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Locked Out Of My Prius. Fob And Key Do Not Work!


AnthonyJV
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Hi there

I believe the 12V Battery on my Prius has gone flat as the keyfob will no longer unlock the doors. The small red light on the keyfob still lights up thought so I don't believe it to be a problem with the fob. However, the key for the door lock hidden inside the fob, won't unlock the doors either! Anybody had this problem before? Is there an external charging point for the 12V Battery that I can get to without opening the bonnet?

Any ideas hugely appreciated!!

Cheers

Tony

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Hi,

There was a member who had a similar problem on a Rav4 I believe.

Try changing the key fob Battery as it may not have enough power to send the signal to unlock the car but it still may have enough to flash the red light.

The key will not open your car if the deadlocks were set on it, but try changing the fob Battery as this may be the quickest and cheapest fix to try first.

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  • 2 weeks later...

HI;

don't know if you have the problem sorted, but i actually had this with my dad's prius. he had left his lights on :(, and it emptied the batteries.

we managed to open the door using the little key in the fob, have they deleted that now? anyway you have to open the bonnet somehow, and located the main fuse box on the right of the compartment. inside under a seperate (red i believe) cover you wil find a 12 v charging point jump start this with another car or connect it to a trickle charger for slow charging. do not use normal charger as it will send a large current f the 12v Battery is empry and this will fry you charger. it did ours :(

hope this work for you. if you need more info let me know.

rick

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello,

Ok, it's October now and I'm assuming you've got over your flat Battery problem.

I just got my first Prius and sat reading the handbook, fiddling with the controls to find out how they worked, as you do. Unfortunately when I got out I left the map light on - and was then away for three days, so when I came back my Battery was flat and as with your prob, I couldn't get into the car using the remote central locking :( . As mine was an approved used Prius from a Toyota dealer, it came with 'Club Toyota' including a years free comprehensive RAC cover.

When the RAC guy arrived, he said there's a special procedure they have to follow when faced with a Prius with a flat 'auxilliary' Battery, which I shall detail below.

1) Get into the car using the key-fobs hidden physical key, then open the bonnet.

2) Under the bonnet, locate the power hook-up point mentioned in the post above.

3) He then attached a portable battery pack to this, in order to use the key fob to open the central locking and disable the alarm, which started to sound as soon as power was restored. This was just to gain access to the boot where the aux battery is actually situated under a cover on the offside. He said his instructions recommended NOT attempting to charge the battery from the power hook-up point under the bonnet.

4) He then attached jump leads direct to the battery from his van and ran his engine for 20 minutes, so his vans alternator would charge my battery.

It then started without probs and he suggested I take a drive of around 45mins (time to reflect on my stupidity for leaving an interior light on for 3 days) so that my car would sufficiently recharge the auxilliary battery, which it did.

Btw, the auxilliary battery is just an ordinary 12v battery with a normal life expectancy of between 3 and 5 years. The hybrid power pack wasn't affected by this event and just stores power for the electric drive motor, but does not provide power for things like central locking, alarm, etc.

I hope this is of use if anyone suffers a similar fate but doesn't have RAC (or similar) cover :thumbsup:

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  • 9 months later...
Hi there

I believe the 12V battery on my Prius has gone flat as the keyfob will no longer unlock the doors. The small red light on the keyfob still lights up thought so I don't believe it to be a problem with the fob. However, the key for the door lock hidden inside the fob, won't unlock the doors either! Anybody had this problem before? Is there an external charging point for the 12V battery that I can get to without opening the bonnet?

Any ideas hugely appreciated!!

Cheers

Tony

I have recently discovered the same problem. I am wonder how you solved the problem. In fact, I was shocked that the key inside fob is not working and it feels like having a wrong key...

Cheers

Eddy

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Just few quick notes for Prius owners:

- Prius has lower capacity 12 V Battery, so it will run out of juice much sooner than any other "standard" 12V car Battery,

- To keep the 12V Battery charged up, you do not need to drive your Prius, enough is to keep it in Ready mode and parked,

- If you do not drive your car for weeks, then hook up the 12V battery to a charger or put your Prius into Ready mode for one hour every two weeks.

When Prius is in Ready mode, hybrid synergy drive will go online, will start the high voltage system which will charge the 12 V battery via built in inverter. If the high voltage battery voltage goes down, it will also start up the internal combustion engine and will also automatically charge up the high voltage traction battery.

When putting Prius in Ready mode for 12V battery charging purpose, just keep in mind, that it is good to turn off the airconditioning system, which on hot summer days for a car parked on a sunny spot, can eat away up to 3 kW of electrical energy and your internal conbustion engine will be constantly spinning. Which is of course stupid, just to charge up your 12 V battery. ;)

Ogo

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  • 9 months later...

Hi,

There was a member who had a similar problem on a RAV4 I believe.

Try changing the key fob battery as it may not have enough power to send the signal to unlock the car but it still may have enough to flash the red light.

The key will not open your car if the deadlocks were set on it, but try changing the fob battery as this may be the quickest and cheapest fix to try first.

What do you mean that if the deadlocks were set on it. How to unset deadlocks????? Pleas help. Thanks in advance

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Hi there

I believe the 12V battery on my Prius has gone flat as the keyfob will no longer unlock the doors. The small red light on the keyfob still lights up thought so I don't believe it to be a problem with the fob. However, the key for the door lock hidden inside the fob, won't unlock the doors either! Anybody had this problem before? Is there an external charging point for the 12V battery that I can get to without opening the bonnet?

Any ideas hugely appreciated!!

Cheers

Tony

I have recently discovered the same problem. I am wonder how you solved the problem. In fact, I was shocked that the key inside fob is not working and it feels like having a wrong key...

Cheers

Eddy

Tony, Eddy

Have you guys figured out for the above issue? I have same issue. I don't lock my car because my remote lock and manual key both won't work. Pleeeeeeeeeease help.

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Hi there

I believe the 12V battery on my Prius has gone flat as the keyfob will no longer unlock the doors. The small red light on the keyfob still lights up thought so I don't believe it to be a problem with the fob. However, the key for the door lock hidden inside the fob, won't unlock the doors either! Anybody had this problem before? Is there an external charging point for the 12V battery that I can get to without opening the bonnet?

Any ideas hugely appreciated!!

Cheers

Tony

I have recently discovered the same problem. I am wonder how you solved the problem. In fact, I was shocked that the key inside fob is not working and it feels like having a wrong key...

Cheers

Eddy

Tony, Eddy

Have you guys figured out for the above issue? I have same issue. I don't lock my car because my remote lock and manual key both won't work. Pleeeeeeeeeease help.

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I think you'll be lucky if you get a reply from them....they were both just single posters, a couple of years ago!

Please describe your problem and maybe a current member can point you in the right direction :thumbsup:

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I think you'll be lucky if you get a reply from them....they were both just single posters, a couple of years ago!

Please describe your problem and maybe a current member can point you in the right direction :thumbsup:

I had the same problem...my Prius 11 is now 5 yrs old(waiting on new delivery of 111)..the 12v Battery died on me........the procedure to get into the car....take the key from the fob...place into drivers door and turn the key to the left only......it is hard but it is the only way to open the door to give you access to the bonnet to then start car with a secondary Battery...there is no need to start from 12 Battery in boot .........inside the engine compartment the charging point is usually covered with a RED cover...lift it and then place charging cable onto it and the earth onto a part of the car.....the car will start all ok...........

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Hi there

I believe the 12V battery on my Prius has gone flat as the keyfob will no longer unlock the doors. The small red light on the keyfob still lights up thought so I don't believe it to be a problem with the fob. However, the key for the door lock hidden inside the fob, won't unlock the doors either! Anybody had this problem before? Is there an external charging point for the 12V battery that I can get to without opening the bonnet?

Any ideas hugely appreciated!!

Cheers

Tony

Try the key from your spare fob. Our wonderful local stealer appears to have mixed up the keys on our new Prius and it was only by chance that I discovered that one fob had the wrong metal key supplied! The stealer is in the process of ordering a replacement. If you are in the uk I would be interested if you used a dealer in MK, if so I suspect you have my key :D

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  • 7 years later...

Hi, same problem here. Followed the instructions in the chain above. Had not used my prius for almost 3 months and the Battery had gone dead. Doused the key lock with WD40. Put in the manual key and turned it anticlockwise as hard as possible and the driver door opened. But none of the other doors or the boot would open. So somehow managed to get into the boot through the driver door and connected a jump start to the aux Battery in the boot.

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If the car was deadlocked the emergency key will only unlock the drivers door, as you say.

Because the emergency key is so small, it's quite hard to get enough leverage on it to overcome the resistance of the lock, especially if deadlocked (assuming it IS the correct key!) leading to people sometimes thinking it's jammed.

It's enough to just connect jump leads or a jump starter to the terminals by the fuse box under the bonnet and press START, which should put the car into READY state and kill the alarm (which will probably have gone off as soon as power is connected to the jump start terminals).  [Just as well as I'm too old and fat to do the acrobatics needed to access the boot from the drivers door!]

The lump leads can then be removed and as long as you stay in READY mode for at least half an hour the 12V Battery will be charging even if the combustion engine is not running (the HV Battery takes care of it).

Bear in mind if the 12V Battery has been left discharged for many hours or days it may well have shortened it's life, and several episodes of draining it may kill it, or at least degrade it so much it becomes very unreliable.

BTW I kept a first generation Prius for 9 years and it still had the original 12V battery when I sold it.

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Yes, it is worth checking that both your keys will operate the locks both electronically and manually. The 12 volt Battery doesnt start the car but it does start the computer. The computer then enables the traction Battery to start the engine which in turn charges up the 12 volt Battery. A small 12 volt battery can be used to connect up to the emergency access  points under the bonnet. This is adequate to start up the computer so long as everything else is switched off (lights, radio etc). Jump starting from another vehicles battery is possible so long as the other vehicles engine isnt running.

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The 12V Battery is only charged when the car is 'on', that is in READY mode (the green READY sign on the dash is lit).  It doesn't matter whether the petrol engine is running or not.

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2 hours ago, 16_Auris_HSD said:

Right, I see. It's a shame it doesn't trickle charge though.

It is, but I can sort of understand it.

While a flat 12V Battery can be quite inconvenient, draining the HV Battery below the minimum threshold for restating the car could be catastrophic, and wildly expensive.  In the early days, a new HV Battery would cost at least £5,000 just for the part!

On top of that, a drained HV battery requires a special charger, and on the two occasions I'm aware of that one was required (both caused by the user putting diesel fuel in the car and repeatedly letting the Hybrid system try to start the engine until the HV battery gave out) it took a month or so before the only charger in Europe could be booked and reach the dealer in the UK!  (that was over 10 years ago, so there might be more now).  In the second incident, the HV battery was not recoverable by the time the charger arrived.

When I bought my first generation Prius in 2002, the problem of the low capacity 12V battery wasn't well understood.  Because the car was not sold in large numbers (it was almost a prototype, just 1500 or so sold in the UK in from 2000-2003), by the time each car was sold the battery had probably been parked in a flatted state at least twice (once on the journey from Japan, and once at the dealer while waiting to be sold), often much more, so did not have a good life expectancy.  Many Gen 1 Prius has replacement 12V batteries early in life.

A completely charged battery, in perfect health with no electrical problems in the car would at most last just over 4 weeks if not started, as some people who took long holidays discovered when they returned to the airport.

Various techniques have been adopted since, from disconnecting the 12V battery (and not latching the boot!) to fitting a trickily charger.

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  • 1 year later...

Same problem. I put vise grip on key and kept moving left AND right(which somehow reset it) until door opened. This was a 2006 Prius. Opening the hatch back required a contortionist. But am now trickle charging the 12 volt.

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2 hours ago, Piot said:

...Opening the hatch back required a contortionist....

there are jump start points under the bonnet (or hood depending where you are) by the fuse box which can be used to start the car or at least power the locks so you can more easily open the rest of the car.

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  • 1 year later...

I have the same issue only worse. The key fob Battery is fine. The problem is the metal key does not work in the door because my brother in law was going to do me a favor and fix the electrical lock on the drivers side door, which his attempt to fix the electrical lock was unsuccessful., and he assembled something wrong.   Now the metal key does not work in the driver side door.  The 12V car Battery is dead, there is no way for me to access the engine compartment, to jump start the 12V Battery.  Any Ideas???

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4 hours ago, Mark He said:

I have the same issue only worse. The key fob battery is fine. The problem is the metal key does not work in the door because my brother in law was going to do me a favor and fix the electrical lock on the drivers side door, which his attempt to fix the electrical lock was unsuccessful., and he assembled something wrong.   Now the metal key does not work in the driver side door.  The 12V car battery is dead, there is no way for me to access the engine compartment, to jump start the 12V battery.  Any Ideas???

Are you 100% sure that your brother in law didn’t fix something and as a result you can’t operate the lock with your key? Many owners experienced an issue with the key lock due to rarely or never been used before, . What usually helps in that circumstances is to spray wd-40 into the lock nicely and leave it for few hours to work, then try again, most of the times unlocks the car. I do mine every few months just to make sure the lock is ready on standby. If this can’t help you only locksmith call might be your option or break a side window. 
Good luck 

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On 9/11/2008 at 3:52 PM, AnthonyJV said:

Hi there

I believe the 12V battery on my Prius has gone flat as the keyfob will no longer unlock the doors. The small red light on the keyfob still lights up thought so I don't believe it to be a problem with the fob. However, the key for the door lock hidden inside the fob, won't unlock the doors either! Anybody had this problem before? Is there an external charging point for the 12V battery that I can get to without opening the bonnet?

Any ideas hugely appreciated!!

Cheers

Tony

Use the manual key to open driver door then open boot or bonnet ( you don’t say you are a mk2 or mk3 ) then jump the Battery

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16 hours ago, Mark He said:

I have the same issue only worse. The key fob battery is fine. The problem is the metal key does not work in the door because my brother in law was going to do me a favor and fix the electrical lock on the drivers side door, which his attempt to fix the electrical lock was unsuccessful., and he assembled something wrong.   Now the metal key does not work in the driver side door.  The 12V car battery is dead, there is no way for me to access the engine compartment, to jump start the 12V battery.  Any Ideas???

The metal key is a physical lock not electrical . Confused by your post. 

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