I want to hand-crank the internal combustion engine (ICE) in a 2010 Toyota Prius that hasn't been started in 2+ years. The idea is to allow oil to lubricate the engine and reduce friction before I try starting the engine via the ignition.

How is this done with that engine?

And are there any safety concerns given that the ICE engine is integrated with an electrical motor connected to high-voltage battery?

Oh, and if you think this is a bad idea to begin with, feel free to waive a big red flag.

2 Answers 2


The following is assuming you've checked the oil to ensure it is up to level (even changed it to fresh oil if you feel so spunky). Find the fuse for the fuel injection and pull it. This will prevent the injectors from firing, which will prevent the engine from starting. You can then "try" to start it using the push button (these have a push button, right?). It will crank over for a few seconds and stop. If you do this a couple of times, it should give the engine enough oil flow to lubricate vital components within the engine. Once you feel comfortable, re-insert the fuse for the fuel injection and start it normally. There should be sufficient oil in the vital parts to not cause any issues.

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    Hmmm.... that's much easier than what I was planning. Thanks. Let me think about what you wrote. Totally different than what I was thinking, and I like your idea a lot more than mine (I was treating it more like a '67 Chevy). I'll check to see if there is a fuse for the fuel injection that doesn't cut the power to everything. Oh, and yes, it has a push button... just like a modern go-kart or lawnmower. ;) Jan 5, 2023 at 3:27

A Prius doesn't have a traditional starter. You might be able to get to the crank pully and twist it, but I doubt there's much room. Doing this won't spin the oil pump enough to lube the bearings, so the usefulness is suspect.

I would not try to use the electric motor to spin the engine trying to start it without spark plugs or similar.

What you should do is find a Prius forum where I guarantee there is A Guy who knows more about this than seems possible.

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