If your hybrid gas engine suddenly won't start and needs hybrid battery boosting, maybe you should read this first...

Your hybrid battery boosting is not the same as your regular vehicle. In the latter, when the battery is dead, you can get another car to boost and start the engine and everything will be fine. On hybrids, there is no regular starter to speak of and this is where the difference in applications occurs.


Basic hybrid starting system:

Some hybrids like Toyota Prius uses an auxiliary battery on their gas engines. It works as a regular car battery and it is use to power up the gas engine and vehicle accessories except for one thing: it is not use for starting since the gas engine has no "engine starter" to speak of. Instead, it uses a device called "motor generator" for starting purposes. This is a separate entity by itself which is located inside the transaxle (transmission) housing.

The gas engine has to be used constantly to be able to charge the auxiliary battery to work all the time. If the car is left not used for a max of 3 weeks, it will not start.

If you need hybrid battery boosting because the vehicle won't start and you suspect battery needs boosting, you can still boost it the normal way using another car and boosting cables. For the positive cable connections, use the lone "red marked" positive terminal that is available in the engine compartment for easy access. For the negative ground cable connection, this hybrid uses the vehicle frame.

If the battery is low of charge because the vehicle light was left on the previous night or the door was left open, you can "trickle" charge it using a regular charger. Never set it to maximum charge rate because this type of battery will get damaged. Setting it at the lowest charging rate (around 3.5A) overnight is the best way to charge this type of battery. Remember to remove the auxiliary battery first before charging the battery.

As in any battery that gets worn with age, you need to constantly monitor it using the SOC light indicator. When it is worn, you will have a frequent no start problems and the vehicle probably won't start if left not running for a day or two instead of the 1-3 weeks. When this happens, order a replacement. Better still, get an upgraded bigger size battery available from your dealer.

Most of this information for hybrid battery boosting applies to Prius vehicles only. For other type of hybrids, please check with other hybrid dealers before using this information or contact ATS.

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