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Just got this 02 Prius from Copart. I am new with the Prius, so other that what I've been reading in these forums, I have no clue. The car has approx 53k, Carfax looks like it was well maintained. It's a one owner car. It was wrecked in the driver's side front. Frame is ok but the fender and hood are toast. The left side fuse box was broken by the impact, but it worked ok. I did get a replacement on EBay and installed it myself. The rest of the overall condition, aside from a few scrapes and the LH side mirror braking and denting the driver's door, is in very good condition. I got a cheap OBD2 reader (Carista) and it has no codes, no check engine light, etc.

The 12V battery was dead, but when I went to the salvage yard to inspect the car, they jumped started it for me and was able to put in D and the car moved forward under its own power for a short moment and then it died.

I recharged the battery with my NOCO G3500 and tried to repair it (just in case it was sulfated). The battery now seems to hold the charge ok and all the electronics work perfectly fine. The key fob remote locks the car and sets the alarm just fine but when I get in to start it here is what happens:

1. The READY light comes on and the gas engine starts for about 2 seconds and then dies. The triangle with the exclamation point inside comes on in the upper dashboard and the screen displays red background with warning and the battery main icon in the middle highlighted.

2. If I try to restart it again, the ready light now blinks and nothing happens.

3. I tried resetting the warnings with the OBD2 scanner. The warning on the touch screen doesn't come on and neither does the triangle of death on the dashboard, but now I have the "turtle" and the ready light flashing in the upper dash but still nothing happens. The main screen now shows energy flow and that's it.

4. The last thing is that key gets stuck in the ignition and when you push in, you can't get it out. I have to disconnect the 12 V battery and then it comes out with no problem.

I know this car has several computers so what can be the problem?

a. Is it the 12 V battery that perhaps need replacement?
b. Is it the hybrid battery? I have not look at it and tried to determine if it was replaced. I have hunch it was not.
c. Is there a problem with the immobilizer system?

I obviously can go on and on. Please comment back to me if you have experience with type of issue.

I really appreciate it!

Super Moderator
519 Posts
Watch the 12 V voltage as the car starts and runs.

A "generic" ODBII reader often won't see the Prius specific codes.

The car is now about 17 years old. If the hybrid battery is still the original.......I think it's a safe bet that it needs some attention (replacement).

It might be worth the cost to have a diagnostic done at a Toyota dealer.
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