Important safety tip: Toyota Prius battery

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Went to start our Prius today and the door wouldn't unlock. I thought it might be the key fob but when I manually unlocked it, put the fob in the ignition and got inside, none of the console lights would come on. It turns out that we'd left the dome light on and run the battery down to zero. How can this be, you ask? It's a hybrid car with a 6.5Ah battery. Surely, it should be able to power a crappy roof mounted lightbulb more or less indefinitely. It turns out, however, that that battery just runs the drive system. There's a dinky little lead acid battery that's used to run the onboard electrics and (presumably) start the gas engine. This is easy to run down. Or at least so says the guy who came by to jump start it. Sure would be nice to have some gizmo that detected when you were running down the battery and shut down the internal lights. Not exactly a complicated piece of science to add...

4 Comments

Patent it now! :)

Nope, not hard. My Grand Marquis automatically turns off the interior lights after a little while. They've done that for years.

You can find the aux battery in the trunk, under a panel that makes up the floor, on the right hand side. (Act like you were trying to get the spare out and you'll find it.) The aux runs the dashboard, lights, locks etc.

It's smaller than aux batteries in normal cars because it doesn't actually start the engine. In fact, you can't jump start a Prius, you need to connect jump leads and charge the aux battery for a bit.

And, when the battery is dead you can't actually open the trunk to get it to. Instead (and I'm guessing you found this) connect the positive charging lead to the red contact in the fuse box under the hood.

This is what you want: http://www.prioritystart.com/

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