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How do you put the Prius in neutral to push or tow it?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by pumpiniron, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    Actually on a Prius it is the opposite. Most cars only need a 12V battery to start the car. A 12V battery on a Prius does not start the car. It turns on the electronics but the hybrid system starts the car. There is a good chance that the hybrid battery is bad. And in a Prius, a 12V battery is actually needed during the driving of the Prius. When the battery gets to 8V or below, major random problems occur and lead to stall outs.
     
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  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I've run my Gen 1 just fine with the 12 volt battery disconnected. Once the car is READY, the 12 volt circuits are supplied by the DC/DC converter output, with a very well regulated and stable voltage. (Of course if you forget and power off with the battery disconnected, everything goes dark very suddenly; hobbit has described that also.)

    The 12 volt battery is probably the top subject for misinformation on all of PriusChat....
     
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  3. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    So you're telling me that you could completely unhook and remove your 12V battery. Then, with no 12V battery, you could get in your Prius, press on the brake pedal and press start and the READY light will turn on and the car will start? That is funny because I tried this on a Prius less than a week ago and it was dead as a doornail until I hooked a jump pack to the 12V battery. Once the jump pack was hooked to the 12V battery, the car's electronics turned on and said ready and then it started right up.
     
  4. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    They are saying once it is in READY mode you can disconnect the battery. I do not really know if that is true for later generations but apparently it worked in the Gen 1 Prius.
     
  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    My experience doing that was in a Gen 1. It has also been described by hobbit, who was using a Gen 2. I have a Gen 3 now and haven't tried it, simply because Gen 3 no longer has the easy-unplug cable at the positive battery post like Gen 1 and 2 did.

    That was my basic technique for jumping other cars with my Prius when I had the Gen 1. I would make my car READY, then unhook my battery and jump from it to the recipient car (essentially treating my battery as nothing more than a portable jump pack). Didn't worry about the jump damaging my car's electronics because they weren't connected at the time, and didn't worry about my own battery getting too drained to start my car, because it was already started, and would simply recharge the battery when I plugged the cable back in.

    Now, this is different from the situation in a conventional car. You should not run a conventional engine / alternator / regulator setup with the battery disconnected, because the battery is a necessary load for that system to produce a stable voltage. Maybe that's what you were thinking of?

    In a Prius, as soon as it's READY, the power on the 12 volt circuits is coming from the DC/DC converter, and that has voltage regulation much more like a computer power supply than like a spinning alternator/regulator combo. It barely wavers when you plug the battery in or out.
     
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  6. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    That’s not what he said. He said you only need the 12v to get the car to the ready light (started). Once that’s on you don’t need the 12v anymore. After having had a problem with my 12v I’m of the belief that a bad 12v can actually bring the car down. In my case all the 12v accessories like the windshield wipers started working slower like the battery was dying until the car died. Started right up after that and had Zero problems after I cleaned the terminals at least until I replaced the battery a week later.
     
    #46 Skibob, Apr 3, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Patron saint of newly poured sidewalks

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    Maybe cancel the tow truck and try jump starting the car first, see how it goes.
     
  8. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    Hi Guys. I got the Prius picked up and home. I don't know if it told you before but I've never seen the car before due to distance. Just saw online facebook pics which I posted here. The good news is that I hooked up my jump pack and the car's power lit up, though very dim. I was able to get it into Neutral with no problem. We got it loaded on the tow truck with no problem and got it unloaded with no problem. That's where the good news ends. The seller said in her ad that the car had the red triangle on and the check engine light on and that it wouldn't start. When I talked to her on the phone, she said she was driving and then the check engine light and red triangle light came on and then it stalled. With my jump pack on it, I cannot get it to say "ready" so obviously I can't start it. I can not get the red triangle to come on. I am waiting for my bluetooth OBDII scanner to come in the mail. When I first turned on the 12V jump pack, the display screen showed the hybrid battery at like 4 or 5 bars. Car has just shy of 183K. Then I saw a Prius Haynes repair book in the car which is bad sign #1. It looks like someone attempted to fix the problem before? There is no splash protector on the front right tire side, maybe even not the driver side. I didn't look at the driver side. Then the person that met me to give me the key and title told me that others looked at it and must've broke the piece that is shown in the picture. She was upset that the piece was broken. When she said that other people came and looked at the Prius and passed on the $1000 price, that was bad sign #2. As for cosmetics, the inside is dirty but nothing that can't be cleaned with my carpet shampooer. No rips or anything like that. No rust on the car. The front bumper cover looks like it lost all it's clear coat. The piece on the bottom of the bumper cover is missing. It's the piece that is hiding the radiator and the pieces over the foglight holes are missing. She said it was never in a wreck but it either hit an animal or those pieces were taken off to access the car? The rear bumper cover has clearcoat everywhere and needs to be redone. Until yesterday, most tow truck companies wanted around $400 to tow it back to my place. I paid $800 for the car and $200 for the tow. Bad sign #3 was that the tow truck driver told me that he tried to turn the water pump and it wouldn't turn. Maybe he doesn't know about the water pump because he said it didn't have a belt around it. But then he said he saw another belt hooked up above it. Doesn't the Prius only have one belt? Bad sign #4, when I got home and the tow truck started rolling off the flatbed, there was a huge pile of oil laying on the flatbed! Tow truck driver said maybe it's a hose? I don't think I'll get that lucky. Bad sign #5, when I got home, and went to put the car in neutral again to unload it from the tow truck, the hybrid battery said 1 bar, not 4 or 5 like it did when I briefly put it in neutral to load it onto the flatbed. The car came with two regular style keys to unlock the door handle and it came with one fob which looks like it was ran over 20 times and then chewed up by a dog. The car does beep when I insert the fob into the slot, so I'm hoping it will work? But the buttons aren't even pressable I don't think. Maybe I can find a new eBay hollow key fob? I need the outside but maybe my insides will work? So, where to go from here? I don't see a red triangle on the dash but I also can't get the car into "ready" mode so maybe that is why I don't see a red triangle? Maybe it was erased with a dead battery? With my 12V jump pack on it, I tried running my Actron code scanner to see if I could get results because the check engine light is on. It says "no codes". Do any of you know where to start? IMG_20190403_172637.jpg IMG_20190403_172857.jpg
     
  9. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    Start by checking the oil level. Some idiot tried to force the back hatch open. That’s why that piece is broken. A Prius only has 1 belt so if you can see a belt and it goes around the pump it’s there. I say if it has oil in it open the back hatch and disconnect the 12v that’s in there then connect the jump pack to the front connectors and see what happens.
     
    #49 Skibob, Apr 3, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
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  10. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    If I remember right, the water pump pulley on the 1NZ is turned by the back side of the belt. So it's possible somebody could describe that as the belt not being on the pump.
     
  11. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    Yeah that back piece ticks me off. I'm thinking about using Lock-Tite Plastic Epoxy to put it back on, but I can't get the remaining broken "clips" out of the two screws. Ok I get a part of your instructions. I will disconnect the 12V and there where do you want me to connect the jump pack? Where are the front connectors? Are you talking about the jump spot in the fuse box in the engine compartment? And after I do that, what do you want me to do? You want to see if it will start? It leaked a LOT of oil out of it, so I'm assuming even if I put more oil in, it's just going to go out.

    Assuming the worst as far as the engine is concerned, I can get an engine with 132K on it for $300 about 2 miles from my house. I am friends with a mechanic who says he can put it in. I know it may not need an entire engine, but I don't want to wait forever and then lose the chance at a $300 engine with low miles. I don't know what to do.........
     
  12. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    Yes the jump points in the front. It’s shown in the owners manual. Why so much oil and where is it coming from? How much oil is shown on the dipstick? You need to figure out where the oil is leaking from. Did someone overfill it? Is there a hole in the block? Is the drain plug loose? I don’t think I would buy a car without seeing it first. I tried that with a jet ski once and learned my lesson. Lucky for me I got a charge back from my credit card. I think you will be fine. Stop and take a deep breath, get a good nights sleep and start with a fresh head.
     
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  13. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    I have a knowledgeable mechanic coming over tomorrow to take a look at it because he is going to do some work on some of my other vehicles. I am disabled and I am single with sole custody of my two kids. I buy cars and sell cars to make ends meet to provide for my children. I always take risks and I buy cars all the time without seeing them first. And yes often times I do get screwed. Sometimes I see the car and inspect the car and still get screwed. But sometimes I win and it all equals out. I am wanting the Prius as my personal car. My current personal car is much too fancy and complicated and expensive to maintain considering it only has less than 70K on it. A Prius would be fine for just me and my two kids. So I had no problem buying it for $800 without seeing it. I paid $10,000 for a car once that looked and drove like new. Never knew it was in a huge accident and the vehicle was rebuilt without airbags and airbag sensors because the owner just broke the airbag light on the instrument cluster. So, you can get screwed even when checking out vehicles. I had the $10,000 vehicle checked out at the dealership. Three years later when it got into an accident and no airbags went off, I then found out it had no airbags and the dealer just said, "You paid for that inspection over three years ago." I try to trust people and assume the best instead of the worst. And yes I get screwed all the time and still make the bad situations into the best situation that I can. I have no regrets buying the Prius site unseen. Am I mad? Yes. Do I regret it? No. I do believe the innocent lady that told me it stalled on her and now it won't run, was feeding me a line. I could tell someone at least worked on the car before selling it. She sent me a text and said, "Please send me a pic of the title with your name on it. My husband wants it." It is getting really common for crooked men to use their wife or girlfriend to innocently sell their cars because it works. She will never get a picture of that title from me. I believe her husband tried to work on the car and tried to fix the car and heck, maybe he even flips cars and the Prius is a lemon. But to me it's worth the $800 and I will again buy vehicles site unseen because I assume that most of them need work and I get the work done and then sell them. I planned to buy the Prius and then evaluate if it was in good enough condition for my kids and I, and I think it is. So I have no problems rescuing this Prius with the help of people on this awesome site.
     
  14. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Some oil probably already leaked out of it a long time ago, then when it went up the flatbed incline even more leaked out. Sadly that's about right for thrown rod/block punch-thru... but obviously not enough info to know that for sure until somebody eyeballs it.
     
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  15. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    That reminds me of a new step I've recently vowed to add whenever I'm checking out a used one. A skinny inspection camera can easily be poked up through the hole in the steering wheel where the cruise control stalk comes through, and show how the connections look back there, or whether there's some surprise like this waiting to be discovered.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    I want to thank you guys for helping me with all my issues. I realize I may have gotten off topic with some of my posts. I tried a new thread and didn't get much attention and then while posting on different threads, I got a lot of helpful advice but some users have gotten upset and have recommended that I start a new thread. I appreciate all your help. Now that I know how to tow my vehicle in neutral, I'll stop posting in here but please guys, stop by new new thread because I can use all the help I can get! Here it is: Tedh1979 2005 Prius Project with multiple issues looking for help! | PriusChat
     
  17. OptimalPrime

    OptimalPrime Member

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    Though flat towing it in Neutral in Ready Mode up to 42mph won't destroy the drivetrain of a Gen 2, even if you do it for thousands of miles, I can see why Toyota so strongly advises against it, and I completely agree with them. After coasting in N thousands of times, and hundreds of miles, two near-disaster mistakes (realizing I was in N at 45 and 47mph) convinced me to never trust even myself to keep speed under 42mph in Neutral. So the chance that I'd trust a tow truck driver, or a friend pulling me, to keep it under 42mph is zip, zero, nada. It's not as if MG1 necessarily explodes the moment the car reaches 43mph in N. But there is some speed at which it would do so in each individual car, and neither Toyota nor I is willing to guarantee that it's above 42mph, or above 47mph for you as it apparently was for me.

    Would I be willing to be pulled by someone with my Prime in Neutral and Ready? Yes, probably, because it's fine up to 84mph rather than 42mph.

    I'd like somebody with a million dollar RV to test out that theory by flat-towing a Prime as their "toad", noting that the car would have to be on and Ready, in N. And the battery doesn't get charged while in N, so you'd need to know and manage the state of charge.

    OR......and I'm evil for even mentioning this.... they could tow it in Drive, Then you'd have the option of having the RV charge the Prime just by pulling it while it idles in Drive, creating regen. That in turn, would likely charge it as if it were doing a mountain descent, and I think that not only allows going above 80%, but above 100%. So it would take some experimenting, and some oversight/management to make sure the odd circumstances don't trick the car into doing something stupid like routinely charging the battery to its mountain-descent limit rather than its normal driving limit.
     
  18. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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  19. Tommybb

    Tommybb New Member

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    Considering it Are you serious? Seems advantageous.
     
  20. highmilesgarage

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    you need the 12v battery connected and it should be working well. When my 12v wasn't working well (needs a charge) I temporarily used a booster pack to start and drive and when the booster auto shut off the car just went dead. So it's not true that you can drive it with 12v disconnected or even a bad one.
     
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