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What makes a RAV4 Prime battery different from the average car battery? This hybrid battery doesn’t work the same way, so it’s important to understand the differences. It’s also helpful to know the average Toyota RAV4 Prime battery replacement cost, so you can budget for it.
In this guide, I cover everything you need to know about the RAV4 Prime battery, from its purpose to the frequency of replacement. I also help you recognize the signs of hybrid battery failure so you know when the time has come for a new one.
Understanding the RAV4 Prime’s Battery
When you typically think of a car battery, you’re likely thinking of the small 12-volt battery. This is the battery that you use to jump-start your car if it won’t start.
The RAV4 Prime still utilizes the traditional 12-volt battery, but it also utilizes a much larger battery that powers an electric motor that works alongside the engine (or even drives the wheels by itself in full electric mode).
The Toyota RAV4 Prime includes an 18.1 kWh 335 V lithium-ion battery to power its electric motor. This allows for up to 42 miles of pure electric driving range. The Prime can also switch between power sources (gasoline and battery) seamlessly, and even use them both at the same time for maximum fuel efficiency.
The battery on the RAV4 Prime is rechargeable so you can be ready for fuel-efficient hybrid driving after letting the vehicle charge overnight (or while in the grocery store).
Signs of a Failing RAV4 Prime Battery
The RAV4 Prime battery is designed to last for many years. Still, it’s important to notice the signs of deterioration, so you can replace the battery before it fails completely.
Here are a few warning signs that it’s time to replace the Prime battery.
- Drop in fuel economy
- Electric charge drops quickly, even while not driving
- Charging time increases
- Trouble charging the battery
- The display reveals erratic charging issues
- Internal combustion engine runs more than usual
- Continuous fan noise because the hybrid battery runs hot
It’s important to have all of these systems checked by a hybrid battery technician right away. Neglecting the system only makes the problem worse in the long run.
How Often Does the RAV4 Prime Battery Need Replaced?
There’s no clear-cut answer to this question because it depends on driving conditions and habits. Even Toyota won’t give a straight answer. The automaker says, “The battery in RAV4 Prime is designed to provide years of trouble-free operation, backed by warranty.”
It’s generally anticipated that the RAV4 Prime battery should last 150,000 to 250,000 miles. Does that mean that there will never be problems? Absolutely not. That’s why Toyota recommends regular inspections.
Most dealerships recommend having the hybrid battery inspected every three to five years. The technicians can check for extreme voltage drops to make sure everything is working as it should.
There are ways to make the battery last longer. Here are a few tips to consider.
- Keep up with regular maintenance. Maintaining both the gas engine and the electric motor ensures everything works as it should.
- Follow all charging recommendations. To maximize the battery life, follow all charging guidelines set by the manufacturer.
- Don’t let the battery run all the way down.
- Avoid short top-ups.
- Avoid driving in extreme temperatures for long times when you can help it.
- Install an auxiliary fan system in hot temperatures to keep the pack cool.
If you have any questions or are concerned with the RAV4 Prime battery usage, speak to a qualified technician.
Cost to Replace the Toyota RAV4 Prime Battery
When performing research online, it’s very easy to get confused between the hybrid battery (also known as the “traction battery”) and the 12-volt car battery. These are two different batteries with much different costs associated with them, so it’s important to know that you’re looking at the correct data.
The estimated cost to replace the battery on a Toyota RAV4 Prime is between $10,000 and $12,000. But don’t worry, this only applies if the RAV4 Prime battery is out of warranty. I will discuss the warranty coverage in the next section.
Some people prefer to install a used hybrid battery. If you go this route, the cost may only be around $2,000 for the battery. Add in an approximate labor cost of $400 and you could spend less than $3,000.
However, is it wise to install a used battery? There’s no guarantee that this battery will last. You could spend all that money to install a RAV4 Prime battery and it could fail in a couple of months. If that happens, all of your money was wasted.
Toyota RAV4 Prime Battery Warranty
Toyota has a generous RAV4 Prime battery warranty. It lasts for ten years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. This term is industry standard.
According to the Toyota RAV4, the RAV4 Prime battery has an interesting life cycle. Here are the basics.
- First Use: This is the time spent in the Toyota vehicle. The battery can outlive the vehicle’s life or it may need to be replaced.
- Second Use: If a battery is still usable, but the vehicle isn’t, it gets repurposed for non-automotive uses. As an example, it could be used in a house or hospital. The battery can also be refurbished for use in a Certified Pre-Owned Toyota.
- Recycle: Once the battery life has reached its limit, it gets recycled. The raw materials are extracted and put back into the production process.
- Production: The raw materials are used to create new batteries. Individual battery cells are created for vehicles coming off the production line.
It’s Toyota’s goal to keep batteries in the lineup for as long as possible for both production costs and environmental concerns. When the life of the battery is over, the materials are repurposed for further use, so very little is wasted.
Going Further With the RAV4 Prime Battery
Understanding how the RAV4 Prime battery works makes it easier to keep it in perfect working condition. While this hybrid battery is meant to last for the lifetime of the vehicle, problems aren’t inevitable.
Pay close attention to how the RAV4 Prime functions so you’ll know when something isn’t right. Your prompt attention to issues can make a difference in how long the battery lasts.