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Help!! My Prius 2 won't start!!

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by davaguco, Dec 23, 2005.

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  1. davaguco

    davaguco New Member

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    I left my Prius 2, which only has 12 months, and 4000 miles, in the parking lot for 12 hours.

    When I came back, the fob wouldn't work. The remote opening wouldn't work either. I had to open the door with the emergency key.

    When I pressed the power on button, nothing would happen. No lights, no sound, no response... the car was absolutely dead.

    What can I do? Is it a problem of the 12v battery? or the 400v? Can a Prius 2 be started with jumper cables on the 12v battery? Or should I just call the Toyota official dealer?

    Please help, I really don't know what to do. Thank you very much,

    David.
  2. Jack 06

    Jack 06 New Member

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    1. You can jump-start it (look in manual).

    2. If something were REALLY wrong with it, you have free Roadside Assistance. Do you have that documentation (phone #) in the glove box?

    Let us know. You may have just left a ceiling light on.
  3. GreenMachine

    GreenMachine New Member

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    Sorry to hear that. It must be very frustrating especially since the Prius is a bit more complicated to jump start and unfamiliar to most emergency service drivers.

    I'm beginning to wonder how many PCers have had the same experience? I've even thought of having a jump start drill as one of the first things I do when I get my new Prius. A Poll perhaps?

    I would use the free roadside assistance as Jack suggests.
  4. DanMan32

    DanMan32 New Member

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    Although it is unlikely that it would have helped, did you put the fob in the slot in the dash when you tried to power up? Did the dome lights light when you opened the door?

    Without putting the fob in the slot, the fob's battery is needed to operate SKS. Putting the fob in the slot eliminates the fob's battery as a possible problem since it is not needed in this case.
    If the dome light does not light and it is not set to off, and the map/personal lights do not light, that confirms a discharged 12V aux battery. A jump should recify that situation.

    If the lights do light, and you put the fob in the slot, an the car still will not power up, you have bigger problems, and the dealer will need to get involved.
  5. Jack 06

    Jack 06 New Member

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    Everyone should at least look for the contact point on their new Prius, in daylight.

    We must admit that run-down 12V batteries is, in terms of the number of people it happens to, one of the worst Prius features.

    Funny thing---here's this dead, dinky little battery, two ft. away from a live, much more powerful battery. Isn't there a way Toyota could engineer an emergency self-jump start between the two?
  6. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Yes, but it would not have been safe and cheap, because such a system would have to bypass the relay which isolates the traction battery when the car is off. Every user would bear the cost and risk of a system which would benefit a small number of users infrequently.
  7. Anitacy

    Anitacy New Member

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    Our Prius did not start on 4 different occasions this month. I took it to the dealer, who kept insisiting there was nothing wrong with the battery. Would recharge it and send us on our way. On the fourth time, I called the Toyota Corp, and explained the situation. They called the dealership. I don't know if the battery was good or not, the dealer now stated that it had lost some of its charge overnight and gave us a new battery. We are hoping this was the problem. Since we just had the new battery installed on the 23rd, we will have to wait a week to see what happens. The irony is that on Nov 30, we took it for its 10,000 mile maintenace and the first time it didnt' start was Dec. 5th. The dealer insists there is no relationship, but every 4-5 days since then, the engine would not start. Of course, they tried saying we left things on. I can remember when we left the radio on, the heater on in our previous Toyota and it never affected anything, but we made sure to turn everything off. The service manager asked if we left a directional signal on? Has anyone else had a problems with their battery.

    We had excellent service from the road service provided by Toyota for the Prius, and AAA gave us mixed messages, first restarting it once and then saying they didn't jump hybrids.
  8. IMHYBRID

    IMHYBRID New Member

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    I wonder why the service people always point the finger at the customer? I thought we were always right!!!
    Nortnarg likes this.
  9. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    If you had it in four times for this simple problem and they still didn't realize something was bad I would suggest you find another dealer to service your Prius. Now that they have finally replaced your battery that will most likely fix the problem. If it still does the same thing it must be: 1. something is drawing the 12V battery down, or 2. it is not being charged. Both of these things should be easy to check and they should have checked them the first time you had it in.
  10. castlecain

    castlecain New Member

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    When I bought my Honda Insight, it had been in pipeline and on the lot for 11
    months with hardly any test drives. This put a year on the factory 12v battery at the time I bought the car. It looked like a motorcycle battery.
    I had a vhf ham radio in the car a year later, while working with a friend
    P.I., and we were on a steakout. I had a hand held radio also in the car communicating with him while I was hidden behind some high bushes on
    a suburban street watching the subject. I was listening to my XM radio while
    I watched and videotaped. After about 15 minutes, I heard my cassette adaptor for the XM eject itself. I tried to start the car; my 12v Honda battery had run down. Wow. What to do?
    I was supposed to follow this subject as he left the business he was in.
    I let the car roll back down a long hill, and parked it near a guy walking his dog.
    I asked where the nearest service station was and he told me two blocks down and
    around. I jogged down there, rented a booster box for a 20 dollar deposit, and
    jogged back and started the car. Didn't miss the subject we were following when
    he left, and completed the job.
    The next day, I went to Autozone, purchased the largest battery with the longest
    warranty, and the higest amps, which would fit in the tray. After that, I could
    sit for a day or two and listen to XM or forget to turn of my ham receiver.
    I have never had much luck with original equipment batteries.
    When my 2005 Prius ownership is entering the spring, I probably will be looking for a high amp battery for it. I certainly will replace it before a years time, just
    as an upgrade. In addition, I want to install my 750 amp inverter in the rear
    and I don't think that's a good idea with a factory battery. They just don't last
    that long.
    Rod
  11. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    First thing I would have done would be take a voltmeter to the 12V
    system to see if you were discharged or not. The instrumentation
    panel I installed in my '04 is powered independently from the rest
    of the car and includes a simple analog voltmeter, so I can see
    immediately if I've got enough zoobs to boot up, or make sure it
    doesn't start dropping if I'm powering stuff off the 12V without
    the car in "ready" mode. Small voltmeters are cheap...
    .
    _H*
  12. DanMan32

    DanMan32 New Member

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    750 amp inverter? Are you nuts? Even the DC-DC converter wouldn't be able to handle that. Perhaps you meant a 750W inverter? Even then, that's 75A under full load.

    Remember, your battery is in the hatch, which is part of the cabin compartment. Be sure the battery you choose is liquid sealed and vented from possible hydrogen gas.
  13. Oxo

    Oxo New Member

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    Where would you use the voltmeter? When my Prius died with a flat 12V battery I could not open the back door because it won't unlatch in the normal way without power. So I couldn't get to the battery.
    Searched the manual and eventually found the page where it tells you how to open the back door from the inside. But it's a tedious operation. Put the seat backs down, crawl into the far rear end of the car, undo the catches and lift the cover to the toolbox, spare wheel, (difficult in such a confined space) then hunt for the little opening in which there is a small catch. There's a drawing of this in the manual but it's not at all clear and you would be well advised to find out NOW (if you don't know where it is) how to get to it. And you need to be agile to crawl into the depths of the back like that. If you're on your own you may then have another problem: the catch seems to be on a spring so it has to be held open whilst someone on the outside opens the back door. Fortunately I had someone with me but imagine trying to do all this on a dark night without a good light.
    But at last you'll find the 12V battery and you can check it for loose terminals. But if it's flat, as mine was, you need a charger...and power, and about three hours to charge it.
    All this is a Toyota punishment for being careless and letting your battery go flat.
  14. priusham

    priusham New Member

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    Why is it always left up to me to ask the obvious question before posting such helpful advise as we've seen in this thread?

    Uhhh... you car is dead in a parking lot and you somehow get on PriusCAT to ask what happened and how to fix it??? GOD, I love the Internet!!!

    I left a dome light on last week. It was REALLY surprising to me to see the Prius wanted 15 amps of 12 volt DC to fire up the system to start the car! I thought it would only draw a couple amps to run the computer.

    Oh, and fellas, the 12 volt connection to jump the car (or to measure battery voltage) is under the fuse case on the far right hand side in the engine compartment. Although the image of someone doing that makes me smile, there really is no need to crawl into the "truck" to get to the battery!
  15. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    well, not to sound like a jerk or anything- that is certainly not the intention- but generally the owner of the car IS responsible for proper operation and maintenance of the vehicle. that includes turning everything off when you're done. leaving the lights on, for example, and killing your battery, places the blame on you and noone else. unless you care to sue the car company for not programming the car to fix all your errors for you.

    sort of like if you don't have your transmission serviced for 150k miles and drive it like a bat out of hell all the time, it's noone's fault but your own when it fails.

    but yes, faulty equipment happens, especially batteries, and 4 times is definitely saying something bad about that service department. i think at that point they should have been lenient for the sake of customer service and given them the benefit of the doubt once.

    i urge you all to find a good local dealer and stick with them. by not giving your patronage to the bad dealers, you are sending a message to them.
  16. Oxo

    Oxo New Member

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    That's useful info which should be in the manual but I can't find a mention of it. As someone who knows nothing about car electrics (or about voltages, amps, etc) I'd need a clear diagram to find the fuse case and the right places to check the voltage. Or perhaps a photograph on PriusChat. I think I know where the engine compartment is (somewhere under the lid at the front?) but I've never looked into it. Nor in many years of car ownership have I ever had to start a car by "jumping" it, whatever that means. My electrical skills are confined to changing light bulbs (but not in cars).
  17. flynz4

    flynz4 Member

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    Maybe this is a UK specific issue. The US owners manual clearly gives jump starting directions, with diagrams of where the jumper terminals are.

    /Jim
  18. flynz4

    flynz4 Member

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    Galaxee,

    Overall I agree that the owner is responsible for operating their car. That includes knowing the limitations of the car and adjusting their operating behavior appropriately.

    At the same time... I think it beyond belief that Toyota would make such a basic design error of not having electical loads such as a dome light turn off after a time delay. Vehicles much less cabable than the Prius do this as a standard feature.

    Overall the Prius is a really great car... but there are a few glaring holes... and this is one of them.

    /Jim
  19. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    In the back of the owners manual there is an index, look for jump starting
    In the N/A Prius manual it devotes 3 1/2 pages to jump starting the Prius.
  20. Bill Merchant

    Bill Merchant absit invidia

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    I responded to davaguco in a PM during my "quiet period". Has anyone other than me noticed that davaguco has made his only post to start this thread? I told him how to find the "jump" terminal (sorry, Oxo, if that's an American English term), and welcomed him to PriusChat. Maybe he'll reappear.
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