Toyota Camry Hybrid Battery Pack Questions

keithlkeithl Member Posts: 106
OK I have conflicting reports as to whether the batter pack in the Toyota Hybrids is covers by the 8 year 100K warranty. Bumped into a Prius owner that said they were told $4-$5K to replace batteries and that Toyota told them the batteries are a "normal wear item" thus not covered by the 8 year 100K warranty. Does anyone have anything in writing to show this as true or false? Was this perosn being taken by their dealer?


  • gampagampa Member Posts: 78
    Sorry to change the subject, but I have a Question...
    ... if one has a Hybrid for 14 years and the Hybrid battery refuses to charge, dies, or is removed ... then can one just drive the ICE until you replace the Hybrid battery?
    I assume there are two batteries, one for the Hybrid and the other for starting the car.

  • r_nashr_nash Member Posts: 33
    If the Hybrid battery dies, you can't start the car. The 12 volt batter just boots the computer so it can start up the inverters. Without the inverters running, the Hybrid Synergy Drive can't run the 2 electric motor/generators in the eCVT to start the engine or move the car.

  • jan123jan123 Member Posts: 5
    In my TCH the Hybrid battery status never gets above Level 6 (out of 8). Is it normal, or is it something I should worry about? Sometimes I see the status dropping to Level 5, but it quickly gets to Level 6 and stays there. I've had the car for 4 days now and driven about 250 miles.

    What are other people on the forum seeing?
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    I've had the car for 4 days now and driven about 250 miles.

    I've seen no indication that there is any problems elsewhere so I'd get more miles on the car.

    What we don't know, other than you have not driven it much, is:

    What's your current avg mpg? Do you drive on level ground at low speed limits? Have you went up any long or down any long steep grades? I guess what I'm getting at you may live in an area that is "in balance" with the nature of the car. No extreems may keep your car in the sweet spot.

    Find a steep grade (1 mile or so_up or down) and watch the battery. It should either discharge more or charge more.

    Mine has been fully charged (on looooong steep grades) and down to the purple level when I was cruising at 35mph on a 10 m ile strech of raod, mostly without the ICE running. Both were the extreems of the driving parameters for the battery use.

    Remember the battery is a boost not a total replacement for the ICE
  • jan123jan123 Member Posts: 5
    What's your current avg mpg? Do you drive on level ground at low speed limits? Have you went up any long or down any long steep grades? I guess what I'm getting at you may live in an area that is "in balance" with the nature of the car. No extremes may keep your car in the sweet spot.

    You're probably right.

    Find a steep grade (1 mile or so_up or down) and watch the battery. It should either discharge more or charge more.

    I did that, and the battery was charged to all the way to Level 8. After I got on back on level ground, everything settled back to Level 6 again.

    Thanks a lot for your help!
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    I did that, and the battery was charged to all the way to Level 8. After I got on back on level ground, everything settled back to Level 6 again.

    Just so you're comfortable with this, find a spot where you can "coast" on battery for a long time and watch the battery level. On a long drive it will turn purple if you go low enough before the engine will kick on to charge it.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    The design of the HSD vehicles is that the battery is never fully charged and never fully discharged. The SoC is limited to a narrow range so the battery doesn't deteriorate and need replacing.

    You are in good shape.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    The Honda IMA system can run without traction (main) batteries.

    The Toyota HSD system cannot run without traction batteries.
  • gampagampa Member Posts: 78
    OK then theroretically...Toyota specific... as long as the "non-charging" Hybrid battery remains in the car it should run the ICE all the time and reduce your MPG to the 23-25 range from 35-38 range.
    This way you can drive the car until you have the money to buy the more expensive Hybrid battery.

    Does this sound correct?

  • grandtotalgrandtotal Member Posts: 1,207
    OK then theroretically...Toyota specific... as long as the "non-charging" Hybrid battery remains in the car it should run the ICE all the time and reduce your MPG to the 23-25 range from 35-38 range.
    This way you can drive the car until you have the money to buy the more expensive Hybrid battery.

    Does this sound correct?

    No. You're not going anywhere without the high voltage 'hybrid' battery. Toyota hybrids work in a totally different way than other non-HSD hybrids.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "OK then theroretically...Toyota specific... as long as the "non-charging" Hybrid battery remains in the car it should run the ICE all the time and reduce your MPG to the 23-25 range from 35-38 range."

    If your traction battery doesn't hold a charge, the Toyota Hybrid system will not work. The car will not run at all.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Of course the hybrid battery is covered as a part of the HSD system.

    The 12V car battery is a "normal wear item" but the traction battery system (the hybrid battery) is of course covered.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    From Toyota website:

    Hybrid-Related Component Coverage: Hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles. The HV battery may have longer coverage under emissions warranty. Refer to applicable Owner’s Warranty Information booklet for details.
  • glen4glen4 Member Posts: 9
    After driving my 04 Prius for 35,000 miles I find only one weakness. Drive Battery weakness. I really want to add to the existing battery. Why can't I simply create a 206 volt battery of sufficient power delivery and paralell it to existing? I think of the new Lithium-polymer batteries that allow very high discharge rates with little damage. Kinda pricey now but the will come down eventually.
    I presently own a 11 volt Li-po battery of only 1100 mil amp hours for a much smaller application. It charges rapidly, discharges up to 20 amps for a short time with no appearant damage. Any comments?
  • r_nashr_nash Member Posts: 33
    The current cost of the Prius battery back is $2,200, and can be found at salvage yards for $500.

    As others have posted, the NiMH battery pack is covered by the 8 year 100K warrenty AND in some states (California for one) by an 10 year 150K emissions warrenty.
  • glen4glen4 Member Posts: 9
    Keithl, I really want to add to the existing battery, which BTW is still fine, with a higher capacity Lithium Polymer or similar that will give me more battery power. There just isn't much available on the stock unit...maybe 3 miles creeping if your lucky.
  • sibbaldsibbald Member Posts: 106
    I am NOT an expert! I do use a lithium polymer battery for my electric powered model airplane. Right now, they can only be used in outside applications as they can catch fire if over charged or discharged too much. They are so much more powerful, lighter and can be molded into different shapes. They are the future for Hybrid cars and will be the difference that will main stream the technology.

    We are probably at least three years out. In the meantime, I will fully enjoy my Camry Hybrid (4 days old) as it was such a better choice than just another ICE.

    ps With the Imperial Gallon being bigger, I am enjoying over 50 MPH in mixed driving so far!

    Cheers, Tom
  • glen4glen4 Member Posts: 9
    Tom thanks for your reply. I too use Li-po batteries for my RC Plane. Mine is a 54" wingspan Fairchild Ranger, weighs 13 oz. A really slow flyer. I am building my 2nd and 3rd stick planes to use the same system. A 56" Pt-19 as well as a 36" Waco bi-plane, also lightweight stick I wonder if the recent fires on laptops aren't some indication of the hazards of using Lithium based batteries?
    I do not know of a larger application like a prius yet. Like you I am certain it will happen.
  • joystix2joystix2 Member Posts: 1
    Another newbie here. I just picked up my red Camry Hybrid over the weekend and put 300 miles on it already in 2 days. Boy this is a nice riding Hybrid and roomy too. It's been very hot here in the Bay Area California these past few weeks (100+ degrees). My question is that eversince I drove it off the lot my battery guage has never been topped off. Does it take a few weeks before the battery fully charges from the regenerative system?
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    The battery GAUGE never gets completely full. The most I've seen in 3800 miles of ownership is about 4/5 full. And that was after a 500+ mile highway trip.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    Technically the battery never gets 100% charged because it's designed not to. However the gage will top off. It turns green when it gets to the next to top bar.

    I've had it top off (all green bars) in various scenerios. One is on a very long downhill grade and the other is in driving situations where the grade is slight (up and down) and the car is running along with the ICE on, getting about 50 to 60 mpg on the Instant FE gage and there is excess hp than needed from the ICE so the NAV shows the ICE running the wheels and chargine the battery at the same time. I have actually gotten it to the top green mark like that as well.

    When it gets to the lower levels of charge it will turn violet.
  • sibbaldsibbald Member Posts: 106
    I just completed a 1400 mile trip last week down south and like Larsh, never saw the gauge on the dash over 4/5 full, even with some very long downhill grades. We do not have the Nav. option in Canada.

    Cheers, Tom
  • r_nashr_nash Member Posts: 33
    I don't have NAV. Sometimes traffic has me in EV mode all the way down a 3/4 mile hill. The regen from lightly braking to keep my speed down frequently tops off the battery gauge. Here is a picture I snapped when I saw it last.

  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    Sorry, I have the NAV and never look at the "power" gage on the dash. (It's also in black and white). Looks like another poster has answered this and has a picture of the dash battery at the "full" mark.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Mine has never passed the top of the + sign. Good to know it goes all the way up
  • sibbaldsibbald Member Posts: 106
    Thanks for the information, I have never passed the + sign either and a esp. thanks to nash for the picture. I will keep trying for a full charge now that I see it is possible.

    cheers... Tom
  • agnostoagnosto Member Posts: 207
    Does anyone know how long the HV battery pack for a let's say a TCH or even TPH last? I see from some posts they are quite expensive $2,000 - $3,000 and I want to know the duration and reliability... any issues with current owners specifically with HV battery pack...
    Thanks, in advance.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    No one really knows how long they will last.

    They are engineered to last the life of the car - somewhere between 150,000 and 300,000 miles.

    Toyota takes precautions with the software to lengthen battery life by controlling the charge levels, keeping the battery cool, etc.
  • agnostoagnosto Member Posts: 207
    Great, thanks, that is great news, make my decision easier to trade in my beastly 2006 4Runner LTD 4WD V8 (nice one, but it is a gas guzzler) for a TCH even though I will loose some money, it is better to save the environment than burning 13-17 MPG while driving in city... If you are an TCH owner any dislikes so far?? Trying also to get one before end of 9/30/06 so I can get the full $2,600 tax credit... it is hard to find though one with Navigation as they are all presold...
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    I love my TCH. My previous car was a 2004 HCH, so I actually have LOST 12 mile per gallon with my new car !!

    The TCH is definitely an upgrade from the HCH in virtually every way though - the MPG aside.....

    Very comfy and roomy inside.
    Rear A/C vents are MUCH APPRECIATED by my two kids.
    The larger trunk opening means I can carry my Segway in the trunk.
    The A/C is much better than the A/C in the Honda hybrid - gets cold much faster.
    Had the car up to 95 MPH and it was as smooth as 45 MPH. (will not admit that in a court of law) ;)
    I LOVE having the EV mode available and being able to cruise along in electric mode only - something the Hondas don't have.
    Quiet/ QUIET engine - even when the gas engine is running, this car is very well insulated for sound.

    Good Luck !!
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Member Posts: 1,978
    Okay Larsb what did I miss. I reread and still could not find any information in your post about how long the HV battery pack will last?


  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    the other poster asked me "If you are an TCH owner any dislikes so far??"

    That was my response. :shades:
  • agnostoagnosto Member Posts: 207
    Does anyone know whether the 2007 TCH has timing belt or chain? What about the oil filter is it a filter similar to a 2005 Toyota Camry?

    Also question to the current 2007 TCH owners... besides the fuel economy was there any other reason the TCH was chosen over a 2007 Camry V6?
  • mharris813mharris813 Member Posts: 20
    This may sound silly, but the reason we started looking at the Hybrid, was that the interior trim (yellowish burl wood look) was HORRID. We have a 99 camry, and finally got used to the dark burl wood, but I could never get used to the yellow orange wood!!! The only way around this was looking at other trim levels or the Hybrid... THANK HEAVENS we did. I am in LOVE with my TCH!

    Oh, and the fact that gas prices are not going down, and I'm getting over 38 mpg....

    mel :shades:
  • rfr_98rfr_98 Member Posts: 3
    What is the real story with the batteries? What is their replacement cost/disposal?
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Nobody really knows. Good luck finding out. I have been involved with hybrids for 25 months now and have never seen good information on the battery issue.

    It's a mystery wrapped in a conundrum?
  • bobflbobfl Member Posts: 19
    Found the payback period on the v6 was too long
  • faldocfaldoc Member Posts: 84
    I actually got the V6 XLE first, but with the transmission problems I had, I opted not to get another V6 till the tranny problems are worked out. I like the new Camry styling so I have a TCH. I am no environmentalist but the economy and clean emissions are a big plus now that I have it. At 42 mpg my 60 mile (each way) commutes don't bother me as much. I will get 600 or more miles a tank. The car is more engaging to drive, and has enough power to keep you out of trouble.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    What is the real story with the batteries? What is their replacement cost/disposal?

    The real story... ;)

    Since the Prius I came out in 2001 no Toyota NiMH battery has failed except due to misuse or abuse. On Toyota's website now they state that the batteries in all the HSD vehicles are expected to last the life of the vehicle, which as larsb noted above is somewhere in the 150,000 to 300,000 mile range. Effectively at this point, say 225,000 mi, what is the value of any vehicle? $500? maybe $1000?

    A Toyota representative on another site quoted a price of about $3000 to replace an entire battery, but also said that they have never had to do so yet. For all intents other than the extremes consider that it will never fail or need replacement.

    There is no 'cost' to dispose of it. Actually Toyota will pay you, or a salvor, $200 for the battery. It's printed right on the battery.
  • flopshotflopshot Member Posts: 14
    In fact, if you are in California, the EV battery is factory warrantied for 10yrs/150k miles.
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Member Posts: 1,978
    Earthquake insurance ;)
  • joannpsjoannps Member Posts: 1
    I had decided to buy a 4-cyl Camry or 4-cyl Accord. Both had plenty of power. Then I heard about the TCH, so I drove the TCH and the Accord Hybrid. There was no comparison. The TCH is so much smoother, cheaper, and more fuel-efficient. The TCH is peppier than either 4-cyl, gets better mileage, and is really cool-looking. I got the Jasper Pearl (green), which is only available in the TCH. I just passed 600 miles, and am getting 33.4 mpg so far.
  • ocean99999ocean99999 Member Posts: 2
    I picked up a 2007 camry Hybrid last week, and was very excited. I am a long time car enthusiast and bought this car for my wife

    (incidentally, my wife and I have three very well maintained cars here in the USA including two collectables and the new camry, and we have two new daily-driver-toyotas in Panama - one, a dielsel pickup that gets 25 mpg - wake up please, congress and America)

    OK, I bought the Hybrid knowing that I could count it to be a reliable vehice for my wife, a "relatively new" driver, and that Toyota would back the car, in terms of service if we did have issues. Boy, was I dissappointed.

    Having owned the car for 4 days, we took it to NYC with 65 miles on the odometer, from Providence RI. We stayed in a Hotel on 45th St in Manhatttan. I showed the Garage worker hw to t operate the Hybrid car - turn it on, and how to turn it off, and he took the car to the garage.

    Two days later we called to have the car delivered to the hotel door man, and hot the bad news. It was "dead", I went to the garage and indeed, it was. The interior light BARELY lit wehn I opened the car door; no horn, and NO desplay wehn I pushed the start button. I follwed instructions the exactly in the manual for a jump start, and nothing. All of the dash lights and warning lights lit up (very encouraging) but nothing. The Hybrid battery pack display read almost "0"

    I called the National Toyota 800 Service number in the Hybrid service manual. The "hybrid woman" was very nice but knew nothing (admittedely), and had no helpful hints other than to "call the dealer".

    Now I must add: the car was wedged inside the underground floor of this Manhattan Parking Garage, and had been literally wedged between 2 pillars,
    by a skilled NYC garage attendant, and there was NO WAY that any tow truck driver would have touched this car - it needed a 12 point maneuver to get it out of the parking spot iit was in, so it was not easily towable.

    OK, the car is 5-6 days old; Toyota says call the dealer (IE: you'reon your own). So I called the Manhattan Dealer on 47th st - 4-6 blocks from where I was located, They put their service manager on, whose only question was, DID YOU BUY THE CAR FROM US ? - I was perturbed of course, then asked for his "hybrid" person. The NYC hybrid expert had no suggestions excecpt to get it towed. They refused to send a guy over because " "the union would kill us". according to the service manager. God Bless the Unions I thought,

    I was very unhappy. Subaru has an on call road service. My Bmw does, I buy a $30 k new technology Toyota and I am stranded 200 miles from home.

    I finally called Boch Toyota in Attleboro MA, where I bought the car; They put their young Hybrid Mechanic on the phone, Steve. He was not only sympathetic, he seemed content to stay with me on the phone until my problem ws resolved.

    Long Story Short: and one question for TOYOTA:
    1) Steve, The Boch Toyota Mechanic and I, determined that when the car was parked, the garage employee must have left the headlights on or the ignition.

    2) I charged the starting battery for 30 minutes using a car comandeered from the garage manager and went out for a coffee

    3) we got back and the Camry "started " normally. I drove off in the mid day sun toward Rhode Island and watched the MAIN BATTERY level guage rise from 5% charge to 90% charge over the course of 90 minutes.

    My (largely rhetorical) questions: 1) Why on earth doesn't toyota install a simple electronic sensor that will cut off the main battery, if the car does not move for 2 hours ? This could prevent this type of episode and risk to the HYBRID BATTERY unit if headlights or ignition are left on ?

    2) why doesn't Toyota have a) a knowledeable person on their hotline, and b) a roadside service assistance policy for owners of new cars like this one ? The dealer's service policy at Manhattan Toyota are not to my liking - shame on them - I was 4-6 blocks away and really stuck with an un towable car. They left me out in the cold !!

    I am sending this post in letter form to Toyota USA and Bock Toyota - ,maybe they'll have a suggestion for my next trio to a parking garage
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    If you don't live in the US for long periods of time you may want someone to start up and drive the TCH every couple of weeks.

    Tough story, but I don't plame the car or Toyota for dead batteries unless there is a short or something physically wrong. I believe I would have simply tried to jump the car before I called anyone.
  • woodwardejwoodwardej Member Posts: 1
    In contrast to the experience of Ocean99999, I left our TCH in our garage at home for 4 weeks (July 20 to August 17) while on vacation out of the US. I was a bit concerned about the battery situation; since I did nothing special to it other than make sure the Hybrid Synergy Drive system was OFF before before we left home.

    When I returned, I opened the car door and the interior lights turned on. So I followed the usual starting procedure - put on seat belt, depress Brake, and press the START button. After the usual brief pause, the HSD said Ready and I backed the car out of the garage.

    I usually leave the headlights in the AUTO position, and note that the headlights remain on for a while after the HSD is shut down.

    All this leads me to suspect that in Ocean99999's case, the parking attendant probably did not shut down the HSD system, and that triggered his unfortunate experience.

    If there's any silver lining in his very dark cloud, it's that he could recharge the starting battery and eventually extricate his car.
  • glen4glen4 Member Posts: 9
    My guess is the parking attendant simply did not push the Start button to turn off. This is still an unknown elememt in the operation of these vehicles by those not in the know.
  • flopshotflopshot Member Posts: 14
    While I sympathize with Ocean99999, I'm not sure Toyota did anything wrong here, except not have a knowledgable hybrid person available on their 800 number. Toyota corporate does not handle daily service claims, so they can't authorize a service tech to go into the field. Also, the local dealer in NYC cannot send someone out into the field to service a car, that never happens anywhere, I'm not even sure the dealer that sold the car would be allowed to do that. Getting a tow to a Toyota dealership so that warranty service could be perfomed was definitely the proper course of action, but in this case, a tow was physically not possible. So again, I'm not sure Toyota was to blame for that predicament. But I feel ocean99999's pain, it sucks to be stranded with no one willing to help you, I've been there... with NYC garage attendants at fault!
  • ocean99999ocean99999 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks to everyone for your comments; I agree that towing to a dealer is the norm when a car "dies".

    Unable to do this, I did try to jump start the car, following the instructions in the owner's manual prior to calling anyone for service or support.

    My dissapointment is in two areas:
    1) Toyota did not support its customer (me) adequately with this new techniology - if they say thay have a service line, they should have one...a real technical support line - with someone who would have TOLD me the simple solution to my problem (a 30 minute charge)
    2) Toyota has no built in device in this car's electrical system to protect against total dischage of the batteries - this technology is available and inexpensive ....and this is a Hybrid, which has a power system COMPLETELY dependent upon having a working battery - in a regular car with a dead battery, its no big deal - a total (or 95% ) discharge.

    My suggestion: If the car doesn't move for 2-3 hours, the battery cuts out...and when the car is "started" again, it simply requires the owner to push the start button a second time, to reset the system
  • lmlpxhlmlpxh Member Posts: 8
    Actually, the TCH does have protection from draining the battery. I believe the manual says that if the lights are left on (1/2 hr.?) the TCH turns off the lights itself. I just had it happen this morning. My wife left the lights on last night. They were not on this morning and I only noticed as the navigation screen was in night mode and I saw the light switch in the manual on position. But the car started and drove normally.

    I can't figure how your battery was drained unless the attendant left it in the ACC position. Instead, if it was left in the ON drive position, the motor would have started periodically, as the battery drained down.

    But the response from Toyota is appalling. At least your dealer tech acted appropriately.
  • r_nashr_nash Member Posts: 33
    The parking attendant most likely tried to power off the car without putting in in Park. You MUST put the TCH in to Park to shut off the car. If you don't, the dash lights go off, but the system is still on and will kill your battery after a while!!! :mad:

    Perhaps a card to remind folks not familiar with hybrids would help. Shift to Park then Power Off
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