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Toyota Camry Hybrid Battery Pack Questions



  • deflardeflar Posts: 2
    I took my 2007 Camry hybrid to the dealer after a bunch of warning lights came on indicating" check hybrid system" The result , per the dealer , a stone pierced the inverter cooler allowing coolant to escape. Damage $770 +, it gets worse, if the inverted overheated and doesn't function properly it's thousands$$ more. I have an extended warranty which, per the dealer, does not cover this incident. Is it me or why would this crital part be exposed to damage or does it sound fishy?
  • talmy1talmy1 Posts: 55
    I think the situation is the same as if the stone hits and breaks your windshield. Check your Comprehensive auto insurance policy. It isn't a warranty issue.
  • I have a '07 TCH with 65K on it. It will be 3 years old next spring. Generally, in TX it is a good idea to "pro-actively" replace batteries every 3 yrs because of the heat. 1) Will this battery last longer because it doesn't have to provide cranking amps? 2) I can't find any replacement for the specialized Panasonic battery with voltage (?) probe on the internet. Is anybody aware of one. The access is easy. 3) Finally, are there any special precautions necessary for replacing the low voltage battery on a hybrid?
  • has anyone got a price from dealer to replace the batteries for the hybrid system? and how long before they need replacement?
  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    I don't get a price on an item that I don't need to purchase. Overall, the traction batteries are warranted for 7-10years depending where you live.

    Right now all we have is experiences from Prius owners and while there may have been a bad battery here and there, there doesn't seem to be any talk of batteries failing with age. The Prius taxis owners put 300-400k on their cabs before replacing the car and they have not had any battery failures, nor have they worn out their battery packs.
  • pat85pat85 Posts: 92
    Batteries have a nominal Voltage. Say 12 Volts DC for the car battery used for starting the engine. With no load, it has 12 volts potential. It should not discharge unless there is something wrong with the battery or there is a load like lights left on.
    When a load is applied , like the starter motor, for example, 2 things happen. First, Current flows through the starter, Current is measured in Amps.
    The second thing that may happen, depending on temperature, battery capacity, and how long you crank the starter motor, the internal resistance of the 12 Volt battery will increase. The current flowing through this internal resistance will cause the voltage to drop slightly from the current flowing through it. So the output voltage may drop to a nominal 11 Volts.
    Power is Volts times Amps. The power necessary to run the starter will be the same. At a lower voltage, more Amps are necessary. This is why batteries can only crank a certain amount. After awhile of not cranking the starter , batteries seem to recover a little with no charging. This is due to the internal resistance going back to its original state.
    Does that help ?
  • Hello fellow TCH'ers.
    I love this car!!! I have a minor question.
    I have never observed the main battrey fully charged - always one or two bars less than full. Is that normal?
    I have a 2009 TCH which has about 69,000 miles on it.

    A :)
  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    Yes, perfectly normal. The TCH tries to keep the battery between 20-80% of full charge to try to maximize the lifespan of the battery pack.
  • I am considering buying a used 2007 TCH. Test drove and saw some funny things. After starting engine, simply activating NAV triggered gas engine to turn it normal for gas engine to come on while idling in parked position?....I looked at battery status and battery gauge was barely above the midpoint (60%?)....Is this normal? Is this battery damaged due to extensive inactivity? Is this a reason to be concerned about buying this car?

  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    The hybrid drivetrain is a bit different but it does have a method to its madness...

    The engine did not come on because you turned on the nav, but rather because it had been ~7 seconds after you pressed the Start button. That delay will be skipped if a) the battery charge is low, or b) the outside temperature is very low.

    The battery gauge just reflects the current charge of the traction battery. If you drive the car in electric mode for the last mile or so before parking it the traction battery will be down and stay that way until the engine is running again to recharge it. So finding the car with a 60% charge does not indicate any issues with the battery, just that it was somewhat depleted before being turned off.

    The battery pack has a long warranty so you should not have to worry about the battery at all from a financial perspective. How long has this TCH been 'inactive'?
  • Thanks for your message back and excuse my ignorance, but more questions. The car has been on dealer lot so hard to predict how much use its had since it came on lot about 3 mos ago.

    Seems like the battery charge was low based upon what I saw.

    Is it typical though for gas engine to kick in while idling?

    Final q, 2007 was year one for TCH---any strong arguements to go find a 2008?
  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    If its been on the lot for 3 months don't worry about the battery. The normal state of charge fluctuates between 20 & 80%. This is normal. The TCH uses the battery pack as a storage device. As you drive on battery power, the battery depletes. If you accelerate or the state of charge gets low, the ICE (internal combustion engine) kicks in and the battery will recharge.

    The ICE will kick in while stopped if the state of charge on the traction battery gets low.

    I have an '09 so am not familiar with the differences between earlier years. The drivetrain is the same for all the current gen TCH.
  • mrmkmrmk Posts: 1
    I'm looking at buying a used 2007 TCH. It's got 115,000 miles, but seems like a good deal at $11K. My main concern is the battery life. It seems like there's some conflicting info out there. My question is... should I expect to have to replace the TCH's battery soon if I got this vehicle? If so, what's the approximate cost if that replacement today? Thanks for all the great info!
  • keithlkeithl Posts: 106
    I read an article a while back where some university did a test on Hybrid battery life and they beat it up for 160K miles and said no noticable loss in battery function, but as usually your expierience may vary. I don;t know if there is any test Toyota can do to tell you how healthy the battery pack is, you may want to ask them.
  • My wife drives an '08 Camry with 42k miles and the hybrid system works flawlessly. My parents have owned a Prius since '05 and never had a problem with the hybrid system.

    This is in sharp contrast with Honda's IMA hybrid. I owned a '09 Civic hybrid for 28k miles. After the last tune-up, the car was so sluggish and mpg was so poor I could no longer drive it. Honda was no help. I traded the car in. The Honda IMA system is a POS compared to Toyota's system.
  • I am looking at the Camry and trying to decide where to go with the Hybrid or the regular model. We drive mostly on the back roads and that's where the Hybrid would make sense. However, from what I understand, the battery would last about 10 years and then would need to be replaced. Also, the battery is very expensive (around $10K) and I usually drive my cars to the ground. So, would it be possible for me to drive the Hybrid until the battery gives in and then just drive it as a non-Hybrid car?

  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    There is no data that I am aware of that says that the battery has only a 10 year lifespan, and judging by the Prius taxis, they have been getting 300,000+ miles out of their cars with no hybrid issues. Also battery packs used to be priced in the 10K range when the hybrids first came out. The last number I read was in the neighbourhood of 3-4K.

    As for driving the TCH as a gas only car; not possible as the traction battery in conjunction with one of the electric motors is your 'starter'.

    Since the TCH was only introduced as a 2007 car, there is no long term data on the TCH. But based on the Prius, you should not worry about getting a hybrid.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    The previous reply is correct. So far, all the evidence suggests the hybrid battery will last the life of the car. That's been the experience with Prius, which has now has an 11 year history and over 1 million on the road. A few Prius, used as taxicabs, have gone 300k+ miles and experienced a decline in battery output. But the engines in most cars would lose some power after that kind of mileage.

    As to battery cost, I've heard $3K mentioned. Never $10K.
  • i have a 2009 TCH with nav, 23,480 miles, the car was in storage for about 3months, now even after putting a new 12v battery, the car wont start, "CHECK HYBRID SYSTEM" and "CHECK VSC" message is being displayed...please help what should I do? Can I fix the problem my self? Will appreciate expert help.
  • bbillinbbillin Posts: 11
    I can't get my Toyota Camry Hybrid to start. Dash light don't go on, no radio, nothing. Can we charge from the front under the hood, or does is need to be jump started from the 12V in the trunk?

    Is this serious?? The car hasn't been used much.

    Thank you,m
  • bbillinbbillin Posts: 11
    What ever happened? Did you get the car to start? My car has no display light on, the power goes on and nothing. The dealer said it's the battery, but won't come out to jump start it. I'm in Europe and the towing service says they jump it like the Prius, but should I trust them?
  • bbillinbbillin Posts: 11
    Hi there,

    I read you have a 2009 TCH. Mine went totally dead in the garage. They jump started it and I took it to Toyota service to slowly charge the 12v. They told me it is charging very slow and I might need a new 12V. The car has been driven quite a bit but was in the garge for a month and I think that's how it went dead. Even if the 12V doesn't charge up to 100%, is it really necessary to get a new 12V. I am in Europe and he told me they would order if from the us and would cost 700E. We don't have a guarantee, because they don't have that car here, just the Lexus Hybrid and Prius. Any advice???

    Thanks you
  • rickccrickcc Posts: 1
    I had this same problem with the 'starter battery' the first year I owned my '07 TCH. Dead usually after we were away for a weekend or something. We suspected it was the low level communication between car & key which my wife kept about 20' from the car in her hall closet. However Toyota maintenance found that there was an internal leak (electrical - not fluid) in the battery (finally) and replaced it. No problems since.
  • ssuleimanssuleiman Posts: 1
    We bought 2010 Camry Hybrid in the US last year and shipped it overseas. We drove it for a month and left it in the garage for almost 10 months. Now, the 12V is totally dead. When i jump start the car, it works as long as we don't turn off the engine. If we do, we have to jump start the car again. I drove it multiple times hoping the 12V will eventual charge, but without success. Any expert help would be greatly appreciated.

  • rich07rich07 Posts: 2
    I have a 2007 TCH and it has been a GREAT car. We were hit in the rear by an 18 wheeler and the car stood idle for a long time. In my readings I somewhere read that the Hybrid battery will use the 12v to keep it from dropping below a certain point. I did have to get a new 12v. I suggest for sure that you replace your 12v.

    I also can tell you that a Hybrid is not the car to have if you are going to leave it for a long time, because of the battery situation. I have a older RX300 which I leave at a vacation home for 6 months and it will start within 2 or 3 seconds, BUT I DO DISCONNECT THE NEGATIVE WIRE OFF THE BATTERY. With the TCH I think I would leave a small charger on the 12v if I were to leave it for anything over one month. Also before shutting it down I would make sure the Hybrid battery is charged, you can see this on your display.
  • keithlkeithl Posts: 106
    Sounds likethe regular 12V battery is dead, no big deal, the Hybrid uses standard 12V battery for starting the car just liek every other car.
  • pat85pat85 Posts: 92
    I was in the hospital for a week each about 2 months apart when I did not drive. I needed a jump start from AAA for my 12 volt. I am sure no lights were on. I had to use the key to get in my car as the battery was so low it would not let me use the smart key.
  • I just bought a 2008 Camry for my wife. We will drive it on weekends and trips as well as her 6 mile commute. So far I like it!

    If you know the current drain on the 12 Volt battery it should be easy to put a "Float Charger" on it while it is not in use. Then you should be able to leave it for as long as you want. A lead acid battery does not like to be left discharged over time. It also does not like to be overcharged. If overcharged too much the battery has to get rid of the excess energy. It does this by generating heat. The heat vaporizes the water in the battery. So to match the float charge with the drain is important. I have a Yamaha that sits for weeks at a time. I made a 12 volt float charger that puts out about 0.100 amps or 100 Miliamps (mA). Seems to work fine.

    As far as adding capacity to the battery it would be tricky ... From what I have read the battery packs are built with "D" size Nickel Metal Hydride cells. When the batteries do go bad might look into high capacity cells and someone that can rebuild it. By then it might be an option.
  • pat85pat85 Posts: 92
    edited February 2012
    I too had my 12 volt battery discharge while I was in the hospital. I had to use the key to get in. I called AAA and had them jump my 12 volt.
    A lead acid battery does heat up, while draining it to start your car. The Internal impedance causes the battery to warm very slightly while supplying the amps to start your car. Volts = current( amps) times resistance.
    This is Ohm's law.
  • lmlhlmlh Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid with 116k miles. The car is in great condition. How many miles can I expect to get out of the Hybrid battery?
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