I own a 2010 Prius. It has a dead battery, front facing forward in my garage. I do not have long enough jumper cables.

I’ve searched the Internet. Did Toyota really create a car that cannot be put into neutral if the battery is dead? I need to move it out of the garage. Am I missing something here?

  • 8
    ah, the law of unintended consequences strikes again! while the fancy stuff is nice, it is one of the hindrances of electronically controlled vehicles
    – Patrick
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 12:26
  • Totally agree with you here... Commented May 3, 2011 at 12:54
  • Thanks guys, this was a huge help this morning. Woke up to a dead battery after the interior light was left on.
    – user4599
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 17:05

3 Answers 3


According to 2010 Prius Emergency Response Guide (page 10):

Being electronic, the gearshift selector and the park systems depend on the low voltage 12 Volt auxiliary battery for power. If the 12 Volt auxiliary battery is discharged or disconnected, the vehicle cannot be started and cannot be shifted out of park.

The auxiliary battery is located in the cargo area. It is concealed by a fabric cover on the passenger side rear quarter well (page 15):

access to auxiliary battery

Sounds like you can get to the back of your car and there is no longer a need for you to put it into neutral.

  • 1
    The sad part about the Prius you can't open the trunk with out power
    – user4315
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 13:43
  • 3
    @leo Yes you can, there is a lock cylinder that is opened with a key. It is strictly mechanical so there is no power required. Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 14:17
  • So what "worked" was that you thought the battery was in the front but it's actually in the back?
    – endolith
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 19:36
  • 1
    And if the battery is dead you can connect it to some other 12 V power source to get it into neutral?
    – endolith
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 19:44
  • 3
    @endolith Yes the battery is in the back, and yes you can just hook up a battery, charger or some other 12 volt power source to the battery to get it out of park. Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 23:01

I know this question has been answered already, but keep this in mind for situations like this: Get your hands on two trolley jacks, jack the driving wheels off the ground, release the parking brake(handbrake) and roll that baby out of there.

  • How would this work, anyway? I thought the car was in park.
    – intuited
    Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 12:40
  • Park only locks the drive wheels. If they're on trolley jacks, it won't matter. Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 13:53
  • @JuannStrauss So this wouldn't work on a 4WD automatic then? :)
    – Dan
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 12:59
  • 2
    You'll have to push a bit harder. Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 13:10

Make sure in the future that where you store your smart key is more then 15 ft. away from the car. If it is within 15 ft. it will drain the battery or deactivate the smart key fuction if the car is left for longer then a week. Under the steering wheel there are 2 red buttons. The left one is for the smart key system right one for tire presure monitoring.

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