How to Jump Start a Prius Using Jumper Cables?

Arriving on this page, we assume your Prius is not starting due to a dead battery. Fret not; you can jump-start your Prius just like any other vehicle.

What’s Required: To jump-start a battery on Prius, you just require a pair of jumper cables and another vehicle with a healthy battery.

Before you read our guide, you need to know the Prius battery location and its difference from a standard car battery.

How Does the Toyota Prius Battery Differ from A Gas-Powered Car Battery?

The Toyota Prius is a well-known Hybrid car that carries two batteries – a standard battery, as we find in non-hybrid cars and an additional battery for electric propulsion. The standard battery is housed beneath a plastic molding in the rear luggage compartment area on the right side (in Gen2-2004-2009 and Gen3 Prius- 2010-2015). The 2016 onward Prius models have the standard battery under the hood.

If you plan on adding new mods to your Prius, be careful not to damage the battery. This regular battery in the Prius is a 12-V lead-acid unit. This battery powers lights, electronics, and radios, as well as the engine control computer.

The other is an electric battery, typically connected to one or more motors (depending on the powertrain). As you apply the brakes, the kinetic energy helps recharge the battery through regenerative braking. It allows the Prius to briefly run on electricity at low speeds, making it fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly. Toyota Prius Camper is a great example of convenience and hybrid propulsion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide about how can you jumpstart a Prius.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Jump a Prius

Please note that the Prius jump-starting process differs slightly from jumping a gas-powered vehicle. We will walk you through the procedure in ten easy steps.

1. Choose a Good Pair of Jumper Cables

Ensure that the jumper cables are thick, well-insulated, and have clean metal clamps. Some cables may come with instructions on how to connect them correctly. The jumper cable should be in excellent condition and free of rust or damaged parts.

2. Locate the Battery Terminals

Open the hoods of both vehicles (the one that needs jump-starting and the other that assists it in ignition). Locate the black fuse box on Prius (behind the driver’s side headlight) and take out the cover to find the jump-start positive terminal (it must be corrosion-free). Some hybrid cars with hidden batteries have remote terminal posts for the positive (+) and negative (-) in the fuse box. Ensure the assisting vehicle’s battery rating is 12V, not anything below.

3. Closely Park the Assisting Vehicle Near Your Prius.

Always park both vehicles close to each other to make cable connections easily, but ensure they never touch each other. When connecting the jumper cables, make sure the metal ends do not dangle into the engine compartment. You must handle jumper cables with care. If you let them loose, they might scratch the car’s paint.

Make sure both cars are in the “Park” state with their ignitions disengaged.

4. Make Connections of the Positive Terminal

The central part of the process starts by making jumper cable connections for both cars. Connect the jumper cable’s positive terminal (red) to the dead battery’s positive terminal on Prius. After that, attach the other end to the positive terminal on the assisting vehicle. Ensure that no metal surfaces are in contact with the jumper cable’s negative (black) terminal.

5. Make Connections of Negative Terminal

Now attach one end of the jumper cable’s negative terminal to the negative terminal of the battery of the assisting vehicle. Connect the other negative end of the jumper cable to any non-painted metallic surface near the engine (a hood release hook is an excellent option). You can also consider using a remote negative terminal with a clear label. Alternatively, you can use an unpainted bolt or bracket near the dead battery to attach the negative terminal on Prius.

6. Final Safety Check

Before starting the ignition process, make sure the jumper cables are nowhere near the car’s moving parts. As a safety measure, it will prevent short circuits that can cause severe damage.

7. Start the Engine of Assisting Vehicle

Let the assisting vehicle run for five minutes after starting its engine and making battery connections. The engine must run with a slightly increased speed to recharge the Prius’ 12-volt battery.

8. Start Your Prius

After five minutes of boosting your Prius’ dead battery, start it. Start your Prius by pressing and holding the brake pedal, pushing the power switch, and waiting for the “Ready” indicator light to appear on the dash.

9. Remove the Connections and Drive

If the Prius starts, carefully remove the jumper cable connections in the reverse order you connected (detach the negative cable linked to the metallic surface first) and visit a Toyota dealer for inspection. Preferably, the Prius must retain the “Ready Mode” for about 8 hours for a complete recharge of the 12-volt battery. However, the better way is to use a battery charger for this purpose.

An 8-hour recharging will help avoid harm to your battery, especially in the winter season. We need it because the Prius doesn’t’ offer temperature compensation for the charge circuit and the 12-V battery needs a high voltage for a complete recharge.

After a complete recharge, if the battery still poses starting issues, you might need a new battery.

10. What to Do if the Prius Still Doesn’t Start?

The Prius may not start if the power is insufficient, so you have to utilize the actual battery hidden under the boot. To access that, open the rear hatch and find the battery panel on the right side by removing the floor mat in the cargo area. Take out the battery panel to find the battery terminals. The red lid is the positive terminal, so attach the positive cable clamp to it and the negative cable clamp to the negative terminal (black).

Now repeat the same process we did before; press and hold the brake pedal, press the power button, and the dash should show “Ready.” If the Prius still couldn’t get power, you may have to tow your vehicle to a nearby battery shop.

Final Words:

Jump-starting a Prius is a simple process, just like any other vehicle. Ensure you have the right equipment and an assisting vehicle with an active battery matching your Prius battery rating.

Follow the steps outlined in our guide about how to start a Prius with a dead battery to understand the procedure thoroughly. If you have any confusion, it is always helpful to consult a battery expert.

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Muhammad Talha
Talha is a gearhead and skilled precision driver with detailed knowledge of the automotive industry. He keeps himself updated with the latest car news and loves to polish his mechanical skills in the garage in his spare time.

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