Observations -- Toyota Camry Hybrid

Discussion in 'Toyota Camry Hybrid' started by jrbjrb, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. jrbjrb

    jrbjrb Member

    Spent a few days sitting in other cars as they seemed 'tight' for my 6'1" frame. They must all be built from the same computer program. Told my friend that she should pick out what she wants and I will 'suffer' the close quarters. No one told me to raise the seat! Bought a 2012 Camry LE hybrid the other day. Raised the seat and much less confinement on the right elbow. I also like the better visibility with the seat all the way up. Front tires still had 45 lbs in them and the car 'danced' all the way home in cross winds. Lowered it to 35 and the hunting/dancing was gone. Very positive steering. The 2012 was much better on the braking whine at low speeds (also drove a 2011 hybrid Camry). Interaction between the engine and electric motor was improved in the 2012. When 'punched' on a 70 MPH merge/onramp you'll hear that motor and it sounds good when surging to 80 MPH. The rest of the time very quiet. Some windnoise which I attribute to suction on the drivers side door and it would be worthwhile to figure out why and eliminate it. All electric drive is fun. ECO drive and cruse control eliminates all the thinking for economy if you aren't a hypermiler. Headlights are brilliant and the inside beam control is a nice feature when vehicle loading changes. Finest vehicle I've ever driven. Get yours while you can!
  2. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Re: observations Toy Cam Hybrid

    I'm thinking I could get seriously good results in my "normal" driving with this car.

    Drive it "normally" for a while and see if you like the results. But if you incorporate a few simple techniques you can learn on this site, your fuel efficiency can soar. Welcome to CleanMPG and good luck with your new Camry.
  3. jrbjrb

    jrbjrb Member

    Re: observations Toy Cam Hybrid: correction

    The LE does not have the inside headlight adjuster. Tried normal this evening, strange....like they simulated the earlier Camry's pedal response. Quite peppy on take off and instantly responsive....I can see how it would use more gas. My partner will probably enjoy that mode. I'll stick with the eco and ev modes and cruise along a lower speeds whenever no one is on my tail (which drives her nuts!).
  4. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    German cars are designed to fit the tall Germans and other northern Europeans.. American cars for the obese among us and the oriental cars are designed for those that are 5' 6" at most :)

    It all depends on the database they use.
  5. jrbjrb

    jrbjrb Member

    Re: revised Observations -- Toyota Camry Hybrid tire pressure

    Wondering if anyone else has noted that the 35 lbs front and back for the 2012 Camry is not the best setting. I'm leaning toward 40 front and the max in back. Tires seem to be the controlling factor. After the front end "dancing" home that first evening with 40+ lbs (my buddy tells me they put the pressure WAY UP during car carrier transportation), 35 is now too low for the steering. 45 appears too low for the rear tires. Up until now with my 50 years of driving experience and 20 plus vehicles the subject never meant much to me. Is it the overall sophistication of these new automobiles that make tire pressure/tires so important? An aside for this so far is try as I might, I never hear the rear tires on a road crack and with the front I hear every road crack. Is the answer different tires and pressures front and rear? I'm having to "hide" my experiments form my partner who thinks what the door wall pressure limits are my limits... :-(
  6. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Most of us here have never seen 35 psi in our tires. Until you get used to it, start at 35 psi and incrementally move the pressure up 2 or 3 lbs. every few days. The difference won't be as severe in the ride.

    BTW: Welcome to CleanMPG! The link in my signature has a lot of the great info here. The Beating the EPA is the a great place to start the reading.
  7. jrbjrb

    jrbjrb Member

    Re: Observations -- 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid

    Thanks for the tire pressure feedback. I'll be going 44 psi in the rear Firestone Affinity P205/65R16's and probably near 40 psi in the front. Researching those tires suggest there are much better tires available. What criteria for hypermiling does one look for?
  8. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Re: Observations -- 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid

    It's more typical to use higher pressures in the front, is it not? Say 42 front, 40 rear. Due to the heavier loading in the front because of engine and so forth.
  10. jrbjrb

    jrbjrb Member

    Observations -- 2012 TCH another correction.

    I do hear lateral highway cracks on both front and rear now (was going too fast to hear them separately). Will leave rear and front tires the same 40 psi. I'm beginning to notice steering wandering/correction forcing so I suspect pointing the tires in a bit is necessary to stop this when I raise tire pressures in the future. Steering is a bit stiff still and a disappointment relative to the 1998 Camry. Beginning to hear a bit more regenerative braking whine. With rear windows open a resonant buffeting of the wind at 50 MPH will drive me and my partner 'up the wall'. Opening a front window an inch relieves it. Learning to drive EV and ECO modes in town without aggravating other drivers. :)
  11. jrbjrb

    jrbjrb Member

    Re: Observations/mileage -2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid

    Ran 150 miles today starting at 4200', over and back 5280' pass at 60 deg f, mostly at 3000' with slower speeds than speed limit when not in traffic. Got 44 MPG. The motor-battery-wheels picture was very interesting and EV mode works at higher speeds than I expected. Watching the power flow arrows can be mesmerizing so don't get "pilot fever" and watch the instruments too much :)
  12. jrbjrb

    jrbjrb Member

    June 2012 Observations -- Toyota Camry Hybrid LE

    Met a guy who uses Prius's for delivery vehicles (he's also a truck stop mechanic/business owner) and as I've only seen one other 2012 Camry Hybrid and her owner wasn't mechanically inclined I decided to do an unauthorized test. I apologize for not posting more often (two other sites have annoying glitches) while this one is well designed....I'll be back more often. BUT the subject today is my 97 mile (vehicle has 3500 miles on it now) hypermilng test yesterday from 4200' to Trona in California and back. As maybe I mentioned before Toyota claims they won't have the front alignment specs until July and my partner doesn't want me changing anything so I merely raised the tire pressure in all 4 tires to 50 PSI for yesterdays test. Cross winds weren't present so there was no 'dancing front end'. Started out at 90+ degs F and read 102 deg, 108 deg (Trona) 104 deg half way back, and 97 deg at the end. Used air conditioning 98% of the time and ran a Dometic freezer in the trunk off the auxiliary battery set on 0 deg F. Final mileage was 52.4 mpg and the trip took 50% longer than it would be normally driven complying with other traffic. Normal mileage with 30 psi front and 40 psi back is around 38 to 42 mpg. I'll keep the tires at 50 psi and report back in a thousand miles or so. More road noise is heard at the higher tire pressure so I'll probably buy a light weight -high quality compressor and change tire pressure often. PS...the liter of Mountain Dew in the freezer (set on 0 deg F) only went down to 35 deg F as it was so warm in the trunk space with the dark grey exterior paint color. To use this freezer more efficiently it must be up front (where it will also reach the front 12V socket).
  13. jrbjrb

    jrbjrb Member

    The most significant thing I forgot to mention......starting up from a full stop in EV mode with 50 psi in the tires is now doable without tripping the motor to run. This is the biggest fuel saver compared to normal and lower pressures. Happy hypermiling!
  14. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    Don't go overboard with the EV starts. Once you hit ~15mph you should be letting the ICE pull the load.
  15. jrbjrb

    jrbjrb Member

    15mph with the ICE?

    How about explaining that after 15mph go with the gas engine/ICE? I figure for economy/hypermiling anytime the engine isn't running is the best. So, I'm developing skills that control the ICE's operation, and the only reason to have the engine running is to charge the battery. This causes a lot of actions/decisions by me concerning traffic, elevation change, wind, and is affected by my guess of what is ahead. I have still not learned or seen how to do this best (sweet spots, technical performance peaks, etc). But 52.4 mpg is amazing to me in a 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE. I can't believe that my wallet is not deflating when I tank up once a month (I don't drive it often).
  16. jrbjrb

    jrbjrb Member

    For people considering hybrid hypermiling the the most important factor is the number of lanes available in the direction you are going and secondly the inconvenience you impose on your fellow drivers. Out here on the desert 2 lane roads (one lane each way) cause high speed people to get 'jangley/pissed' if you force them to slow down. On the freeway during rush hour the only time you will hypermile is when your stuck at 0-10 mph in a jam. Back up to whatever the traffic forces you to do won't be hypermiling. And add 50% to your driving time for going slow (more economical) for hypermiling. My wife kicks the ecodrive off and never EV's so she drives it just like her 1998 Camry and gets 40 mpg ---more or less.
  17. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    Re: 15mph with the ICE?

    Hybrid 101: all charge in the battery is ultimately obtained from the running the engine so it usually the case under load that EV is less efficient than using the engine. To use EV you go engine-power split-inverter-battery-inverter-power-split-wheels instead engine-power split-wheels and there's energy loss in the extra electrical steps.

    In particular, engines are inefficient at low speed and under very low load; electric motors are efficient at low speed and batteries are efficient at low load so if you can accelerate in pure EV at low speed it's good. However, there comes a point at which use of the engine is more efficient.

    I don't know if the 15mph advice is correct for a Camry Hybrid but it's correct for a Gen 2 Prius. A Gen 3 Prius can, I believe, be more efficient in light EV to 17mph. With the Camry's larger, less efficient engine, it may be that slow acceleration in EV is better to higher speeds. Perhaps Wayne can answer that question.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  18. Bennett

    Bennett Well-Known Member

    In the HCH we don't get the luxury of an off-the-start EV mode, as the ICE kicks in from autostop once the brake is released, but I take advantage of the EV torque along with the ICE for at least the first 15mph and sometimes up to 30mph if I'm in traffic and some bugger is on my tail - after that I "cancel" the assist and run on ICE only for the rest of my acceleration/cruise.

    " Cancelling" it basically means lifting off the throttle a bit, rpm drops and the CVT moves up a bit, then re-apply throttle and car stays at same speed, no EV assist, lower engine load and higher mpg. If you're careful you can re-accelerate at the new CVT ratio without re-engaging the assist, but it's slow and that's why I don't do it in busy traffic. Keeping out of the battery pack is one way I've improved my mpg significantly.
  19. jrbjrb

    jrbjrb Member

    2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid starting from dead stop

    The engine does not start when the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid is in EV mode from a dead stop if light acceleration is used. Not sure what an autostop is.
  20. Bennett

    Bennett Well-Known Member

    Autostop is basically when the HCH cuts out the ICE at low speeds - it does have an EV mode of sorts but nothing like you get with the toyotas. Under certain conditions it won't autostop so you're forced to just turn off the car yourself (FAS - forced autostop) to save gas.

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