Symptoms of a Weak Hybrid Battery

If you experience the following symptoms when driving your hybrid vehicle, depending on its severity, there is a high probability that you have a weak hybrid battery pack or it is on the way to complete failure.

These symptoms are often hard to notice because most people only have one hybrid vehicle, thus there is no benchmark to measure if you have a weak hybrid battery. However, try to remember how your vehicle drove when you first bought it, or go test-drive a newer vehicle to compare.

4 Symptoms of a Weak Hybrid Battery:


Poor fuel economy

The Km/L value is low compared to how it was when you first bought your hybrid vehicle.

Poor acceleration

The acceleration is not as smooth as before. When trying to overtake another vehicle or trying to drive up an incline you make notice this more. Sometimes, you can experience a jerk when trying to accelerate abruptly.

Engine gets activated frequently

When you stop at a traffic light, your engine may be activated quite frequently as opposed to how it was when you first bought your vehicle. (This applies to Toyota hybrids and some Honda hybrids)

Dashboard hybrid battery gauge behaving erratically

You will notice that the rate at which the hybrid battery charge indicator moves up and down is more frequent than it was when you first bought the vehicle.

Symptoms of a Failed Hybrid Battery:

In addition to the symptoms of a weak hybrid battery pack, one that has failed will exhibit the following:

Toyota Hybrids


The check engine light with a message saying "Check Hybrid System" will appear along with the master warning light (triangular indicator or a symbol of a car with the exclamation mark). On some occasions, the ABS, VSC and E-brake (Yellow handbrake indicator) will appear.


The engine may start to operate full-time instead of switching to the battery.


A scan tool would provide code descriptions such as "Replace hybrid battery pack", "Hybrid battery pack deterioration", "Battery block X becomes weak", etc.


In a more severe situation, the electric A/C compressor might quit along with the engine.

Honda Hybrids (IMA based system)


The IMA light will appear.


A scan tool would provide code descriptions such as "Hybrid battery pack deterioration", "Battery module individual voltage problem", etc.


In a more severe situation, the check engine light can appear along with the red battery warning light. The red battery warning light would indicate that the 12v battery is not getting properly charged via the hybrid battery. Continuing to drive the vehicle in this state would cause the engine to stall.

Read about why hybrid batteries fail more often in Sri Lanka

Why Hybrid Batteries Fail

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