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Toyota Camry Hybrid Accessories & Modifications



  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I hear you... $2000 and it gotta be real easy to use, especially compared to other cars like the Honda or Acura. Yes, I have no experience with Honda/Acura, but like I said, if I set the destination from wherever I was at, why would I need voice activation? Oh I forget, to place a phone call.... I suppose you had already set up voice dial commands for each contact info in your phone book in the Bluetooth, correct? I have all my contacts downloaded easily to the car bluetooth (I have a Blackberry 8800), and haven't tried to set up any voice dial yet. I suppose it makes sense to want to place a call while Navigating... I agree with you, it should work as advertised....
  • I don't know if you are married but I am and this is my wife's car so guess what I have to do, learn it and then teach it. Two examples of what I am talking about. Every system I have ever used you type in the address, the map comes up and you go. This system, you hit the Destination button, type in the address, then have to hit the map button. Why? I know it is only one more step but that one more step takes the thought processes out of the logical flow and now you have to pick up the manual to figure out why it did not just start. Have you tried to make a VA phone call? Step 1 "press the talk button" Step 2 "say a command" Step 3 "say the number" Step 4 "after the screen updates press the talk switch" Step 5 "after the screen updates press talk switch or say dial. Five steps to make a simple call. Other systems you say "dial, 000 000-0000 and it dials. It's crazy.
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    Maybe your '08 system is different than my '07 system... but with my system it is rocket science regarding voice activation and the nav system is barely adequate.
  • Hi, I live in northern California and I'm thinking about getting a hybrid Camry. However I'm a little concerned with the upgrade packages that are available. I don't think I want to get the NAV feature but I would like to get the leather seats.

    When I log into the official Toyota web site to 'build' my car I note that there are only two options available in N. Cal. They don't seem to be true options since one or the other is mandatory. The higher upgrade package has both the NAV system and the leather seats. The lower package has neither.

    When I put in a zip code in NJ or even NV I notice that there are a variety of upgrade packages including an intermediate configuration that seems to be just what I want (i.e. leather seats and no NAV).

    Does anyone have any info about this situation? Is it possible to avoid the NAV feature while getting the better seats. Do I have to go to Reno to get the car that I
    want? That seems more than a little annoying. I just don't think I want the NAV.
    It's expensive and it will become obsolete fairly quickly and I don't get lost that
    often anyway.

    Ps. One other question. If I ditch the NAV gizmo, do I still get the full display with all the other screens available (i.e. the panel that shows how power is being routed as well as the instantaneous MPG display)????

    Thanks, BP
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    Toyota USA is divided into 12 territories, I believe. Each territory decides which option combinations it wishes to carry. Your complaint--wanting one option without another--is common. I've heard that some people succeed in getting a dealer to import the right vehicle from outside the territory, but it's rare. My Oregon dealer refused.

    Hybrid vehicles without NAV display less information about power distribution. The non-NAV dislay tells you where power is going between battery, ice, and wheels, and the charge level of the battery. It's adequate for my needs. And of course the display inclues MPG (current and for the tank), miles remaining on tank, outside temp, average speed, miles traveled from current start, trip miles, etc.

    Based on the complaints on these forums about the Camry NAV, I'm pleased to be using a portable Garmin GPS unit.
  • It seems like the California Toyota sales region is trying to play some revenue
    enhancing games. The other regions have five option packages while CA just has
    two packages.

    I think it's a bit of a rip off. As you note, there are good portable NAV options these

    I don't know what leather seats and a moonroof has to do with NAV. They should
    be independent choices as they are elsewhere in the country.


    Thanks for confirming that the NAV-less display has the basic Hybrid output display. I thought that would be the case but I just wanted to confirm.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    While I also found the practice annoying, Toyota is hardly alone in this policy. Honda is even less flexible with options, although their configurations apply nationwide.

    Originally, I was looking for an '07 non-hybrid with VSC and no moon roof. No way. The two came together. Period. By chance, I found a hybrid, which includes its version of VSC, without a moon roof. I've never seen another. It's been a great car. In mostly semi-rural driving (now Sonoma county) I consistently get 38-40 mpg.
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    Though the nav is worthless.... everything else that came with the nav system was well worth the money.
  • acco20acco20 Posts: 211
    The nav is far from worthless..........
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Though the nav is worthless.... everything else that came with the nav system was well worth the money.

    Please use, IMO, next time you say stuff like this.

    I have Nav in all of my 3 cars and I am quite pleased with their use and utility. For some of us geography-challenged, it does come handy. And I prefer factory Nav over the AM ones... just me tho'. With factory Nav, you get not just directions and POIs but additional functions (bundle) including BT, Audio, Service info, TPMS, etc... etc... Plus you lose many of the steering wheel controls without the Nav unit installed... The info you get from the Nav unit and the many functions it displays give the driver a lotta materials many times better information than those with non-Nav units.
  • My beef is not what the Nav does. It is with the difficulty in operating it and with the voice activation. Example: With any Nav system I have ever used you plug in the destination address, click enter and you are on your way. Not this one. You have to go to the destination screen, plug in your address, then you have to go to another screen to map the route. Why? Plus you are supposed to be able to use voice activation to do all this. Have you ever tried to use it, it's worthless. To make a simple voice activated phone call, with other systems you just say "dial number" then the number and it calls. To make a voice activated phone call on this system you have to go through up to 5 steps to make a call. Why? Yes the other features are great, but when you pay $2,000 dollars extra for this system both the Nav and the Voice Activation should work easily and seamlessly.
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    "In My Opinion"... I agree with this and all else that has been said (by many others)about how difficult it is to use the nav system...
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Thought to show off some changes made to my 2008 TCH. You'll find these on my car site here: But here are a couple pics...

    HIDs (6000K) and Fogs

    New chrome mesh grille

    Rear spoiler and new 18" rims
  • Looks great.

    How do the HIDs work? What was involved in their installation and what difference does it make in visibility? Is it street legal?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Looks great.

    How do the HIDs work? What was involved in their installation and what difference does it make in visibility? Is it street legal?

    Thanks for the compliments...

    The HIDs are 6000K and are NOT street legal, but you'd be hard pressed to find a cop pulling you over for your lights... I had it installed by a local audio shop, but the kit required modifying the bulb housing to fit the HID kit. I have HIDs on my other 2 Lexus vehicles and you really cannot compare HIDs to halogens... Its apples and oranges.... My Lexus cars had 4300K lumens, which are 15% brighter than the 6000K on my TCH but still plenty better than the stock halogens. Visibility is at least 5X better than my stock halogens, IMO.
  • n735xvn735xv Posts: 2

    I have a 2008 TCH. I heard there was a modification to allow the electric motor to remain on for a slightly longer period before the ICE kicks in. Does anyone know anything about this or had the mod installed?
  • HI. I just bought a 2008 TCH. I am getting 40 mpg in Massachusetts, with a 64+ mile a day commute. So I am happy about this fact. However, you are correct, the ICE kicks in to fast. I have learned to control the kick-in and kick-off process. But WHAT A PAIN. First I have to start off, like I am a 90 year old driver, then I have to back off the throttle to kick off the ICE.

    So if there is such an upgrade, I want know too.
  • I want to replace my stock wheels and tires on my 07' camry hybrid with an 18" package. Will I have any issues doing this? Will it effect the FE? What about Load Ratings? I've found the wheels, but I am still shopping for tires. (235/45/18)
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    Bigger wheels and tires generally weigh more, and unless you need to install monster disc brakes, there usually isn't a functional reason to do so. It's typically for looks.

    Heavier wheels and tires will affect your mileage, and the bigger tires are likely to increase rolling ressistance, once again decreasing your mileage.

    Load ratings will depend upon what wheels and tires you buy, but as long as they are quality wheels and tires it shouldn't be an issue.

    Good luck. Post pics when you get them on your car!

  • spenbabaspenbaba Posts: 6
    I would talk to as they fit many cars with plus one and plus two wheels/tires. Plus two must look neat but the risk of bent rims and rough ride are there. Depending on wheel weight, your braking distances can also increase. Steering response should be improved.

    On my TCH, I was tempted to go minus one for snow tires but opted to stay with the stock sizes.
  • pat85pat85 Posts: 92
    I used Silblade replacement wipers on the 4 Runner I traded in on my 09 TCH.
    They were garenteed for 5 years. I had them on for 4 years and they still worked fine.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I have 18" on mine and it works perfectly. I also have 50 aspect ratio tire. No worries with upgrading your stock to 18"... Look around here and you can find my car pics so you can seee how it looks on 18".

    Hope this helps
  • I live in Massachusetts also but only get about 35 mpg at best during my 20 mile, back road, 35 MPH average, commute. I to am looking for a easy way to get the 08 Camry to keep stay in electric mode longer to maximize MPG. I understand that the HP rating of the electric motor is not rated to drive the car alone in all conditions but more for supplemental power. Still I think there must be a simple way to reprogram the car to use more electric and less ICE. Heck the battery level never seems to drift off 90%.
    ---Captain Marty
  • talmy1talmy1 Posts: 55
    The car uses electric power when the ICE would not be able to run the car efficiently, so it is already doing the best it can. Running electrically on the battery is not free energy -- the battery is charged via the ICE and gasoline, and the charge/discharge cycle of the battery will use energy. So forcing more electric power will likely increase the gasoline consumption.
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    Actually, you forgot about the regenerative braking, which in a sense is 'free' energy, or perhaps, recaptured energy that normally is wasted (turned into heat by your brakes). So some of that electrical energy is indeed 'free'.

    I think the battery could be used more, and the car would get better fuel economy, but at the expense of battery life, which I'm sure Toyota doesn't want.

    The car is perfectly capable of running just off the ICE (in fact, if you ever run the battery down this is precisely what the car does) and the car becomes a bit slower.

  • n735xvn735xv Posts: 2
    Has anyone installed a wood accent kit to the interior of a new Camry? If so, where did you buy the kit, what areas does the wood cover, and how difficult was it to install.

    Thanks for the help
  • spenbabaspenbaba Posts: 6
    I have noticed on several occassions that I have run in electric mode for a mile or more at 25-30 mph on a flat, straight road (along the beach) and the battery has run down to about 25%, according to the pictogram. This has happened when I am very gentle with the accelerator. It also happened when I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for about an hour. I will be curious to see how this affects battery life since I heard it is best to keep the battery charged, like from 60-80 % or so. I was definitely outside that and the controls seemed to allow it. During these times, the mileage on the bar graph is maxed out.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    While running in EV mode indeed saves on gas it does require recharging and thus the ICE will eventually run to recharge it. However I don't worry about hitting the EV mode, it is most economical when driving around 50 mph on rolling roads where I can use the momentum down hills to run at a FE of 60+ and then use the battery in conjunction with the ICE on the slight grades. If there is more hp available than needed then the ICE will charge the battery then as well. I don't find 35 mph as being very effecient. 40 to 50 seems to work best for me if I don't have a lot of stops.

    37.2mpg lifetime after 45,500 miles in the hills of WV
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    From what I understand, the battery graph we get is a bit deceptive. When it reads "0" the battery is actually at 50% (someone correct me if I'm wrong), thus keeping the battery in it's optimal range, and thus preserve battery life.

    I'm sure as things improve so will the use of the batteries and we'll have higher mileage cars.

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