Okay, in retrospect this is too frickin' funny so I must share. At the time it was just a major pain in the tuckus, but I'd rather laugh now.
Wednesday night I was supposed to be at a friend's house to hang out. Someone I hadn't seen in ages and ages. I got a call just as I was about to call her and it was from my beloved husband. He told me the van wouldn't start and would I listen to the sound it was making? I tried, but we all know what wonderful reception cell phones get, so the true sound didn't come through. I kept giving him advice to deal with it, including such gems as:
"Turn the wheel and try again."
"Pump the accelerator a few times, then try again."
"Give it a minute. Now make sure you turn the wheel and the key at the same time."
Okay, that last one I just made up, but most of my advice was about that useful. One note of suggestion to those of you with decent regular cars: Do not take advice on starting your car from someone who has been driving a push-button ignition car for many years.
In the long run, I brought the kids home and then went back out. The real saga picks up the next day. I stayed home to help Michael with the car, though I was officially working from home. We called the dealership and the mechanic said flat out "that's a dead battery." Yay. At least we didn't need to take it in. We spent about an hour trying to figure out how to jump start a van using a Prius. After finding the freaking batter (which is in the trunk, thank you), I read on a forum that it's a bad idea to do it as the Prius is wimpy and would probably not work afterward.
So we headed out for the battery. We went down the street to Advanced Auto Parts. I noticed in there that they had a testing and charging station for batteries, so we found out they could charge the battery for us if we could get it in. So back to the house we went. It was a pain getting the battery out, but we did. Took it in and they set it to charge while we went next door for a bite to eat. Came back and they tested the now charged battery. It was missing over 100 cold crank amps. (Yeah, whatever, means it won't start in the cold I think.) It also had a dead cell in it.
So we bought a new battery. Got home and tried to install it. Or, Michael did while I worked. He finally fesses that he wants help, so I come out and turns out the battery won't work b/c the cables don't reach right or something. So I helped him get it back out and he had to take it back to the store. So he lugged the new battery back to the store, got another new battery with raised terminals, and got back.
Finally he got the new one, got it back to the house, and had some trouble getting that one in, so I helped him out again. After we got it connected and everything back in its place, I went inside. I heard him start the van up as I walked to the kitchen and I'm shocked the whole neighborhood didn't hear me whoop in victory happiness!