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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all - we kept our 2006 Highlander Hybrid with 185,000 miles on it when we got a new car because it wasn't going to get much for trade in. We thought it would be nice to keep it for emergencies or for special use, but in the course of a year of not being used much, the battery has died twice. I try to drive it once a week but sometimes that doesn't happen, and it may go two weeks or more without being used.


Given the nature of the hybrid system, jump starting and letting the car run doesn't seem like it's a good way to recharge the battery because the gas engine turns off. Any suggestions for handling after a jump start? I don't think there's a way to force the gas engine to run other than sitting in the car and driving it, but even then the gas engine turns off.


More generally, does anybody else have a Highlander Hybrid that doesn't get used much, and if so, do you have any tips? I know there are battery maintaining options, but I think the owner's manual said something about not using those in garages (?).



It may be time to get rid of this car if it's going to be difficult to manage. Looking for any thoughts ... thank you!
 

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It's been REALLY discussed down to dry skin...
1. Put a battery tender, solar, onto 12V
2. You need to drive car every two weeks or so, for about 20 minutes or
3. Place system in maintenance mode, then ICE runs all the time to charge hybrid battery=charging 12V. Out of two, I'd rather drive as it also re greases all joints and takes rust off brakes.
4. Clean 12V terminals and lubricate with dielectric grease.


We had folks in TCH section that'd let their car sit for six month and it'd start right away. Possibly, your 12V is on its last days.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a lot for the input! I had tried to do my research before posting, but I guess I didn't search on the right terms. Just a couple of follow ups:

1) I'm confused by the owner's manual in relation to the trickle charge. It gives some 12 volt battery recharging precautions. To paraphrase:

- Recharging produces hydrogen gas
- Make sure there's sufficient ventilation (i.e. not inside a garage)

I see you recommended a solar charger, but this car stays parked in the garage. I would want to use a charging option in the garage, but am I right to think that it's dangerous to do so? That would seem to disqualify this option.

2) This was the first time I've heard about maintenance mode. I tried to find specific instructions for 2006, but OM seems to not have any references and I could not find any in this forum (or Google). I get the general impression though that it isn't something to do often and that you shouldn't drive while running in this mode. Is that correct? Is it possible on a 2006? If you (or anyone) could provide a reference on how to do it and any precautions, I'd really appreciate it. Seems like this would be the best option after jumping the car if I can't devote 30-60 minutes driving it.

Thanks!
 

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1. I like solar because its - cheap. Otherwise, less than 20 bucks trickle charger will do fine. Simply disregard legal language in precautions. Don't worry about it.
2. Maintenance mode. You can do it as many times as you wish, the very moment you reset the system by shutting it down and turning back on, it goes back to normal mode. Honestly, for entire car re lubrication, driving it around is better approach.



 

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Many thanks! Hopefully final questions - does that youtube method work on a 2006 without the button? I’m going to just turn the key but not all the way on to start the car. Going to do this after it gets jumped.

Lastly - any experience with the switches that disconnect the battery? Looks like you can install on the negative terminal and essentially break the circuit to avoid power drain.
 

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DO NOT DISCONNECT 12V!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please. yes, you will see posts "had it done many times". Also, you will see few that had MAJOR headache after they disconnected 12V. It is powering all crucial electronics in the vehicle and I counted 17 or more computers in my Camry Hybrid. It is your car, your call - but I am highly opposed to 12V diconnect and, when I did mine replacement, had back up 12V connected.
Your call. Not worth money, on my books.
Yes, you should be able to turn key into position II, or Aux. III is Start system. I clal it System, as Start does not necessarily turn engine on.
Look, trickle charger is literally few bucks. Clean battery terminals - with back up power, small 12V and alligator clamps will do fine - grease them with dielectric grease and connect all back solid. Place trickle charger on and do your best to drive her as often as you can. At least, pout on jackstands, so tires do not develop flat spots. Always remember, the ONLY way you can charge 12V is either trickle charger, or running ICE=charging hybrid battery=charging 12V. When hybrid battery runs critical low, it will stop charging 12V=dead 12V=non responsive vehicle at start up.
 

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having a Hybrid for spare car will be brain damage the whole time, they really need to be driven more regularly. to keep it for emergencies or for special use might get expensive and be less than reliable when you actually need it. I'd post it on autotrader for KBB or NADA private sale value and wait it out and sell.......dont forget the hybrid battery is just sitting there as well..........cant be a good end for the car just sitting around.
 
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