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Toyota Camry Hybrid Engine Problems

lungdoc63lungdoc63 Posts: 55
I have had a great time with my TCH last 10 days, putting 550 miles on it. However, as you yesterday, the ICE is behaving completly different. It is no longer turning off with the frequency it used to. I am driving on the same roads. It is no turning off as I coast on long gently sloping downhills, as I coast to a stop light. It won't turn off at a traffic light until I have come to a full stop for 2 to 3 seconds. The battery is always charged up to point of only having one or two of the top 2 bars white.

What gives? Appreciate any ideas.
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Comments

  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I assume you have a NAV system and are monitoring the ICE that way? Or if with the dash display it actually shows the ICE driving the wheels?

    You're not simply relying on the instant FE gage? There are times when I look at it that it reads 0 instead of
    "60" or "EV" and the monitors don't show the ICE running.
  • lungdoc63lungdoc63 Posts: 55
    I am looking at both. The FE show 60 as I coast, goes toward 0 as slow down, gets to zero as I stop, stays there for a few seconds, and then ICE turns off and the goes to "E". The NAV show ICE running, until of course the FE gauge drops to E.
  • What gives? Appreciate any ideas.

    Did you defeat the "Eco" setting on the climate control?
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Hummm. I've noticed mine showing "0" even when the ICE was not running and I really didn't understand that. I could hear something running but I assumed it was the motor, not the ICE but that didn't explain the "0" reading.

    Hopefully someone knowledgable of the technical aspects can respond.
  • Hummm. I've noticed mine showing "0" even when the ICE was not running and I really didn't understand that. I could hear something running but I assumed it was the motor, not the ICE but that didn't explain the "0" reading.

    Hopefully someone knowledgable of the technical aspects can respond.


    If the instantaneous mileage gauge shows "0", the ICE is running. I've noticed this happening often at complete stops, but it usually kills itself after a few seconds. Sometimes lightening up on the brake and letting the car creep forward a couple feet will expedite the ICE turning off. I learned that trick from driving my Honda Insight, which often does the same thing. The Insight will not kill the engine if the brakes have been pumped repeatedly in order to recreate sufficient vacuum for power braking, and for other various technical reasons (engine not warm, A/C not in ECO mode, battery low).

    Perhaps the TCH has similar constraints.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    If the instantaneous mileage gauge shows "0", the ICE is running.

    I figured that has to be the case but the NAV screen shows the ICE off. It does bounce back down but it takes a few seconds.
  • If the instantaneous mileage gauge shows "0", the ICE is running.

    I figured that has to be the case but the NAV screen shows the ICE off. It does bounce back down but it takes a few seconds.

    AFAIK, the Nav's Energy screen doesn't indicate whether the ICE is running per se. Arrows leading away from it indicate that it's driving the wheels or charging the battery via the electric motor. I guess it can run without doing either.
  • lungdoc63lungdoc63 Posts: 55
    The ECO is engaged. In fact I only have the fan blowing at low speed, windows up after the first minute. I live in NW and its still cool (65 F)here.
  • lungdoc63lungdoc63 Posts: 55
    AFAIK, the Nav's Energy screen doesn't indicate whether the ICE is running per se. Arrows leading away from it indicate that it's driving the wheels or charging the battery via the electric motor. I guess it can run without doing either.

    If ICE is off, the FE should be at E, not zero. Beside, I can feel and the ICE turn off. As soon as it does, the FE shoots to E.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    For a more complete explanation take a trip over to Priuschat and surf through some of the recent technical discussions there. One poster ken from japan has some good charts which show the performance of the HSD system.

    Essentially at cruising speeds when you are 'on the pedal' the rpm's are turning at about 1600. However, still while cruising, if you are not putting a load on the ICE it may go to 'idle' and turn only at about 1000 rpm's, which is where I find the FE chart to show 60+ mpg yet the ICE is still 'running'.

    From ken's chart the ICE only 'shuts down' under 41 mph while. At 42 mph and above it's at least at idle.
  • houtex1houtex1 Posts: 82
    I have noticed this behavior in my car a few times also. The first few times this happened, the nav display did not show the ICE running, but the amount of time that the instant MPG readout was at zero was very short.

    Today, I experienced this again and noticed that there is a lag between the time the instant MPG shows 0 and the time the Nav display shows you the ICE is running. Today the ICE was running for the sole purpose of charging the battery. I was running the A/C with more power than usual and the battery was down to like 3 bars. At first the nav system showed nothing happening but since the 0 MPG lasted longer than usual, the Nav showed the ICE charging the battery.

    I thnk it is safe to assume that if you see 0 MPG while stopped, that the ICE is actually running.
  • houtex1houtex1 Posts: 82
    Well I take this back. Today I noticed my instant MPG at zero and I had plenty of battery left. I never saw the ICE running in the Nav display even though the 0 MPG lasted for quite a bit while I was stopped at a light .
    Also,when I pulled in to the garage at my work, I could not get the instant MPG display at infinite no matter how much I let off the accelerator. It seems like the TCH can get itself in this state on occasions. No idea what causes it. Some kind of software glitch??? I now have slightly over 400 miles on the car.
  • ceguyceguy Posts: 11
    I have been experiencing the same thing with mine. Started at around 400 miles. called the dealer to ask if they had any idea what was causing it. they said it might be the hot weather . I am in the las vegas area. so far I am not happy with the mileage I have been getting. try as I might can't seem to get the average over 33.5. I filled up after around 450 and now have almost 600 miles.
  • lungdoc63lungdoc63 Posts: 55
    I originally posted this concern a week or two ago. My issue started at about 400 miles. It seems to randomly occur, as my drive route and pattern are the same and battery is green, with zero or one bar short of fully charged. I didn't call the dealer b/c IMO they don't know anything about this car. TO ceguy, I don't buy the heat story. I am in Seattle area, and its only been above 75 this past week. My problems occured even with temp of 55.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Bottom line, if it concerns you check it out.

    If your ICE doesn't kick off how is that affecting your FE?

    My ICE runs with a mind of it's own although there are situations that yes I expect it to go off and it does. One would be with the AC off, green bars showing and my foot off the accelerator.

    However on startups in the morning, I hear it kick on, I believe it's the ICE, and the FE indicator is on 0 which would indicate it is on, but my NAV Energy monitor still does not show it running for a few seconds or more. No big deal. The ICE will stay on a lot of times and give me the 60mpg FE indicator even with my foot off the gas and the battery charged (I assume this is what you may be seeing a lot). It will at times stay that way for quite a while, but if I accelerate or go up a hill it then drops back to the 30 to 40 range and shows on my monitor as driving the wheels.

    While I see my drive in the EV mode a lot, I don't see it as much as I think I should as I get a lot of the 60 mpg FE rather than the EV mode.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    From the discussions on PriusChat I discovered an answer to something that I found confusing on my Prius. It may be similar to your observations as well.

    When looking at the 'Consumption' screen ( the bar graph ) it seems that the ICE was 'turning off' quite often as the bar went to 'infinity'. In watching the 'Energy' screen the ICE didn't seem to shut off as often as I expected.

    From PriusChat I found that while cruising/driving with little demand, such as cruising in flat terrain, the ICE normally never turns off above 41 mph it just goes to 'idle' at just under 1000 rpms. This idling just keeps the ICE spinning delivering some power to the wheels and possibly recharging the battery at times. Under 41 mph the ICE can actually turn off. In either situation an enormous amount of fuel is being conserved.

    I wouldn't bee too concerned initially about whether the ICE is on or off. This iteration of the HSD is apparently very very accurate since the reported values seem to be consistenly right on ( or often above ) the EPA values. However the computer gets there it seems to be doing the job for which it's intended
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    the ICE normally never turns off above 41 mph it just goes to 'idle' at just under 1000 rpms.

    Thanks, I started to say that, then erased it because I wasn't sure. I know that most of the time I see the 60mpg mark on the FE gage and not the EV mode, but I could not for sure say, thought I thought it, that I was under the 42 mph mark when I saw the EV mode.

    That's why I was curious as to what their mpg rate was. If it's normal then I'm guessing they don't have a problem.
  • houtex1houtex1 Posts: 82
    I find that I can pretty much anticipate the behavior of my car. The behavior I saw yesterday, was definitely something I did not understand. That said, I have gotten some of my best MPGs since this episode, averaging over 40 on all my runs. For me it's too early to worry about a possible buggy state the TCH can get in. I will continue to closely monitor all systems as I have been doing.
    Coming in to work this morning I was actually able to accelerate from a stop light to just under 40 without ICE coming on and I wasn't necessarily trying to do so. That was a nice surprise. Obviously, I didn't step on the accelerator, but I didn't baby it either.
  • After 2,500+ miles, I finally noticed this issue in city driving tonight. The ICE would not shut off at stoplights! ECO was on, battery level was "high blues", nothing out of the ordinary that I could tell. After about the fourth stop, I decided to shut down the car, and restart. So, I shifted into PARK, and before I could kill the power, the engine stopped. Shifted back into DRIVE, and didn't see the problem again!

    Not sure what state the computer was in, or how it got there, but at least there's an easy "reset"...
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    There's nothing wrong.

    If the emissions system gets too cool, the engine will run to warm it back up. That's how PZEV is achieved.

    Gas will actually be sacrificed for the sake of being clean. With the Classic Prius, that behavior was obvious. With the HSD models, engine shut off is much sooner... but not always immediately. Remember, higher MPG is not the the only goal.

    JOHN
  • There's nothing wrong.

    If the emissions system gets too cool, the engine will run to warm it back up. That's how PZEV is achieved.

    Gas will actually be sacrificed for the sake of being clean. With the Classic Prius, that behavior was obvious. With the HSD models, engine shut off is much sooner... but not always immediately. Remember, higher MPG is not the the only goal.


    The engine was fully warm, outside temp was in the 70s, although it was raining. If your theory is correct, I would have expected that shifting into PARK would have had no effect. Not saying you are not correct, as I myself earlier argued that engine "overhead" and other factors may keep the ICE running, but the persistence of it did seem strange to me.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > If your theory is correct

    It's a fact, straight from the Toyota executives. We had online access with them 6 years ago when the US rollout began. They provided all kinds of background info... like the housekeeping difference you noticed between Park & Drive.

    JOHN
  • Numerous variables affect when the ICE is shut off as I'm sure you're aware. One that most forget is the the temperature of the traction battery. This is one of the factors that is monitored in the algorithm to help your comp. determine if the autostop should be engaged or not. Something to consider. Hope this helps.
  • gampagampa Posts: 78
    Either way... in order for Toyota to fix the problem, you need to advise the service manager in case it is a computer/hardware glitch.
    Ask him to get back to you with an answer... others may have the same situation and he may already have the answer.

    Gampa
  • willybillwillybill Posts: 83
    During the latest heat wave where we have had 5 days now in the 90s, I have noticed that with the AC on full recirc and trying to cool the car when it is 95 degrees and 90 percent humidity makes the ICE run almost all the time.. The battery drains a lot faster and never really gets back to a full charge. The fuel economy has dropped to about 32.5 avg for the week. In the cooler mornings it is a little higher at about 33.5 so the HEAT definately takes it's toll on the
    TCH fuel economy. I wonder if those that are in those really HOT areas of the country are finding that out too. Any TCH owners in the Texas area experiencing this.
    I should add that the TCH electric AC does manage to cool the car even in the extreme heat except for that annoying rush of hot air when the AC kicks on in recirc mode to blow all the hot air around until it starts to cool.
    Just my observation during this last heat wave.
    WillyBill :P
  • bmgoodmanbmgoodman Posts: 102
    Our two day heat wave had temps up close to 100 and this was the first time I even thought about the AC struggling. Definitely not "blowing ice" as someone had asked, but overall I'm still pleased with its performance in a relatively short time. In my '99 Passat 1.8Turbo, temps over 90 would have taken a good 20 minutes to cool the car down! (Really sucks since I have a 15-20 minute commute!!)

    I haven't noticed much of a hit on the MPG displayed (non-nav) on my short commutes. My tank average hasn't changed much, either. (I am using ECO, despite the heat.) Now, if I did two weeks at this temperature, maybe.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,084
    I wonder if those that are in those really HOT areas of the country

    Here is what you do. I passed a fellow in a Prius out near El Centro CA. It was just over 100 degrees on my thermometer in the truck. He had is arm out the window to keep cool and save on gas by not using the AC. Now that is gungho!
  • gc77584gc77584 Posts: 65
    I wonder if those that are in those really HOT areas of the country are finding that out too. Any TCH owners in the Texas area experiencing this.

    I'm in Houston and I posted this same observance a couple of weeks ago when we had a "cool front" and I had the opportunity to turn the AC off on my drive to work in the morning. My MPG was over 40 those two days but has otherwise been a struggle to get 37-38. If I recall, somebody told me that I must have driven differently, that the absence of AC couldn't have that great of an effect.

    Y'all can tell me all you want that AC doesn't negatively impact MPG but I won't believe it. And yes I do have it on ECO and the temp is set at 77.

    I figure I'll make up the mileage come winter when everyone else is running the heater and all I need is the fan...
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    The fact is, the TCH HSD system WORKS AS DESIGNED. There is nothing wrong.

    Please do not freak on it. It uses a complicated algorithm and does what it is supposed to do.

    This is the 10th year for the HSD system and more than half a million HSD vehicles are on the road.

    They perform like they are supposed to.....
  • willybillwillybill Posts: 83
    Well I wouldn't say I am in a panic over it.. Just an observation. I am still extremely pleased with mileage in the 32-34 range and my AC is set on 70 with eco on. I like it cold!. I pay the price.. simple as that. I'm not about to roll down the windows to keep the economy up. Not that green minded yet!.
    Certainly not complaining. I literally have nothing to complain about with my TCH.. Glad I am one of the few who own one!.
    :)
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