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How to Charge a Prius Battery

by Ana Cassis

The Toyota Prius is equipped with two types of batteries. The first one, found in almost all automobiles, is a lead-acid (Pb-A) 12V accessory battery. The second battery is designed for hybrid vehicles and is a Panasonic Metal Case Prismatic Module. The latter battery charges by running the on-board generator and by regenerative braking; it is not designed to be charged manually. The lead-acid (Pb-A) 12V accessory battery is charged by obtaining current from a battery charger or by jump-starting with another car.

1

Open the Prius's hood by pulling on the handle located on the bottom left of the steering wheel. Hold the hood open by hooking the metal "I" rod on the inner part of the hood into the small hole on the side of the hood.

2

Open the plastic protector to the battery on the top right-hand side of the engine and open the small red plastic lid covering the positive port to the battery.

3

Hook the positive cable, which typically has a white line painted on the rubber, to the positive port of the car giving the Prius current. If using a battery charger, hook it to the positive port of the Prius.

4

Hook the negative cable (all black) to the negative port of the car giving current, making sure the opposite end does not touch any other metal before connecting it to the Prius, because the cables may already be electrically charged. Note that the negative port in the Prius is simply any bolt located above the battery in the rim of the hood. If using a battery charger, hook the negative cable to the negative port of the Prius.

5

Turn on the car giving the charge and press the accelerator slightly to pass enough current to spark the battery in the Prius.

6

Turn the Prius on and drive for a minimum of 20 minutes without turning the engine off; this will re-charge the battery enough so it won't go dead when turning off the engine. If using a battery charger, start the Prius and leave it charging overnight.

Tip

  • Make sure all the car lights are off when turning the motor off, to avoid depleting the battery.

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About the Author

Ana Cassis began writing professionally in 1995. She has been published in the magazines "Cancunissimo," "Mesa Visions" and in online heath publications. Cassis is a nutrition counselor and herbalist with experience in fitness, nutrition and yoga. She holds an Associate of Arts in architecture from San Diego Mesa College.

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Photo Credits

  • Anna Stopa/Demand Media