Tips, Tricks & Trends

Can You Replace a Hybrid Car Battery in Less Than 15 Minutes?

If you’re planning to buy an older hybrid car in the future, or if you already own one, then having to change the hybrid battery is an important maintenance item to think about. We’re not talking about the smaller 12-volt battery, we’re talking about the larger high-voltage battery that powers the hybrid powertrain.

If you purchase a newer hybrid car, then it will probably still carry a warranty and the dealer can replace the battery if needed. However, if you plan on purchasing an older hybrid car (10 years or older) that is out of warranty then you will have to get it replaced eventually or even do it yourself.  But the question is: Can you replace a hybrid battery yourself?

Hybrid battery life

Much like almost any other car part, or electrical part, hybrid batteries can fail at almost any given time. Some might last up to 70,000 miles while others can go the distance and power your car for up to 200,000 miles.

There is no set limit, but knowledge is power, so it’s a good idea to research how much it might end up costing if you get it done by a professional or if you want to take on the task yourself.

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG Electric Automobile Assembly Line
Fast-charging battery components for BMW i3 electric cars | Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Do it yourself

It is possible to change it yourself and if you plan on doing so, then the process is relatively straightforward. Luckily, YouTube makes everything in life easier nowadays and you can simply look up the process and how much it will cost as it pertains to your specific car.

For example, if you own a 2004-2009 Toyota Prius, then you can expect to pay around $850 to $1,000 for a refurbished battery online and the cost goes up from there if you have a newer Prius. The Honda Civic Hybrid and Insight batteries fall within the same price range.

As for tools, a simple set of hand tools and a drill or electric screwdriver will suffice, according to most of the videos we have seen, including this one:

How long does the process take?

The hybrid battery replacement process usually takes about an hour and a half or longer, especially if it’s your first time doing it.

We must note: Replacing a hybrid battery yourself can be dangerous as you are dealing with a high-voltage part. Take caution and proceed at your own risk. And if anything, take your time.

Soon enough, you might get really good at it and you’ll be able to replace a hybrid battery in less than 15 minutes like this YouTuber:

Live long and regenerate

If you do plan on changing a hybrid battery yourself, you can feel accomplished not only knowing that you got the job done, but also that you saved a ton of money.

For reference, if you get it replaced by the dealer, it can cost upwards of $6,000 to $8,000 and some independent shops might even charge around $4,000. So you can see why it’s worth it to watch as many videos as possible and come up with a game plan.

After all, your old Prius might only be worth a few grand, so spending more than the car’s worth just to keep it running is not the smartest idea.

Either way, consider saving some money and doing it yourself. In the end, you’ll get a lot more life out of your hybrid car. And while it is possible to change it in 15 minutes, we suggest allocating a free day to make sure you get it right.