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Toyota Camry Hybrid Owners Problems & Solutions

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    What tires did you replace with after the Turanzas? I am at about 35K on my 2007 TCH and I will need tires soon and I'm not sure which way to go.

    Thanks in advance for any advice from any other owners
  • They are Yokohamas, but the dealer chose them as I have a "tires for life" program. They seem fine, but you need to select tires from Consumer Reports if you the one paying for them. Your local library will have back issues. At the back of each issue is a product/date match-up index to help you find the most recent tire reviews.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,811
    "Transmission - This is the best CVT on the market. Nissan buys it for their Altima Hybrid, and they already have a CVT in most of their cars. Enough said. "

    The Nissan CVT was not a hybrid unit. That is why they use the Toyota CVT. The Nissan CVT has been very reliable from what I have read. But in any case there can be no comparison between an HSD and a CVT. They are entirely different technologies.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Gestapo? I don't think so. The reminder chime isn't mandated by the government, which is why your dealer could disable it.

    Studies have shown the devices increase seat belt use, which in turn save lives in crashes. The chimes don't bother my wife or me because we always buckle our belts, except for pulling from our short driveway into the garage. And we always put heavy items in the trunk, not on the front passenger seat.

    To each his own, however!
  • I was not speaking to the Nissan CVT's developmental origin or their mainline CVT's design intent.

    Nissan is a CVT powerhouse, and they could design one for the Hybrid. But they do/did not plan on selling a lot of Hybrids and the developmental costs of tranys and ICE's are too high these days.

    Anyway, this is a TCH forum and I should not have made the the Nissan CVT comment, nor should anyone have responded to it. Sorry for getting off track.
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    FYI... My TCH came with Michelin's and I just changed them to another set of Michelin's at 44,000 miles. At tirerack.com they are ine of the two tires listed as standard with the TCH. A little more expensive but they have been great ride and wear wise.
  • mirspotmirspot Posts: 15
    I bought mine in July 06 and had to replace the terrible Turanzas around 27K. Replaced with Michelin Pilot Exalto (after a LOT of deliberation scanning through tirerack.com and other similar sites and aliases) ... I like them so far... after 10K miles on them. But again, the moment of truth will probably arrive somewhere after 25K.

    My Tank Average display is showing around 39 mpg.....the other day it showed 40.5 ... but it has been hovering around 39 for the past ~2 months ... before it used to stay around 36. I think it's gone nuts... 40.5 couldn't be right, right? Well, my wife thinks I may have finally learned to drive normally ;)

    Also, just by looking at mpg numbers ... I think the Exaltos may have low roll resistance compared to other tires in it's class. One more thing, I try to keep them inflated at 34psi.

    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Pilot+Exalto- +A%2FS

    Good luck with your purchase.
  • Hello all.

    I just picked up from 09 TCH three days ago. I am still learning the "best way" to drive this car, but I have a few questions that I need assistance with.

    1) One issue that doesn't seem normal to me...When I am at a complete stop, and then push the accelerator to go, there is a pause, a bump, a jerk, and then it takes off. Is this normal? It's like a jerking movement. Am I pushing the gas pedal too hard or not hard enough? I've tried it both ways, and it does the same thing every time.

    2) Also, when I turn on the car first thing, it's so quiet. Then about 10 seconds later, I hear the engine kick on. During the quiet seconds, is the car on? Am I able to move the car (back out of my driveway) during this time or do I have to wait to back out when the engine kicks on?

    3) When can you use the "B" feature (battery mode) instead of putting the car in "D" (drive)?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated!!!!! :)
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    First, while I found the '07 TCH manual to be badly organized and written, your questions suggest you might benefit from reading sections of it. I hope they improved the '09 version.

    1. If the engine is off while stopped, pressing the accelerator restarts the engine. And yes there is a slight pause and sometimes, I'd call it, a little hiccup before starting off. A firmer push on the gas pedal should reduce the sensation. It's normal, though.

    2. I believe the engine cranks up 7 seconds after the "ready" light turns on. No need to wait. You can drive away immediately.

    3. The transmission "B" mode stands for engine braking. I believe its intended use is limited to vehicle control on steep grades. Normally, the brake pedal provides the best combination of braking and charging the battery.

    The TCH's hybrid system automatically determines the best combination of engine/battery use.

    Good luck with the new car. As far as I can tell, the TCH enjoys about 99% satisfied owners.
  • I have an 09 also

    1. Mine does the same thing - seems less so now that I have 6000 miles on it
    2. Pretty normal - You can drive right away, I think it does this to get the 4 cyl engine up to temp for emissions
    3. B is the braking mode, the transmission does not have gears, it is a CVT drive train, this mode creates braking as if you were down shifting - allows the battery to charge quickly and also slows down the car as you desend down hill..

    One note, for normal shut down you should turn off the car with you foot "OFF" of the brake.
  • Just a quick note... not meant to be jabs. :P
    Everyone purchasing a $30K anything should read the manual before operating it. How about a short drive with a technician?

    Also, the CVT is this car is not the conventional metal belt/variable pulley design. It is really not a CVT at all, they just call it that. It is a fixed ratio planetary gearing device with a power split. The best explanation I could find is at the following link [note the HSD systems in the Prius and Camry are functionally the same].
    http://www.cleangreencar.co.nz/page/toyota-prius-iii-hybrid-e-cvt-transmission-i- nfo
  • http://www.toyota.com/camry/specs.html

    Toyota refers to the transmission as ECVT - Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission.

    Have read the manual - thus the note about not depressing the brakes when turning off the car.
  • You will love this car. We have had ours since April. Mileage ranges from 37 to 44 per tank. One interesting point, the better the mileage the darker the blue rings around the speedometer get. It's like a game.....

    We have several vehicles - 05 Grand Cherokee Hemi, 05 Mercedes C240 4-matic, 06 Dodge Ram and a 66 Mustang. While the Grand is really the best for long trips the Camry is tops for the daily commute / San Francisco driving and the Mercedes is a great round town car. Of course for crusin the 66 Mustang takes top honors.

    Of all of them the Camry is outstanding in quality and shear quiet riding. It reminds us of Lexus we had several years ago.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    It's been a while since I've read on the technical aspect of the system. Got real involved in 2006 but since then...

    Are you sure of these comments?

    One note, for normal shut down you should turn off the car with you foot "OFF" of the brake.

    Why is that? I didn't even realize the system would shut down unless you had your foot "ON" the brake

    B is the braking mode, ....down shifting - allows the battery to charge quickly and also slows down the car as you desend down hill..

    Several posters have reported that the B mode does not assist in charging and that applying the brake is a preferred method of regenerative charging
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I don't know about the first point, but on the second point you are correct. The B position should be used only on long, steep downgrades, similar to shifting a conventional transmission into a lower gear.
  • Love my hybrid. Has been averaging 38-40 MPG, Returned after a 1000+ mile trip with no problems whatsoever. After using another vehicle for the past week, the THC won't start. The start battery is hot but nothing comes on. Maybe I deprogramed the Key dodad?
  • Air Conditioning Blower potential problem!

    I’m in love with my new TCH – no doubt! And one of the things I love the most is the absolute quiet – allowing me to really enjoy the Stereo!

    But now my silence is being ruined by a new “crinkling sound” in the air conditioning system. Sadly, I think I know what caused it…

    I parked my TCH under a pine tree overnight, and the next day it was covered with small branches and pine needles. Not thinking anything of it, I hosed it down, and watched as all that roof debris washed down the windshield and disappeared under the hood (immediately under the windshield).

    Surprise – suddenly the astounding quiet of the interior is now spoiled by the rattle of junk blowing around inside the HVAC system. (It varies with the blower speed, but is annoying at any setting).

    Lifting the hood, I can see the problem. The grating (The air intake for the HVAC system – I guess) is very coarse (Large ¼ inch square holes), apparently allowing small pine needles / branches to enter the system. (I checked my other (GM) car and that same area is all protected with a very fine screen door like mesh.).

    My Toyota dealer says to bring it in and they will see about fixing the problem, I certainly hope they can as I’ve only got 1,200 miles on my brand new car and this sound is noticeable by my passengers.

    So…no more parking under pine trees for me!
  • My 09 TCH has the same "crinkling sound too!" You can't hear it at the lowest setting (1 bar), but you can hear it when it's set at two bars or above. I'm going to have to have them check it out, but I just picked up my vehicle from the dealer for another problem....

    My car was making a horrible scraping/grinding sound whenever I would turn. Took it in, and come to find out, the brake shims were installed backwards. It's not even a month old! Needless to say, it was corrected...but it has definitly bursted my "excited new car buying experience" bubble. :cry:
  • Please let me know if your dealer is able to resolve the problem - thanks!
  • mrpatmrpat Posts: 24
    I sprayed ozium into the air intake for 30 seconds with fan on high. It has helped so far. I also asked my wife to turn the ac compressor off and set the auto to 80 deg until you feel heat before shutting down. It must be a defect in the ac drain system.
    They say outgassing of the plastics is also a problem. We dont smoke but I had to use glass polish to get the inside windows clear. It previously looked like a smokers car.
  • mrpatmrpat Posts: 24
    B mode is only for steep grades. The battery does not charge at all in b mode.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I just had a tranny coolant leak in my 2007 TCH with 37,800 miles on it.

    Was getting warning messages:

    Check Hybrid System and
    Check VSC System

    on the dash display.

    Dealer in Mesa AZ says it's the first one they've seen, so the repair may take a couple of days. Covered under the powertrain warranty, so it won't cost me a penny.

    I'll let people know how it turns out.
  • We have a 2007 TCH with a very obnoxious "chemical" smell, which I find intolerable, less so to my wife. Toyota has worked on the a/c system 3 or 4 times..new coil, new evaporator tray, cleaned upholstery, flushed system with Febrese, to no avail,

    I hired an environmental firm to do a complete voc (volatile organic compound) test as well as formaldyhyde. Results were awful! Formaldyhyde in acceptable limits but the voc test showed huge concentration of acetonitrile, also known as methyl cyanide!
    We have parked the car at the dealer for nearly a month...Toyota "Total Customer Care" center in Ca. consulted their engineers who said nothing containing Acetonitrile is in car....not good enough...we have never carried or used any solvents or other compounds containing it. TCH on the other hand has a huge nickle/metal hydride battery...does that use acetonitrile, or did the very first models (ours was the first delivered at our dealer)?. Also, this car must have plenty of powerful capacitors and motor controllers, which probably can produce methyl cyanide when they fail. This has a big traction motor . Toyota also has taken patents on using non-aqueous electrolytes including acetonitrile. I view this as a very serious health risk, especially after reading an advisory from the Michigan health System regarding exposure to methyl cyanide.
    This smell is not musty or moldy but very distinctly chemical in nature.
  • Yes! This is exactly what I'm talking about. Sometimes I think it smells like bandaids - rubber/plastic. It gives me a headache but my husband is not bothered by it (and this is his car). What is your next step?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I would doubt the source of the odor is the battery or other electrical components. These are all sealed off from the interior of the car.

    My bet is that almost any new car tested would show potentially harmful chemicals lurking in that "new car smell." But the same is true for new carpets, new plywood, new particle board, etc. Then in older buildings, you could have lead paint dust or asbestos particles. I just take reasonable precautions like avoiding cigarette smoke and don't worry about the other stuff.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    It would be highly unusual if SOME of the TCHs had the "chemicals" and others did not.

    I have owned mine since June 2006 and have ridden in about 4 others, and none have had any issues like that.

    My guess is that it's nothing "hybrid related" at all.

    ANOTHER ISSUE:

    In relation to my new tranny as mentioned in post 238, it performed without a glitch on my 2200 mile trip to Texas on the day after it was installed.

    Kudos to the Riverview Toyota mechanic crew.
  • Look in your Owner's Manual under... Resetting the engine oil maintenance data. I have a 2007 model and it is on page 148. I change the oil/filter every 3,000 miles and had this problem prior to the second oil change.
    Good Luck
  • sds1sds1 Posts: 1
    We have had the same problem with a 2007 Camry XLE purchased used a few months ago. As a condition of purchase the dealership was asked to remove the smell. After 2 ozone treatments most of it was still there. It's a distinct chemical/leather smell and effects our throat and airways. There is a TSB # 0075-08 issued by Toyota for 2007 - 2008 Camrys and Avalons. In some vehicles it appears that a coating in the air conditioning evaporator in coming loose and being blown into the interior of the vehicle . This may be responsible for the chemical smell. The TSB provides for the replacement of the evaporator unit. Hope this helps.
  • We have a 2008 toyota camery hybrid. We love it and the car drives very well, getting about 39-40 mpg. It may have its first glitch. At the 20,000 mile mark, I thought that the readout on the dash was for regular 5,000 mile maint. but it was Hybrid Drive Malfunction. I had the car towed to the closest Servco, this happend on 30 Nov 2008. The car is still in the shop. First, the inverter system had to be changed and was on back order, next the transmission had to some parts replaced, next, the ECU computer had to be replaced. When I called today, 6 Jan 09, they said they were still working on it and had their technical dept. researching the problem. This tells me that they still have lights coming on when they test drive.
    Has anyone had any major problems with their camery hybrid? I have a loaner for this time but let me know if I need to ask better questions.
    Thanks, rich
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