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Toyota Prius Owner Winter Maintenance Check Made Simple

Is your Prius ready for winter? Find out how to make this important winter maintenance check that is simple and avoid winding up stranded on the road at the worst time of the year.

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Does your Prius really need to be checked for winter maintenance when it has operated just fine throughout this past summer and fall? You bet it does. Winter, with plummeting temperatures is when an unnoticed weak battery has the hardest time generating enough current to start an engine.

Battery Issues and Checks You Can Do Yourself

Earlier we learned that when a battery appears to be weak due to you are having a hard time getting your car to start and maybe even have to resort to having it jump started to get you rolling again, that there is an important DIY test after jump starting your car you should make to ensure it really is a battery problem.

To be clear, we are talking primarily about the Prius 12-volt battery in the trunk that is used to provide power to the computer, relays, ECU, and assist in starting the vehicle.

The savings in money and stress knowing the health state of your battery before it dies on you cannot be overstated. For example, if you take the time to do a little battery cost comparison shopping, you will often find that the correct replacement battery for your car can often be cheaper through an online search for battery advertisements, rather than going with whatever an auto parts store happens to have on hand. Plus, you avoid becoming stranded and possibly incurring a tow charge bill that could be a tow scam and/or wind up damaging your car.

Related article: Car Battery Maintenance, Testing, and Replacement With This Ultimate Guide

The Simplest Battery Health Check in Your Prius

So, how do you go about having an initial indication that your Prius 12-volt battery’s health is on the decline aside from starting issues on a cold morning? According to a recent Toyota Maintenance YouTube channel episode, one simple check is to observe whether the trunk light appears to have lost some of its glow.

Not unlike with your home flashlight, a low glowing bulb that draws very little current serves as a good test showing that all is not well electrically, with the most common cause being a drained battery.

The Better Battery Health Check

However, an even better check is using an inexpensive mechanic-recommended TopDon battery tester that costs roughly $40 and is remarkably simple to use to get the full picture of your car battery’s health.

That said, follow along with the host as he demonstrates both simple battery checks that could prevent you from becoming stranded on the road this winter and save you a lot of money.

Toyota Prius Owners - Check This Before Winter!

For an additional articles about maintaining your Prius, here are a few for your consideration:

Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on  “Zen and the Art of DIY Car Repair” website, the Zen Mechanic blog and on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites  and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.

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Image source: Deposit Photos

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