It’s bad enough that he got in his Toyota Prius, pressed the Power button, and nothing happened. It’s irritating to find that the trunk lid won’t open because that little black button that opens it is battery-powered.
If you want to start your Toyota Prius with jumper cables, YOU DO NOT NEED TO OPEN THE REAR DOOR. Like a normal car, there is a normal car battery under the hood. Open the hood and you will find it under the black cover in the rear right corner. I’ve included a great video at the end of this article with step-by-step instructions for getting your Prius up and running.
However, if you are waiting for a road service or a friend with a car and jumper cables and you need to get into the trunk in the meantime, this is the problem that I will show you how to solve. You probably tried consulting your owner’s manual and found simple instructions. A simple two-step process: 1) remove the cover and 2) pull the lever.
If you are reading this you learned that 1) it is not an easy two step process 2) there is nothing in your trunk that remotely resembles any of those diagrams and 3) it is not easy to get to the trunk when the tailgate does not. ‘of the pen.
Here’s a step-by-step photo guide to opening the trunk of your Prius (aka the trunk, aka the tailgate) when the battery is dead.
Step 1: fold down the rear seats
To get started, you need to access your trunk from inside the car. Unless you are exceptionally small and slim Barbie doll, you will not fit through the narrow opening between the top of the rear seats and the inside of your roof. Of course, this is where young children can come in handy, but that’s the subject of another article.
Press the button and lower the seatbacks of both rear seats. Now you can sink into the trunk of your Prius in search of the Holy Grail: the door handle.
Step 2: remove the mat to expose the toolbox
Hopefully, you are one of those rare people who doesn’t actually store anything in the trunk of your car. If not, step 1a is to empty your trunk.
Once empty, you can remove the mat to expose the toolbox. You’re looking for the little fabric tab very close to the back door.
Step 3: remove the lid from the toolbox
Pull that fabric tab to open the lid of the toolbox. It should pop open easily, but if the lid resists, take a breath. It is not trying to add something to your already bad day, it is simply blocked.
To the left and right of the tab, respectively, there are two padlocks. To unlock the toolbox, the arrows on the locks should point to the side (to the left for the left side lock, to the right for the right side lock). If they point to your back door, they are laughing at you and keeping the lid of the toolbox closed.
Step 4: Remove the cover
We have now joined the owner’s manual which is already in progress… now you can remove the plastic cover.
The tool box liner has a small plastic cover that protects access to the door handle. You can easily take it out. If it makes you feel better to express your growing anger at this process, use a screwdriver and damn the owner’s manual… remove that cover and don’t use a cloth to protect it. It’s a cheap piece of plastic whose sole purpose is to hide access to the door handle.
Personally, I threw my cover. It was rewarding and will never block my access to the door lever again.