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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm a newbie and this is my first non-introductory post.

Nearly a month ago I purchased a 2015 Camry Hybrid XLE with 28000 miles. I know nothing about these, but it is a certified pre-owned car though a Toyota Dealership. The car hasn't been driven just a great deal since the purchase - less than 300 miles - and my wife has done the majority of the driving. No issues until yesterday 9/4/2016.

The salesman paired her Smartphone with the car the day we purchased it, and the pairing worked as it should. However, there was an issue with the phone - unrelated to the car - and we had to get the phone replaced two days ago. So, the NEW phone needed to be re-connected. She was unable to figure this out on Saturday while we were out in the car. I drove it approximately 70 miles that day, and everything was okay with the car. I told her I'd hook up the phone later.

Yesterday, I drove the car to a fast food joint - while waiting for my order, I figured out how to pair my phone with it. It took me a couple of tries, pushing buttons, etc., but it paired. Upon arriving home, I told her how to do it, and she went out to try it. The car wouldn't start for her. I went out, tried to start it, but it would not start. The indicators on the dash, with which I'm unfamiliar, didn't seem to alert me to any obvious problem. I kept fooling with it. Finally, with my foot on the brake pedal, I pushed the start button and nothing happened for a few seconds, but my foot was still on the brake pedal. After maybe 8-10 seconds, the car started. I backed it out of the driveway, drove it around the block, without coming to a full stop. As I pulled to the top of my driveway and put my foot on the brake, the car died while still in Drive. I put it in park and tried to start it again. No start. Finally, after a while, it started and I circled the block again. Same deal, once in the driveway and my foot touched the brake, it died while still in Drive.

What's up, here? Have I changed the mode somehow without realizing it? This morning, I went back out, and noticed the buttons on the center console for the first time. I noticed that the ECO light was lit up on the instrument panel, so I hit the ECO button on the console and the indicator on the dashboard went away. I thought that this would put it back in Normal mode, so I circled the block, but once again, it died in the driveway once my foot hit the brake.

Who can give me a clue about why this is happening? Thanks in advance for your responses.
 

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I don't think there's any buttons you can press or any settings you can change that would cause it to die or not start normally, I think it needs to go to the dealer for warranty service so they can diagnose and repair the problem. It should be under warranty as part of the remaining 3/36 warranty or part of the CPO warranty. If you speak nicely they may also pay for the tow to the dealer since it doesn't sound like it's safe to drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't think there's any buttons you can press or any settings you can change that would cause it to die or not start normally, I think it needs to go to the dealer for warranty service so they can diagnose and repair the problem. It should be under warranty as part of the remaining 3/36 warranty or part of the CPO warranty. If you speak nicely they may also pay for the tow to the dealer since it doesn't sound like it's safe to drive.

Well, it certainly seems like there should not be something I could access easily that would result in its not starting. I'm glad it did this while it was sitting in my driveway and not somewhere else. We've got the roadside service with our warranty, but we haven't yet received our package in the mail with all the info. I guess my old tried & true AAA membership will come in handy tomorrow.

I read somewhere that the small 12V battery in the trunk could be the source of a problem similar to this. I truly hope that it's something simple, because it's a shame to purchase a car less than 2 years old, drive it 300 miles over a few weeks, and then have it transported to the dealer because it won't start. I've been on the Internet quite a bit today, trying to understand what I could have done that would have caused this. Because, if I didn't cause this, it worries me that this could be the beginning of a troublesome relationship with a car that needs to be very reliable. My wife's 89 year old mother lives with us, and she is not in the best of health. I don't want this thing to be giving my wife a fit when she's out with her mother. We don't need that.

Thanks for your response, Bitter.
 

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14TAH Touring 10 TundraDC
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Are you sure the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) just wasn't off and in electric drive mode? My Avalon and past Camry Hybrid often don't fire up the ICE motor when leaving in the AM and the ICE motor doesn't fire up until i'm out of the garage. There are times when the ICE motor shuts off just after I leave and goes into electric mode. This is normal for a hybrid. By not starting are you saying the dash lights are not normal and the "Ready" light is not on? Also, make sure you push and hold the "start" button for a bit until you see the ready light. If you just tap it some dash lights will come on and possibly not the ready light (in that case you will not be started).

If the electric/gas power train is not in ready mode or dropping out of ready mode, then you need to see the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Are you sure the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) just wasn't off and in electric drive mode? My Avalon and past Camry Hybrid often don't fire up the ICE motor when leaving in the AM and the ICE motor doesn't fire up until i'm out of the garage. There are times when the ICE motor shuts off just after I leave and goes into electric mode. This is normal for a hybrid. By not starting are you saying the dash lights are not normal and the "Ready" light is not on? Also, make sure you push and hold the "start" button for a bit until you see the ready light. If you just tap it some dash lights will come on and possibly not the ready light (in that case you will not be started).

If the electric/gas power train is not in ready mode or dropping out of ready mode, then you need to see the dealer.
Frankly, I'm not sure of anything. I'm somewhat overwhelmed by all of the read-outs on the dash. When I put my foot on the brake, I believe a message displaying an outline of a key pops up, and then the word Ready is displayed. At this point, I push the start button, but nothing happens for several seconds - possibly as long as 10 seconds. I'm guessing here. However, at some point, I release the start button, but my foot stays on the brake. Finally, the motor starts. Don't ask me which motor, I have no clue because I've only driven this car on about four different occasions.

Anyway, the motor starts, I back out of the driveway, take a short drive around the neighborhood without coming to a full stop, pull back into the driveway, put my foot on the brake, come to a full stop, and it dies while the transmission is still in Drive. It's never done this until yesterday, so that's why I'm asking questions.

Should the motor be stopping with the transmission in Drive? I can't imagine that this should be happening in any mode, EV, ICE, Normal, or whatever. But, you've got my attention.

Thanks for your response, Rebmo.
 

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Are you sure the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) just wasn't off and in electric drive mode? My Avalon and past Camry Hybrid often don't fire up the ICE motor when leaving in the AM and the ICE motor doesn't fire up until i'm out of the garage. There are times when the ICE motor shuts off just after I leave and goes into electric mode. This is normal for a hybrid. By not starting are you saying the dash lights are not normal and the "Ready" light is not on? Also, make sure you push and hold the "start" button for a bit until you see the ready light. If you just tap it some dash lights will come on and possibly not the ready light (in that case you will not be started).

If the electric/gas power train is not in ready mode or dropping out of ready mode, then you need to see the dealer.
I think he nailed it. Took it off the tip of my tongue.

OP, here's what you do.
Pay attention to what it says in the instrument panel.
IF THERE IS GREEN READY LIGHT _ YOU CAR STARTED and is in operational mode. That engine runs or not, is irrelevant.
Why don't we circle back to this, give it a few tries, and then repost. I doubt year old 12V decided to die on you. It's something real simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think he nailed it. Took it off the tip of my tongue.

OP, here's what you do.
Pay attention to what it says in the instrument panel.
IF THERE IS GREEN READY LIGHT _ YOU CAR STARTED and is in operational mode. That engine runs or not, is irrelevant.
Why don't we circle back to this, give it a few tries, and then repost. I doubt year old 12V decided to die on you. It's something real simple.
I did just what you said. Foot on brake, green ready light on - pushed starter button, kept it pushed for several seconds - finally let it go, and a few seconds after letting it go, engine started - don't know which engine, but one started - backed out of driveway, circled block twice - pulled back into driveway, came to full stop, and engine quit with car still in Drive. Is this normal, engine quitting with car in Drive? It doesn't seem normal - I don't think it did this when I drove it Saturday.

Also, I tried to start the car again after I parked it - foot on pedal, green ready light - but, no start.
 

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Ok, let's try this.
1. Sit in the car
2. Press with foot on brake pedal
3. Press and hold Start button
4. In about 2 seconds, READY green logo should appear somewhere in the instrument panel. I know where it happens on mine, but mine is 2007.
Did this happen?
If YES, your vehicle STARTED and is in fully operational mode.
Combustion engine MAY or MAY NOT start at the same time. Again it's irrelevant. You can take off and go up to 42 mph without engine actually starting.
It all boils down to READY light. It's on - vehicle started and is functional.
Yes, combustion engine may turen off any time it's warmed up and there is no demand for it operation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Ok, let's try this.
1. Sit in the car
2. Press with foot on brake pedal
3. Press and hold Start button
4. In about 2 seconds, READY green logo should appear somewhere in the instrument panel. I know where it happens on mine, but mine is 2007.
Did this happen?
If YES, your vehicle STARTED and is in fully operational mode.
Combustion engine MAY or MAY NOT start at the same time. Again it's irrelevant. You can take off and go up to 42 mph without engine actually starting.
It all boils down to READY light. It's on - vehicle started and is functional.
Yes, combustion engine may turen off any time it's warmed up and there is no demand for it operation.

Thank you, Ukrkoz, I think I finally understand. I may not, in fact, probably will not, hear the engine starting when I push the button. But, if I engage the transmission in gear, the car will actually start then. This is what has been confusing me.

I just drove it for a few miles, pulled up in my driveway and as I neared the top, I eased up on the accelerator. The engine quit and the car stopped moving. Then, I pressed the accelerator, and the car continued to move forward.

I am so embarrassed - I don't think there is anything wrong with this car, with the exception of the loose nut behind the wheel. I just did not understand how the electric engine engages.

Thank you for helping me to understand - somewhat. I've got a lot more to learn about this thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It seems I misunderstood as well, I thought it wasn't starting meant it wasn't turning 'on' to move and that it was 'stalling' as in stopping and not moving.
I think my wife & I are beginning to understand why we may have gotten so confused. It has been hot as blazes here the last month, just like most of the rest of the USA. Every single time I've driven the car, I've just pushed the start button and the A/C has come on blowing like a hurricane. I am wondering if the internal combustion engine has to be running for the A/C to work, because just about every time I've started it, I've heard the sound of a starter turning over. I got used to hearing that starter turning the motor over.

Then, yesterday, the first time I've driven the car for any distance by myself, it was a cool morning and I didn't need the A/C. I started the car, and drove for a short distance before turning the A/C completely off.

When I came back home, my wife went out to pair the phone, so when she went to start the car, the A/C wasn't on, and she didn't hear the engine running. That's when she came to me and said the car wouldn't start.

We are just now realizing that the electric engine doesn't run if the car is not moving. It's a different concept for us to grasp. I wish the salesman had taken some time to explain some of this to us. It would have saved us some worry & anguish.

I guess it's all good.

Thanks, everyone.
 

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14TAH Touring 10 TundraDC
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Don't be embarrassed. You are smart enough to ask questions in a place where others may be able to help. Welcome to the Forum!

This is a really cool system that Toyota designed. It can be overwhelming to sort out but the engine computer does all the thinking for you. You have two drives, one is the gas engine (ICE) and the other is electric. The battery stores energy from braking, coasting, gas engine drive, and the engine computer switches to the electric drive when the battery state and driving conditions are right.

What can be confusing is when the drive switches to electric. It can seem like the car died. The electric drive is so quiet it can seem like the car died. The Toyota Hybrid drive is quite seamless when switching between gas and electric drive, but you are noticing the gas engine not running at times. As Ukroz suggests, just look for your "ready" light near the speedometer and that will tell you if the drive system (electric & gas is active). If the ready light is on, put it in drive, and when you press the accelerator pedal you move forward, you are good to go.

The electric drive is what uses the recovered energy and drives the vehicle at times and also will assist the gas drive. This is what saves on fuel, being able to recover the braking energy and coasting energy that is otherwise lost in a non-hybrid car.

If you get this Hybrid drive system sorted out where you are comfortable, there are some great tips and ideas shared here that will help you understand how the system works, and you can apply some driving techniques can really lower fuel consumption.

Good luck, let us know how things progress, and enjoy learning about your awesome Hybrid! These are great cars.

Oh, And yes, the gas engine sometimes will stop when you are in drive or when you come to a stop. That's completely normal. This is when it switches to Electric drive. Electric drive is so quiet you will likely not hear it. If you push the pedal and it goes, you are good and running in electric mode. As you accelerate, the gas engine may again kick in. Just let it do it's thing, perfectly normal.
If you in drive and are not moving when you push the accelerator, that would be a problem, but it sounds like you are just in electric drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, let's try this.
1. Sit in the car
2. Press with foot on brake pedal
3. Press and hold Start button
4. In about 2 seconds, READY green logo should appear somewhere in the instrument panel. I know where it happens on mine, but mine is 2007.
Did this happen?
If YES, your vehicle STARTED and is in fully operational mode.
Combustion engine MAY or MAY NOT start at the same time. Again it's irrelevant. You can take off and go up to 42 mph without engine actually starting.
It all boils down to READY light. It's on - vehicle started and is functional.
Yes, combustion engine may turen off any time it's warmed up and there is no demand for it operation.
Upon further reflection, I am probably incorrect in stating that the electric motor doesn't run unless it needs to. I imagine the correct way to state this would be to say that the electric motor runs so silently that I'm not aware it is still engaged when I'm stopped.
 

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Upon further reflection, I am probably incorrect in stating that the electric motor doesn't run unless it needs to. I imagine the correct way to state this would be to say that the electric motor runs so silently that I'm not aware it is still engaged when I'm stopped.
The electric motor doesn't run at all when the car is stopped. The motor only turns to make the car move, or to start the ICE. When you're not moving, the electric motor does not turn.

Every hybrid car I've ever experienced almost always does not start the ICE immediately, and always shuts it off during stops, unless it needs it on to warm up coolant faster or whatever. When starting from a stop (traffic light), depending on how much you press the accelerator pedal, the car may start out on full electric, or may start the ICE instantly to provide some extra power to get going - whatever the car deems necessary based on a number of factors, including current speed, accelerator pedal position, ambient conditions and so on.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, PatrickGSR94. It didn't feel like the Electric engine was running at all when stopped, but I figured maybe I just couldn't tell it. What you're saying makes sense to me.

So, about the ECO and EV buttons on the center console. When do I select one or the other and why? I guess I could read the owner's manual again, but I seem to grasp it better from this forum.
 

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Thanks, PatrickGSR94. It didn't feel like the Electric engine was running at all when stopped, but I figured maybe I just couldn't tell it. What you're saying makes sense to me.

So, about the ECO and EV buttons on the center console. When do I select one or the other and why? I guess I could read the owner's manual again, but I seem to grasp it better from this forum.
The electric "engine" (or motor) is directly tied to the wheels, so if you're stopped, so is the motor. The A/C, radio, etc, can all run with both the engine and motor stopped completely. If the battery runs low or the engine is too cold, it will start, but normally if the vehicle is stopped, so is the engine, so you will hear very little noise if any. It's common to be able to drive around without the engine starting at all, and the car's computer will decide when it should run, so you don't need to pay attention to it.

The Eco button (as far as I know) reduces the throttle response so that it's easier to drive economically. The "EV" button enables a special mode which tries to use the engine as little as possible, allowing you to drive faster without the engine turning on at all, which is a strange sensation for new hybrid owners, but it's quite fun to show off to your passengers how quiet your car is!
 

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Don't be embarrassed. When I turned my TCH on 1st time, I did exactly same - sitting there waiting for something to happen. Seller looks at me sor to strange....

OK, here's crash course in hybrids.

HSD - hybrid synergy drive - has 3 means to propell your car.
1. ICE - internal combustion engine
2. MG - motor generator, or electric motor
3. Both of them combined.

NB: reverse is ONLY electric. Usually, ICE does not turn on in R. Unless main battery is depleted.

What happens when you start the car?
You start a SYSTEM. This car has 17 I believe computers and way more computing power than any Apollo modules.

When press the brake pedal and Start button, that system starts. Green READY icon shows in the instrument cluster and vehicle is ready for operation.
Depending on multiple factors, at that point, ICE MAyYor MAY NOT start. For simplicity, do not concern yourself with ICE. READY is green - all is good.
To move in reverse, you place gear shifter in R position and press gas pedal. Car will roll back, normally - without any sound, maybe a faint whine from electric motor.
To move forward, you place gear shifter into D or B position. Then, simply take your foot off brake pedal and press gas pedal. Car will start moving forward.
ICE MAY or MAY NOT start.
Usually, when car is cold overnight, ICE will start in about 10 seconds from the time you started the system. ICE will run as long as computer, ECM, tells it to, in order to warm up some components, mostly - emissions system and catalytic converter.
If the car is WARMED UP and battery charged, ICE may not start at all. With gentle pedal operation, you may propell car forward for about 1.5 mile and up to about 42 mph on electric motor only.
Under more or less normal driving conditions, ICE turns on every time reasonable acceleration is required.
Difference between D and B modes are that in B mode, the very moment you let go of gas pedal, engine brakes down the car. This is beneficial on long downhills or for controlled slow downs before say red light. You can accelerate in B mode at any time you want to, by simply pressing gas pedal.
Engaging B mode disengages cruise control.
Vehicle has 2 batteries. A 12V battery and what we call here traction battery. traction battery is main battery that runs almost all systems in the car, AC and MGs. Charge level shown in your dash is referring to traction battery state.

For the sake of simplicity, you should remember 2 things:
1. Green READY means good to go
2. When green READY is on, simply drive her. Drive her and take your mind off any habits or else you had from a conventional vehicle.
Them slowly but steadily, you shall learn more and more about that car.
First advice is - cruise as much as you can.
 

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These guys are on the right track. When I first got my hybrid, it felt weird that I didn't hear any engine noise when I started the car, but once you get used to it, you just start the car and drive. Hope you enjoy your new ride!
 
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