Monday, March 1

Toyota Prius c: how to explain a starting problem?

We own a 2019 Toyota Prius c which is very often at home since we drive a lot less these days. Our starter battery loses its charge and we went through three repairs in two weeks, two of which were in a heated garage. We went to look for another hybrid. Is this a good idea or not? What are your advices?


Hello Louis-Philippe,

Before answering you, I would just like to clarify one point for our readers. Electric and hybrid cars actually have two batteries. The first is the starter battery, similar to a 12V gasoline car battery. It is used to start the vehicle and to power certain accessories in the passenger compartment. The second, called the traction battery, allows the vehicle to move forward.

The symptoms you describe are reminiscent of a 12V battery to be replaced. Indeed, battery failure prevents the car from starting, regardless of the state of charge of the traction battery. Your car being new, it seems a bit early for a battery replacement. But if you’ve already boosted your car three times and the problem returns, there’s a good chance your 12V battery is at the end of its life.

If your 12V battery is no longer able to hold its charge, it makes no difference whether the car is inside. Before replacing your car with another, it would be easier and above all much less expensive to replace your starter battery with a new one. That should fix the problem.

If the pressure drop persists, there is a loose contact or a bad mass somewhere that is draining electric current even when your Prius is not in use. If this is the case, a visit to your dealership is essential, especially since your car is recent and still under warranty.

In video: the Toyota Prius Prime tested on the track

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