It’s an undeniable fact that one of the main reasons hybrid and electric cars carry a premium price are the high costs of the battery packs. The owner of a Toyota Camry Hybrid learned the hard way when his battery pack “failed” and was informed it would cost about $4,450 to replace. So he went ahead and fixed it for about $7, and a few hours of his time.
After calling Toyota corporate and getting offered a mere $500 rebate, our intrepid redditor decided to take the battery pack out and fix it himself. Having been born and raised by an electrician, he was already familiar with the work, and it goes without saying that unless you have similar training, you should not try this at home. There’s enough power even in this relatively small battery pack to kill you a few times over.
Back to the task at hand, the hero decided rather than drop that much money on a car he had purchased just two weeks earlier, so he decided to take it out and see if one of the battery cells had failed, resulting in a relatively inexpensive fix (about $45). Yet it turned out to be even simpler than that, and on the same token, kind of embarrassing for Toyota engineers. See, the copper buss bars connecting the cells were connected with steel nuts, resulting in corrosion that interrupted electrical flow. A simple fix would have been a plastic seperator preventing the two metals from coming into contact, thus preventing this silly little defect. Our hero soaked all 34 buss bars in a vinegar solution, reinstalled them, and the battery, and viola! His Toyota Camry Hybrid was back up and running.
This story serves as an important reminder that as complicated as cars have become, sometimes the simplest solution are the most effective. People seem almost afraid to work on their vehicles anymore, but it’s encouraging to see stories like this. Handyman heroes are still out there, inspiring the rest of us and saving themselves big bucks in the process. Check out the whole Imgur album to get a sense of this epic saga.