Prius, 08, smart key. Dead on Sunday am --- nothing works. Put trickle on the underhood postive and neg to body bolt. Got enough juice to open rear hatch (and dome light comes on )

Replaced with toyota battery. Neg cable taken off first, then pushed up out of the way behind carpet.

Still dead. Checked both batteries at Autozone. 94 and 100% --- wasn't battery in the first place. Checked clear window fusible link on top of pos post --- still good. Can get locks and lights to work with trickle charge.

Now what?

  • Can you give more information about the symptoms? Like is there a click when you turn the key? I've heard of issues with the ignition module that could cause this, but we need more details. Dec 13, 2012 at 3:28
  • 3
    @JamesDrinkard I don't think you can turn a key in a Prius. Dec 13, 2012 at 15:04

2 Answers 2


Check the ignition module, shorts in wires, including the battery cables, clean the battery connectors, etc...

Sounds like you eliminated the battery itself as the issue. The next step is to check everything between the ignition, battery, and starter. I just had a starter go out all of a sudden and all I could get was one tiny click when I turned the key. The battery was new, so I knew that wasn't it.

Battery issues apparently are common on this car. I've seen some posts with the battery going out totally, for good, from the light on the trunk latch not working right.

I'm not very familiar with the new hybrids, but here are three links with a list of items that other people did to try and fix this issue:

  1. link 1
  2. link2
  3. link 3

After reading through these, I would guess this is a blown battery fuse.

  • This is a hybrid and doesn't have a conventional starter. It uses the high voltage battery to crank the engine via the Small Motor/Generator. Dec 15, 2012 at 22:18

If you can get things to work with the charger and not the battery then the battery connections are suspect. Clean them as well as the battery with a terminal brush. There is also the possibility of the 12 volt positive or negative cable that runs from the battery to the engine compartment. You mention hooking the charger to the positive under the hood, what happens when you hook the charger directly to the battery terminal connectors in the trunk?

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