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How To Unlock and Start Your Toyota Prius With a Dead Key Fob

A dead key fob will not prevent you from entering and starting any modern automobile. Here's the trick to opening and then starting the Toyota Prius even with a dead fob.

Every modern automobile can be unlocked and then started even if its key fob is dead a doornail. Automakers use a variety of methods to ensure that when the battery dies you are not left stranded. The methods vary a bit from automaker to automaker, but with all Toyota vehicles, the method to unlock and then start the vehicle is the same. We will demonstrate using the Prius as our example.

Unlock Your Prius With a Dead Key Fob
The first thing you will need to do is look closely at your key fob. There should be a little button along the side. Depress that button and then pull on the end of the key fob as shown in the image above. A metal key will be revealed magically. That key then goes into the lock on the driver's door old-school style and you then turn it and open the door.

Next, you will want to replace that little key. No sense letting it get lost.

Start Your Prius With a Dead Key Fob
If you hold the dead key fob very close to the start button the start button will be activated. You can then push the start button and the vehicle will start and run. If this doesn't work perfectly, touch and hold the fob to the start button for a moment and then give it a push, using the fob to actually depress the start button. Should work.

Get That Key Fob a New Battery
You can replace the battery inside your fob yourself. The plastic cover can be separated using the same hidden key as a lever. Check out this video if you have any questions on that. Don't discard your old battery. Bring it with you to buy the replacement button battery wherever you go. Most pharmacies, home improvement stores, hardware stores, and similar stores have these in stock. The exact button battery type is printed on your old battery. Those get placed in a special recycling bin normally, so don't toss it in your trash or the stores.

Good luck! Hope this helped.


Paul Cahill (not verified)    June 27, 2018 - 9:26AM

Similar for my WRX (same key fob) except you place the key in the center console/armrest as that is where the actual proximity sensor is. Says it in the user manual.

Bill (not verified)    May 21, 2020 - 11:33PM

The author clearly did not watch the video that he recommended. I broke the FOB by following the directions given in the video that is suggested in the article or he would have seen that the FOB and car were very different. I'll be kicking my own ass over this for a while.

Janis Taylor (not verified)    September 9, 2020 - 10:33PM

In reply to by Barbara (not verified)

Mine is a 2008 Prius. I opened the car door, Pressed the “lock key” on the Inside of the door , stepped out, shut the door leaving my purse with the fob inside. It was locked up tight. Had to call a lock Smith.

Christopher Maynard (not verified)    August 6, 2020 - 12:21PM

I replaced the batteries in both my fobs but the car still won't start without putting it up to the button. Remote lock and unlock work however I cannot use my touch sensor on my door. There are no indications on the dash that my key fob batteries were ever low. What could be the problem?