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Hybrid Battery Installation Tips

Honda Insight hybrid

NAPA Solutions logo(Editor’s note: This article on hybrid battery installation tips is meant for skilled readers who are familiar with working on their own vehicles. If in doubt, please visit the experts at your local NAPA AutoCare location.)

For years, industry experts have predicted the demise of traditional gas-guzzlers and the rise of electric cars. It wasn’t until recently that this long-promised electric future may be in sight. A Morgan Stanley report published in September 2017 projects that, “As many as a billion electric cars will be on the road worldwide by 2050, reaching parity with vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.”

hybrid battery packWith this emerging technology, we’ve seen automotive manufactures’ baby steps into experimental hybrid vehicle technology grow into a new market that’s created viable repair opportunities. NAPA Solutions has embraced this burgeoning opportunity by leading the aftermarket with the most extensive replacement hybrid battery coverage for the most in-demand hybrid vehicle applications. NAPA Solutions backs up their promise of quality by offering a full 1-year, non-prorated, unlimited mileage warranty that matches the original equipment manufacturer. As an added value for their customers, NAPA Solutions also offers a live tech line (866.933.2911 or connect via online at to help with difficult hybrid battery installations. The tech chat team has taken the most frequently asked hybrid battery installation questions, distilled them down and developed the following list of quick tech tips:

Hybrid Battery Tech Tips


  • Always check the state of the vehicle’s 12 volt battery when replacing the hybrid battery. The 12 volt battery should have a minimum of 11.2 volts under load to properly energize the vehicle’s computers, including the hybrid ECU. If lower than 11.2 volts, replace the 12 volt battery.
  • Check the battery product label and verify you have not received the replacement battery past the ‘DO NOT INSTALL PAST DATE” to ensure a proper installation.
  • Ensure the hybrid battery cooling fan is not clogged with debris and that the ductwork is properly installed with no gaps that could cause air leaks.
  • Use a technician’s scan tool to verify the inverter is working properly.
  • Reset the high voltage battery ECU when installing a new battery.
  • For Toyota, Nissan or Lexus replacement battery applications, a properly installed service plug is required to activate the battery. The service plugs are included with the battery and come in two different styles: a 2-step and 3-step plug.
    • 2-step plugs require the technicians to simply insert the plug into the appropriate socket and push it up to the locked position
    • 3-step plugs require the technician to insert the service plug into the socket (serial number pointing up), push the handle upward and then downward until it clicks into place. This last step is often forgotten which leads to a no-start condition

Diagnosing Cell Block Imbalance/Temperature Related Trouble Codes:

  • Verify that the air intake to the fan is not blocked by debris. The air intake is often overlooked because it resembles a small speaker inside the vehicle that can be commonly blocked from small items like jackets, grocery bags, or umbrellas due to its location.
  • Check the cooling fan and ducts to make sure they are clear of pet hair, dust or other debris. Also inspect the duct work connecting the fan to make sure it is snapped in place and there are no holes or gaps that can lead to leaking air which can cause the battery to overheat.
  • Use a technician’s scan tool to test for proper fan operation.

Check out all the batteries available on NAPAonline or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA Auto Care locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on hybrid battery installation tips, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA Auto Parts store.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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