Featured Parking my hybrid in the sun heat

Discussion in 'Toyota Hybrids and EVs' started by Bog1992, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. Bog1992

    Bog1992 New Member

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    Hello,

    I am new hybrid owner, to be specific a new Toyota Corolla Hybrid, 2020 manufactured and it has a Nimh battery pack.

    I like my new car and I would like to keep the battery in a very good condition as much as possible.

    I have the following fears.... If some expert can clarify them:

    1. If I Park my car in the sun heat, will it damage the HV battery? (I use AC when driving). Is it ok if I leave the car parked with 50% SOC (as shown on the screen, the real SOC may differ)
    The temperature under the sun sometimes is over 100F

    2. If I drive it more in the electric mode (not using the EV button) will it damage the battery? On autopilot it even gets up to 60mph full electric

    3. Is it ok if i drive it for short distances (2-3 miles)?

    4. If I drive it on a mountain road (steep slopes) will it kill the battery sooner? (I use B when going downhills)

    5. With what SOC should I live my car parked? Does it depend on the weather also (cold, hot)

    Thank you and sorry for the noobie questions!
     
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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    congrats and welcome!

    1) state of charge will not effect it, but parking in the hot sun everyday will have a long term detrimental effect.
    best to find shade if possible, and if not put window shades up when you park.
    if you can leave the windows cracked open a bit without theft concern, that can help.

    2) driving in electric mode wont hurt, but it will increase petrol use as the engine has to run more to charge the battery.
    3) yes, it is okay to drive it any distances like any car, but short trips can impact fuel economy.

    4) no, mountains will not hurt the battery

    5) just park and ignore state of charge, toyota has taken care of that.

    6) all the best!
     
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  3. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    1. No - just park it. Just uses some energy to cool down the whole car, but that's life.

    2. No point forcing it into EV mode - usually - maybe once you get used to it you might find some situations where it's of slight advantage - but just drive it. Forcing it into EV mode sometimes means you haven't used the ICE (internal combustion engine) to the point where the battery is "empty" and you end up at a traffic light, or driving downhill with the ICE running. Just drive it.

    3. Yep fine - quicker than walking.

    4. No worries - but only use "B" mode if you really have to - it's not for general use.

    5. It couldn't care less. ONLY situation where it might care, is if you had a VERRRRY LONG reverse up a VERRRY LONG driveway. Like a kilometer or more - it drives ONLY in EV mode in reverse.
     
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  4. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Come back to PriusChat in the 2030's and we'll help you take care of your battery pack to maximise it's lifespan. In the meantime, forget about it. It will be fine and have no issues till then.
     
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  5. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Toyota has decades of experience with NiMH. They know what do to get the best performance and life out of the battery. Part of that is that the battery has a buffer of capacity that is unused to extend the batteries life. The SOC gauge only shows how charged the usable portion is. Whatever it says, the battery is never truly charged 1005, nor fully depleted. So no need to worry about what the SOC is at when parked.

    Such short trips really aren't good for any car, but they still go tens of thousands of miles without problems. If your trips are all that short, the starter battery may need to be replaced sooner than average without intervention, and following the heavy duty oil change interval should be considered. Now if you didn't have any issues with previous cars being used as such, you very likely won't with a Corolla hybrid.
     
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  6. Kramah313

    Kramah313 Active Member

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    Some things I’ve observed while measuring battery temp with a scan gauge. If possible, I try to park the car with the front windshield facing the sun, not the back window where the battery is. I’ve seen this make a difference of 30 degrees F.

    Parking it with a high state of charge (above 60%) seems to increase battery heat, but mostly if it’s also in the sun. When it’s in the sun and has a 70% charge, it’s not uncommon to see temps of 135 F even when it’s 80 outside. In this mode the car won’t use the battery for acceleration or shut off the engine, so the car is able to try to mitigate the damage by an excessively hot battery. Still, it’s good to park in the shade when possible to help out. I wouldn’t worry about trying to drain it before shutting off though, it’s just too inconvenient for the benefit.
     
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  7. Bog1992

    Bog1992 New Member

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    Thank you everyone for the comments. Much appreciate it. To sum it up, I try to get my back windows tinted and have a sun shade, in some places there really are no shade spots, can't protect it all the time.

    Thank you everyone again!
     
  8. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    We are all new to some things.

    My family is on its 6 straight Toyota hybrid cars and we live where temperatures reach 42c. The one that parks out the most in a open parking lot (6 days a week) is the one with the highest miles at over 230k on its original hybrid/traction battery last I checked.
     
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  9. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Active Member

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    The direct answer:
    1. If you park in the heat of the Sun you might get only 13 or 14 years out of the battery instead of 15 or more.
    2. If you drive it in electric mode you will simply tend to use more fuel. EV mode is for enclosed areas.
    3. Ideally you want few long trips. The more short trips you do the more often you really should be changing your oil if you want to get many years and miles out of the car. I drive my cars around 1-2 miles per trip very often and change the oil at least every 5,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. I'm having oiling problems in the Prius and think I may need to start going every 3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first in all my cars because of my short drive range. I only use Genuine Toyota Motor Oil and Toyota oil filter that I get from the dealer, but Mobile 1 and other top brand oils work as long as they're the right viscosity and type as recommended by Toyota.
    4. If you live in the mountains like me and drive up and down them daily to the point the battery fills up on the downhill part, ya, that might get you 12 or 13 years out of the battery instead of more. But once a week or so won't hurt anything. B mode is a good idea, much better than riding your brake pedal or using cruise control to limit your speed on long downhill slopes.
    5. Park with any SOC you end up with. Less than 10% and more than 90% isn't good but your car will never go that far.
    The indirect answer:
    1. If you plan on keeping the car for only 3 years, it doesn't matter. Do whatever you want to the car.
    2. If you plan on keeping the car for 5 years, change the oil more often, like every 5,000 miles or twice a year.
    3. If you want to keep the car for 10 years or more,
      • Try to park in the shade or use sunshades to keep the interior as cool as possible. Maybe paint the car white if it isn't.
      • Change your oil often and use top brand oil. You can't go wrong with Genuine Toyota Motor Oil.
      • On hils use B mode and use your brake pedal as little as reasonably possible. Don't brake more than necessary anywhere you go (but don't be afraid to use the brakes to maintain a safe distance and to prevent a crash).
      • Some have been able to force the battery cooling fan to come on full blast by means of a OBDII dongle that connects with a smartphone. That may help keep your battery cooler while driving and therefore make it last longer.
      • Besides regular maintenance, take your battery cooling ducts apart from time to time to clean them out.
     
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  10. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    Surprised you didn't mention EGR cleaning as a thing to do for long car life.
     
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  11. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    I think that's a problem specific to early model Gen 3 and that maintenance need was engineered out of the design by recirculating exhaust gas further down stream of the exhaust system where it's much cleaner so no more worries with that one.
     
  12. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Active Member

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    Off topic, but I've always wondered if it would be possible to run a small exhaust line from after the catalytic converters up to the EGR cooler and system as a mod on these older cars. Or would there be a big enough difference in exhaust pressure that you wouldn't get enough exhaust gasses to do the trick?
     
  13. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    It'd make a great post on here if you figured out how to do it successfully.
     
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  14. Bog1992

    Bog1992 New Member

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    Hello,

    So, it's been almost 6 months and almost 10k miles since I had my hybrid. I LOVE IT!!!

    In the last couple of days I drove over 1k miles.

    I noticed a couple of weird things on it...

    1. When descending steep hills, around 10% for over 10 miles, the engine is revving like it is going to take me to outer space, I guess it is normal, because it is trying to dump the execesive electricity since the battery is full (according to what it shows on the screen). I don't know if going up and descending steep hills a couple of times a week have a negative impact on the battery ( would like to hear some opinions)

    2. The fuel consumption is better if I have my AC on all the time. Managed to get almost 60 mpg driving like a maniac (measured it at the pump)
     
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Model year 2010 through 2015 have essentially the same Exhaust Gas Recirculation system. There were some revs, the intake manifold and EGR valve, but the exhaust entry point is the same for all years.
     
  16. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I think that's the engine spinning to help slow you down - to save brakes. I assume you're in "B" mode at the time, though it will do much the same thing when the battery is full, just not as noticeable.
     
  17. Bog1992

    Bog1992 New Member

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    Yes, I was in B gear. My initial thoughts and Google researches it spins the ice up to 4.6 k RPMs to disperse the excess energy.

    I know that is impossible to overcharge the hybrid battery, but does it damages if I get a "full charge" more than a couple of times per week?

    I know that you can balance your cells by fully charging and discharge them..
     
  18. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Nope - that's how TOYOTA designed it - they're the "experts" they've probably spent billions on research into Hybrids over 30+ years - with a hybrid in most models now.
     
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  19. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Yes. One must go to Gen4, 2016 onwards, to get the design changes that PriusCamper mentions.

    And the jury is still out on just how long that system will remain workable. Hopefully several times longer than the Gen3 version ...
     
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  20. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    Think that even in an ICE car the excess electricity generated by the alternator is dumped when it can't be used to power accessories or charge the 12v.
     
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