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Toyota Camry Hybrid Battery Pack Questions



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

    That was my response. :shades:
  • agnostoagnosto Posts: 205
    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?
  • 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 Posts: 3
    What is the real story with the batteries? What is their replacement cost/disposal?
  • larsblarsb 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 Posts: 19
    Found the payback period on the v6 was too long
  • faldocfaldoc 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 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 Posts: 14
    In fact, if you are in California, the EV battery is factory warrantied for 10yrs/150k miles.
  • Earthquake insurance ;)
  • joannpsjoannps 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,109
    I refuse to go anywhere that I cannot park and lock my own vehicle. Parking lot attendants are notorious for dinging doors etc. They accept NO responsibility. Valet parking is just asking for trouble.
  • do they offer valet parking at Burger king ?
  • The TCH is really no different from a regular car when it comes to draining the 12V battery. If you leave something on, the 12V battery goes dead. This is, as already pointed out, nothing to do with the traction battery. The traction battery cannot be depleted as it will disconnect itself when the charge level drops too low allowing the 12V battery to go dead to save itself (bars on the battery display simply show charge available for use as seen fit by the computer, and not the physical charge state of the battery).
  • Hey droid13 look at Ocean99999's original post #44. Apparently there is more too it than you think.


  • Hopefully we can all learn from what happened sadly to you :

    After painfully skimming through the user's manual I found this.
    1- On page 10 : "If the hybrid battery becomes fully discharged and the vehicle will not start even with a jump start to the 12 volt battery, contact your Toyota dealership." This is what you did.

    2- On page 306 (Jump starting procedure) : "During jump starting, run the engine [of the helping car] at about 2000 rpm ..." DON'T DO THAT FOR THE FIRST 2 MINUTES - This creates a risk to burn the rectifiers of the helping car ! It will also exceed the 5-ampere charging recommendation by a large margin. LEAVE THE HELPING CAR'S ENGINE STOPPED for the first 2 minutes and then you can ramp up slowly to 2000 rpm.

    3- Page 307 : "If the first start attempt is not successful...
    ...Recharge the discharged battery with the jumper cables connected for several minutes and restart the hybrid system in the normal way...." This is what you ended up doing.

    I always like to know how and why things work (yes, I am an engineer :) ). We already knew that the 12 volt battery normally gets its power from the the 244 volt battery. Your mishap confirms that the 12volt-to-244volt converter is bi-directional, and that, when in need, the 244 volt battery can be recharged by the 12 volt battery.
  • The only thing that charges the traction battery is the motor/generators powered by ICE or regen braking. Letting the 12V battery charge for a few minutes allows the traction battery to determine its safe to reconnect itself to the system without concern that the 12V system will draw it down past it's safe level. It's all about protecting the traction battery and why these batteries are suppose to last 15 yrs in the car when the identical type of battery used in a laptop is ruined after 2 yrs of use.

    If the traction battery charge falls below it's safe range, it will not reconnect to the system and it's time for a tow to the dealer for diagnostics (something is wrong!) and a direct recharge.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "It's all about protecting the traction battery and why these batteries are suppose to last 15 yrs in the car when the identical type of battery used in a laptop is ruined after 2 yrs of use."

    Just to clarify, Toyota has never made a claim that the traction battery will last 15 years. Perhaps you mean 150K or 10 years, which is the CARB state warranty on emissions parts?
  • I'm talking probable usable life, not warranties or guarantees. I guess I should have said "why these batteries should be able to last 15 yrs". From what I've heard, older Prius batteries nearing the decade mark and still going strong with little signs of giving up soon...
  • The only thing that charges the traction battery is the motor/generators powered by ICE or regen braking.

    Droid13, your statement does make sense.

    May I ask where you got the information to assert this ? Or do you just put forward a hypothesis ?

    I would like to be sure before I change my mind.
  • The hybridsynergydrive web site describes the DC/DC converter among lots of different resources. The ToyotaIguide site makes mention that once the traction battery is outside it's safe range, HSD won't start and see your dealer (again, among lots of different resources). There is a dedicated port on the traction battery for charging it should something go wrong, of course that's where the manual warns you that you'll electrocute yourself if you play with it.
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