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Toyota Camry Hybrid Driving Tips & Tricks



  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I find it hard to not feel pressured to "prove" to the other drivers that my car can perform as well as theirs.

    That's a common struggle in all aspect of life. When you know something to be true, you don't need to prove it to others. I guess that's where the "smugness" comes from.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Is it normal for the mpg gauge to drop to 0mpg occasionally when stopped or decelerating? My husband thinks it has to do with the engine running the A/C.

    It's indeed normal when stopped. If the engine is running and burning fuel, then you indeed are getting "0" miles per gallon at that moment. And this is an instaneous readout so that is correct.
  • icenolaicenola Posts: 2
    Is it normal for the mpg gauge to drop to 0mpg occasionally when stopped or decelerating? My husband thinks it has to do with the engine running the A/C

    Yes...but as soon as the engine is warm and the battery is charged up, the engine will kick off again while stopped, even with the a/c on.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Is it normal for the mpg gauge to drop to 0mpg occasionally when stopped or decelerating? My husband thinks it has to do with the engine running the A/C. "

    It is NOT normal for decelerating. It is normal when stopped, regardless of if the ICE is running.

    Any time you are moving, you are adding miles to the vehicle, and getting SOME kind of positive MPG; low perhaps, but never zero while the vehicle is moving.
  • athma1athma1 Posts: 4

    Can anybody let us know how to program the smart key so that when I open the driver seat side, all the four doors get opened?

    Presently it is only the driver side opens and manually I need ot open the remaining doors.


  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    The feature you want is one of several for the remote control and a/c operation that are programmable only by the dealer. My dealer didn't charge for the service, but I've read some do.
  • talmy1talmy1 Posts: 55
    This feature can actually be changed by the owner and doesn't need the dealer. I don't remember the procedure (I did it the first week we owned the car), but it is in the owners manual so check there.

    Edited -- here it is from the manual:

    The unlocking operation has 2 modes. To change the mode, within 1 m (3 ft.) of the vehicle press the lock switch and the alarm, trunk opener or unlock switch simultaneously for five seconds.
    The “POWER” switch must be turned off. When the mode is changed, the buzzer will sound and an indicator is displayed on the multi−information display as follows:
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    You are right. I was thinking the change sought was to reprogam the Smart Key remote, so 1-click would open all doors from a distance.

    See Toyota iGuide:

    Under "other features" and then "customizable electronic features," Toyota lists several control settings that the dealer can change.
  • Just got the car 9/10/08!

    I am just amazed on how quiet the engine is and how
    smooth the electric/gas tandem operates.

    Thank you all for the tips to maximize mileage.

    Looking forward to my first fill-up to check actual MPG!

    Looking to hit 40+ MPG. :shades:
  • I just got my new Camry Hybrid on 9/11. Still working on learning how to maximize my fuel efficiency and learning how to use all of the gadgets. I'm generally getting 36-37 MPG (as indicated on the energy consumption display) for my 32 mile commute, but I will be reading this forum for tips on how to improve that and see how it goes.
  • I have a brand new 2009 TCH that has the navi package and when I'm looking at the Consumption Screen, there is a line at the bottom that has "Best MPG" and "Average MPG," but there is nothing listed under the Best text. Anyone have this issue?


  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    The "Best" will come the first time you reset the average. Then everytime you reset in the future it will keep the highest of the readings between the previous best and the current.
  • I have a 2007 TCH with 40,000 miles. Just recently this started: When I come to a stop sign the engine will not shut off. Also when I put it into park, it will not shut off. After driving a while then it will shut off when you stop the car. If something is wrong, I wonder if this would be covered by the hybrid part of the warranty? Also it will not start driving in the electric mode. :(
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    There's a lot of information missing. Like what is the charge on the battery when this occurs? I know that when I sit in park my engine will kick on and off as needed to charge the battery. If it's hot and the AC is running that would make a difference.

    As for starting in electric mode, I assume it used to or it would not concern you? Mine seldom stays in electric from a start unless I really work at it.
  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    While there isn't enough info about the circumstances, it sounds like you are not getting out of mode 1or 2. I would guess that the computer thinks that some part of the drivetrain is not getting hot enough and therefore wants to keep the engine running to get warm. This would also explain not staying in electric mode when starting to move. When the car is not in mode 4, it will start the ICE when you add gas. In mode 4, you can slowly accelerate on electric alone.
  • Majority of the time, the engine will start when starting off from a red light - unless you accelerate really slow (which I wouldn't advise with the traffic behind you).

    Also, what's mode 1, 2, 3, or 4. This is the first instance in which I've heard of it/them.
  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    from the TCH New Owner's FAQ

    My car acts differently when it first starts up and when it is warmed up, are there different stages?

    * The warm up times vary with the temperature as well as use of the car's climate control system. The ECO mode helps, but if the temperature is below 40F, you may see the ICE stay running for a long time if you have the heat on.

    The TCH has 4 stages of operation.
    1. Stage 1 is initial warmup. The ICE will not shut off and battery assist is greater than normal. In warmer weather, this lasts a minute or less. In colder weather it can last a few minutes.
    2. Stage 2 is engine warmup. It lasts 2 or 3 miles in cool weather, longer in cold weather. The ICE shuts off if you stop, but will not shut off when coasting.
    3. Stage 3 is partial hybrid mode. The ICE is warm, and the engine shuts off if you coast between 35 and 41mph. If you stop with the ICE running, it will stop after a short time, but stays running once started until you coast (between 35 and 41mph) or stop again.
    4. Stage 4 is full hybrid mode. Enter it by braking to a complete stop (or slowing to below 5 miles per hour) for approximetely 7 seconds or so it takes for the ICE to shut off), it is possible to enter Stage 4. It is hard to know if this ICE shutdown is due to stage 3 or entering stage 4. The only way to know is to accelerate to ~20mph and coast.
    If the ICE...
    o ...continues to run after you stop the car, it is still in stage 3.
    o ...stops within a few seconds the car is in stage 4.
    In stop and go traffic, stage 4 lets the ICE stop any time you coast, instead of having to be over 35mph when coasting. If the ICE is running, turn off the heat and the ICE turns off, you'll know that you are in stage 4.
    If you want to try and force stage 4, the ICE must be running when you stop or the TCH will not enter stage 4, it will remain in stage 3. You can hold your foot on the brake and "blip" the throttle to "start" the ICE, and then enter Stage 4 after it shuts down (~ 7 seconds.)
    Remember, cold weather conditions and turning on the heater may prevent the ICE from stopping (but it will keep you warm, use your own discretion and common sense).
    * Typically how long do the stages last?
    o Assuming moderate (50 to 60F) temperatures when driving on suburban roads (between 25 to 40 miles per hour)...
    + Stage 1 lasts approximately 30 seconds
    + Stage 2 approximately 3 minutes
    + Stage 3 approximately 3 minutes
    Of course, warmer temps reduce the Stage 2 and 3 times and colder temps can greatly increase them.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Is this from Toyota or GreenHybrid?

    So what stage am I in when I'm doing 30mph, on a slight incline (not coasting) and my battery is driving the electric motor? I don't see these 4 stages covering all the different scenarios. :confuse:
  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    The info is from Haroldos FAQ on GreenHybrid.

    The 4 stages is not about which mode your driving in but rather what the computers will do in a given scenario.
  • Many thanks for the info. I've had my 08 since mid-April. I have no complaints. I'm averaging 39-41 mpg in suburban travel - Northern Virginia to Maryland (1/2 on the interstate and 1/2 on major secondary road). With the weather cooling somewhat, I've noticed a small decrease in MPG.. though from what I've read, I've expected it. It's been interesting "changing my driving style" driving to suit the 08 TCH.. Though the added benefit is that I no longer "speed" as I did in my 02 Maxima (less stressful and lower chance of getting a speeding ticket). Besides, I don't worry about traffic backup on the DC-Loop anymore.
  • twosoxtwosox Posts: 4
    Gatorman -- I am curious about your commute, since I am making a similar trip (from McLean to Laurel). I wish this forum had a private message function so we could compare. I have had my TCH since September, and I am getting similar efficiency.
  • I drive 30 miles each way, 1/2 on the inner/outer loop and the other half on Hwy 7. I've been keeping a "feather touch" on the gas pedal with "very minute" changes in pressure to maintain speed & mpg. Some days are not as good as others due to the timing on traffic and red lights. However, it's been averaging 39-41 overall. One thing I did notice since the weather started getting colder these last few days, if I raise the heater temp up (72+) during the first 10-15 mins of driving, the ICE will come on more often (I'm still experimenting with it though). What specifically did you want to know??
  • twosoxtwosox Posts: 4
    I was actually wondering where you were going to and from -- looking to carpool on occasion.
  • When I first posted this thread, I had failed to see the apparent reason the engine was running when stopped. The battery gauge shows that the battery is discharged below the plus/minus sign. Maybe the battery has a problem? Today it went way below the plus and minus sign and then came back rather fast.?
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Battery charge will be different for a lot of people based on the terrain you drive and how much the battery is used just before you stop. Find a long steep grade and apply your brakes as you go down and watch to see if you can build a full charge. Put your screen on the battery charge mode to learn what charges it and get more comfortable knowing what is "normal". I'm guessing you're OK.
  • The blue illumination that surrounds the speedometer an MPG consumption gauge varies in intensity. I believe it has something to do with fuel effiency, but I cannot find anything on this subject. Does anybody know?
  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    The 'halo' corresponds to your current trip FE. The 4 intensities mirror the 4 steps in the MFD.
  • Thanks,
    I have not picked up on the abbreviations yet. What does MFD mean? And for that matter what are some others?
  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    MFD = Multi Function Display (the one in the speedometer)
    ICE = Internal Combustion Engine
    EV = Electrical Vehicle (or more usually EV mode = running purely on battery power)
    FE = Fuel Economy
    Heretical Mode = when one of the electrical motors starts going backwards to generate power while the other one is poewring the wheels, ICE is running but the FE becomes 50-80 MPG depending on speed of the car)
  • jjgasmanjjgasman Posts: 1
    I'm a new TCH owner and a cruise control (CC) user. In reading some of the postings, I'm getting the feeling that using CC is not the way to maximize MPGs. Is this true? I'm only getting 32 MPG and drive mostly rurally (35-50 mph) with 10 mile trips at a time.

    Advice to maximize?
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