Help! Toyota Prius indicator lights on


#1

I couldn’t start my car this morning. It is a Toyota Prius 2011 model. When I turned on the start button, these lights were on, but I couldn’t start the engine. There is a zzz sound when I turn it on. Can you advice me what went wrong? Thanks in advance!


#2

zzz sound? do you mean you hear the starter turning? (aka cranking) ?


#3

Not the cranking. It’s a little noise-like sound, not loud.
I am thinking the car runs out of battery. Is it right?


#4

Those lights are normally on while the key is first turned to the on position (first click) as a self test. When the engine starts they will go out barring any malfunctions.


#5

It sounds like your battery charge is low or the battery may be bad. Clean the battery connections to see if that helps. Check the headlights to see if they are bright or show signs of dimming which a low battery will do.

The warning lights you show in the picture are a normal indication until the alternator and engine get running.


#6

Thank you Cougar and 2Cents. I worried about all these warning lights showed up. I will check the battery and try a jump start. Thanks!


#7

And another case where a AAA membership would be a good investment.


#8

On a normal (non-hybrid) car this would likely be a problem with the battery, battery connections, or starter motor. But on a hybrid, it depends on how that function is done, which varies car to car. I think of some Prius’s there isn’t a separate starter motor, it just cranks the engine using the main engine electric motor, using the hybrid’s battery. On others I think there is a separate battery for the starter function. Maybe somebody here has experience with the 2011 Prius and knows which applies to your car.


#9

Our 2012 Prius would start quietly. Push button, little bit of humming and u back out of garage. Gas motor would start after 10 ft or so. Always before we reached street. Very rarely, almost never did we have the opportunity to go forward from parking spot. EV mode is only available when gas engine has run a bit to charge battery. Not ready when car is cold. They say EV mode is for slow parking ramp use. When u are creeping thru ramp looking for spot. And don’t want to pollute.


#10

This exact problem happened on my (Ford) hybrid. The problem was the 12V battery was bad/dead. If your 12V battery is original, it is likely bad and needs to be replaced. Jumping didn’t help on mine, a new battery fixed it. While the 12V battery does not actually start the engine, it is needed to energize all the other systems that allow the car to run. All those warning lights are on because the battery is dead.


#11

I’m voting for the bad battery as well. The “zzzz” sound is probably the starter relay.


#12

The Prius doesn’t have a starter relay. It doesn’t have a starter, either. One of the two electric motors is used to start the gas engine.


#13

Change the 12V battery. NOT the traction battery. This should cost less than $200. 5-6 years is about the limit for these batteries and they cause all sorts of gremlins in the Prius.

It is easy to check. Open the hood and check the 12v jumper point against ground. It should be over 12.6V. If not, then change the battery.
Link to thread on Jumper point under hood


#14

Go here, and let the experts help you.