2001 Toyota Prius Hybrid Boosting

You can’t push-start a 2001 Toyota® Prius® a hybrid vehicle. But you can jump start or “boost” it. Will you see these vehicles in your shop any time soon? You bet! With fuel prices skyrocketing and substantial federal income tax credits being offered, the development and sales of hybrid vehicles is increasing. There is a good chance you’ll see more of these unique vehicles coming in for servicing. Undoubtedly, there will be at least one with a dead battery.

The Prius hybrid vehicle is equipped with two types of batteries. The 273.6 Volt HV (Hybrid Vehicle) battery powers the electric motor. A 12 Volt auxiliary battery is used for starting the vehicle and running accessories. Connect only a 12 Volt booster battery to the car’s 12 Volt auxiliary battery when jump starting. Do not try to jump start the vehicle using the 273.6 Volt HV battery (Don’t laugh. It has been tried with predictably explosive results).

Service Procedure
(Review safety procedures contained in the ALLDATA® system before beginning)

CAUTION: To avoid serious personal injury and damage to your vehicle which might result from battery explosion, acid burns, electrical burns, or damaged electronic components, these instructions must followed precisely.

  1. Put the selector lever in "P" and apply the parking brake.
  2. Turn off the headlight switch and interior light.

  3. Turn the ignition switch to "LOCK" and remove the key from the ignition switch.
  4. Open the trunk and remove the 3 clips at the left side of the trunk by pushing the center with a screwdriver. Remove the auxiliary battery cover.
  5. Remove the positive terminal cover of the auxiliary battery.
  6. If the booster battery is installed in another vehicle, make sure the vehicles are not touching. Turn off all unnecessary lights and accessories.
  7. If required, remove all the vent plugs from the booster batteries. Lay a cloth over the open vents on the batteries. (This helps reduce the explosion hazard, personal injuries and burns.)
  8. If the engine in the vehicle with the booster battery is not running, start it and let it run for a few minutes. During jump starting, run the engine at about 2000 rpm with the accelerator pedal lightly depressed.

WARNING: To avoid serious injury when making the following connections, do not  lean   over the battery or accidentally let the jumper cables or clamps touch anything except the correct battery terminals or the ground.

  1. Connect the jumper cables in the following order:
    • Connect the clamp of the positive (red) jumper cable to the positive (+) terminal on the discharged battery.
    • Connect the clamp at the other end of the positive (red) jumper cable to the positive (+) terminal on the booster battery.

    • Connect the clamp of the negative (black) jumper cable to the negative (-) terminal on the booster battery.
    • Connect the clamp at the other end of the negative (black) jumper cable to a solid, stationary, unpainted, metallic point of the vehicle with the discharged battery.
  2. The recommended connecting point is shown above.
  3. Start the hybrid system. Make sure the "READY" light is on. If the hybrid vehicle battery warning light comes on in the multi-information display, the hybrid vehicle battery is also discharged. (Review the HV battery charging procedures contained in the ALLDATA® system)
  4. Carefully disconnect the cables in the exact reverse order: the negative cable and then the positive cable.
  5. Carefully dispose of the battery cover cloths in a safe and environmentally approved method - they may now contain sulfuric acid. If removed, replace all the battery vent plugs.


Toyota® and Prius® are registered trademark names and model designations of the Toyota Motor Corporation. All trademark names and model designations are being used solely for reference and application purposes.

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