How To Jumpstart a Prius

How To Jumpstart a Prius


The Toyota Prius has easily been one of pioneers of the hybrid movement, providing owners with a way to lower their carbon footprint all while getting them to work in comfort. The hybrid has undergone a few revisions since it’s inception in the early 2000s, and has been a huge success. With over 7 million models sold, it’s definitely a feather in Toyota’s cap.

Unfortunately it’s not always an easy transition as new Prius owners can often times struggle with everyday tasks like changing the oil, resetting the maintenance light, or even jump starting your Toyota Prius. Because the Toyota Prius features two engines, one that runs on electricity and the other that runs as a traditional gas motor. There’s several differences between the two, so if you need to know how to jumpstart a Prius, this article is for you.


Like the motors in your Toyota Prius, there’s two batteries as well. One is the High Voltage Hybrid battery (HV) that powers the smaller electric motor, and the traditional low voltage (LV) DC battery that you’re probably more comfortable with.

There’s several differences between the two different types of batteries, and because we are talking about a possibly dead Toyota Prius, it’s important to know the differences before you learn how to jumpstart a Prius.


The High Voltage (HV) battery in your Toyota Prius can be dangerous and should not be tampered with by unlicensed mechanics or mechanics without experience. This HV battery puts out 274 volts, vs the traditional 12 volts found in the DC battery.

As you can imagine, this HV battery is larger and more bulkier than the DC battery, and should not need or require service. This battery can be revived by Toyota if it were to die, but as of this writing, Toyota claims that no Prius had needed this HV battery revival process since the Prius’ release in 2001.


Unfortunately the DC battery in your Prius does not enjoy the same shelf life, because this battery can in fact die frequently. To compound the issue, the Prius battery is located in back of the vehicle and if your battery is dead already, this means opening the trunk electronically is impossible.

How to Jumpstart a Prius


To jumpstart your Prius when the DC battery has died, you must first open the trunk and locate your DC battery. Open your doors and pull down on the back seat to crawl back into your trunk and pull on the trunk release latch.

This manual latch should glow in the dark and be strapped to the top of the inner trunk liner. Pull down on this level to release the latch that secures the trunk in place and open to find your battery.

What you will need to jumpstart your Toyota Prius


  1. Jumper Wires
  2. Another running car
  3. 10mm wrench
  4. Safety Goggles

You will need to bring the good battery or the car with the charged battery as close to your trunk as possible. Drive the good car or good battery close to the trunk area, close enough so that your jumper cables reach.

Turn off the running vehicle, and then connect the red positive terminal of your jumper cables to the dead DC Toyota Prius battery. Then connect the other side of the red terminal to the good battery. Then connect the black terminal to the good battery, and carefully hold the other side of the black terminal in your hand. Do not connect to your Toyota Prius yet, and make sure not to touch the open black terminal against any bare metal

Start your good vehicle, and then gently connect the black terminal to your Toyota Prius LV battery. Give it a few minutes for the good vehicle to attempt to charge your dead Prius battery. You should be able to see that your dash details and instruments turn on, with the key set the “ON” position. It’s a good idea to leave your Prius off during this waiting period to maximize the charge to your dead Toyota battery.

With the jumper cables connected, it should take a few minutes before your Toyota Prius is ready to start and come back to life. For more detailed instructions, refer to your Toyota Prius owner’s manual for further details.

In conclusion of our How To Jumpstart a Prius article, the hybrid vehicle’s HV or High Voltage battery should never be tampered with. This jumpstarting procedure is basically the same as any other car or non-hybrid vehicle, and make sure that you reset your Toyota Prius electronics once it’s been started up again.



    • Thanks for commenting Bo, and yes you are correct there is a jumper terminal in front of your vehicle.

      When jumping a car however, you always want direct contact with the battery itself. There’s similar cases in vehicles where people try to jump the car through the fusebox and / or alternator, which never comes out the way you want it. Our directions simply point you to jump your vehicle directly at the battery, which is technically the correct way to do it.