Last post on Nov 13, 2011 at 11:20 AM
You are in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Hybrid Cars, SUV
#3386 of 4026 Highlander Hybrid dangerous situation
Jan 04, 2007 (10:29 am)
We loved our 2006 Highlander Hybrid, so when the "check the computer" message first came on and it stopped running, we luckily were able to pull over to the curb and call AAA towing. Then the serious problem occurred: We were in the carpool lane on the 405 (major) highway when the same message came on. It was dark and when it came to a stop we were scared! We put on the flashing lights and called 911. Luckily, they sent a tow truck to safely get us off the highway. We had it towed to the Toyota dealer and said we would never drive it again! He then gave us a good deal on a new NON HYBRID hylander which we now really enjoy riding again. By the way, the dealer is still trying to figure out what caused the Hybrid to stop running, and they are using help from Toyota corporate. We are still considering bringing a lawsuit against Toyota for endangering our lives.
#3387 of 4026 Re: Hybrid battery, any way jump start 12V battery & get AC electricity [se
Jan 04, 2007 (9:14 pm)
There already is a 12 volt converter. The irony is that you need the 12 volts to run the computer before the high voltage system is activated.
#3388 of 4026 Yes, true, already 12V converter in HH, a solution??
Jan 10, 2007 (8:50 am)
Thank your for this reply "need 12 volts to run the computer" You answer is far better than the Toyota HH electrical manual. Please read if you wish.
Please recall that my goal is to get a car started during a cold Minnesota winter day or night (ex. at minus 20F or lower) with when the auxiliary 12V battery is weak or dead.
If and only if 12V of relatively little DC power is need to run the HH computer(s) - to activate the high voltage system to get 12V from the large capacity 288 V HH batteries - then the 12V DC power from one of those small "jump starter battery kits" might have enough power, again to only run the onboard computer; one brand is the Michigan Industrial Jumpstarter; there are many other brands; these contain small 12V lead gel type batteries in the 5 AH to 8 AH range; I have replace the lead acid gel battery in mine.
While these "jumpstarter batter kits" do not have enough power to turn a starter motor, these starter kits should have enough power to run the onboard computers.
In other words, there may a solution to what I am trying to do. Or am I missing something?
Yes, I bought two of the five Toyota Highlander Hybrid manuals, the first manual on the engine and the electrical wiring diagram manual. In the electrical wiring diagram manual, it is clearly stated that this is a 12 V converter beneath the DC/AC inverter. Then this manual states on how to jump start a HH, using the same method that you use for other cars (find someone else willing to jump start your car from their car). This is really "interesting engineering" or an oversight. There is no mention of the 12V need to activate the onboard computer(s) to activate the 288 V DC high voltage system to activate the 12V converter.
Perhaps, the people who design the HH AND the people who write the HH electrical manual need to experience a car not starting at -20 F, especially with a HH that has plenty of hybrid battery power. Maybe a good north wind at 20 MPH at -20 F would convince them of making a few minor changes, perhaps just a few more sentences in the owner's manual AND the electrical manual.
BTW, even the Minnesota Toyota dealer did not mention your ideal - when I specifically asked and discussed this scenario.
Or you are quite smart
Oh well . . .
#3389 of 4026 Re: Yes, true, already 12V converter in HH, a solution?? [sebemismnusa]
Jan 10, 2007 (10:51 am)
It is a really good well thought out design aspect...!!
How would you feel if leaving the headlights on, etc, etc, resulted in discharging of the 12 volt battery to the point that the DC-DC downconverter started recharging it to the point that the hybrid battery also became discharged?
#3390 of 4026 Good design aspect, really?
Jan 10, 2007 (11:39 am)
Perhaps you are or may think like the YotaToy design engineers. Perhaps you are the YotaToy design engineer who decided where to put the oil filter in the HH ICE. This is the best hidden oil filter I have seen yet.
Goal: Allow HH to start if there is sufficient battery power in the 12V battery OR the 288V hybrid battery. Car should be startable if there is the battery power.
while considering your thought (well, we do not want to discharge the 288V hybrid battery if a foolish driver leaves some accessory on while the car is turned off).
Let's put a little thought into this while trying to keep this as simple as possible, and at least cost and maximum reliability.
Do you think there could be a manual override switch, allowing the converter to allow electricity to flow from 288V battery to the !12V side, thereby energizing the HH 12V system by the hybrid battery. BTW, this is what is done normally by the converter.
The switch would be controlled by yet another ECU (there are plenty of them already in the HH now). After five minutes (or some determined time), this "manual override" would automatically disengage (it is a ECU). This ECU would get its power from the 288V side (yes, this would have to be a special ECU to handle 288V).
Or maybe this is how the ignition would work normally - that is when you turn the key to "start" the hybrid, it gets electricity from the 288V; this 288V ECU is what actually starts the car.
1. Turn key off; only the 12V auxilary battery works.
2. Turn the key to accessory; only the 12V battery works.
3. Turn the key to ignition, the 288V battery starts the car.
There are many more design considerations to be consider. This is just an outline.
But nooooooooooooooooo . . . instead you YotaToy engineers decide we consumers need to enjoy jump starting our YotaToy HH just like everyone else . . . and carry around battery jumper cables . . . just like everyone-else (this is documented in the electrical manual) . . .
or we should freeze to death . . . just like people in regular cars . . . as we cannot start our HH because the itty, bitty 12V battery is too weak and cold . . . meanwhile the 288V mighty hybrid battery is safely warm beneath the passenger seat and will survive . . . unlike us.
#3391 of 4026 Perhap dangerous HH, but I would buy this HH
Jan 10, 2007 (11:57 am)
Realizing I am not a HH certified Toyota technician, this appears to be a malfunctioning onboard computer(s). I do work in the computer business though. From I know of the HH, this appears to be a drive by wire car. In other words, if one or more onboard computers do not work in this car, a HH cannot be driven. Your experience seems to indicate this. This is just like new, commercial airplanes and even the NASA space shuttle. No computer - no go.
For others' consideration, would a freeze frame from the OBD II indicate which computer failed? Yes, a computer would have to be connected to the OBD II. Would something like a ScanGauge II, which can capture this data, work?
Note: I would buy this car and drive - after I identified which onboard computer(s) failed and replaced the malfunctioning computer.
#3392 of 4026 Re: Good design aspect, really? [sebemismnusa]
Jan 10, 2007 (1:27 pm)
it is my feeling that the toyota engineers were more worried about protecting the main traction battery than providing it as a source for starting the vehicle if the 12 volt battery should fail. in doing research during vehicle development the two most important issues on customers minds were, dont make the vehicle look wierd like the first honda hybrid, and make the battery last the life of the vehicle. the colder the climate the less benefit there is in having this toyota system. would there be a garage available so your batteries are not subjected to this extreme cold?
#3393 of 4026 Re: Perhap dangerous HH, but I would buy this HH [sebemismnusa]
Jan 10, 2007 (4:02 pm)
We have an OBD II CAN enabled reader. It can extract pending and posted error codes but it cannot extract freeze frame data. You may be able to find one on-line that can get the freeze-frame data.
The codes will identify various devices and systems that generate error codes. From there, diagnosis will be necessary to identify the true cause. The Feds has a set of pre-defined codes that everyone uses. Each manufacturer then also has a custom set. You can probably find that list somewhere on-line and see if they say anything about "computer" failures.
As for drive-by-wire, I believe the mechanical "back-Up" will work up to a point. Steering and brakes are likely still operable though they may demand more physical strength to execute. There is no power so the only option is to coast to a stop safely and hopefully, traffic allows this to happen.
#3394 of 4026 Jump starting a HH, just wonderful
Jan 11, 2007 (3:12 pm)
Protecting the 288 V hybrid traction battery would understandably be a top design goal for a HH. Providing some means of using the 288 V hybrid battery to emergency start the HH could had easily been done. But it was not.
Another example of how this could be done.
(no additional ECUs, no fancy switches, no way to discharge the 288V battery by accident): Put in a cable (yes, one of those orange cables) from the 288V system to a 12 V transformer. Put this 12 V transformer next to the 12 V battery. Put 12 V output on this transformer, perhaps special Toyota connectors that require a special $$ Toyota cable - something). Put short jumper cables with these special Toyota $$ cables in the rear well (where the jack is).
Charge extra for this. Call it an cold climate option pack. $$ Charge customers far more than this costs to install. Make additional $$.
Require the customer to know how to jump this. Put directions in the owner's manual. If the customer does not read this manual, he will not know how to use this.
Dangerous? No more dangerous than jump starting a HH from another car. But you have to disconnect the 12 V transformer after the HH is started. Hmmm, this is just like after jumpstarting in the regular way. And with this new method, Toyota could stop the electricity to the 288V to 12V transformer, as the 288V to 12V converter is now running. All onboard computers are running. Car running, shut off the electricity to the 288V transformer. The electricity can only be shut off once the onboard computers are running. This means the car is started. Dangerous to have 12V live when the car is off. This is what is always present with the 12V battery. What if the 288V to 12 V transform shorts. Use something called a fuse to blow, just like in the 12 V battery.
What to do with the current situation. (besides rant on bulletin boards).
Put on good, insulated rubber gloves
Connect one of those small "jumper starter" kits (gel lead acid battery) to the 12 V positive battery pole and ground. The onboard computer may be able to receive enough necessary 12V DC power to start the HH. The 288 V to 12 V converter now works. Disconnect the "jumper starter kit".
Note: The discharged 12V battery may draw too much power from this "jumper start kit" . Then the procedure could get really interesting. The positive pole of the 12 V battery may have to be removed and re-attached. As this can be quite dangerous for anyone who is not careful, I not writing this procedure here.
Why might this work in a HH, but not regular car? The 288 V battery is available to turn the generator/starter. This does not exist in a regular car.
Despite this unusual procedure, if you have certain religious beliefs (I do), do not curse the YotaToy engineers (after all, you bought this car with this design feature). Some religions (mine) consider this cursing a sin (or even the thought of this cursing).
Garage . . yes I have a garage for my HH. There are times when I actually park this HH outside during winter for many hours, like when I go to work - to make $$ to pay for this HH. There are days when the HH is outside at -10F or -20 F below for many hours. As I live here in Minnesota, I actually drive the HH on weekends for winter recreational activities. Again, the HH is parked outside for hours or days.
This is just like the HH oil filter location. Workaround . . remove the splash guard . . as this is the only way to get the HH oil filter . . this summer when it is warmer here in Minnesota . . remove the splash guard (again; it must be removed each oil change) cut a door (cut plastic, put hinges on it) on this splash guard. Bolt splash guard back on with the door. I can then now get the oil filter without unbolting the splash guard each time . . BTW, this feature is already built in in many other SUVs . . Look if you wish.
Again, do not curse the YotaToy engineers (yep, a sin)
#3395 of 4026 HH - can it run when out of gas?
Jan 22, 2007 (6:54 pm)
Sorry if this is redundant, but can a HighToy Hybrid run when out of gas? In other words, what happens if I run out of gas? Does the battery allow me 3 miles to get to a station, or am I FORD? Thanks.