Monday, 18 June 2012

How to Jump Start your Prius

A few days ago, whilst camping, I had the misfortune to encounter a flat battery situation.  Now, it doesn't matter if there is charge left in the main 'driving' battery that forms part of the hybrid motive power plant, if the 12V starting battery is dead then the car will not start.  I think this happened due to a combination of starting the car without depressing the brake pedal, blowing up two air beds plus letting the wee ones clamber in and out of the car without shutting doors, leaving the courtesy lights on.  After a quick slap of hand to forehead and raising eyes to heaven,  I consulted the owner's manual.  The jump starting instructions begin on page 362 (my UK Owners Manual) but perhaps this may be different on your Prius manual.  Regardless, the instructions in the owner's manual were useless to me because I didn't have any jump start leads.  I now do.  I recovered the situation by phoning my breakdown company.  A local garage truck shortly came out and sorted the problem within two minutes.  I took the car for a 20 minute drive afterwards just to ensure there was plenty of charge in the small 12V battery.

Having had this experience, I though I should blog about it.  There are various videos on YouTube that show you the procedure.  Here is one such video that is pertinent to the second generation Prius.  Enjoy!


  1. I've heard that jump starting another car with a Prius will fry the computers in the Prius. Is this true?

  2. Hello again Mark. This isn't a procedure I've carried out yet but I do think that there is something about the potential for fuses blowing. Some owners have done a jump start to another car successfully but not all 'receiving' vehciles will be the same. What I mean by this is there a difference between the current (amps) needed to turn over a 1.0L 4-cylinder city car with a battery that is just that bit too low and an old 3.5L 6-cylinder diesel with a battery that is totaly shot. The difference could mean a successful start in one but a fuse blow-out for the Prius. I don't think you'd fry the computers on the Prius - that is what the main fuse is for. My advice? If in doubt, bale out. Buy yourself a jump start pack - like those here Here in Scotland, I could buy one for 30 to 40 quid from Amazon - BTW, as far as I could see there was nothing in the Owners Manual about giving jump starts to other cars.

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