Gen 2 Smart Key System Doors Won’t Unlock
This example is from a 2004 Toyota Prius that has about a 140k on it. The complaint is that the customer could not open the door. The tow truck driver pulled vehicle up onto a flat bed skidding the front tires and dropped car the same way. The Vehicle is equipped with a Smart Key and the owner of the vehicle nor the tow truck driver are familiar with the system. The Smart Key automatically unlocks the car doors when the driver touches the pad on the inside of the driver’s door handle assuming that the 12 volt battery is functional. The twelve volt battery is located in the rear hatch area and the rear hatch will not open from the outside without a key. There appears to be no key although there is a keyhole in the driver’s door but no key hole in the deck lid.The technician uses the hidden key to unlock the driver’s door.
To get to the Prius 12 volt battery you have two options:
- He can reach over the back seat, drag out the flooring material, climb into the back and use the hidden latch button to unlatch the deck lid.
- A second, and better solution is to open the hood and jumper power using the underhood jump location.
The moral of the story is to always check the Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Auxiliary Battery condition on both Gen 1 and Gen 2 Prius even though it is difficult to access in it’s location under the lining in the back hatch area. When testing an AGM type battery always Use a Capacitance type battery tester.