Toyota Camry Hybrid Engine Problems

lungdoc63lungdoc63 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • hybridriverhybridriver Member Posts: 77
    What gives? Appreciate any ideas.

    Did you defeat the "Eco" setting on the climate control?
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member 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.
  • hybridriverhybridriver Member Posts: 77
    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 Member 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.
  • hybridriverhybridriver Member Posts: 77
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • hybridriverhybridriver Member Posts: 77
    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 Member 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
  • hybridriverhybridriver Member Posts: 77
    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 Member 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
  • fullofbeansfullofbeans Member Posts: 33
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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!.
    :)
  • ceguyceguy Member Posts: 11
    I Live in the Las Vegas area. It has been hot (105 to 113) in the days since I have had my TCH. I have only averaged 32/33 mpg city driving. On a trip to Denver driving at 85mph I got 37.5 mph. It would appear that the heat does have a substancial impact on city mileage but not so bad on the highway. I did a short stint localy yesterday early morning with the AC and blower off and the 39 mpg .
  • primo2primo2 Member Posts: 31
    i too stay in the las vegas area a couple of weeks every month...and i have found that my mpg has dropped to 36, which is still great...even in So Cal when the temps went up i got 36/37...i usually run the a/c at 76 once cool, then i switch to eco a/c...but the change in mpg was not noticeable...i will be heading back to So Cal on sunday...will make a point to reset display to get a more true mpg
  • ceguyceguy Member Posts: 11
    OK so the trip from door to door. On the way got 42.7 MPG @ 72 MPH. on the return got 41.5 mpg @ the same. Total was 262 miles each way with the AC on ECO most of the time unless the wife complained it was too warm then turned the ECO off. I was very happy with the results. Only wish I could say the same for the local MPG. Hope to see better local when it cools off.
  • primo2primo2 Member Posts: 31
    you got very good mileage...above what they say you can get on the highway...back in CA now...made the trip with the a/c eco on at 70 mph...i got 42.8 mpg...i would love to see what the TCH will do on flat ground...like in Florida or GA...my local is still in the mid to upper 30's...enjoy
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    I had an average of 45 mpg showing on the NAV trip screen for over 300 miles while driving the coast at Nags Head. Mostly 45 mph speedlimits with me staying at 42 or less as much as possible. Long straights with few stops and minor traffic.

    Amazingly when I had to get on the main road with 55mph traffic and some lights I was able to maintain that average.

    I can understand why some are averaging over 40 mpg, but the TCH certainly is geographically challenged for the top FE numbers. Even still, I'm in the rolling hills and mountains of WV and averaging 38.6 mpg over 7400 miles. I couldn't be happier (unless they would juice up the electric motor to 75hp)
  • r_nashr_nash Member Posts: 33
    I drive mostly freeway miles on gently rolling hills. However, I spend 30 minutes to an hour each evening in stop and go traffic, often at speeds under 15mph. Last night was 90 minutes to go 15 miles... Even so I'm seeing my best mpg on this tank. The dash tank average is reporting 46.2mpg and 562 miles driven so far :surprise:

    image
  • clfrunclfrun Member Posts: 11
    Out of nowhere, I noticed by 'blue' ring(s) that indicate efficiency come on briefly when I start the car and then go totally off within a second or two and the area becomes black, if you will. I do not remember this happening before. It takes me approximately 7 - 9 miles to see any 'blue' at all. Eventually, it does seem to go back and the 'inside blue' comes on eventually, although I have not reviewed my book to see if what I am seeing is optimum. The real concern is that on the same roads at the same speeds I normally drive between my home and office, the mileage reading has consistently been over the 40 when I shut the car down. The last two trips have been more like 36 - 37, so something seems amiss.

    Any help or advice? I hope I explained this where it can be understood. I guess the bottom line is that my mileage on these trips has suddenly declined 5 - 7 MPG with no known change in driving habits.

    Thank you...CLFRun
  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    When did Toyota start requiring a visual brake inspection every 5K miles? I thought it might be because of the hybrid's regenerative system, but I see the regular Camry also recommends it. Did it start when ABS became standard equipment?
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    It could be the cold. With the change in weather, running the heater, it needs to warm up, the ICE part, others have posted.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    When did Toyota start requiring a visual brake inspection every 5K miles?

    I'm guessing their American Legal staff recommended that.

    With the Hybrid it actually should be less of an issue as from what I understand is that most of the stopping is not done by the hydraulic braking system.
  • brianz2brianz2 Member Posts: 4
    Hi,
    Does anyone have any thoughts on purchasing the extended service warranty? I am quoted 7 yrs or 75000 mi for about $1500. It overlaps the regular warranty.

    Thanks
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    Check the Edmunds.com sponsor, Warranty Direct.com....for that price you should be able to duplicate the coverage but with 100,000 miles, not 75,000. ;)
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    If you know what your dealer charges for services it should be an easy decision. My dealer gave me a sheet for what oil services, the 15,000 and 30,000 mile services would cost. I'm having the 15,000 mile service done this Thursday and it's $159.

    So basically in 75,000 miles I'll have:
    15 _ tire rotations
    5 _ alignments
    10 _ oil changes
    3 _ 15,000 mile services
    2 _ 30,000 mile services for about $1547.
    Why pay up front unless you're saving a lot of money. If you trade it before you use all of it will they refund a portion?

    I have however seen posts here where some of the larger cities people are paying 50+ just for an oil change.
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    Some thoughts about "service":

    Most major tire chains will give you free tire rotations & balancing, even if you didn't buy the tires from them.

    Oil changes are very competitive, and the national chains even give a AAA and AARP discount of about $5 per. But in my experience most dealerships will do them just as cheap, about $35 per change, w/5 quarts of standard oil. Usually whatever lubrication is needed is also included.

    Wheel alignments, if needed more than every 30,000+ miles, well, stop driving into curbs! :P

    The other so-called "Major" intervals are nothing more than inspections, as all the belts and timing mechanism should be good for 75,000 miles, minimum. Vehicles no longer require or need "tune-ups" or plugs before 100,000 miles.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    Most major tire chains will give you free tire rotations & balancing, even if you didn't buy the tires from them.

    Interesting, I had never found one that did the OEM's. Worth checking into.

    But in my experience most dealerships will do them just as cheap, about $35 per change,

    For that price my dealer includes the tire rotation

    Wheel alignments, if needed more than every 30,000+ miles, well, stop driving into curbs!

    I agree, however the only reason I've agreed to it is the dealer supplies "tires for life" if you do maintenance with them. Since the alignment is the only overkill in their plan, it's a bargan. Their oil changes are not any more than Jiffy Lube. It's just a little more inconvenient to take it in to the garage rather than just stopping by Jiffy Lube or the Pennzoil service.

    My dealer's 15,000 mile inspection is $169 (I just looked it up) and that includes the alignment. The 30,000 mile inspection is less than $220. I believe both include an "in-cabin" filter, although I was not sure the hybrid had one.
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    Yes, Big O, Les Schawb, and the like all do free rotations. They want you as a customer. ;)
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    And Happy Halloween!
  • jbolltjbollt Member Posts: 736
    Yes, Big O, Les Schawb, and the like all do free rotations. They want you as a customer.

    Add Discount Tire, with stores in many states, Find Discount Tire to that list for free rotations, and flat repairs.
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    Indeed! Haven't had a moments peace in hours, and as I type this, they are pounding on the door! :sick:

    image
  • camygcamyg Member Posts: 11
    The light operation is normal. The lights have four levels of intensity, with off being the first. It will increase in intensity at 26 mpg, 31 mpg, and 36 mpg, based on the average since you last started the car. Therefore, it starts out off (0 mpg). Put the Eco Drive Level indication on the multifunction display (the same one it flashes when you shutdown) and you can see the lights change as the bar gets to these points.
    As for decreased mileage, it's getting colder and takes longer to warm up, so overall mileage is decreasing somewhat. Same is happening to me, though I've only lost about 1-2 mpg so far in Virginia. I was averaging 40.5 for the summer and now find it much harder to maintain 39.
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