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Toyota Camry Hybrid Battery Pack Questions

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  • devy1devy1 Posts: 14
    I also have a 2007 TCH with 183K miles and had all the options available. So far do not see any issues with the hybrid battery. Just had my rear brake pads changed. With these many miles, I am on the highways a lot and do not use the brakes that much. Have changed oil with synthetic Mobil 1 5W 30 almost every 6-8K miles. Have not changed spark plugs yet. Any expert want to comment/help out on the spark plugs? Get an average of 35 mpg these days on Kumho tires that I keep 1psi higher then recommended on the door. First set of my Kumho tires replacing michelins and they have been great on wear.
  • mkdorfmkdorf Posts: 10
    Just purchased a 2012 Hybrid Camry and I noticed the battery indicator on my display never shows a FULL charge. It is always 2 'bars' short of full no matter if I've been at highway speeds for an hour. Is this normal? Thanks everyone as I'm new to the HYBRID world.
  • bison58bison58 Posts: 1
    I have owned a 2007 Camry hybrid since March 2007 and driven it just over 50K miles. No trouble with the 240 volt hybrid battery but did have to replace the 12 volt battery in 2011 at a cost of $385 which is ridiculous. There is an Optima battery that will work fine to replace the Panasonic in spite of what the dealers tell you. You should know, the Panasonic replacement battery you get at a dealer has a one (1) year warranty only! Not acceptable If enough people complain to Toyota American in Compton, CA. this may change! Also, there is no one who can tell you how long the 240 volt battery will last. It is a mystery.
  • snaab93se1snaab93se1 Posts: 69
    Did you have any warning when the battery died?
  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    Yes. Under normal circumstances, the system will keep the battery between 20-80% of charge to maximize battery life.
  • Spark plugs are due at 150k miles per manufacture recommendations. There is no set life expectancy for the HV battery life. The federal warranty is 100k miles and 150k miles in CA. The brakes last because they are only responsible for 10% of the braking force. The HV motor is what slows the vehicle down, thus saving brake pad life.
  • For future readers, they actually use an Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery, NOT a Lead-Acid battery like most cars. There are many Technical Service Bulletins released from Toyota on how to care and charge the 12V battery in cases where the vehicle sits for extended periods of time.
  • mthomas3mthomas3 Posts: 33
    I have a total of 1800 miles on it. I wanted to see if anyone else had a problem like this. Driving today in Phoenix and everything operated normally. This was the hottest day yet. Outside air temp reading was 113 degrees. Parked it for an hour, then came out to go home. Made a very fast left turn onto busy street. Easily the hardest turn I had made to date in the car. The hybrid system died, and put up a red battery light. I figured I could drive home on the gas engine - WRONG. The gas engine engine will shut down a few seconds after the hybrid battery light goes on. I had to re-start gas engine about 7 times to get it to a safe spot.
    I don't think the 250V battery died as it powered the AC compressor just fine and I had cold AC. The dealer has it now. If I do not get a satisfactory explanation I plan to trade it in and pressure dealer to give back what I paid for it. Will definitely get a gas-only engine.
    Does anyone have a similar experience? Searching the Internet, the solution may be a loose connection or failed inverter. But I am wondering if it is a thermal problem.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Doubt it's thermal - I live in PHX with a 2007 TCH I bought in June 2006 and it is fine at nearly 100K miles. Battery still charges fully.

    You most likley just have a faulty component, and when replaced, the car will be good to go.
  • mthomas3mthomas3 Posts: 33
    The service manager called me this morning. There were no obvious things wrong like loose connections. They have opened a case file with Toyota headquarters to diagnose and fix problem. He indicated that it will take a few days. I will keep you posted with results.
  • mthomas3mthomas3 Posts: 33
    The problem was with a bad inverter. Replacement solved the problem and I have the car back now. They also did extensive checks on the hybrid system functions to make sure there were no other problems. I will definitely trade in the car before it goes beyond the warranty.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Just as I had predicted. You'll enjoy the mileage, even in Phoenix. Good Luck !!
  • joonjoon Posts: 121
    My 2012 TCH that I purchased in March currently has about 4k miles in it. This past week, I took it on a long drive from So. Cal. to San Francisco and the car worked flawlessly. Since I was planning to go around San Francisco by walking and taking public transportation (hard and expensive to find parking around downtown and Fisherman's Wharf) I decided to drop off my car at a parking lot with attendants that move the car around the lot as needed. They also leave the key inside the car. When I picked up my TCH 4 days later I noticed that the hybrid battery was almost completely drained (1 purple bar) and it took 50 to 60 miles of freeway driving for the gas mileage to go from low 20s to low 40s, low 40s being my normal average under regular freeway driving conditions. Even when I didn't drive my hybrid for a few days the hybrid battery never drained before, so my strong suspicion is that the #$%*ing attendant forgot to turn the switch off and since the key was left inside the car, the car was running the whole time. I love this car and am planning to keep it for many many years (my last Camry, which I have owned for almost 18 years, has 235k miles and still runs strong). Does anybody know what the potential impact is of leaving the car running for several days? Will this shorten the life of the hybrid batteries or should I worry about other components going bad? This is my first hybrid, so still learning all the "ins and outs". Extremely impressed with the car. Thanks. :mad:
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    What most likely happened was that it ran at idle for a while before they turned it off. That will run down the battery, such as sitting in crawling-along traffic will do.

    It ABSOLUTELY did NOT run for 4 days. If it had, the gas engine would have started dozens if not hundreds of times while idling, to recharge the battery. You would have come back to a fully charged battery with a lot less gas in the engine.

    Having a 2007 TCH which just ran out of warranty on 5-31-2012, I have confidence that your battery is just fine.

    Happy Hybriding !!!
    :shades:
  • hcprohcpro Posts: 1
    Mine has NEVER gotten above 60% and often has only two purple bars. It dramatically reduces mileage. When the charge is high (as it rarely is) I get ~ 50mpg. When it's low (as it usually is) I get 33mpg. Does this mean I have something that needs to be either adjusted, fixed or replaced? Anyone?Anyone??? :(
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    If 'twere me, I'd take it in and have the dealer test the system.
  • gfr1gfr1 Posts: 55
    Are you sure about the Hybrid Aux. 12v battery being AGM? I've checked with Toyota sales & service and couldn't find anyone that knew what an AGM battery was. They assured me that it was a standard water flooded car battery. Now the main battery is, sort-of. I guess it's actually a form of gel-cell. Toyota's internet information calls it a standard wet-cell battery. I'm interested in the facts, because I am in the process of buying a battery charger and maintainer charger. I want to get a charger for AGM type, if that applies, but what I've learned so far, it doesn't. Your comment is the only one I've seen that indicates that. Of course Optima now builds a AGM battery for the ver. 3 Prius, as a replacement, due to battery deficiencies, but that doesn't address the Camry issues, nor Camry fitment. Anyway, I'm guessing that it wouldn't fit a Camry.
  • mthomas3mthomas3 Posts: 33
    edited August 2012
    I checked out The Optima battery sold by my local Costco and it will fit. It is the 34/78 Redtop with dual post configuration. see http://www.optimabatteries.com/_media/documents/specs/34_78_082304.pdf.

    Width and depth are the same as the Panasonic, but height is a little shorter. You will need to use the optional spacer that comes with the battery. Measure your battery size before you go in to buy one and check for yourself.

    The Panasonic 12 V battery that came in my 2012 Camry hybrid is rated 57 Amp Hours at 20 amp discharge rate. Unfortunately, the Optima is only rated 50 Amp Hours at 20amps, so that is probably why it is not listed as a direct replacement. However, It would certainly work, but with 12% less capacity. See yellow top below for Prius.

    I have read several places the TCH has an 12V AGM battery, but nothing from Toyota directly. Many people blame the cost of the battery on it being an AGM type.

    I looked up the Optima Prius battery. It is a yellow top deep cycle battery. http://www.optimabatteries.com/battery_selector/
    Looks like it will fit Camry and has a 66 amp hour capacity, so it is big enough.
  • Almost positive the battery is AGM type and the original is produced by Panasonic. More information of this type of battery and options to replace it on greenhybrid link below:
    http://www.greenhybrid.com/discuss/f49/12-volt-battery-replacement-upgrade-2007-- toyota-camry-hybrid-photos-23466/
  • gfr1gfr1 Posts: 55
    Thanks for the response and good reference. But, I retain my doubts, as is referenced in a 2012 Camry Hybrid manual. (Copy/Paste)

    Hybrid Synergy Drive Component Locations & Descriptions
    -5-
    Component
    Location
    Description
    12 Volt Auxiliary Battery 􀁮
    Trunk Passenger Side
    A lead-acid battery that supplies power to the low voltage devices. ©
    Hybrid Vehicle (HV) Battery Pack 􀁯
    Trunk Area, Mounted to Cross Member and Behind Rear Seat
    244.8 Volt Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery

    Notice it says that the 12v is a "lead-acid" battery. Recognizing that "lead acid" is pretty generic, I looked it up. Below is a "how to tell" statement from a battery article

    Read the battery label. Liquid--or flooded--lead acid batteries will say "lead acid," "wet cell," "flooded lead acid" or "liquid lead acid" on the label. Gel-filled lead acid batteries will say "Gel-Filled" on the label. AGM lead acid batteries will say "AGM" or "Absorbed Glass Mat," "sealed regulated valve," "dry cell," "non-spillable," or "valve regulated" on the label.

    So, why is this such a mystery? Further, I checked with one of Fort Worth's prominant dealer sales & service and they didn't know what an AGM battery was! Their considered sales authority went out to look and said that it appears to be a standard lead-acid & recited: Gp 26, Pansonic 240412, 20HR57AHCCA450B26JIS. He didn't designate spaces, but trying to read through this, from what looks familiar to me, it probably is a standard lead-acid.

    Opinions?
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