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Camry Hybrid Discussion area for the Toyota Camry Hybrid. Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving Americas favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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Old 11-28-2012, 12:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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TCH storage

Has anyone stumbled on any information on long term storage of the TCH. By long term, I mean 4 months or so. I know when the Prius first came out, this was a serious issue, but I am assuming this has been ironed out.

I asked our selling dealer and they said they did not think it was an issue. I couldn't find anything in the manual, and searched this forum and came up empty.

We purchased our TCH about 2 months ago and in the summer months we go to Colorado and normally leave our car here, garaged, in Texas. Any experience, links, or information would be much appreciated.

This is my first post on here and I love this car!!! I go wayyyyyy back with Toyota and this is the finest one, yet! How far back?? 1966.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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About the only thing would be to disconnect the 12v battery or put a good quality trickle charger on it. The 12v has a rather small capacity and would probably be depleted over the 4 month period.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I found this in the Hybrid Systems section of the owners manual:

"As the gasoline engine charges the hybrid battery (traction battery), the
battery does not need to be charged from an outside source. However, if
the vehicle is left parked for a long time the hybrid battery will slowly discharge.
For this reason, be sure to drive the vehicle at least once every
few months for at least 30 minutes or 10 miles (16 km). If the hybrid battery
becomes fully discharged and you are unable to jump-start the vehicle
with the 12-volt battery, contact your Toyota dealer."

This is the best bet, as there is no good way to charge the 245 volt hybrid battery. On the 12 volt, apparently one of the main draws on the battery is the Smart Key system. Check through the manual. I recall reading that there is a way to disable the smart key system so it does not consume power.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Over a 4 month period, there should be no problem with the traction battery. A suggestion is to make sure the HV battery has a full, or nearly full charge prior to storage. The weak link is still the 12v battery. On the Gen II Prius, there was a button under the steering wheel to turn off the SKS. However, with the Gen III Prius this button was eliminated and the SKS will turn itself off after a period of inactivity (can't remember the length of time). I don't know if the TCH has that same 'power-down' feature.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron AKA View Post
I found this in the Hybrid Systems section of the owners manual:

"As the gasoline engine charges the hybrid battery (traction battery), the
battery does not need to be charged from an outside source. However, if
the vehicle is left parked for a long time the hybrid battery will slowly discharge.
For this reason, be sure to drive the vehicle at least once every
few months for at least 30 minutes or 10 miles (16 km). If the hybrid battery
becomes fully discharged and you are unable to jump-start the vehicle
with the 12-volt battery, contact your Toyota dealer."

This is the best bet, as there is no good way to charge the 245 volt hybrid battery. On the 12 volt, apparently one of the main draws on the battery is the Smart Key system. Check through the manual. I recall reading that there is a way to disable the smart key system so it does not consume power.
What a dumb thing for Toyota to say, "every few months". How many days is that? The FFH gives an exact number.
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Last edited by TAH Owner; 11-28-2012 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good question

Quote:
Originally Posted by camry hybrid driver View Post
What a dumb thing for Toyota to say, "every few months". How many days is that? The FFH gives an exact number.
I agree...what is a "few." I looked it up in the dictionary and found that few=not many.

I may forward my question to Toyota.com and see if anyone is awake there. I have to confess that I was in the "business" for a while and know all too well, the misinformation and lack of information within the "system." So, I don't necessarily trust what the Company might say.

I appreciate the feedback and will keep checking this out.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Reply from Toyota

Following is the reply I received from Toyota:

Thank you for contacting Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. We appreciate the opportunity to address your inquiry regarding storing your 2012 Camry Hybrid.

In addition to the "storage tips" for our conventionally-powered vehicles, our hybrids require additional steps for each battery, as the hybrid vehicle battery and auxiliary battery will discharge and their condition is liable to decline.

To prevent excessive auxiliary battery drainage, charge the battery at least once every two weeks by powering on the hybrid system for 20 minutes with all non-essential electrical accessories (such as air conditioning and audio equipment) turned off. It is not necessary to drive the vehicle, but do not start the hybrid system in an enclosed area unless the tail pipe is connected to an exhaust hose to prevent harmful buildup of fumes. As an alternative, you may disconnect the negative terminal of the auxiliary battery.

For the hybrid vehicle battery, charge the battery at least once every two months by starting the hybrid system for about 30 minutes*. Check that the "ready" light is on and all lights and electrical accessories are off. As with the auxiliary battery charging, it is not necessary to drive the vehicle, but the steps to prevent exhaust buildup must be taken.

*If the auxiliary battery was disconnected, it will have to be reconnected before the hybrid system is started.

We hope you find this information to be helpful. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us at http://www.toyota.com/help/contactus.html.

Sincerely,

Kym Strong
Toyota Customer Experience
"
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think that is a very conservative approach by Toyota. If the Prius HV battery can go 6 months or more, I see no reason that the TCH should be any different. A good quality trickle charger on the 12v should take care of the 12v battery. Or, just disconnect the 12v battery and charge it (if necessary) before reconnecting it.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firepa63 View Post
I think that is a very conservative approach by Toyota. If the Prius HV battery can go 6 months or more, I see no reason that the TCH should be any different. A good quality trickle charger on the 12v should take care of the 12v battery. Or, just disconnect the 12v battery and charge it (if necessary) before reconnecting it.
I agree that it is probably very conservative and I understand the Company is not going to push the envelope very far. I think the most sensible thing for us will be to get someone to "exercise" the car weekly, if we can get that worked out. I am sure there would be no shortage of volunteers if I put it in the paper. But, if that doesn't work out, I think the trickle charger route might be ok.

Thanks, again, for the feedback and I am interested in any experiences.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwking01 View Post
Thanks, again, for the feedback and I am interested in any experiences.
I found a thread I started a few months ago. It gives some battery voltages at various times for the 12 volt. In particular see the first and last post. I found the 12 volt battery lost about 10% charge after sitting 2 weeks. If it continued at this rate it would be getting down to minimum usable charge after about 4 months. Not sure if the 245 volt battery would discharge about the same rate or not. I would try to get it as fully charged as you can before putting it into storage.

I think starting it every two months and letting it run to charge up would be quite safe. Four months may be pushing it. Just my guess...
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The 12v will drop at a much faster rate than the HV battery because it has some load on it. However, with the car off, there should be no load on the HV battery. Thus it should be fine for 4 months of storage.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:01 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I was on a trip and my 2001 Buick LeSabre sat for 41 days without running. Started on first turn of the key.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camry hybrid driver View Post
I was on a trip and my 2001 Buick LeSabre sat for 41 days without running. Started on first turn of the key.
There is also a much larger capacity 12v battery in the Buick as compared to the 12v in the TCH.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Make sure when you power off your Camry, look at the clock on the dash and make sure it's black. (no visible numbers)

If you going to leave the car in a garage I would buy a microprocessor controlled, charger that includes the low 2 amp charge rate. The charger should maintain the battery at 12 volts with no problem. The Schumacher charger includes two higher amp selections plus auto trickle. I'm not sure if wally stocks this one below.

I like the SC600A a low priced ($31) microprocessor controlled charger.

Open www.amazon.com/ and put this in the search_Schumacher Battery Charger
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camry hybrid driver View Post
I was on a trip and my 2001 Buick LeSabre sat for 41 days without running. Started on first turn of the key.
Does it have a Smart Key like the Camry? The Smart Key system stays powered up all the time waiting for you to come back and touch the handle.
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