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Can You Use a Prius to Jump-Start Another Car?


One of the most common reasons why people jump-start a car is because of a dead or weak battery. But then, can all vehicles be jump-started? And can you use a Prius to jump-start another vehicle?

Yes, you can use a Toyota Prius to jump-start another vehicle. Like many other Toyota hybrid vehicles, Prius has a jump-start terminal under the hood that you can use in place of the 12-volt battery.

What is a Prius

A Toyota Prius is a hybrid car powered by a gasoline engine and an electric motor with a battery pack. The hybrid vehicle saves fuel by running the electric motor at low speed and uses the gas engine only when necessary. You can always recharge the batteries in the Prius by braking energy and the gasoline engine.

2009 Toyota Prius

Can You Use a Prius to Jump-Start Another Car?

You can use your Prius to jump-start another car; however,  the manual that comes with Prius warns against jump-starting another car with Prius.  This warning is a result of the size of the battery. So, to some extent, it may be a risky attempt to go against the manufacturer’s advice.

10 Steps on How to Use Prius to Jump-start another Car

Many people are usually scared to jump-start another car with Prius since they do not know precisely where to place the jumper cables or since the car manual warns against it.

Nevertheless, let’s look at the steps on how you successfully jump-start another car using Prius.

Step 1

The first thing to do is park the two cars close to each other but never touch each other. Then, put your Pruis car in the park, and do the same for the other vehicle if it is automatic, but if it is a manual car, put it on neutral and let the two cars be on brakes so they don’t move.

Step 2

Put both cars off and take off the keys. Then, bring out the jumper cables and put them on the ground, ensuring that the clamps don’t touch each other.

Step 3

The next thing to do is to open the hood of your car and carefully check under the fuse box cover to locate the jump-start terminal of your vehicle.

Step 4

At this step, you have to connect using the positive jumper cable, which is red, to the terminal of your car. Again, a thick cable is always preferable to allow easy flow of electricity from your car’s battery to the dead battery of the vehicle you want to jump-start.

Step 5

After you finish with the connection of the first red positive jumper, you have to connect the second positive cable, which is red, this time around, to the positive battery terminal on the assisting car.

Now that you have made all the necessary connections, it is time to jump-start the dead battery. So follow the instructions below as a guide.

Step 6

Turn on your Prius car and wait for a few minutes for the dead battery to start working. Usually, the dead battery should start working almost immediately, but this depends on how long the battery has been dead.

Step 7

Attempt to start the dead vehicle; it should work but if it doesn’t work, let your Prius keep charging the battery for a few minutes more, maybe one or two minutes.

Step 8

If the dead vehicle starts at this point, then good luck to you, but if it doesn’t start, you should try revving the engine of the Prius while it’s still charging; this may help also.

Step 9

After carrying out the above exercises, the battery should come back to life. So, as soon as it starts working, you can safely disconnect all the cables and return them to their appropriate positions.

Step 10

You should drive the car for a short time so that the vehicle’s alternator can also charge the battery, so it doesn’t die again.

What You Should Do if the Jump-starting Fails

On rare occasions, you may not make headway with the jump-starting, so there are a few other things to consider if you find yourself in this situation.

Check if the battery is already old and due for a change as every battery has a life span. However, if the battery is still within its life span, you should check if any of these components have problems.

  • Fuses
  • Starter connection
  • Battery corrosion
  • Ignition switch
  • Faulty alternator

Safety Tips Before Jump-starting Another Car with Prius

We understand that a dead battery is not an experience any driver wants to have because it is devastating and challenging.

main going to jump start a car with toyota prius

So, if you find yourself in the position of assisting someone in jump-starting another car with your Pruis, do not simply jump on it and begin jumping the car.

Before you begin working, you should think about some safety precautions. We’ll take a look at some of the safety precautions here. So keep reading.

  • Ensure that you turn off the two cars ultimately.
  • If you have minor children, ensure that they are in a safe place, away from the engine, before you start jumping.
  • You must take a look at the manual of both cars to know if there is extra information you need to know for this particular activity.
  • The work of the jumper cable is to transmit electricity from your Toyota Prius to the dead battery, so be careful not to allow any form of electric shock.
  • As soon as you make the jumper cable connection, do not touch the metal clamps unless where it is needed.
  • Do not attempt to jump-start if the battery appears broken, leaking or even cracked.
  • You should not rest any part of your body on the batteries
  • Avoid smoking around the cars
  • For the safety of your eyes, it is advisable to put on some protective glasses should any sparks of light start flying up.

Wrapping up

When you are making connections to jump-start another car with your Prius, ascertain that the batteries are connected adequately by ensuring that clamps fit positively and negatively.

However, while you can use your Toyota Pruis to jump-start another car, it is not advisable as the manufacturer’s manual warns against it. But if the risk is worth taking by you, you can always give it a try. 

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