Welcome to PriusChat

We'd love to have you join our community and participate in the conversation! Sign up for FREE today.

Sign Up

Prius won't start

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by tommyrhoads, Nov 7, 2007.

Social Buttons

  1. tommyrhoads

    tommyrhoads New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I tried to open the door the horn started "meep"-ing, pressed the power button and the car failed to power up. Doors won't lock or unlock, seems like a weak battery. What's up?
  2. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    877
    Location:
    United States
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Most likely a weakened battery :_> Figure out which light was left on, or which door or hatch was left open and don't do it again.
  3. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Messages:
    14,183
    Likes Received:
    1,486
    Location:
    Far-North Chicagoland
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Yeah. Sounds like the 12v battery is having problems. Something might have drained it.
  4. YoDaddyAlex

    YoDaddyAlex Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    2
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    This is the 3rd time that has happened to my 07 Prius. Tonight after work it did this exact thing. And twice in the past 2 weeks since taking it in for its 5k service it has done almost that it in the morning but would start even though it had all the blinking lights. I read something about the FOB being too close to the car when parked at night can drain the battery, would that happen if where I place the FOB at night is close to the wall of where my car parks? What is the distance? I didn't see them list a distance in the manual.

    Thank you,

    Alex
  5. brokerdelete

    brokerdelete Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    2
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    II
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(YodaddyAlex @ Nov 9 2007, 10:32 PM) [snapback]537568[/snapback]</div>


    I've not experienced this with my 2004. My wife's 2007 has never done this either. However, she keeps the key FOB on the fireplace mantel which is at least 50 feet from the car.

    Try moving your FOB to a new location further from the car (yes it goes through house walls) and -OR- follow instructions in the owners manual to disable the smart-key system and see how things go after having shut down the cars repeated FOB scan.

    Lastly, just throwing this out there, I myself have been confused about not "starting", or power windows not working, when pressing the start button while having poor timing depressing the brake pedal. It can fool with your mind and appear to be "on". See the manual about how pressing the "start" button 1, 2, 3, 4 times puts the car in various modes. And if you don't do it just right, or are in one of these modes, sometimes even pressing the brake pedal + start correctly does NOT "start" the car (put into "READY" mode).

    Hope this helps in some way. After testing the FOB relo and smart-key disable tricks, if you are still experiencing what you described simply take your car to the dealership and get it corrected under warranty.

    Best of luck!
  6. YoDaddyAlex

    YoDaddyAlex Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    2
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Thanks for the tips. I am taking my car into service this morning, hopefully they have an answer. I know for sure it isnt an issue with not pressing on the brake hard enough, last night the display did crazy things with the lights, flashing all the shifting positions at once, all the emergency display lights lit up, no MPH reading, no ready light, etc. And the car would not lock. The battery was just plain dead. I will take it in to service today but also move the key away, right now it is only about 20 feet from the car at night.
  7. firepa63

    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,762
    Likes Received:
    198
    Your Vehicle Year:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    The fob at 20 feet away should not be a problem. My spare hangs on a wall less than 10 feet from the car and I have never had a problem with my 04. The most likely cause for the depletion of the 12 volt battery is leaving lights on (interior or exterior). Several posters have found that the rear hatch was not closed tight and therefore the cargo area light was left on. To be sure you don't have a door open, try locking the car after you exit it. It won't lock if a door is not closed properly.
  8. YoDaddyAlex

    YoDaddyAlex Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    2
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    always lock my car, although sometimes when i first get in it in the morning it beeps at me when i open the door and sit inside. at first i thought it was the lights but i made sure that wasnt it
  9. SteveSherman

    SteveSherman New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a 2007 Prius and it wont start either.
    The ready light comes on briefly and then several lights stay on.
    The red brake light, and the yellow brake light ABS lithe and VSC light
    no radio or other accessaraies work.
    The dealer says tow it in.
    How to move it???
    The car is in park and in the garage!!!
  10. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    877
    Location:
    United States
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Try jump starting it. If it won't start have it towed on a flatbed or dolly. It's under warranty, right? I would have expected the dealer to just send a truck.
  11. SteveSherman

    SteveSherman New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I pulled the rear cover and shelf out and checked the 12V battery.
    It read 8.3 volts. Apparently enough to open the doors and alow it to try to start, but not enough to keep the ready light on or actually start the system.
    I put the battery charger on and it started right up!
    Now, this should not have happened.
    I always lock the car and the lock took corectly. (no long beep only one short beep and one light flash.
    Also, there were no lights on.
    I have no idea how the battery got run down as I don't sit in the car listening to radio or cd or running any other accessories.
    I am going to guess that the comments regarding the smart key being too close may be the cause.
    I keep mine in the house on top of the dresser. About 15 feet away through 2 walls.
    I guess I will try moving it farther away and see what happens.
  12. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2004
    Messages:
    4,019
    Likes Received:
    599
    Location:
    Kunming Yunnan China
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2001 Prius
    Steve I doubt that your SKS is the problem. Since early Prius days a few owners have had early 12 volt battery problems, probably because of some battery-draining that happened before they took possession of the car.

    This may be a warranty issue. Also confirm that the system is charging at about 13.8 volts as it should, and that the battery connections are clean and tight.
  13. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    877
    Location:
    United States
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Steve, do you have any aftermarket stuff installed? Through poor design or faulty installation these often put a continuous drain on the 12V battery. The Prius battery is small and can't tolerate much of that.
  14. SteveSherman

    SteveSherman New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(richard schumacher @ Nov 14 2007, 08:06 AM) [snapback]539439[/snapback]</div>

    No, No aftermarket anything.
    I am going to monitor the battery reading for a time and see if it holds up now that I recharged it.
    I don't leave the car for long periods without driving. Asuming it is recharging properly it should not have drained so quickly.
    I drove approx 75 miles round trip. and the next morning the car would not start.
    I did use the AC and the CD player during the drive. I cerainly don't think driving and using the factory installed accessories should drain the battery.
    As I said I will leave the battery cover off in the trunk and monitor the battery voltage to see what happens over time.
  15. Bob64

    Bob64 Sapphire of the Blue Sky

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,530
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Virginia
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I would also disable the SKS for ahwile, to make sure that the battery gets charged up to reasonable levels and then turning it back on after the battery appears to be charged up.
  16. jk450

    jk450 New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    596
    Likes Received:
    48
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Steve New Prius Owner @ Nov 13 2007, 11:34 AM) [snapback]538879[/snapback]</div>

    Pop the hood and jump start it using the positive terminal in the main junction (fuse) box and chassis ground. Let it run a while, then drive it to your mechanic.

    If it won't start, advise the tow truck driver that he or she will have to dolly the car. A flatbed doesn't help because you still need to get the drive wheels off the ground.
  17. drifty1955

    drifty1955 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    3
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Steve New Prius Owner @ Nov 13 2007, 08:55 PM) [snapback]539194[/snapback]</div>

    Hi,
    You sound like you know what your doing always locking it. Plus I don't think leaving the FOB close will kill that battery so bad as it takes quite a load to knock down a healthy batt from 13.8 to 8.4. It would be nice to know the standard current draw on the battery in standby mode. Probably not much just keep alive current for the CPU and SKS electronics. I have always put the FOB in the bedroom far from the garage so have not experienced any battery issues with this. I'm thinking the dealer may have let the car go dead on you before you took possession and now your dealing with a sulfated battery. Which will drive you nuts. How many miles on it when you took possession? Take it to the dealer and let him hook his load machine to it and they'll tell you in 5 minutes if the battery is hosed.
    A sulfated battery will cause alot of trouble including damaging the alternator and then your wondering is the batt bad or was it the alternator bad. The alternator right now is fine or it would throw a CEL if not charging. To the dealer! Good luck.
  18. Bill Merchant

    Bill Merchant absit invidia

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,096
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    USA | Oregon | Portland area | 97004 |
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    I think your 12V battery is bad, for whatever reason. Get the dealer to replace it, under warranty.

    Drifty'sDad, the Prius doesn't have an alternator. The 12V battery is charged from the Traction battery. If the car can be driven, the 12V battery will be charged. If the 12V battery is crap, no amount of charging will help.
  19. bill lamb

    bill lamb Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    :( I have a 2006 Prius that has many of the same problems. I've had it in for service with no results. The problems just go on. Last winter I sent letters to Toyota with no response. My dealer has advised me that the problem may be widespread, but not widespread enough for Toyota to do a recall. My wife and I have considered putting together a class action suit to force them to correct the problem.

    If you feel the same way we do, please contact me at billmail3@mac.com

    Here is a copy of the unanswered letter I sent to the President of Toyota North America. They have actually refused to respond in writing. Since sending the letter we have experienced repeated problems with the car refusing to start - including one occasion this Fall when it had been driven 40 miles and stopped for twenty minutes or so. I've given up on them addressing my problems. I do, however, keep a charger at the ready.

    Bill

    March 8, 2007


    Mr. Jim Press, President
    Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
    19001 S. Western Ave.
    Torrance, CA 90509

    Dear Mr. Press;

    My wife and I are loyal Toyota car owners, having now purchased many of your cars. We currently own a Prius and a 4-Runner. Both of my sisters’ families also own a Prius. We are stockholders in Toyota Motor Corporation and are strong believers in the Toyota brand. We are particularly strong advocates for the Prius and view the car as an essential asset for energy-conscious consumers.

    Our allegiance to Toyota causes me to communicate directly with you about some on-going unresolved problems we have experienced with our 2006 Prius. Based on conversations with your service personnel, I believe other owners may be experiencing the same problems without satisfactory response by their dealers. This is in contrast to the top-level customer service support historically provided by Toyota.

    We have had two significant electrical problems in the past month involving the smart key system. Although in both cases the car was extensively driven the day before, the battery was drained before morning. In addition, we have experienced extremely disappointing mileage performance since the day of our purchase.
    The first electrical event occurred in February. Service staff at White River Toyota advised us that the battery went dead because the key was left overnight inside the passenger compartment of the car. The key was in my wife’s purse, which was inadvertently left on the back seat. We were instructed that leaving the key anywhere inside the car over night will discharge the battery; and that this is not covered under our warranty.

    Our experience is outlined in the accompanying letter to an employee of yours named Lisa, who seemed understanding. She has processed a check to reimburse us for our out-of-pocket expenses to cover towing and the dealer recharging the battery but has not yet responded to our other requests.

    The second incident occurred yesterday morning when our car again failed to power up. After I depressed the “Power†button the entire dashboard of icons started flashing, including the Master Warning Light, Malfunction Indicator Lights, and the Hybrid System Warning Light. The “ready†light failed to come on and the car refused to shift out of “parkâ€. It then did not respond to my repeated efforts to turn the power off. Eventually, on their own, all of the lights turned off except for the Hybrid Warning Light. Ultimately it also turned off. Later I was again unsuccessful in an attempt to start the car. The vehicle had been driven about 100 miles the day before, and then parked in our driveway at 10 p.m. I had powered it down according to the Owner’s Manual and checked to insure that the lights were off. No key fobs had been left inside the car.
    I called White River Toyota to discuss the problem with their service manager, Chuck Decato. He was not available so I spoke to “Eric†in the service department who suggested that I call their 3rd party towing company to jump-start the vehicle. He explained that the Prius smart entry and start system causes a battery to be drained if the key is anywhere near the car, including inside our home which is approximately70 ft. away from the vehicle (the enclosed photo shows the relationship between the Prius and our house). He advised that the Vermont/New Hampshire cold winter weather causes problems with the battery, so during winter months we should always disable the smart key system at night to avoid experiencing a dead battery in the morning.

    Finally, we have achieved 50 or more miles per gallon for a tank of gasoline only once in approximately 10,000 miles of travel. We exercise care in driving in the hope that we can maximize our mileage. In the fall, our average miles per gallon were in the mid 40s. Since the onset of winter weather we’ve seen a drop to the 30’s. There seems to be no significant difference between our fuel consumption on the highway or in town. White River Toyota Service personnel have told us that our car’s performance is typical for a Prius in our area.

    In addition to those questions expressed in my earlier attached letter, I would sincerely appreciate answers to the following questions.

    1) When does the “battery power saving†automatic deactivation of the smart key function take place? Why has it not activated in either of our dead battery situations?
    2) Is it true that in colder climates the owner must deactivate the smart key system when parking the car at night in order to have sufficient battery power in the morning to start the car?
    3) What is the “effective range of the smart function� Can this be measured in feet? Is a key inside our home still inside the “effective range�
    4) Is our mileage performance normal; or is it possible there is something wrong with our car?

    My wife and I planned to drive our Prius on a one-week trip to Maryland early Monday morning. We are reluctant to take it, as we are concerned that the electronics are malfunctioning and do not want to become stranded with a disabled vehicle. I have not taken our car back to White River Toyota because the service department has made it clear that our problems are caused by “operator error.â€
    Would you or your staff please intervene to get us answers to our questions and take whatever action is needed so that our Prius operates in accordance with the high standards of Toyota Motor Corporation?
    Sincerely,

    Bill Lamb

    cc Gene Martin
    Customer Relations
    White River Toyota
  20. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,084
    Likes Received:
    414
    Location:
    Bahstahn
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I'm afraid that some front-office flunky is going to read about a
    third of that, and then, uh, file it. Take the car to an independent
    shop and have them load-test your 12V battery with the understanding
    that it's of somewhat less capacity than most car batteries, and
    they should be able to give you some reasonable info on whether it's
    toast or not. Then hie thee over to cleanmpg.com, read up on pulse
    & glide, and go out and practice. That's probably a much more direct
    and to the point use of your time. Oh, and disable smartkey with
    that little button under the steering column if you aren't sure.
    .
    [edit: oop, there may have been a bridge overhead where I brought
    a quantity of comestibles.]
    .
    _H*
Similar Threads: Prius won't
Forum Title Date
Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting 2004 prius won't accelerate Oct 7, 2014
Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting 2009 Prius, Rear Seat Won't Fold Down Oct 6, 2014
Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting Prius won't start, but acts like it wants to. Ready Light Flashes Sep 16, 2014
Gen III 2010+ Prius Audio and Electronics 2014 Prius 3 - Entune won't work (Pandora) Sep 6, 2014
Prius v Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting Help! Prius v won't turn on! Sep 1, 2014