New 2007 TCH owner, have questions - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars


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Old 09-18-2017, 08:25 AM
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Default New 2007 TCH owner, have questions

I just bought a 07 TCH with 110K miles. I know the previous owner of the car. The car had a check hybrid system warning with the Check engine life. I know the battery will need work. I had the following questions:

1. I reset the hybrid battery to see if it was a fake alarm. When I unplugged the 12V I noticed that the battery was a duralast 24-DLG. Is that the right battery? If not should I replace it? What should I replace it with?

2. As mentioned earlier the check hybrid system warning was present. After the reset I have driven 40 miles and the light hasnt come back. The cars performance is sluggish. The dash says I have had 32mpg since last fuel up. The ICE starts up as soon as the car is turned on and the battery meter is at 80%. The battery seems to be charging as soon as I lift my foot off the accelerator. When I push the car hard battery seems to add power with the ice. The car hardly coasts on battery. This car has sat for a period of time.
Do you guys recommend that I take the car on the highway and push it so the battery cells get balanced?

3. Do you guys know any rebuilders in Chicago. I know this company with decent reviews: http://www.besthybridbatteries.com/pages/our-services. They will balance the cells and replace the bad modules. Their charge is $450 to remove open and check the modules and $50 for every module they replace.

4. What other maintenance should I be looking at considering the car is 10 years 110K miles.

Thank you!!
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:55 AM
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Default Re: New 2007 TCH owner, have questions

Hopefully, the sale price reflected the fact that a $4500 repair is needed. A major system has failed, and the cost of that repair should have been factored into the price of the car.

1) probably not, but if it's working, it's fine. In the future, you should go to OReilly to have the codes read before clearing them.

2) Again, get your codes checked. If you are having consistent battery issues, OReilly Bosch readers will show pending codes.

3) No I don't; however, that's a very reasonable price for the labor involved. You should budget time and $ to have it done about once every six months depending on the condition of your battery. Healthy NiMH is self-balancing. If any of the modules need "balancing", they are going to be the next to fail. What you are likely paying for is the 4-5 hours it takes to pull the pack, disassemble, measure voltages, break down the clamp, replace a module, reassembly and install. Any "balancing" they do is likely superficial and will do nothing for the longevity of the pack.

After typing the above, I checked out their page. I am unimpressed and unconvinced they do quality work based on their marketing statements. "Factory Reconditioned"? - there is no such thing. Toyota does not recondition batteries. Nor does Toyota authorize 3rd parties to recondition batteries outside the dealer part supply network, i.e., in some markets, Toyota sells "reconditioned" batteries that were reconditioned by a 3rd party in California, but they are NOT in the wild.

Again, a repair is a temporary fix. In all likelihood, you will need to engage in that repair multiple times.

If your goal is to get another 100K miles out of this car and never have to worry about the battery again, the only solution is a new battery.

4. Ask the previous owner for maintenance recrods. Consult with Toyota resources and get the maintenance schedule. Make sure everything has been done.
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:22 AM
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Default Re: New 2007 TCH owner, have questions

Thanks Keith. The price of the car factored in the cost of a new battery so I am not overly worried about it. I am anticipating it to be in the $2500 range. The car will be driven for 8 miles a day. Here is what I am thinking I will do and want to get others opinions.

1. Replace the 12V battery if this is not the right battery - $225 for an Optima Yellow D34. I read it here that the Optima is a good option for factory replacement.

2. Have the guy check out the hybrid battery and replace the bad modules. I know it might be a whack a mole operation and I am willing to take a risk. Based on my research its usually 1 to 2 modules that goes bad. If I can get 1 year out of it I will be happy.
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: New 2007 TCH owner, have questions

1) Again, if the 12V is healthy and functional, there is nothing to be gained by replacing it besides adding unnecessary material to the recycling pool and wasted $.

2) The last Camry I looked at from here in AZ needed 14 replacement modules, and I don't mean these were iffy. They held voltage and had no failed cells, but they had almost no usable capacity even after reconditioning. Even with 14 replaced, the pack was well below what I would consider acceptable for a pack built for profit (I did not replace the modules - I turned it into Toyota as a core for a new battery). If the car has remained in mild climates, your scenario is more likely.

Glad to hear you got a substantial discount. 8 miles per day (2100 miles per year) is a bad situation for a hybrid. You're getting very little financial benefit for the premium, and you run the risk of battery failure due to self-discharge. I'm assuming 4 miles each way - that is barely enough time for everything to achieve normal operating conditions.

In order to minimize the cost and inconvenience of multiple visits, I recommend you request that the shop replace ANY modules that lie outside of a .05V voltage range (end modules can be up to 0.1V below the highest in the pack) after an overnight sit (NO operation of any kind - no starting, no moving it into a bay, etc. - you need to know what the modules do after sitting 10+ hours). It's even worth letting it sit for a week and then towing it to the shop to see the deviations.

Good luck,

Steve

Last edited by S Keith; 09-18-2017 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: New 2007 TCH owner, have questions

Thanks Steve. The car has been in Chicago all throughout. Kept in a garage for the first 7 years and then outside for the past 3. I did not buy the car for any "Hybrid benefits". It will cost me about $1K more than a Camry LE with same age and miles if I spend $3K on the car. However the TCH has heated leather,bluetooth, auto climate and a decent JBL stereo with a push button start. Thats what I paid for . I will make sure that the modules I put in are balanced. Even if 5 modules are to be replaced, I am looking at $700.
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: New 2007 TCH owner, have questions

Sounds like a winner. I would look to utilize the car as much as possible, i.e., make it the family car for outings, errands, etc.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:10 AM
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Default Re: New 2007 TCH owner, have questions

250 miles after the reset and still no Check hybrid system light . However the average seems to be terrible. 28-30 mpg local driving. However I drove the car on the highway for 50 miles after filling up gas and the mpg was 36. Are the cells in the battery weak? I am trying to drive the car as much as possible . I have ordered new plugs and filters, planning to get an oil change and also put seafoam in the fuel tank as well as injectors to see if it gets better.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: New 2007 TCH owner, have questions

fueleconomy.gov lists mpg as 33 city, 34 highway, 34 combined.
pre-2008 ratings were 40 city, 38 highway, 39 combined.


The post-2008 ratings are readily obtainable by most drivers in most conditions. The pre-2008 ratings are typically possible with extremely favorable conditions and great effort.


The highway mileage suggests that your gas engine is operating efficiently; however, you might be able to squeeze a little more out with your planned tune-up activities.


Your lower city/combined mpg is possibly indicative of a weak HV battery OR driving conditions/style.
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: New 2007 TCH owner, have questions

1000 miles after the reset and no Check Hybrid system light . Noticing better hybrid performance in the city with 32 to 34mpg. Already changed the spark plugs, cabin air filter, air filter and seafoamed the engine. Next on the list is to get better tires than whats currently on the car. That will help mileage a bit.
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:17 AM
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Default Re: New 2007 TCH owner, have questions

Did you ever get your codes checked?

If you had battery codes, this is very atypical; however, continued driving may be keeping the sagging cells from dropping out and it could continue to behave acceptably.
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