2012 Prius Won't Start Until ... - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Prius 3rd Gen - Hybrid (2010-2015) Toyota Prius Hybrid discussion for years 2010-2015.

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post #1 of 4 Old 03-06-2019, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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3rd Generation 2012 Prius Won't Start Until ...

I've looked at other forum posts with similar problem and have not found any discussion of my problem. My Prius has 107,000 plus miles and I haven't had any significant problems with it until now. Here's my problem. Yesterday afternoon I was at a local Walmart and had no problems finding a parking space. When I got out of the car and tried to lock it, I didn't get the two (2) beeps that I usually get when I lock the car with my key fob. This happened once before about a week ago. I didn't think anything about it either time but it may be related to the serious problem I had after doing my shopping. I went in and did my shopping coming back out about a half hour later. When I got into the car, there were no lights on the dashboard. There's usually a few red security lights on the right hand side of the dashboard when I get into the car. This time nothing. When I put my foot on the brake, the green light came on my starter button. When I pressed the starter button, however, nothing happened. I called AAA to get a tow to the nearest service center. After finding out I'd about a two (2) hour wait, I decided to go back inside of the Walmart. When I opened the driver's side door, the dash lights came on and I was able to start the car. I was able to drive it home and waited until today to take it in for service. When I tried to start it this morning, a similar thing happened (i.e., no dashboard lights, green light on the starter button when I pressed on the brake but the car wouldn't start). This time, opening and closing the driver's side door did nothing. I tried opening and closing all of the doors . This time, it came to life when I closed the back hatch. I took it to the local Toyota dealership to get it fixed, but they found nothing wrong. Everything checked out on the electrical system, including the batteries and there were no codes decipherable from car's computer system that might explain the problem I have. They did, however, complete the recall service (J0V - 2012/2014 Model Year Prius V Hybrid System Software Update). In looking up this safety recall, I found that it didn't specifically address my problem. As a result, I'm not very confident that the actual problem has been found / resolved and I'm reticent to drive it any significant distance from home as it might not start next time no matter how many doors I open and close. From the symptoms, it appears that the starter system is looking for some permissive involving the car doors before it will enable the starting system. Anyone have any ideas what is causing this and what I can do about it?

It happened again this afternoon. Apparently, the dealer didn't resolve the problem. This time, all I had to do was push down on the hatchback and the car came to life. There must be some kind of interlock that prevents me from stating the car if the back hatch does not show up as closed. Of course, it was closed but I had to push down on it to get the car to let me start it. Of course I'll have the battery checked as suggested but does this new information give anyone any other ideas?

Last edited by buckibooster; 03-07-2019 at 05:29 PM. Reason: It happened again.
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-07-2019, 05:16 PM
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For what it is, it sounds like bad 12V battery to me...

Reason you had no lights and then they came back might be simple - 12V is charged off hybrid battery. It might just have charged it while you were doing what you were doing.
Yes, I read dealer checked batteries. It simply sounds like 12V problem. Maybe as simple as dirty cable terminals...poor ground on one of them. They checked battery but didn't check that...

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post #3 of 4 Old 05-15-2019, 09:05 AM
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Sounds like a bad connection to the 12v battery. loose cable or broken wires.
connection bad = no 12v to turn on the hv
close the hatch, bump the car, wiggle the connectors, they make contact...
connection good = runs fine

One nice thing about the dual voltage system is when jumping it, you only need enough of a jump to turn on the 12v computers to connect the hv system. all the heavy loads, including charging the 12v battery, come from the hv system and the hv system can stay fully charged even if the 12v is dead. found that out the hard way a few months ago.
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-29-2019, 02:22 PM
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2.5 years ago (late 2016)... Had a battery in an April 2014 Jeep start the car maybe 5-6 times during a day of driving on a 200 mile car ride. Stops for food, gas and other things. On the way home I suddenly noticed the headlights were pulsating bright dim. The Volt meter was showing 13 Volts (seemed low from the normal 14 when running) with flashes of 16 Volts (that was odd). Decided to head for home with no stops and glad I did. Battery just went open and upon parking in the garage there was virtually no battery output basically everything went dead when the engine stopped (not a hybrid). I'm at nearly 10 years on the 12V battery in my 2010 Prius so I expect the failure any day now. Maybe the 2013 is a little early for a failure of the 12V battery, but as far as I know, a 2.5 year old Jeep battery should die so quickly either (and without the usual slow start, or dim lights when getting in the vehicle at night warnings that hinted at such a failure).

Last edited by Qboy61; 06-29-2019 at 02:25 PM.
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