Hybrid vehicle question


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Any of youhappen to own a Toyota Camry Hybrid? With a new driver in the houshold, we are beginning to shop around for a reliable and cost effective model to purchase. What appears to be a good deal has popped up at a local dealer, a 2017 Camy LE Hybrid. No experience with hybrids, so I decided to see if anyone in this community, which I actually trust, has advice to offer, pitfalls to watch for, etc..

Thanks!

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No experience with the Camry, but I had a Prius for 10 years. Most reliable vehicle I ever owned. The only thing I ever had done was to have a service writer bend the little metal tab back that holds the gas door shut at my 100,000 mile inspection.

Zero service cost (other than routine maintenance) in 10 years. Never needed a brake job. Nothing.

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1 hour ago, legenddc said:

Whatever car you're getting check with insurance first for a teenager!

To my advantage, Cody is a 'late bloomer' when it comes to driving. He is almost 22. But I've had a personal chauffeur since the day his permit was issued!

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My father-in-law has one. He loves it. As far as I know, there hasn't been anything wrong with it and he's putting 30 000+kms (18 000miles) on it a year for the last 4-5 years. He gets around 900kms to a tank which is about 50litres.  Fuel is a bit cheaper in the states (I think?) so probably works out better fuel costs.

I've driven it once or twice and the most eerie thing about it is the noise. On startup, you can't hear anything until the petrol motor kicks in. No issues with power though.

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Another vote for Toyota hybrids.  I had a 2006 Highlander for about 12 years and about 220,000 miles.  I did replace a timing belt around 11 years.  

It is a little strange to operate at first.  e.g. You don't start the motor, you turn the system on, the motor doesn't start till you move the vehicle.  And when you let off the accelerator it doesn't slow down as much as you expect, no engine braking till you touch the brake pedal.

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I'm glad to hear no one had to replace a $$$$ battery. That is the one thing that worried me about buying a used one. If I understand the literature correctly, Toyota uses a 'series' hybrid model, in which the electric motor is always the prime mover, and the gas engine simply generates electricity as needed to charge or supplement the battery. So, no battery, no go.  Very similar to a diesel-electric locomotive, with the insertion of a battery.

One thing I haven't found a clear answer to yet - can the car be "plugged in" to charge the battery while parked?

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36 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

I'm glad to hear no one had to replace a $$$$ battery. That is the one thing that worried me about buying a used one. If I understand the literature correctly, Toyota uses a 'series' hybrid model, in which the electric motor is always the prime mover, and the gas engine simply generates electricity as needed to charge or supplement the battery. So, no battery, no go.  Very similar to a diesel-electric locomotive, with the insertion of a battery.

One thing I haven't found a clear answer to yet - can the car be "plugged in" to charge the battery while parked?

No, or at least not in the Prius I had. After we moved out to Santa Fe, mice got into the drive battery compartment and chewed through the wiring. No battery power, but I was able to drive it to the Toyota dealership 25 miles away. It was 10 years old and 185,000 miles - the repairs would have cost more than the car's value so I donated it to Kars for Kids.

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2 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Toyota uses a 'series' hybrid model, in which the electric motor is always the prime mover, and the gas engine simply generates electricity as needed to charge or supplement the battery.

That was not true in 2006.  The electric motor and gas engine ran in parellel.  The electric got the car rolling then gas would take over.  If more power was needed the electric motor would run in addition to the gas engine.

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With the Prii, at least the older NiMH ones (not sure when they switched to Li), it's not that hard to refurbish the battery as long as it's not the majority of cells that have gone bad. They're pretty much identical to power tool batteries, just a lot bigger. There are companies that will do this for you, or you can DIY if have a few days to spend with a battery tester and a soldering iron.

The newer Li batteries are trickier to repair since they've got a lot more smarts in them, but they also last a lot longer.

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3 hours ago, Mark J said:

That was not true in 2006. 

May not be true in the 2017 edition, either. The documentation I read is somewhat murky on tbe subject, but I did find at least one answer from a Toyota dealer that flatly stated the car will not drive without the battery / electric motor functioning.

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