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I recently had the experience of going to start my 2011 Prius and finding that it had absolutely no electrical power showing up on the dash board. Could not open any door electronically. Could not open the hatch. Had to open the driver door with the mechanical key.

I called the local Toyota dealership. They sent someone with a lead-acid battery jump starter. After a few tries we were able to get it to start. They then drove it back to the dealership where they eventually concluded that the 12V auxiliary battery was toast, even though it was less than 1 year old. They replaced it under warranty.

But I decided after that experience that I wanted to be a little more in control of the situation the next time so I bought a TackLife T8 jump starter at Amazon. This is one of those newer, Lithium battery powered jump starters that's small enough to carry around in your car all the time and can even be recharged from the cigarette lighter.

Problem is, I can't get it to work with the 2011 Prius. What I tried as a test was this..

  • Disconnect the 12V cable from the auxiliary batter in the rear. This was to simulate the totally dead battery condition that I had encountered previously.
  • Connect TackLife positive to the jump lug in the fuse box in the engine compartment.
  • Connect the TackLife negative to the engine block. I had to use an old fashion jumper cable to reach the engine block. The TackLife cable alone was way too short. And nothing I tried that could be reached with the short negative cable would close the circuit. Nonetheless, connecting to the engine block with a helper cable did close the circuit.
  • Press the Boost button on the TackLife. You need to do this because the TackLife looks for some level of battery voltage as a check that you've connected the cables with proper polarity. Not finding that, you need to press that button for the TackLife to apply voltage.
  • Having pressed Boost the green light came on at the TackLife, indicating voltage power applied.
  • Now in the driver seat I could see a flashing light indicting some life on the dashboard.
  • I tried starting the hybrid system , both with Start button alone and with Start button plus break pedal depressed. The dashboard would light up completely, but I couldn't get the hybrid system to start or the ICE to come to life.
  • The TackLife is designed so that Boost power only lasts 30 sec.s. After that time ran out, the TackLife turned off the power, and the dashboard went dead again.
  • I tried this several times without ever being able to start the car.

So, all in all, I could not get the car to start with the Lithium jump starter. Has anyone done this successfully? Am I missing something basic?
 

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I recently had the experience of going to start my 2011 Prius and finding that it had absolutely no electrical power showing up on the dash board. Could not open any door electronically. Could not open the hatch. Had to open the driver door with the mechanical key.

I called the local Toyota dealership. They sent someone with a lead-acid battery jump starter. After a few tries we were able to get it to start. They then drove it back to the dealership where they eventually concluded that the 12V auxiliary battery was toast, even though it was less than 1 year old. They replaced it under warranty.

But I decided after that experience that I wanted to be a little more in control of the situation the next time so I bought a TackLife T8 jump starter at Amazon. This is one of those newer, Lithium battery powered jump starters that's small enough to carry around in your car all the time and can even be recharged from the cigarette lighter.

Problem is, I can't get it to work with the 2011 Prius. What I tried as a test was this..

  • Disconnect the 12V cable from the auxiliary batter in the rear. This was to simulate the totally dead battery condition that I had encountered previously.
  • Connect TackLife positive to the jump lug in the fuse box in the engine compartment.
  • Connect the TackLife negative to the engine block. I had to use an old fashion jumper cable to reach the engine block. The TackLife cable alone was way too short. And nothing I tried that could be reached with the short negative cable would close the circuit. Nonetheless, connecting to the engine block with a helper cable did close the circuit.
  • Press the Boost button on the TackLife. You need to do this because the TackLife looks for some level of battery voltage as a check that you've connected the cables with proper polarity. Not finding that, you need to press that button for the TackLife to apply voltage.
  • Having pressed Boost the green light came on at the TackLife, indicating voltage power applied.
  • Now in the driver seat I could see a flashing light indicting some life on the dashboard.
  • I tried starting the hybrid system , both with Start button alone and with Start button plus break pedal depressed. The dashboard would light up completely, but I couldn't get the hybrid system to start or the ICE to come to life.
  • The TackLife is designed so that Boost power only lasts 30 sec.s. After that time ran out, the TackLife turned off the power, and the dashboard went dead again.
  • I tried this several times without ever being able to start the car.

So, all in all, I could not get the car to start with the Lithium jump starter. Has anyone done this successfully? Am I missing something basic?
I think if my 12v battery wasn't doing the job of assisting the startup, I would take the battery completely out of the car & recharge it. I now have a OPTIMA - yellow top battery in my 2010 Prius. It is 5 years old & I think it can go another 5 years. I worked for the US Postal Service many years & saw many trucks with OPTIMA batteries go 10 years of service. The OPTIMA batteries are expensive but well work the price.
 
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