Avoiding a dead car battery while away

By Tony Lee
This item appears on page 17 of the June 2019 issue.

When I bought my Toyota Prius in 2007, the salesman showed me that by pulling a particular fuse, I would never have to worry about coming home to a dead battery after a trip. Even after a trip as long as three months, I just pop the fuse back in place (it takes two seconds) and the car starts up like normal.

The fuse I pull is number 39 (there are 50 in all), located in the engine compartment panel under the hood. It controls the Smart Entry & Electronic Key System, audio system, interior lights, turn signal lights and clock.

Of course, to be sure which fuse is the right one to pull without causing unexpected problems, a car owner should check with his auto dealer or mechanic.

After learning the position of the correct fuse, the owner can later double-check its location by consulting the owner’s manual, which may include the fuse-box diagram, or he can visit imgvehicle.com, which shows the diagrams for 22 makes of cars (everything from Audi to Volvo).

For 12 years, I’ve been doing this with my Prius whenever I’ve taken an extended trip, and I have never had a problem. The only inconvenience is having to reset the clock and radio stations.

San Francisco, CA