s like teaching an amateur to rewire their house electric and fuse box with one video, just pay a professional to do it, it’s extremely dangerous if not done correctly: link to video in question:

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  2. I bought a used one in Abilene tx. Got fucked over at the dealership but I was in need and i have experience with these hybrid cars.

    Bought it at 115,000 miles. I’m now at 150,000 ZERO issues. Everything runs perfectly. But that’s because I TAKE care of it !! It’s a 2010.

  3. I'm nominating you for a Nobel Peace prize because you tell us good info that no one else will. These cars today you have to be armed with information or get taken for a expensive ride, no pun intended

  4. So essentially, this is a throw away car. Bad generator at 111,000 miles – that is nothing in mileage. I owned a GM built Saab 9-3 for 190,000 miles with virtually no problems – and don't have to worry about a generator. And that is supposedly a crap car.

  5. I've had my prius since 35000 miles and it has 190k now. Only thing happened was the battery went out at 130k but was replaced free of charge because there was a 150k warranty from Toyota.

  6. I've often wondered why people buy Hybrids. Yeah yeah….they get 50mpg. Okay but….They cost more to purchase new than their non hybrid counterparts so you have that cost to offset your fuel savings. Then the used resale is worse than a non hybrid. They cost more to maintain (usually only the dealers can service them). If you don't run the same expensive tires as what came on them new (which wear out quickly over normal tires) your gas mileage suffers. The compact hybrid vehicles have more weight limitations (occupant / cargo) than their non hybrid models due to the additional weight of the battery. And, if all of all of these issues aren't enough, before you even break even on fuel savings from the additional purchase price variance and all of these other additional limitations / expenses….the dang battery is ready to be replaced and negates any savings up to that point over the non hybrid. So how are you any better? Save a few thousand dollars and the many thousands more in repairs by getting a vehicle that's more serviceable and maybe gets 32 to 34mpg versus 50 and won't need a 3,000 dollar battery in 10 years. Heck the VW diesel Rabbit got 50MPG back in the early 80s and had no computer garbage on it. Oh but the hybrids reduce carbon footprint…yadda yadda yadda. What people don't understand is that there's more pollution in the manufacturing of a Hybrid vehicle. The Hybrid generally has to run at least 160,000 miles to break even with the an ICE vehicle emissions output so yes, you are slightly helping the environment at that point however, these huge batteries are harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. Fully electric vehicles like Tesla are more interesting to me than Hybrids just because of their sheer power. They have loads of power (good thing)….but again, not pollution free. How is that you say? Well…They need to be charged right? Where do you think the electricity comes from? It's a plant that is nuclear, natural gas or coal. Everyone talks about how great and clean nuclear is. Well yeah…because they store the waste in barrels underground that are highly toxic for thousands of years. I could strap a container to the tailpipe of my vehicle and capture all the emissions and store it under ground and say that its the cleanest environmentally friendly vehicle on the the rd with zero emissions. All this being said, I think good intentions are there and battery technology has come a long way but everything pollutes to an extent (directly or indirectly). The additional costs of the newer technology, maintenance, charge times and limited battery life doesn't offset the fuel savings IMO. Plus…you're not helping the planet as much as you think you are.

  7. I bought my car and the owner told me they changed the battery a year earlier. I had issues with it after buying, took it out and the sticker said it was three years old.

  8. I bought my 2010 Prius new and it now has over 113,000 miles on it. The only issue was it needed a transistor kit at 98,000 which Toyota paid for. I agree to buy it new. The value of the Prius is twofold: one is it is a nice car to drive with good features. Two is the payback from about double the mpg. I think its totally worth it and look how many taxi companies are using them. I've never seen a Corolla in commercial taxi use. Motor-generator failure is not common far as I know but inverter failures are another story with that generation of Prius. Good thing for me Toyota had my back. The routine maintenance is very low on the Prius too. I tell it like it is whether good or bad and like it or not.

  9. There is a new certification required for working on these cars and law enforcement/emergency response vehicles. Common sense not to mess with these yet.

  10. $1500 for a Toyota (even a hybrid) with only 140,000 miles. I bet the seller new there was an issue with the car and Scotty's customer never had it checked out before buying it.

  11. I did my hybrid battery after they told me it was $3500 for a new one. Two cells replaced for $60, a little pack balancing with a charger, and good to go. So simple even a caveman can do it. I bought two used ones and these are the best cars I’ve ever owned. I change the oil every 10k miles and drive it like I stole it and they’re just cheap to work on by yourself.

  12. how do they run on the gas engine only, without the electric motor boost? Sounds like they will be underpowered, but may be a good deal if they are cheap and still reliable.

  13. I bought my 2014 Prius with 15k miles three years ago and today it has 88k miles and running just like new. I keep up with the maintenance.
    Great car for work and if you drive a lot.

  14. My sister, who’s a senior in high school, got a used 2009 Prius with 150,000 miles on it. Neither her nor my dad take me seriously when I warn them about the likely impending maintenance costs.

  15. My mom bought a Prius new in 2013. It ran problem free to 160k miles this year, then the head gasket blew. She got a new engine installed for $4000 and now it won’t get over 35 mph avg. It used to get 40+ mpg. Any idea why?

  16. My friend she owns an older Prius, and the pack was wearing out on it, she looked at new cars and also looked into a new pack, someone at the dealer said there was a recall on her car she got a new pack. good for another few years.
    I want either a plain gas powered car or an all electric car, don't want to mess with that hybrid stuff.

  17. From talking to Prius drivers (mostly taxi cab drivers), I have come to the understanding that they are great cars for high mileage uses (like taxis), but they would never buy one for their wife to use for personal driving (low mileage). The reason is that the batter does pay for itself if you are driving 200 miles a day over the 10 years it lasts, but if you don't drive very much you still need a new battery after 10 ten years, so it does not pay for itself. The hybrid (and I imagine electric as well) concept only really works if you really make use of the battery. You will need a new battery after about 10 years whether you use the car a lot or even if you don't.

  18. Hi Scotty (from Aust)
    Was seriously considering one of these second hand with low kms. I dont do very many kms at all.
    Id imagined the batteries would go bad quickly with little use, Think ill take ur advice & get a s/h camry – petrol

  19. Prius being a "zippy little car" as someone who owns a Prius I can confirm they are not that zippy at all. With power mode and flooring it, my 0-60 is still almost 13 seconds

  20. Bought a 2011 prius with 133000 miles on it for $7500. Changed the tires $600. I used it for uber in the hills of SF. Drove it like crazy. On average I was getting 52MPG, 55 when I was driving for economy. The AC compressor stopped working, went to a junk yard and changed it for $300- worked like the old one.
    This car made me more than $100000. Sold it with 210000 miles 2 years later for $5500 and I was still getting 52 MPG. Tell me, how is this not the best commute/work horse ever?!

  21. When the RAV4 hybrid prime comes out, everybody gonna hate it. Cuz it's a prime transformer. It's gonna sell like crazy. That's the Toyota recipe for taking all the customers who's looking for a great SUV.

  22. 4:32. Do not stick your tongue on a 12v car battery. I once welded a metal tool to the inside fender by dropping it on the positive and the other end landed on the fender jam. It's serious power. Come on Scotty, watch what you say. Love the channel though… most of the time

  23. Even on a regular old car, electrical problems can be the biggest pain in the ass to diagnose and fix.
    DIY on an electric car? No thanks!!

  24. Just thinking if everyone went and bought a new Prius, instead of second hand, there are going to be a lot of junked Prius cars, that nobody will buy, then again there are always people that say it won't happen to me, until it does

  25. Scotty is right. I can definitely see some shade tree mechanics following The ChrisFix video and as everyone knows something always comes up or goes wrong even when following the steps to a tee. Then in this case zap!

  26. Scotty is it not worth buying a Prius that just needs a brand new battery pack?

    I mean if the car is cheap… you can afford that yes?

  27. So saving the planet with reducing petrol fumes has turned into a serious issue of scrapping more unrepairable vehicles that hold lethal battery acids? Which is the lesser evil? 🤔

  28. That is dirtiest engine compartment ever. The owner must have abused that prius. Most reliable car ever scotty don't be scared of technology. I love em best mpg and low maintenance.

  29. Wow you are doing very well with YouTube, This just posted today and you have 150K views and over 1000 comments in less than 24 hours , wow!! You must be making some real G's. Anyway, I think each person should judge for themselves what to fix or not fix based on their abilities. I am fairly good at learning how to do things, I have a little common sense and know my limits. I had a brake actuator go out on me on a 2005 Prius (we bought it new like you said) and the part was going to cost me $1100 and I would have to do the labor. Instead I shopped around many Toyota dealers pled my case, cried poverty, and the fact that Toyota knows these parts go bad but don't want to warrant them past a certain point (mine had 257K miles). So I gave them a little profit on the part and paid for 5 hours labor instead of the 6 or 7 the job calls for. Easier for me to pay for it than to break my back and knuckles. However on the Hybrid battery, I watch several you-tubers and decided to do it. I shopped again and got a brand new not rebuild battery from a Toyota dealer for $1560 plus core charge and did it myself in about 3 hours. I learned also that the interior panels I pulled out to access the battery were the same ones needed to access the rear shock towers so I was able to do that too) Now my 14 year old Prius is good as new and might go another 200K miles. So if I can get those miles and another 10 years it would have been well worth it. You are right don't buy a used Prius but I would want everyone to consider their options before send their Prius to the salvage yard.

  30. The Chevy Volt is superior in every way; handling, acceleration, comfort, quality, range. That's why GM cancelled it, and why Fox cancelled Firefly.

  31. Either it's an electric vehicle or a gas vehicle. I am not a fan of these hybrids crap. I've driven a few of them and was not impressed at all. Give me one or the other.

  32. NEVER buy a Prius new. ONLY buy them used. They do not get good enough mileage to make up for the difference in price opposed to a regular 4 cylinder Corolla. Used its worth it…as long as you don’t keep it too long. Then no one will want to buy it from you because they’ll be afraid they’ll have to replace the battery. Basically the Prius isn’t as great as Toyota’s marketing says. Better off buying a used Tesla that’ll have some crappy panel gaps but will ultimately last forever.

  33. Good comparison to rewiring a house, in the UK people do a 6 week course and call themselves electricians. Some jobs are best left to the professionals.

  34. I dont know who in their right mind was going to follow Chris' 2,532 (incredible dangerous) step process to replace a f'ing Prius battery anyway. Seemed rather irresponsible to post that process for the home viewer, as if your average dolt could knock that project out some Tuesday night after a softball game. That was more of a..look what I can after 200 hours in the editing chair.

  35. I wouldn't call 150,000 miles a long time, I might be old school but I expect to keep a vehicle on the road for at least 300,000 miles. ( want to get me a 1970 blazer in good shape ).

  36. So has the technology advanced or gotten better?
    For instance in the new Corolla Hybrid?
    Are components made to have a longer life and are they easier to replace?

  37. I've owned 3 Prius's in years past and was very happy with them–trading them in every couple years. I would have one now except that I no longer live in the US with a dealership nearby, but the main reason being we have too many potholes here and the Prius is pretty low-slung.

  38. It seems like most cab companies buy Prius hybrids used with about 50,000 miles, and eventually buying a used big hybrid battery. The biggest cab companies have a mechanic to rebuild batteries, and if the generator fails it becomes a parts car for other cabs. The Kia Niro and Hyundai Ioniq hybrids have a lifetime warranty for the big hybrid battery, and no small starter battery.

  39. I get what you're saying and believe you are totally sincere in your criticism, but I gotta say, his video (like all of his vids) unravels the "voodoo magic" with which those of us "barely-mechanics" view a lot of mechanic work. Sure….maybe if he were to replace the generator that's getting pretty involved but the battery seems quite straight forward common sense. I've seen Ina of Prius owners on a couple fb Prius groups I'm in have done their own replacements. (I had a Prius c for a while). I like that his battery source guarantees it for three years.

  40. Scotty all that Prius hybrid technology came from Toyotas forklift division my father worked for the forklift division for 40 years !

  41. It's a common misperception that the reason electrics get better City vs Hwy mileage is because of regeneration. It is not. It's because of aerodynamic drag. Gasoline engines are so inefficient they mask the effect.

  42. The moral to this complicated story is…If you can afford to"drop"30-50 grand on a new car,why in the world would you want a hybrid??.(you CAN afford to put gas in it)

  43. gotta agree on this one…ever get a shock from plug or coil wire from a regular system? that is enough to get your attention real fast nevermind voltage like this…

  44. Bought 2 of these USED with 300,000+ Km’s on each. Now they are well over 500,000 kms each and I’ve replaced a few cells for 20 bucks.

  45. Gawd I can’t watch this guy… wtf is up with his swaying hands, gasps in his voice and those 1970’s sunglasses!?

  46. I bought 2015 Prius new put on 130k miles so far. No issues just regular maintenance let’s see how it holds up over time

  47. Green Bean Battery sells Prius gen. 2 refurbished hybrid batteries for $1,449, total cost. They will come to your house to do the install. The battery comes with a lifetime replacement, unlimited mileage warranty, transferable one time. Customer reviews have been extremely favorable.

    I am not affiliated in any way with Green Bean.

  48. I hate hybrids! I hate hybrids! I hate hybrids! I hate hybrids! I HATE HYBRIDS!!!!!! Did I mention I hate hybrids?! And the pretentious yuppie wannabes who drive them!!

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