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How Come My Prius Won’t Start? 

Prius Won’t Start

Who has time for a car that won’t crank? Who has a non-working car on their “bingo card”? Not only are you frustrated after your car fails to start, but your day can be disrupted as you deal with the issue of your car not cranking. If you are a Toyota Prius owner, then you may want to take a read of our informative article that helps you to understand why your Prius won’t start.  Allow us to help you get that Toyota Prius started now, and help guide you to solutions you can implement. 

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What Are The Ways That Cause A Car Not To Start? 

Typically, there are two main ways that a vehicle will fail to start. The most common and the first way is that the vehicle will refuse to turn over. This means that the vehicle’s engine will not move as you place your key in the ignition and turn it. The second way that your Prius will not start, is when the engine will in fact turn, but the starter will not engage as it should. Once the engine fails to turn over, it may be a bit easier for a diagnosis than when the engine cranks but fails to fire.  


What is the Reason That My Prius Won’t Start or Even Crank? 

There can be lots of reasons why your Prius won’t start.  But there are far few things to diagnose than if the Prius would crank, but fail to start.  Below are some of the most common reasons that may be causing your Prius not to crank up: 


Battery Cables 

The battery cables connected to your Prius, are perhaps not necessarily the most common reason that your Prius isn’t starting. But problematic battery cables are some of the easiest to diagnose and fix. To remedy this issue, you can take the battery poles and give them a thorough look. if you see any kind of “whiteish”, or “greenish” corrosion around them, then you need to clean them so that they can from a strong connection. 


Battery Doesn’t Have Enough Charge 

If the battery in your Prius no longer has enough charge or juice to turn the starter, then your vehicle is not going to start. When a battery matures or gets older, the amps in it that help to crank a car decrease. This leaves the battery with a diminished capacity for starting a vehicle.  Once this happens, 

you may hear a slow crank sound, but the vehicle will fail to start. To fix this situation, you can take your car battery to a local auto store or even a Wal-Mart so it can be tested. Does it have a charge or is it completely dead? 


If your battery is completely dead, but charges up to a “good status”, then you may need to check your battery terminals on the Prius. Now may be a good time to even get that starter in your Prius tested. If you do have a battery that is charged, then you may need to take a look at your battery cables and check for any corrosion. If all looks good, then you may need to turn your attention to the starter and see if that starter is the source of the problem. 


Faulty or Bad Alternator 

A faulty alternator can be the reason that your battery loses charge, and your Prius fails to start. You may have enough energy to get home. But when you attempt to start your Prius, you don’t have enough stored energy to make that happen and get the engine to turn over. 


A Bad Starter 

Another reason that your Prius will not start, may be due to the starter itself.  When the starter isn’t operating as it should then it is virtually impossible for your Prius to start-although you may be able to pop start your vehicle. Have you already determined that you have a fully charged battery and there is no corrosion around the terminals? Then you may need to turn your attention to the starter of your non running Prius. Once a starter goes bad, you may be able to see warning signs. 


What Happens If My Engine Is Cranking but My Prius Won’s Start? 

Are you experiencing a Prius that’s cranking, but failing to start?  Your vehicle’s engine needs fuel, air and a spark for it to run. If your Prius’ engine is cranking but failing to start, then there is a possibility that the vehicle has thrown an OBDII code.  Therefore, it may be to your benefit to use an OBDII scanner to see if there are any trouble codes originating from your engine. For any trouble codes appearing, your Prius is not going to start. The codes that are appearing, will tell you what’s happening with your engine. 

Let’s examine some issues as to why your Prius may crank, but not start. 


Ignition Problems 

One of the biggest problems that causes a Prius not to start is because of a faulty or bad ignition. Once no spark is found or ignited, then the engine will fail to start. Chances are great that you will have misfire codes of P0301 and P0300. Additionally, your problematic ignition can also be caused by a faulty set of spark plugs, faulty coil packs, faulty plug wires, a computer system that is whack and more. 


Fuel Problems 

Maybe your Prius is cranking but not turning over- because of lack of fuel. Additionally, you may have no fuel at all. You want to even check to see if you have a bad fuel pump or a faulty fuel filter. If your Prius doesn’t have the correct amount of fuel that is entering into the vehicle’s combustion chamber, then the Prius will certainly crank; but that Prius will not start. 


Faulty Engine Timing 

Your engine’s ability to fire the spark plug at the correct time is called “timing”. So, if your plugs are misfiring, or there is an issue with the camshaft -and it’s not in sync with the crankshaft, your Prius will fail to start. There will generally be OBDII codes that are associated with timing related issues. But this is not always the case. The P0013 code is a code that many Prius owners see. This code is related to the vehicle’s camshaft position. The crankshaft sensor on your Prius can be faulty as well. Once these sensors go bad, your Prius starting can be virtually impossible.


Issues With Security System 

Most vehicles have smart keys with some sort of an electronic protection built in. Such may be true for your Prius. Thieves will have a more difficult time stealing your car. On the flip side of things, there are times in which the security system meant to protect your Prius from theft- will cause it not to start. 

If this is the case, you will see a security warning as you try to crank the engine. 

How Do I Know If My Prius Battery Is Dying?

There are signs that the battery in your Prius on the verge of dying. Check out some of most common “red flags” below: 

Diminished Fuel Economy 

Are you not getting the gas mileage with your Prius that you should? Then there is a good chance that your battery is on its way to death. Your Prius’ battery has the job of providing energy to help fuel your vehicle. So, when the battery begins to die, your Prius will revert to a reliance on the gas combustion engine for power. More stops at the gas station for fuel fill ups are a “red flag” that the battery in your Prius is on its way to failing. 


Your Battery Fails To Hold A Charge 

When you park your Prius in an area overnight and you charge it- only to return to the car in the morning, and see there is no charge, then you know our battery is on the way out. Your Prius’ inability to hold a charge is a definite sign that your vehicle needs some attention, ASAP. 


What is the Average Life Expectancy of My Prius’ Battery? 

Most hybrid car manufacturers state that a hybrid battery can last up to 100,000 miles. But each hybrid battery is different. You as a hybrid owner have to use great maintenance techniques with your vehicle. This means, regular checkups and general maintenance with a certified hybrid vehicle mechanic or your dealer, will help to eliminate issues. 


Are There Any Tips For Maintaining My Prius? 

When it comes to being a Prius owner, there are some tips you want to take into consideration, to increase the life and longevity of your car. Check out some great helpful hints below: 


Be Sure to Check Your Engine Levels 

While the Toyota Prius, is an impressive and cost-effective hybrid vehicle, you want to ensure that you check the engine levels and use the correct engine oil for it. So, be sure to as your dealer or even a trusted mechanic who has experience with Toyota Prius maintenance that can assist. 

Low Mileage is “Magic” 

Do you have a Prius that you’re looking to sell soon and it has low mileage? Then you have a better chance at selling it at a price that will make you some great money. A high-mileage Prius may not get you the return you hope for, as you work to sell it. 


Follow Manufacture Recommendations  

In order to keep your Prius in “tip top shape”, you should always follow your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule oil changes, tire rotations and tune ups. You want to keep your Prius for a long time. So, take the time to invest in regular maintenance that will prolong its life.


What Related Content Can I Read About My Prius Not Starting? 

When it comes to related content about a Prius that won’t start, we have it!  Just click the title of each article below, to read related content! 

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