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I got the dreaded Check Hybrid, Check VSC and Check EBC warning lights. Fault code readings P0A80 Hybrid and P3017 (battery cell block number 7 fault). Having gotten a quote for around €6000 to fix it, I decided to do it myself.

I ordered a battery cell on ebay for €45.00 delivered to Ireland.

Tools needed: Socket set with 8mm, 10mm and 12mm. Flat head screwdriver, long nose pliers and a multi meter to read voltage. (You may also need a slow trickle 12v battery charger, I'll explain later).

Time needed: about 4 hours, more if your connections a very dirty.

1: Remove ALL carpeted paneling from the boot (trunk if you're in the US). This is done by inserting the flathead screwdriver into the black plastic rivets and popping them out. Remove the boot flooring too, just leave the tool tray in place. You will need the 10mm socket to remove the rear boot floor luggage anchor points once you've popped open their plastic covers. The upper hanging points need to be squeezed to remove. Disconnect the power supply to the light on the right hand panel.

2: Remove the orange circuit breaker on the HV battery by sliding to the right and then pulling towards you.

3: Remove the black air duct on the bottom of the HV battery by popping the 2 black plastic rivets.

4: Unplug the power supply to the white cooling fan on the upper right of the HV battery and remove the 2 nuts holding on the fan. This should allow the 2 upper black ducting to move sufficiently to be able to remove them.

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5: Open the panel covering the 2 Orange Cables (3 x 8mm nuts) and disconnect the 2 orange cables, (you can tape them up with electrical tape if you so wish). Pull back the rubber cover on the Black cable and unbolt that too. You should now look something like this:

post-54435-0-23944100-1445377026_thumb.j

6: Disconnect the cable running from the HV battery to the 12v lead battery. Continue to remove the 12v battery by disconnecting the +ive and -ive terminals and the white connector plugs attaching it the the HV battery. Also need to take off the temp sensor and the vent hose on the 12v battery. Remove the 12v battery support bracket and the battery tray itself.

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7: Remove the last 2 bits of black ducting that was clamped by the 12v battery tray.

8: Remove the white tubing on the right of the HV battery.

9: Remove the 4 12mm nuts holding the base of the HV battery in place, 2 on each side.

10: You need to unbolt the nuts hidden behind the back seat headrests.

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11: Pull the rear seats forward enough to remove the large plastic panel in the center between the rear seats and the boot wall, its hidden behind the fireproofing fabric. Use this panel cover to hold the seats away from the boot wall by wedging it between seats and wall. post-54435-0-11838500-1445378531_thumb.j

12: Pull back the fireproofing to reveal 2 smaller access panels covered by a black sticky rubber square. Now remove the 3 12mm nuts holding the HV battery to the boot wall.

13: Now the tricky bit, lift the HV battery over the bolts in the boot and slide it out. (I recommend putting cardboard on the tool tray to avoid scratching when sliding the HV battery). If you are strong enough you can lift the HV battery out on your own, if not get help, it weighs about 50 kilos.

Your boot should now look like this with the access panels behind the seats visible:post-54435-0-20803500-1445379099_thumb.j

You should also have this, I placed mine on some cardboard on my kitchen table:

post-54435-0-33630700-1445378856_thumb.j

14: Take off the HV battery cover by opening all the 10mm nuts, and a few 8mm. unclip the black cable while taking off the three cover panels.

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15: Unclip the black plastic covering on both sides of the HV battery to reveal the 8mm connector nuts in the orange casing.

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16: Number the cells 1 to 40 using a permanent marker. Use your multi meter to get a reading across each of the 40 individual cells, i.e. one lead on the +ive terminal of the cell and the other on the -ive, and record your findings, as you can see cell 28 was low for me:

post-54435-0-70086600-1445379469_thumb.j

17: Pull back the rubber vent tubing running along the top of the HV battery until to get beyond your bad cell/cells.

post-54435-0-35761700-1445379788_thumb.j

18: Remove the white end panel holding the cells in place:

post-54435-0-49991200-1445379765_thumb.j

19: Remove the 80 x 8mm nuts in the orange casing and clean if necessary. I used bleach and some sand paper to clean all nuts a copper plates, if you're gonna do it - do it right).

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20: Remove the 8mm nuts holding each cell in place underneath until you reach your bad cell (this will probably involve removing the support leg and the converter assembly unit below the HV battery:

post-54435-0-94202300-1445379871_thumb.jpost-54435-0-62915200-1445380037_thumb.j

21: Good cells look like thispost-54435-0-80390600-1445380268_thumb.j

Bad ones like this:

post-54435-0-43117100-1445380295_thumb.j

22: Start replacing your cells back into the HV battery, it doesn't matter what order and you can't mess up polarity as it only screws in on one side. I put my new cell in last in case it was a dud. (If your new cell is of a lower or higher voltage use a slow trickle 12v battery charger to get it to the same voltage as the other cells.

23: WATCH THE TEMP SENSORS UNDER THE BATTERY CELLS (3 of them), MAKE SURE YOU CLIP THEM ON AS YOU GO. See the black plastic clip peeping out here:

post-54435-0-62845500-1445380669_thumb.j

24: That's it you're done, just reverse everything to put in back in. Mind your back and don't bother touching cell 1 and 40 at the same time if you have the orange connector put back on.

Good Luck!

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Great job and great post Mark, knowledge really is power..

Thanks for demystifying the whole shebang. Whether doing the job diy, or getting it done elsewhere, your how to will be a real help to 450h owners...

A couple of questions:

Would you advise other cautions on protection from electric shock over and above guidance about steering clear of cells 1 and 40?

Is the replacement cell you sourced a Toyota/Lexus part, or another supplier?

And last one, did the car warning lamps/messages reset automatically with the cell replaced?

Thanks again for posting this. Not a job for the fainthearted I'm sure but priceless knowledge

M

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Hi Connoisseur

Thanks for the feedback. You can of course use high voltage gloves if you so chose but the removal of the orange safety cut out connector effectively splits the battery in two, which means that as long as its removed, the highest voltage on the HV battery is 110v DC, not enough to do you any damage.

The part was sourced from a chap in Belarus who is probably just a car breaker, found on ebay, He was breaking a 2008 gs 450h. There are differences between the voltages prius v lexus so it's important to get the right cell.

I deliberately didn't put any pics up on the boot panel removal, if you can't figure that out from the written description then you probably shouldn't be attempting this job on your own.

If you have a fair grasp on DIY then this job is achievable, if not...call a man who can.

Thanks

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Yes, excellent post, thanks for taking the time.

Thing is, even if you're not happy to diy, at least, armed with this knowledge, you could pay somebody for four hours labour and still be £5K + better off.

Are the cells available new at all, and if so how much?

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Yes, excellent post, thanks for taking the time.

Thing is, even if you're not happy to diy, at least, armed with this knowledge, you could pay somebody for four hours labour and still be £5K + better off.

Are the cells available new at all, and if so how much?

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Lexus in Ireland will not supply a new battery cell, just the complete HV battery at a modest cost of 3,700 plus VAT.

I haven't seen new cells for sale anywhere, but I didn't look too hard when a replacement cell was so cheap. I did consider buying a new unit and stripping my old one down for sale, but the sums just didn't add up.

Once you get the hang of removing the HV battery, you'll have the job done in about 2.5 hours (if you don't need to clean the contacts). Once done, you're as good as new.

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Amazing post and pics.

I have moved this thread to the GS section as it sits there better.

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excellent post!

this does restore my faith in the gs450h to some extent - as someone said above knowledge really is power.

does one cell failing mean you will likely see the problem return in the future?

ps at what mileage did you have this problem

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excellent post!

this does restore my faith in the gs450h to some extent - as someone said above knowledge really is power.

does one cell failing mean you will likely see the problem return in the future?

ps at what mileage did you have this problem

Thanks

My mileage is 106,000 miles.

I guess it's too early to tell if the other cells are headed the same way. Some Prius cells are knocking about for over 15 years. I bought 2 more cells from Belarus just in case, that I will trickle charge every now and then going forward. Hopefully I won't need them. As you can see from the original post there was very little variance on the voltage of the good cells.

GS450H just deserves to be driven as it is a fantastic machine.

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Great job and great post Mark, knowledge really is power..

Thanks for demystifying the whole shebang. Whether doing the job diy, or getting it done elsewhere, your how to will be a real help to 450h owners...

A couple of questions:

Would you advise other cautions on protection from electric shock over and above guidance about steering clear of cells 1 and 40?

Is the replacement cell you sourced a Toyota/Lexus part, or another supplier?

And last one, did the car warning lamps/messages reset automatically with the cell replaced?

Thanks again for posting this. Not a job for the fainthearted I'm sure but priceless knowledge

M

Just spotted the question about the warning lights, I had a reader that I bought for about €30 on ebay that I was using, as soon as I had everything connected back up, I used that to reset the faults.

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Interesting thread. Do Lexus Ireland guarantee the battery at all? I ask as I was discussing the 450h with Lexus last week and I was told that if you have an annual battery check (around £50 iirc) they will guarantee the battery until the car is eleven years old

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Interesting thread. Do Lexus Ireland guarantee the battery at all? I ask as I was discussing the 450h with Lexus last week and I was told that if you have an annual battery check (around £50 iirc) they will guarantee the battery until the car is eleven years old

Lexus Ireland give a 3 year 100,000km on new cars. I think I remember the extended program in Ireland being around €1,600p.a. for the GS450H when I stumbled across it. I went searching for it again there and had no luck finding it. Lexus.ie is a pretty crap site, designed mainly for car sales.

£50 a year would be a great deal though if you could get it, I must explore it more.

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Just spotted the question about the warning lights, I had a reader that I bought for about €30 on ebay that I was using, as soon as I had everything connected back up, I used that to reset the faults.

Thanks for that - useful detail for when the job has to be done.

M

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Nice one Mark must meet for a coffee some day in Cork, that battery issue turned me off a 450 but I am thinking about one now..

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Nice one Mark must meet for a coffee some day in Cork, that battery issue turned me off a 450 but I am thinking about one now..

Thanks Malachy, mine is a 2007 so I pay a bit more on the road tax over the gs300, but I save it on the fuel economy hands down.

There is great value to be had on the 450h if you keep your eyes peeled. Getting up to 2008 and beyond is a bit of a price jump though, the 07's are around €7k, the 08's are closer to €15k.

You have no reason to fear the hybrid battery anymore, and the extra horsepower is quite noticeable.

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are these 18650 batteries connected up in series? very good tear down and fix btw.

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are these 18650 batteries connected up in series? very good tear down and fix btw.

I can't see a part number on the individual cells, but yes they are connected in series. Negative to positive on alternating sides. There is only one bolt hole underneath each cell securing it to the frame/chassis. These alternate every cell, i.e. bolted on the RHS for the 1st cell, LHS for the second and so on, making it impossible to reverse the polarity if you bolt every cell to the frame/chassis as you go.

I have seen since that the Prius cells from 2006 onwards certainly "look" very similar to the GS450H cells so they might be a more ready supply of replacement cells. The older Prius cells will not fit I reckon.

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best post ever. There should be 'like' button somewhere :)

Thanks, I've it down to a fine art now, 2 hour job.

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best post ever. There should be 'like' button somewhere :)

there is one mate.. each post on the bottom right has a like button.

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Further help needed. Took your advice and after I bought 2 batteries from Belarus (eBay) I stripped the Hybrid pack following your step by step guide. Now I've check every cell and they all show in region of 7.9-8.0 Volts. There is only one with 7.6, so the drop is only 0.3, not like you had 2.0. Where else can the problem be?

Thanks

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Further help needed. Took your advice and after I bought 2 batteries from Belarus (eBay) I stripped the Hybrid pack following your step by step guide. Now I've check every cell and they all show in region of 7.9-8.0 Volts. There is only one with 7.6, so the drop is only 0.3, not like you had 2.0. Where else can the problem be?

Thanks

Sounds as if your battery was fine, did you have any fault codes before you started? It could be the converter or the likes, it's quite a complex system. I recommend having a dealer run a diagnostic on it to point you in the right direction.

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