I had to have my Prius jump started today, after I ran down the 12v battery by using an air compressor with the car in IGN-ON, not realizing the headlights were on. The tire pressure light came on, so I checked the tires and used the 12v compressor to adjust the pressure. Before I could finish, it shut off and the car was completely dead.
Luckily one of my neighbors had a cable and was able to jump start it. When the 12v battery is dead, you can’t open the trunk, where the 12v battery is located. Luckily there’s a dedicated 12v charging terminal under the hood (under a plastic cover, which made it difficult to find). My friend sells car parts, but even she wasn’t familiar with the Prius, so we had to check the manual to figure out how to start it.
Once we figured that out, it’s just as easy to jump start as any other car, and it started easily. She kept asking if it was running, since it’s almost completely silent. After that I had no further problems.
After 5 months and despite today’s experience, I still love this car. Since I take lots of short trips, my gas mileage isn’t too good, but the car has a lot more going for it besides that. I love the quiet, smooth, comfortable ride and it has a lot more passenger space than my old Corolla. Although I was afraid the hatchback might be too small, I find that it can fit anything I need to carry, even 8 bags of mulch. I really like the smart key system. I never have to fumble for my keys; I simply touch the handle to open it and press a button to start it.
The Prius has one of the smoothest rides I’ve ever experienced. You never feel it shift, and when I’m stopped it’s completely silent. At first I found the shudder when the engine shut off disturbing and thought it had stalled, but I’m used to it now.