How to Jump Start a Toyota Prius Hybrid Safely

August 7th, 2015 by

Image with car battery and smoke with jumper cables, reading over top of it How to Jump Start a Toyota Prius and bearing the Toyota of Naperville logo
Aside from the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system, the efficient four-cylinder engine on the Toyota Prius Hybrid uses a standard 12-volt battery. This battery can fall victim to human errors — like leaving the lights on — and become fully discharged as a result. However, jump starting a Toyota Prius, or jump starting any hybrid car, requires a few extra steps beyond what’s required to jump a traditional vehicle.

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The Short Version of How to Jump Start a Hybrid

Updated October 2018

  1. Open the hood and find the fuse block cover — there should be a jump start terminal under it.
  2. Connect the positive lead of your jumper cables to the positive terminal of your Prius, and the other positive lead to the corresponding terminal of the car providing the jump.
  3. Connect the negative lead of your jumper cables to the negative terminal of the car providing the jump.
  4. Connect the other negative lead to a solid, unpainted piece of metal that is not near moving parts or the jump start terminal.
  5. Start the vehicle providing the jump and let it run for five minutes. A “Ready” light will eventually appear on the indicator panel of the Prius.

For customers that may lack a certain mechanical aptitude, you may also have the option of calling for Toyota Roadside Assistance.

An image showing red and black ends of jumper cables, labeling the red clamp ends as Positive and the black clamp ends as Negative
Image of a battery with the positive (red) and negative (blue or black) terminals labeled

A Video Guide to Jump Starting a Prius

Detailed Steps for Jump Starting a Hybrid Vehicle From Toyota

Step 1 and Step 2: Find the Jump Start Terminal Under the Fuse Box

Open the hood and locate the fuse block cover. It is a vaguely rectangular piece of plastic with a flat surface. Next, open up the lid covering the exclusively-used terminals used for jumpstarting a dead battery.
Image of the Prius Manual: Step 1 is to unclip the fuse box cover, which houses terminals specifically for jump starting the battery. Step 2 is to lift the cover and expose the terminals so you can safely jump your Prius.

Step 3: Connect the Jumper Cables

  1. Clip the positive lead of the jumper cables to the jump starting terminal on your Toyota Prius.
  2. Connect the other positive lead to the positive battery terminal of the assisting vehicle or to the positive terminal of the Quick-kick unit that will be providing auxiliary power.
  3. Attach the negative lead to the negative terminal of the assisting vehicle’s battery or Quick-kick unit.
  4. Affix the remaining negative lead to a solid, unpainted piece of metal away from any moving parts and the exclusive jump starting terminal. Please use the below center photo as reference.

 
Jump Starting a Prius, Step 3 as shown in the vehicle manual, detailing the battery connection steps: Connecting the positive leads, first connecting to the receiving car, then to the supporting car's positive terminals. Next, connect the negative lead to the assisting car, and then the other end to the receiving car on an unpainted piece of the frame.

Step 4: Jump Start the Hybrid

  1. Start the engine of the assisting vehicle or turn on the Quick-kick unit. If you are using a second vehicle, gently start to rev the engine slightly and maintain that level for about five minutes to give the dead battery enough electricity to restart the Toyota Prius.
  2. While the assisting vehicle is maintaining engine speed, start to spool up the hybrid system of the Prius by turning the power switch to the “ON” position.
  3. Someone should be watching the indicator panel of the Toyota Prius for the “Ready” light to come on.

Step 5: Remove the Cables Properly

  1. When the hybrid system has started, remove the cables in the opposite order you attached them. Follow this:
    1. Negative lead attached to a metal piece.
    2. Negative lead on the assisting vehicle or Quick-kick device.
    3. Positive lead on the assisting vehicle or Quick-kick.
    4. Positive lead on the jump starting terminal of the Prius.
  2. Close the cover exclusive jump starting terminal.
  3. Reinstall the fusebox cover by first hooking the cover onto the two rear tabs.

Still Need Help With Your Dead Toyota Prius Battery?

The owner’s manual of the Toyota Prius recommends that after a jump start procedure is finished, you should have the vehicle inspected by a professional. The Toyota of Naperville service department is always ready to help!