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Got a used 2009 Camry XLE Hybrid, some questions

Got a used 2009 Camry XLE Hybrid, some questions

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  #1  
Old 11-12-2016, 06:27 PM
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Default Got a used 2009 Camry XLE Hybrid, some questions

So I looked at the carfax and it looks like he kept up to date with everything, and everything seems to check out, except the recalls don't appear to have been addressed? That means I have to go get them addressed at a Toyota service center, right?

So I love the car so far, but one thing I did notice was that when I stop and go, there's a slight vibration when I first begin to accelerate. Is this normal? I think it's helping to let go of the breaks and gently accelerate at first, but thought I'd ask if this is how it's supposed to be. Also, is that basically the best way to get better MPG? I've noticed the MPG consumption meter goes all the way up to like, 20 or less, which is basically this car's version of RPMS burning if I give it more acceleration. So if I want better MPG I want to keep that lower when accelerating, right?

Also, is there anything to watch out for in the winter? I live in Washington state where it rains a lot and it can potentially snow but usually doesn't for more than a week total or so. My tires are currently what the owner's manual says except for 95V instead of 94V. I assume I use the gear in B instead of D for the winter and accept the MPG drop if it's bad enough? And what's the best way to warm it up? I think basically give it a slow drive around the neighborhood?

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2016, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: Got a used 2009 Camry XLE Hybrid, some questions

Why don't you come over and I'll give you crash course in TCH - Toyota Camry Hybrid - hypermiling? I live in Auburn/ Black Diamond area. This will be absolutely better than trying to coach you via internet.
Shudder you feel at acceleration is ICE - internal combustion engine - engaging. Normal. You have same mpg gauge I do. You want to drive so that to keep it at 60 or in blue EV - electric vehicle - zone.
Press Display button several times until you get to running mpg one. Leave it there. Will be good gauge for you to follow as it's about in your line of sight.
As I live in same state - well, maybe you are in E WA, that's different animal - here's my long term mpg chart:
http://www.fuelly.com/car/toyota/cam...0562/fuelchart

This will answer your winter mpg question.
No, do nothing special for winter.
 
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Old 11-14-2016, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: Got a used 2009 Camry XLE Hybrid, some questions

Originally Posted by Marik View Post
...I assume I use the gear in B instead of D...
NO!
B is engine braking.

There is no special gearing like some cars have for snow driving.
Best advice I can offer...just drive it. It's a normal car and you really don't need to know or do anything special.
Turn it on, put it in Drive, press the gas (or brake) peddle as needed.
 

Last edited by haroldo; 11-14-2016 at 10:53 AM.
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  #4  
Old 11-14-2016, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: Got a used 2009 Camry XLE Hybrid, some questions

Take a look at the new owners FAQ sticky.
 
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Old 11-14-2016, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Got a used 2009 Camry XLE Hybrid, some questions

Ah, my favorite horse - B mode...

B mode
With influx of new model owners, there appears to be a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about B mode.
Not really asked about this, but I think it may be a good idea to put some clarity into this.

Before we go any further, one concept needs to be realized.

TOYOTA HYBRID VEHICLES DO NOT HAVE TRANSMISSION THE WAY WE ARE USED TO IT.

Hybrid Synergy Drive, or HSD, has PSD - Power Split Device.

http://www.ecrostech.com/prius/original/PriusFrames.htm

(all references for Prius are basically same for Camry)

With this being said, what happens when you shift lever into any position? You are, simply, telling computer to change the PSD mode of operation. This is why Prii do not even have shifting lever, but a dingy little joystick in dash board, one of the main reasons I shall never buy one. It is nothing more than an electronic lever telling ECM (engine control module) what do you want to do, then it tells servos to adjust PSD accordingly.

As a result, this allowed Toyota to come up with B mode. B stands for "braking".

In a very simplified manner, and for those who are familiar with manual transmissions, B mode , for any practical purpose, is equivalent to braking with engine, in a car with manual transmission.

You chose B mode, ECU tells TCM - transmission control module - to couple one of the motor generators, or MG, with ICE - internal combustion engine. Engine is placed into "fuel starving mode", when no fuel is supplied. As a result, wheels are slowed down by resistance, produced by air being compressed inside the cylinders. Amount of this resistance is controlled by VVT-I, variable valve timing - intelligent system, bleeding air out of the engine, as needed.

Main difference between Hybrid ICE engine braking, and conventional ICE one is that fuel is not supplied and amount of resistance is electronically controlled.

Second very important difference is that, because TCH - Toyota Camry Hybrid - does not have conventional transmission - B mode can be used for normal acceleration. As soon as gas pedal is touched, braking with engine is stopped, and acceleration is resumed. The very moment gas pedal is released - power train goes into engine braking mode again.

Camry manual states that "to start moving, place gear selector lever in D or B position". Permanent use of B mode is not recommended, as "certain gears may be damaged" (Prius manual)

What practical purposes does B mode serve?

1. Very nice, smooth, slowing down the vehicle. I certainly use it on wet downhills, where chances of skid are higher, if normal brakes are applied. Vehicle Stability Control System takes longer to respond, than B mode. This is what B mode is primarily recommended for in manual.
2. Though it is still argued in this forum, B mode recharges hybrid battery faster, than simple inertial recharge from rolling in D mode or from regenerative braking. This is accomplished by MG supplying 30-40 Amp current to the hybrid battery, which is higher recharge rate, than other recharge modes.
3. B mode, AFTER THE BATTERY IS FULLY CHARGED, serves as waste gate equivalent in a turbo charged engine - by coupling ICE to MG. ICE propulsion "dumps" excess energy. Otherwise, in D mode, to accomplish same, ECU will turn ICE on and keep it running.
4. This is for drivers that actually DRIVE their Camrys, not just let Camrys "drive drivers". I use B mode for sharper, sportier cornering. Instead of using brakes before corner entry, I kick lever into B mode. It gives just enough braking to enter the corner faster than in D mode and, as I can accelerate right away, allows to pass corner apex faster, and exit corner at higher speed, by simply stepping onto the gas pedal. Then, after exiting corner, I kick lever back into D mode.
5. It is said, that B mode, due to this neat slow-accelerate-slow-accelerate feature, is used by drivers that cross-tour Prii and Camrys.
6. It is said - and I'll check it out winter time - that B mode permits much better stability on snow and ice.
7. Personally, I do use it for short, "burst" type brakings during normal commute, town or freeway. Whatever allows me to touch brake pedal less - is good.

Needs to be noted, that ICE resistance depends on vehicle speed. Max resistance is at speeds higher than RPM - revolutions per minute - limit for MG, which is, I believe, around 3500 or so RPMs. In older models, this was 42mph, in new ones - 45mph.

Is it safe to use B mode? Yes.
Does it save more gasoline? I do believe so, as it puts ICE in fuel starved mode. Also, it improves mpg by allowing to stay away from regular brakes. Also, recharging hybrid battery faster, it allows longer EV - electric vehicle - mode use.

Fun factor is also there, as it gives another option of controlling your vehicle. As in - driving it, not just sitting there.
 
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: Got a used 2009 Camry XLE Hybrid, some questions

Alright, well these have been some helpful hints. I got a couple things that have come up since the OP. What is the proper way to warm up the car? I did try reading that FAQ one of you suggested, and it's honestly terrible. It says the different stages of warming up but it doesn't say how to do it. And it keeps popping up different windows etc. and then they keep loading different websites and all this other weird crap. Sorry but the FAQ is useless.

Anyways, about the vibrating and shaking. This actually seems to have gotten worse, to a point that it will do it when I have my foot on the brake at a complete stop - say a stop sign or red light. It'll continue vibrating on and off. And sometimes in that situation it says ZERO MPG CONSUMPTION - and sometimes it'll be barely above that if I'm only coasting. What. The. Eff?! It'll vibrate if I barely have my foot on the gas, and it'll vibrate at varying speeds. Feels kinda unnerving experiencing this back and forth jerk on something I just bought...

Don't get me wrong I love the car, I just am probably getting paranoid as I usually do with big financial commitments. I always expect to get ripped off, even if I believe in Toyotas, hybrids, etc. Just strange that I'm already experiencing this type of issue.
 
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Old 11-15-2016, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Got a used 2009 Camry XLE Hybrid, some questions

Oh yeah, I'm also being told the tires need to be replaced by discount tires. Any recommendations what to go with? This stuff was already getting expensive even before finding out about this in addition to life stuff, so I'm kinda hesitant about buying something expensive. I was recommended Continental Contact Touring tires and it would've totaled over $600 for the whole warranty shebang and stuff. Scary expensive yo. I could maybe do GT Radial tires which is a lot cheaper (I think $300) but I also know that may not last long. Then again, tires aren't something that last long anyways, so that's either a reason to go with them or not go with them...thoughts on best tire selection?
 
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Old 11-16-2016, 05:31 AM
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Default Re: Got a used 2009 Camry XLE Hybrid, some questions

I vote against the Continentals, I had true contacts on my non-hybrid 07 Camry and I didn't like them, wet traction was bad from day one, wear was bad too. The other down side of Conti's is the warranty. Continental wants the dealer to send the tires back to them for evaluation before they tell you what they will refund you when they wear out way too quickly. It took me about 6 weeks to get my refund, the good side of this if there is one, you can apply that money to that which you owe when you bought a different brand of tires to replace the Conti's.

I have Uniroyal Tiger Paws on my '13 TCH that were installed before I bought the car, they're noisy and not real smooth, I wouldn't recommend them. I had Goodyear Comfort tread touring on my '07 that were super smooth. The guy who recently bought that car from me worked in a tire store, he commented "I can tell that you hadn't planned to sell this car because those are good tires and no one would buy those if they knew they were selling the car". Stay away from Yokohama Avid's, they eventually growl horribly, they were terrible tires. I've had Cooper CS4 and CS5s, they were just eh.
 

Last edited by hotrod53; 11-16-2016 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 11-16-2016, 05:45 AM
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Default Re: Got a used 2009 Camry XLE Hybrid, some questions

Originally Posted by Marik View Post
Alright, well these have been some helpful hints. I got a couple things that have come up since the OP. What is the proper way to warm up the car? ...

Anyways, about the vibrating and shaking.....
The car doesn't need to be warmed up. Just think of it as a normal car. Turn it on and drive.
The vibrations you're noticing is the engine. When it's on, the car vibrates, when it's off and you're using battery the car is still. There are times that the battery needs to recharge, so it will run the engine even if you're at a stop light. There are times when the car needs extra oomph (quick acceleration from a stop), so you'll notice the 'stumble' (that's the engine turning on and engaging with the drive train)
Start thinking of this as a regular car. If you do all the craziness of trying to tweak your mileage, you'll save $20 a year (okay, an exaggeration), but seriously, it's just a car. Don't overthink it, just drive it like you would any other car.

Oh, one more thing...as the editor of the FAQ (from years ago), I accept your criticism. The forums are an impossible platform to create a FAQ, but we tried.
 
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Old 11-16-2016, 08:15 AM
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Default Re: Got a used 2009 Camry XLE Hybrid, some questions

Well it wouldn't be the FAQ itself if it could load a little better. It just does all this weird stuff when I click on one of the questions. It's possible I have a virus too somehow based on how my computer is behaving lately so there's that.

I was gonna avoid the Continentals anyways, just didn't really like the deal. Yokohama Avids are what the previous owner put on there and is...still on the car. Seems like the best deal if I could afford it, which I can't, would be Michelin Defenders. But the GT Radials are much cheaper. I know that's kind of a trap with tires, or a gamble - I drive extremely safe, almost like Grandpa except with an attention span intact. So I might benefit from something long lasting, but even then you could still run over a nail without knowing it. Tough call for me.
 
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