How to Jump Start a Toyota Prius

Do you have a Toyota Prius? Did its battery die overnight? If you said “yes” to both of these questions, you might be wondering whether or not you can jump-start the Prius since it’s a hybrid. Yes, you can. Here is how to do it.

Jumpstarting a 2004-2009 Toyota Prius is a little unique

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced Engine
2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced | Toyota

To jump-start your Toyota Prius, you’ll need a set of jumper cables and another car to jump it with. Park both cars close together to ensure that the jumper cables can reach both batteries. If you don’t have another car to use, we suggest buying a portable jump starter. We suggest the Shell jump starter as it worked well in different weather conditions.

Once you have the jump cables or jump starter in place, here are the necessary steps:

2004-2009 Toyota Prius

  • Step 1: Open your Prius’ hood and locate the fuse box to find the jump start terminal
  • Step 2: Connect the positive battery cable to the jump start terminal
  • Step 3: Connect the positive cable to the assisting vehicle
  • Step 4: Connect the negative cable (black) to the assisting vehicle
  • Step 5: Secure the other negative cable (black) to an unpainted metallic surface in the Prius’ engine bay.
  • Step 6: Start the engine on the assisting car and let it run for 5 minutes
  • Step 7: Start the Prius and wait for the “ready” notification
  • Step 8: Disconnect the battery cables on both cars in the reverse order they were connected.

According to Arts Automotive, the 2004-09 Toyota Prius “will get a little confused after a loss of voltage. The gas gauge will blink on empty for a while. This is normal.” Additionally, the Prius may alert you to “park the car on level ground and apply the parking brake.”

This message is due to the Prius’ electronic parking pawl, which uses an electronic motor in the transmission to put the car in the “park” position. The system could need a reset after a jump start, so it’s best to use the following procedure to help the system “relearn” the mechanism.

  • While the jumper cables are still connected, press the “park” button
  • Shift to neutral with the car in the “on” position. Press the power button twice to get to this mode.
  • Keep pressing the start button until the car relearns the parking mechanism.

Jump-starting a 2010-2015 Toyota Prius

A 10-year-old Toyota Prius is a contender alongside the Camry Hybrid for the best Toyota hybrid car.
2012 Toyota Prius | National Motor Museum, Heritage Images, Getty Images

If you own a 2010-2015 Toyota Prius, the procedure is similar to the one listed above.

How to jump-start a 2001-2006 or 2016 and newer Toyota Prius

Jump-starting a 2001-2006, as well as a 2016 and newer, Toyota Prius, is similar to starting any other car. However, the 2001-2003 Prius has its battery located in the trunk. The 2016 and newer Prius has the battery located under the hood, but you’ll need to use the smart key emergency insert to open the door manually.

Important note: Remember to make sure the battery terminals are correctly connected. Crossing the cable (positive to negative) could result in electronic failures and possible injury.

Also, if the car starts, but the battery dies frequently, it could be time for a new battery. Otherwise, these jump-start procedures should work for your Toyota Prius.