Toyota Prius Owners Manual

Winter driving tips
Starting and driving / Winter driving tips

Make sure you have a proper freezeprotection for engine coolant.

Only use “Toyota Super Long Life Coolant”or similar high quality ethylene glycolbased non−silicate, non−amine, non−nitrite,and non−borate coolant with long−lifehybrid organic acid technology. (Coolantwith long−life hybrid organic acidtechnology is a combination of lowphosphates and organic acids.)

See “Checking the coolant level” on page406 for details of coolant type selection.For the U.S.A.—“Toyota Super Long LifeCoolant” is a mixture of 50% coolant and50% deionized water. This coolant providesprotection down to about −35 C(−31 F).

For Canada—“Toyota Super Long LifeCoolant” is a mixture of 55% coolant and45% deionized water. This coolant providesprotection down to about −42 C(−44 F).


Do not use plain water alone.

Check the condition of the 12 volt batteryand cables.

Cold temperatures reduce the capacity ofany 12 volt battery, so it must be in topshape to provide enough power for winterstarting. Section 8−3 tells you how tovisually inspect the 12 volt battery. YourToyota dealer will be pleased to check thelevel of charge.

Make sure the engine oil viscosity issuitable for the cold weather.

See page 405 for recommended viscosity.Leaving a heavy summer oil in your vehicleduring winter months may causeharder starting. If you are not sure aboutwhich oil to use, call your Toyota dealer—they will be pleased to help.

Keep the door locks from freezing.

Squirt lock de−icer or glycerine into thelocks to keep them from freezing.Use a washer fluid containing an anti−freeze solution.

This product is available at your Toyotadealer and most auto parts stores. Followthe manufacturer’s directions for howmuch to mix with water.


Do not use engine antifreeze or anyother substitute because it may damageyour vehicle’s paint.

Do not use your parking brake whenthere is a possibility it could freeze.

When parking, push the “P” positionswitch and block the rear wheels. Do notuse the parking brake, for snow or wateraccumulated in and around the parkingbrake mechanism may freeze, making ithard to release.

Keep ice and snow from accumulatingunder the fenders.

Ice and snow built up under your fenderscan make steering difficult. During extremewinter driving, stop and check under thefenders occasionally.

Depending on where you are driving,we recommend you carry some emergencyequipment.

Some of the things you might put in thevehicle are tire chains, window scraper,bag of sand or salt, flares, small shovel,jumper cables, etc.

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