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jump starting my prius

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by jimmy9299, Sep 20, 2008.

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  1. jimmy9299

    jimmy9299 Junior Member

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    can i use my mercedes to jump start my prius
  2. lenjack

    lenjack Member

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    Yes. Do look at your manual.
  3. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Be really really careful. Lots of posts here with disastrous results on jumps that were not managed well.
    First read the manual. Read it again. Then be aware you do not need to have your Mercedes running during the jump. The 12 Volt aux battery in the back hatch (the one thats dead) is just for booting up the CPU's so its not a very powerful battery and does not need much of a jump. A quick jump should be able to boot up the car and get it running. Use the jump points under the hood. Again read the manual. There 's a positive (RED) metal jump point in the black plastic case on the right. The ground is any metallic point under the hood.
    The Prius's achilles heal is jump starting it incorrectly and reversing the polarities.Sometimes that will cause catatrophic damage to the inverter sometimes just blows the 100 amp fuse.The catastrophic part is the dealer will void your warranty and charge you $4-$5000 to replace the inverter.
    If you do a properly polarized jump and no go do not go any further. Its tow to the dealer time as you probably have a failed part covered under warranty. I see by your listing you have an 08 and we have seen some infant mortality inverter failures on the 08. If you get it running let it run for at least half an hour or a nice cruise. Good luck to you and keep your wits about you here. If your not an expert mechanical person beware.:D
  4. jimmy9299

    jimmy9299 Junior Member

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    wow i didnt know that cant i just buy a new 12 v batttery how much do they cost see this was my fathers car he passed away two weeks ago and he used it as a cab in new york lmk thx also how would u know if the inverter is blow out
  5. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Yes, you can buy a 12V battery which will cost ~$160 from your friendly Toyota dealer. The battery is a non-standard size and has terminals that are smaller diameter than regular auto batteries. Make sure that the battery terminal polarity is correct, where the positive terminal is on your left as you look at the battery with the terminals closest to you.

    Inverter failure happens infrequently. One sign of this is when the car is READY but the voltage on the 12V bus is less than ~13.8V. Various warning lights will come on to warn you of a problem.

    How many miles on the odometer?

    Very sorry to hear about your dad's passing.
  6. pjm877

    pjm877 Member

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    when I had bat problems with my 04 I use two small UPS bat's. as long as I had 12v the computers were happy.

    I went with a conversion kit and used a 2004 Mazda Miata battery

    http://priuschat.com/forums/prius-main-forum/46013-prius-battery.html

    here they talked about the 2000-2003 Prius but there is a kit for the Gen 2.

    The reason the kit is required is that the battery is a Japan model and not like the ones over here in the US.

    I was able to get the kit for $15 and a 8 year battery for $80.. so under $110 out the door and the new battery is MUCH better.

    and I too am so very sorry to hear about your father. my prayers are with you.
  7. burnselk

    burnselk New Member

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    Can I jump start a 2001 Prius?

    I hated to post my problem on this thread since it's 2+ years old but I thought I'd give it a try anyway since I'm desperate for an answer to my question.

    My granddaughter recently bought a used 2001 Prius and she knows little to nothing about the car. She's 18 and has a 6 month old toddler and needs her car for transportation.

    She called me this morning to tell me her car won't start.......it only makes a "clicking" sound when she tries to start it.

    Sounds to me like the 12 volt battery might be bad.

    Question: can this 2001 Prius be "jump started" like any other non-hybrid 12 volt car/truck? If so I'd like to hear from someone as to what precautions if any need to be taken.

    I'd like to help get her car fixed so she can get around if at all possible.

    Any suggestions/comments would be greatly appreciated.
  8. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Yes, the Prius can be jumpstarted, and the major precaution is that your granddaughter must be 100% sure that the donor battery to recipient battery cable polarity is correct: positive to positive, negative to negative. If a mistake is made the inverter will probably be destroyed, a four-digit repair.

    The 12V battery is located in the trunk area, on the left side behind a trim panel. It is necessary to remove several plastic fasteners before the trim panel can be removed.
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  9. chakrax

    chakrax Junior Member

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    In the 2010 model, there is a special "jump-start" terminal under the hood for connecting the jumper cable to. Page 543 on the owner's manual. No need to open the trunk.
  10. burnselk

    burnselk New Member

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    Thanks for responding so quickly Patrick. I greatly appreciate it. Your response as cleared the fog for me.

    Also, do you know if the 12 volt Prius battery is marked well (+ and - terminals)? I may not be doing it myself since I'm quite a distance from her.........her boy friend may be doing it and I've yet to learn anything about his "mechanical abilities". If the Prius battery terminals (and the other vehicles battery terminals) are well marked that should not be such a big issue

    Also, do you know if anyone has posted pictures on this forum show how to get to the 12 volt battery?
  11. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Uhh, if you've seen Patrick's other posts, I'm sure he's well aware of the jumping terminals under the hood which were present also on the 2nd gen. He was answering the question asked by a 2001 (1st gen) Prius owner.
  12. burnselk

    burnselk New Member

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    Now thats a great idea! The engineers are doing their jobs. And I bet these two terminals are very well marked too (+ and -).

    So, I'm learning that the Prius CAN be jumped started..........so long as the discussed precautions are taken (+ to + and - to - ). Or to put it anyother way, + to + and - to ground (metal vehicle frame) on "receiving vehicle". I'm assuming the negative terminal goes to ground (the vehicle's metal frame). Is this the case with the Prius?

    I don't like to assume things I don't know about. Could someone advise on this please?
  13. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The positive battery terminal has a red plastic cover while the negative battery terminal is directly connected to the body of the car.

    I am sure that photos have been posted but do not know where to find them at this moment. In any event, the battery is not that hard to find. Look at the left side of the trunk area for an access panel and remove it.



    Classic Prius (2001 - 2003 model years) do not have the dedicated positive jumpstart terminal in the hood area, so pls don't try to find it.

    Prius has a 12V negative ground system so the negative cable can be connected to unpainted body metal, or to the negative terminal of the battery itself.

    It may not be a good idea to trust the jumpstart procedure to someone who has unknown ability, since as I mentioned earlier, the financial penalty for reversed polarity can be quite high, well into four-digits.

    You may want to involve yourself with this little emergency because it is quite likely that a new 12V battery will be required especially if the existing battery is more than 4 years old. It is not easy to obtain the correct replacement, which requires a visit to your local Toyota dealer's parts dept.

    Two possible sizes were sold by Toyota as replacement batteries (the original equipment size with tiny battery terminals was made by GS Nippon Denchi, now part of GS Yuasa, and later offered an upgraded size with standard battery terminals made by Panasonic.) Hence you'll have to see what is currently installed and note the model number of the battery, to improve your chances of buying the correct replacement that can be installed with a minimum of trouble and effort. If an aftermarket battery was installed then you'll have to see whether it is flooded lead acid (which is not recommended) or AGM (which is.)
    Good luck.
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  14. burnselk

    burnselk New Member

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  15. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Yes, you can either use a battery charger on the 12V battery while it remains in the vehicle, or you can remove the battery from the vehicle. Toyota recommends removing the battery, but this is not necessary IMO. The charging current should not exceed 4A.

    A quick way to determine the current condition of the 12V battery is to turn on the headlights. If very dim, that is a good clue that the battery is discharged. Assuming the battery is discharged, you'll need to try to charge it and see whether or not it holds a charge. Plan to keep the battery charger hooked up overnight.

    Some owners think that they can jumpstart the Prius, leave the car READY for 20 minutes, and be done. Then they are surprised when the car refuses to start the next morning. The 12V battery will take a very long time to charge up, given the low charging current that I cited above.

    When READY, the Prius 12V bus has ~13.8V provided by the DC/DC converter. This voltage does not depend upon gasoline engine speed.

    Compare to regular vehicles, where the alternator might provide 14.5V or more depending upon engine RPM and the electrical load. This is why it takes longer to charge up the Prius 12V battery vs. the battery in a regular car.

    AGM is absorbed glass mat. See [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VRLA_battery]VRLA battery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    I believe that most Toyota dealers will provide the larger capacity Panasonic 12V battery, which requires a mounting kit that contains a new battery bracket, cable connectors, and misc hardware to install that battery. I don't know if it is still possible to order the original equipment size. Hence, the first step is to see what battery is currently installed, as the easiest approach would be to secure a replacement of similar size assuming that the existing battery cannot be revived.

    techinfo.toyota.com is Toyota's subscription website that provides repair manual and other technical information. However the process of replacing the 12V battery is pretty simple, once you are aware of the details that I've discussed.
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  16. takanali

    takanali New Member

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    Along these same lines. I went out this morning and found my 2004 Prius is dead. No clicking, no sound, nothing when the power button is pressed (my fault for not driving it this week). The Engine light did come on, weakly. I opened the hood, and to my surprise, there is some life in there. Almost sounds like the hum of the gas engine, but not as strong, maybe a fan. Coming from somewhere on the left side of the engine compartment (standing in front of the car, looking in).
    I've jumped the car before, but this is the first time that I've opened it up and heard something. Not sure if I should try jumping it. I pressed the power button several times, nothing responds. The green light of the Park button is flashing slowly, I can't find any reference to what that might mean.

    Any ideas?
  17. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Nadir of Wrongness

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  18. burnselk

    burnselk New Member

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    When you "jump started" your Prius did it start right up......just like a non-hybrid vehicle? And did you drive it for a extended amount of time as soon as it started in order to better charge that 12 volt battery? I'm curious as to how much driving/charging one has to do after a jump start to make sure that 12 volt battery is sufficiently charged.......so it will start the next time you try.

    Have you ever used a battery charger on it? Again I'm curious as to how it went.

    Good luck, someone much more knowledgeable than me will jump in and give you some advice shortly. These folks know their stuff.
  19. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    The 12V battery is dead. You can prove this with a voltmeter, or you can skip that step and get a new battery.

    Don't skip the important step of determining why the old one died. If it's more than four years old it was probably just age. If less than two, suspect some fault or abuse.
  20. burnselk

    burnselk New Member

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    richard, my granddaughter went ahead and purchased a new battery and I just heard about it today......and the car is fine now. You were right on.

    Thanks to all.
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