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Are You Able To Jump Starting A 2008 Toyota Prius


mandon75
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I am in the armed forces and will have to leave my car in a car park for around 2 months. I have asked toyota what they think the life span of the aux. Battery will be and they said maximum 2 weeks.

I have asked how much a spare Battery would cost and they quoted £95.

Halfords sell a jump start pre charged unit for £60.

I have jump leads in my breakdown kit and wondered if it was safe to use them to jump start my aux. Battery, (like I would with a conventional car), with the hybrid system.

Thank you for your help in advance

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The short answer is, yes. There is a terminal under the bonnet for the pos lead and the neg lead goes to a good earth. I'm sure someone will be along soon to give you the exact details and do's and don'ts.

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Apologies for the grammatical error in the title :oops:

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With so many factors, age of existing Battery, SoC (State of Charge), temperature, etc, it is very difficult to guess how long a Battery will last.

A brand new, fully charged, 12 v Battery may last between 4 to 6 weeks. But after being drained for that period of time, even a new battery would suffer some damage, and its life span shortened.

If you are still on the original 12 v battery, I would budget for a replacement for when you return.

Yes, it should be safe to jump start a Prius. Provided the jump start leads are connected to the correct terminals (the positive lead to the jump start point under the red plastic top and then the black lead a suitable earth). Connect the leads the wrong way around, and like any other modern car, you will probably damage one or more ECUs (Electronic Control Units).

The high voltage system is isolated and separate from the 12 volt system.

The Owner's Manual is a little skimpy on the details but has the basics.

Erm, test your mechanical key now - the lock has been known to seize or very occasionally they have the wrong key.

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Bear in mind that with a flat 12v Battery, you can't open the boot from the outside, so maybe put the leads or jump starter inside the car, but hidden as best you can to deter thieves.

The first option is to open the driver's door with the emergency key (good advice about testing this - also, it can take more force to turn the key than many people expect), then pop the bonnet, then connect jump start terminals.

As you're obviously a lot younger, fitter and thinner than me (!) you might want to consider disconnecting the 12v Battery in the boot. This will avoid damaging it, ensure it's ready to work when you return (unless it's near end of life) but he downsides are you'll have to reset some things like the radio settings, and you'll have to climb over the seats (can't open rear door either unless you don't engage the deadlocks) and enter the boot from inside the car. If you take this option, it would be worth rehearsing so you know where the various levers etc are (I think you can release the boot from the inside somewhere) and have a torch handy in case you return in darkness.

It was much simpler in the Gen 1 Prius, which had a cable release next to the fuel cap release lever!

Regards, PeteB

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Read the manual, check, double check and then triple check you've doing it right. One false move and you can fry the car's computers or other expensive damage. Really make sure you have the terminals the correct way round etc. In might be safer to remove the 12v and charge it off car if you'd prefer.

Also, never, ever ever get the donor car to rev their engine whilst jump starting you and never agree to try and jump your neighbours car - you will fry your car.

Just buy a new 12v though. You're due one, but look after it and you should be fine. Mine is on it's way out but it still holds a charge for a couple weeks without use. I wouldn't want to chance it longer though.

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I used to carry a 12v 7AH Yuasa Battery fitted with crocodile clips in the centre console. It was perfectly adequate for starting the 2nd gen Prius. Positive to the jumpstart terminal in the fusebox, negative to any part of the bodywork or engine and away it went.

Have to make sure you can actually get into the car in order to get at the fusebox under the bonnet (hood if you're in the US), of course. If those manual door locks haven't been used for five years they'll probably be quite tough to move...its a good idea to get into the habit of using the key to physically lock/unlock the doors manually once a month.

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...Yes, it should be safe to jump start a Prius. Provided the jump start leads are connected to the correct terminals ...

one other thing to watch is, if you take the route of buying an self contained jump starter, beware that some of the more expensive ones are too clever for their own (or your!) good.

I know someone who bought a 'smart' one that checked the polarity when connected before it would supply any power, which sounds sensible to avoid damage, but it the Battery in the car to be started was totally flat it refused to supply power. My cheap and cheerful Maplin one (now about 10 years old) was not so fussy and would start the car.

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It could be worth looking into getting a solar powered Battery charger.

They are classed as leisure Battery conditioners or something like that.

I have one from Maplins that cost about £10 last year.

The one I have is only a 1.5W trickle charger.

If you connect it to the jump start point under the bonnet or directly to the Battery and leave the panel on the rear seat it should keep your battery topped up.

I am due to have my car serviced soon and will be asking them about permanently wiring the adaptor in as I will be leaving my car in a secure car park for about 4 months later in the year whilst I am away for work.

Hope this helps.

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I have found that the Prius tinted glass absorbs the energy in sunlight (as it is designed to, to keep the interior cool) and so solar panels inside the car are fairly useless. The panel needs to go outside if you can manage it!

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The Maplins one that I have seems to charge inside the car. It also shows that it is capable of charging when sat indoors away from the windows on a dull day.

You may have darker windows on the Gen 3 than we have on the Gen 2

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Timberwolf, I see your point.

But it may be ok just to keep the 12V Battery at a state where the car will at least boot up to ready state.

The video seemed to show that he was trying to charge the Battery from about 90% to full.

If I am right, we only need to keep about 40 to 50% in the Battery to be able to start.

Unfortunately I have not got the time to be able to test this before I go away for 4 months later in the year, but I will try it then.

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I would think the standby current consumption, guessing maybe 60mA for the car alarm and remote key receiver, draws way more than any potential trickle from a cheap solar panel. I really don't think it will increase your chances at all, but by all means carry out your experiment and let us know how you get on.

Shame they don't do these for cars, this is probably more like it http://www.amazon.co.uk/Photonic-Universe-controller-battery-caravan/dp/B008BV8CIW/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1401892770&sr=1-2 ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have just had a chat with a tech guru at Pinkstones in Stoke reference using the solar charger.

He said that the Prius draws approx. 35 mA when parked up and locked.

He reckons if I wire the charger direct to the 12V Battery it will maintain the Battery in a useful state.

The charger box states the output is 86mA.

I will be trying this out in September when I go away for 4 months.

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It's definitely worth a try. Let us know how it goes :)

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He said that the Prius draws approx. 35 mA when parked up and locked.

Unless the smart key system detects a smart key.

Hopefully this won't happen very often over the 4 months.

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He said that the Prius draws approx. 35 mA when parked up and locked.

Unless the smart key system detects a smart key.

Hopefully this won't happen very often over the 4 months.

I don't have the smart key system, so I should be ok. :ermm:

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I have just had a chat with a tech guru at Pinkstones in Stoke reference using the solar charger.

He said that the Prius draws approx. 35 mA when parked up and locked.

He reckons if I wire the charger direct to the 12V battery it will maintain the battery in a useful state.

The charger box states the output is 86mA.

I will be trying this out in September when I go away for 4 months.

Test that your mechanical key works before you go :)

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  • 1 month later...

I wired up the solar panel yesterday and did a quick check with a multi-meter.

The Battery showed 12.4V with the panel disconnected.

With the panel connected I was getting a reading of 12.56V even when a heavy cloud covered the sun.

Let's hope this is enough to keep my beloved Prius ready to rock n roll when I return after 4 months.

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  • 5 months later...

An update on the solar charger and leaving the car for 4 months.

Unfortunately the charger DID NOT work. :no:

I arrived back to my car and the 12v Battery was as dead as a Dodo.

I had to use the mechanical key to open the drivers door, but I could not open any other door as they seem to have deadlocked, even trying from inside.

A 2 hour wait in heavy rain with my bags getting soaked ended with the AA arriving and taking 30 seconds to put a slave pack on the jumpstart point and the car instantly coming to life with the alarm going off.

It fired up with no problem.

So either the solar panel is useless or the rear window stopped any sunlight operating the solar panel, allowing for the fact that it has been4 months and mainly winter.

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An update on the solar charger and leaving the car for 4 months.

Unfortunately the charger DID NOT work. :no:

I arrived back to my car and the 12v battery was as dead as a Dodo.

I had to use the mechanical key to open the drivers door, but I could not open any other door as they seem to have deadlocked, even trying from inside.

A 2 hour wait in heavy rain with my bags getting soaked ended with the AA arriving and taking 30 seconds to put a slave pack on the jumpstart point and the car instantly coming to life with the alarm going off.

It fired up with no problem.

So either the solar panel is useless or the rear window stopped any sunlight operating the solar panel, allowing for the fact that it has been4 months and mainly winter.

How was the solar maintainer connected? Directly to the Battery?
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I trust that this experience has not damaged the 12V Battery beyond all redemption.

Lead acid batteries do not like being completely discharged. Keep an eye on it for the coming weeks, especially with the low temperatures expected, which will not help.

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That's unfortunate. We have had some pretty grotty weather though so the charger wouldn't have had a great deal of direct sunlight. It's probably worth mentioning (though a little late now) that you could have opened the hatch. Crawl in through the drivers doors, lower the rear seats to gain access to the rear and you'll find a small panel on the inside under the tailgate. Behind that, there's a small lever which will unlock the hatch mechanically.

I used to carry a 12v 7AH Yuasa Battery in the centre console, fuly charged but not connected to anything. It was sufficient to get the hybrid system up and running on my 2nd gen Prius.

yuasa.jpg

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That's unfortunate. We have had some pretty grotty weather though so the charger wouldn't have had a great deal of direct sunlight. It's probably worth mentioning (though a little late now) that you could have opened the hatch. Crawl in through the drivers doors, lower the rear seats to gain access to the rear and you'll find a small panel on the inside under the tailgate. Behind that, there's a small lever which will unlock the hatch mechanically.

I used to carry a 12v 7AH Yuasa battery in the centre console, fuly charged but not connected to anything. It was sufficient to get the hybrid system up and running on my 2nd gen Prius.

yuasa.jpg

Funny enough I've just bought one of those for £15.30 from eBay to replace the failed Battery in our household alarm.
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