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Old 09-06-2008, 12:04 PM
Real Name: russ
Hybrids: toyota camry
Posts: 1
Default How does the Heater work?

I just bought a 2009 camry hybrid. The literature seems to indicate that the car heater is run by electricty versus from the ICE radiator.

Could someone please explain to me what is happening when you turn on the car heater.

Thanx Russ
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Old 09-06-2008, 02:13 PM
nash's Avatar
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast

Real Name: Nash
Location: San Diego
Hybrids: 05 FEH, 07 TCH
Posts: 669
Default Re: How does the Heater work?

The TCH has an electric "booster" for the heater. If you don't have ECO enabled, the TCH will use the 12V 1KW electric heater to aid the heater core until the ICE comes up to temperature. If you have ECO enabled, the 12V electric heater is disabled, and the ICE will shut off at a lower coolant temperature.

The ECO mode also runs the AC in a lower power setting to save energy. When I was in Arizona last summer, I found the AC performance acceptable in ECO mode in 110F weather once the car was cooled down. However, if the car was hot, ECO took too long to cool the car.


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Old 09-08-2008, 10:30 AM
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
Real Name: willard west
Location: Beautiful Pacific NW
Hybrids: 2003 Prius
Posts: 1,678
Default Re: How does the Heater work?

Our Prius factory repair manual indicates that the 1KW electric heater is only included for north of the border cars for Canadian sales. Additionally I seem to remember it's in the airflow path to the interior windshield surface and is therefore probably only activated or effective in defrost/defog/demist mode.

In any case 1KW equals only about 3000BTU and is therefore only a pittance when it comes to heating the passenger cabin.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:02 AM
nash's Avatar
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Real Name: Nash
Location: San Diego
Hybrids: 05 FEH, 07 TCH
Posts: 669
Default Re: How does the Heater work?

The supplemental heater on the TCH is called a PTC heater. Look here for a diagram showing it's location.

"The PTC heater is installed in the radiator in the heater unit and operates when cooling water temperature is low and normal heater effectiveness is insufficient.
The air conditioning amplifier switches the circuit in the PTC relay and operates the PTC heater when the operating conditions (cooling water temperature is below 55°C (131°F), setting temperature is MAX. HOT, air outlet damper position is FOOT or FOOT/DEF, and blower switch is not OFF) are met."

I normally just set the temp and fan, so I can't say how noticeable the extra heat of the PTC heater is.


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Old 09-08-2008, 06:23 PM
TCH80226's Avatar
Real Name: Ed
Hybrids: 2009 Camry "Der weiße Engel"
Posts: 45
Default Re: How does the Heater work?

There are engine rooms? (see aforementioned diagram) I never been down to any of them. Sheesh! Where is Engine Room No. 2?


Modifications: De-badged, all-weather mats, rear lip spoiler, Scan Gauge II, lower console bin door, sliding center armrest, OSRAM Night Breaker H11 low beams, front license plate bracket, window tint, interior LEDs, clear bra, chrome stripe side molding, trunk lid chrome trim, chrome door handles, Ash Burl dash kit, interior HSD badge, LED lit high speed rear license plate frame
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