WHEN WILL THE BATTERY FAIL?
First, let us note that it is now apparent that the failure
of the hybrid battery (the expensive one) occurs at about ten years.
Except for vehicle used entirely on rough dirt roads, this
failure seem unrelated to mileage covered: we have seen
battery failures at as low as 80k miles and some as late as 160k.
WHAT WARNING WILL I HAVE? Essentially none. You
might hear the fan running hard and long, inside the car, down by the sill on the right
rear door; you might notice the gas engine rarely seems to want to turn
off at lights. Some of the most attentive of you out there might be able to discern a slight change in the battery-state
behavior on the touchscreen, a day or two earlier, but most will not.
CAN I DRIVE THE CAR WHEN THE BATTERY IS BAD? The red
'triangle of death' will be illuminated, so technically, you really
should not. The car may be willing to proceed for a good
number of miles, but the triangle-warning is also the indicator of an
overheating system, other high-voltage electrical dangers, or serious brake fault, and should never be ignored.
GOES WRONG WITH THE BATTERY? As they age, the individual cells in
it become miss-matched. When the generator tries to recharge to
lot, some cells become overcharged (and hot) before others are
adequately so. To prevent the imminent fire, the hybrid drive
computer shuts the whole thing down.
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