November 28, 2012 by Leah
It’s pretty easy to accidentally hit the dome lights in a Prius, say if you have a dog in the front seat, or are trying to install a car seat, or if you’re just reaching for something. If you hit the dome lights and don’t notice that you have done so, you’ll drain the starter battery and the car won’t start.
No big deal, you just get a jump, right?
Toyota put the battery just over the rear passenger side wheel well. Again, it’s a hatchback, you just open the trunk, right?
Not so. When the battery dies, the little black plastic RFID key won’t work, so you have to press a button on the side of the casing and remove an actual key. This will get you into the driver’s door, from where you can manually unlock the other three doors, but the trunk cannot be unlocked from the outside.
So. You unlock four doors, put the baby in the front passenger seat and tell him to play with his hat, crawl into the backseat, remove the two laundry baskets full of clothes and dirty diapers you were going to take to the laundromat (see: the washing machine), remove the car seat you just reinstalled because your husband’s bike had a flat two days ago and he needed to use the car for bike transport, pull down the back of the passenger seat and remove the floorboards. Progress! You can see the battery! However, it is bolted in there GOOD. So, you (with baby in tow) discover the socket wrench near the washing machine and take it out to the car. You put the baby in his untethered car seat and realize you don’t know how to operate a socket wrench. You figure it out while listening to baby’s constant “ungh, ungh, uuuuuuuuuuungh,” sort of moaning. You think you find the right size socket but it won’t fit on the handle. Baby is full-on crying now.
You admit defeat and text your husband asking him to please come home and deal with the car battery. He takes over (you have already helpfully removed the battery charger from the garage and united it with its owner’s manual before flinging the stupid booklet down because it reminded you of AP Physics – the one and only class in which you never really understood the material) and, with the help of the car owner’s manual, finds a manual release for the trunk. On the inside of the trunk. Really, Toyota?
Anyway, Aaron to the rescue. And 12 hours later, because the configuration of the car battery in conjunction with the fact that we have no outlets at the front of our house meant we had to remove the battery and slow-charge it, the car was back together and as good as new.