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Q: a couple of times (twice over a two week period) I've had difficulty starting my car. the ready light would not go on

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when I turn the key all the electrical opens but the car won't start. this, again, has only happened twice. today I had the same problem. i thought it might be the starter. but i was able to start the car using my remote starter instead of the key. could the problem be with the key?

Hi there. For your assurance I am a former Toyota Master Hybrid certified technician. There is no starter on the hybrid vehicles from Toyota. These vehicles start the engine only when necessary and that is determined from driver and load condition inputs. When the ".READY" light is on, the vehicle is ready to go. When the engine is started, whether for increased acceleration demand or for hybrid battery recharging, one of the electrical motors in the transaxle is used as a starter and a generator. It starts the gasoline engine and then begins to recharge the hybrid battery. These vehicle also use regenerative braking to recharge the hybrid battery. With all of that said, this may or may not be an immobilizer concern, key battery concern, or what is called a system main relay concern. A cheap, inexpensive, and periodic maintenance is to replace the key battery and retry the operation. I suggest having a qualified technician perform an inspection to avoid replacing unnecessary parts. Your Mechanic has several available technicians that can assist you with an intermittent no start inspection.

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