Advice for new owners

Advice for new owners
The Prius has some important differences from other cars you may have driven, and you can wind up with some expensive repairs if you don't respect that. Here is the top advice from the Prius Chat ancients, edited for brevity. I've tried to focus on issues that can cause damage, and left the fuel efficiency tips for other sections of this wiki. Read more:
  1. RTFM! If you bought a used Prius without a manual, buy the correct year Owner's Manual from a dealer and read it. If you did not get a copy of Toyota's (not a dealer's!) Scheduled Maintenance Guide, see Toyota Manuals & Warranties.
  2. On a slippery surface a Prius MAY TAKE LONGER TO BRAKE THAN YOU EXPECT! It may also take longer to accelerate than you expect. Read up on the hybrid drive and tires to learn more.
  3. Don't try to push your fuel tank to either extreme. Relying on batteries when your fuel tank goes dry can cause thousands of dollars of damage to the fuel pump and/or batteries and void your warranty. At the other extreme, topping off the tank after the gas pump stops can damage the tank monitoring system (and the bladder in the 2004-2009 models) and cost hundreds of dollars to fix: the gas bladder: exposed! | PriusChat
  4. Don't let anyone but a Toyota dealer try to jump start a Prius. If you get the polarity wrong it can do thousands of dollars of damage to the electrical inverter, the computers and the wiring harness, and void your warranty. Get it towed rather than jumped.
  5. The Prius can only be towed on a flatbed or with the front wheels on a dolly. NEVER tow it with the front wheels on the ground! This will void your warranty. If you have a 2008, p.417 of your manual will read 'Never tow this vehicle from the front with the rear wheels on the ground. This may cause serious damage to the transmission.'
  6. Always lock the car, no matter where you park or for how long. The smart key system allows you to leave the car running and unlocked even if you walk away with the key, so that anyone can then walk up to it, get in, and drive it away.
  7. Don't leave the car in ACC or IG-ON or in Neutral for more than a few minutes, because it risks draining one or both batteries. If you want to sit in the car listening to the radio or whatever, leave it ON, ("Ready") as though you were about to drive away, and shifted into Park.
  8. If you drive in snow you should replace the original tires with snow tires and avoid unplowed roads. The Prius has low ground clearance and does not have 4WD. If you get bogged down the car's computers will not let you spin the wheels to try to dig or rock yourself out.
  9. Always check the oil level yourself before driving away from every oil change, no matter who does it. This can find simple mistakes before they become annoying or expensive.
  10. Strange faults can happen when the 12V battery is near the end of its life, and some dealer's battery testers can give a false "pass" result for a Prius 12V battery. You can easily check the 12V battery yourself with the built-in no-tools-required test procedure given here: Weird stuff happening? MPGs dropping? Test The Battery | PriusChat
  11. Don't try to jumpstart another car from your Prius! It is highly likely that you will blow a fuse, damage wiring, or destroy the inverter.
  12. Pay attention to posts by Patrick Wong and qbee42. They are a wealth of helpful specific knowledge in all areas.
  13. Do not allow passengers or gear to block the vent to the right of the rear seatback. It cools the main battery!
More tips here:
Nov 30, 2022