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Don't Buy A Toyota Auris Excel Hybrid.

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At least not without reading this.

For the third time in a month my >£20k car is just a useless paperweight.

It seems to be, that due to poor design and inadequate research,

an Auris Excel Hybrid just does not work.

The battery and charging circuits are just not up to the task of keeping the car in a useable state.

The 'off' position, I.e. With the car parked and locked, is a complete misnomer,

As the various 'always on' circuits, specifically the alarm and the 'not so smart entry and start' systems, draw a fair bit of current at all times.

Fair enough, however, unless you run the car EVERY DAY in daylight, in good weather for at least 20 miles,

the design of the inverter based charging circuit and the battery capacity is pitifully inadequate to keep a reasonable level of chage in the battery, as a result, the car becomes completely unusable.

In my latest 'issue' this was just after just one day sitting idle.

So, after 3 months of ownership, 2 batteries, and 3 inconvenient 'breakdowns', I

really cannot recommend that anyone considers buying an Auris Excel Hybrid, unless you,

either drive at least 20 miles a day, every day, without needing lights, wipers or radio.

Or invest in an intelligent charger, and an external power point to keep the battery charged.

If I wanted to do that I would have bought a Nissan Leaf or equivalent.

I really like my car, but, it's completely useless in i's current state, so unless Toyota, finally admit the fact that they under specified and poorly designed and issue a recall to replace the charging circuits and battery with more suitable (and reliable components) they will be getting this car back, along with a bill, a lawyers letter, and a whole lot of bad press.

Apologies for the moan, but it's really windy and hissing down here, and my car is broke again.

Regards,

G...

Check the bluetooth Honda suffered similar problems on the Accord which eventually turned out to be bluetooth searching for connections ( as did win8 laptops ) draining Battery.

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I have had Both 2nd Gen and 3rd Gen Prius and have had an Auris HSD Excel TS for about a month. I have not had any problems of the type you describe

Was this for me or original poster?

sorry the original poster

No problem- just wanted to make sure :-)

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Has anybody checked out the bluetooth yet?? this was a problem for Honda a few years back and early Win 8 laptops. bluetooth kept searching when the power was off and drained the Battery

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Has anybody checked out the Bluetooth yet?? this was a problem for Honda a few years back and early Win 8 laptops. Bluetooth kept searching when the power was off and drained the battery

Hard to prove one way or the other Ian.

My Battery went flat after a week of ownership, I've since had a new Battery fitted.

Since the car let me down I'm very nervous about using any electrical item, I've turned off bluetooth, interior lights etc., but it has been fine since the new Battery.

I think the Battery problem is more to do with the Battery being only just big enough for the job.

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It should be very easy to prove. Amp meter Battery live to earth will show drain. The Battery will have the capacity in Ampere hours AH on the side, expect about 45Ah. (1A for 45 hours in a perfect world) Petrol engines do not need big batteries ( unlike diesels) and the only drain, when off, is the memory for the radio and the alarm, which should be almost nothing (a few mA) and known to Toyota.

Bluetooth is a problem because many devices like to stay tethered when the power looks to be off so they can be switched on or accessed from bluetooth devices. Flight Mode was introduced to Win 8 to overcome this problem. Any competent Auto electrician should be able to check the Battery drain and work out from Ohms Law if the Battery has enough capacity.

I have not checked mine in the Auris HSD but I think my Prius was 44Ah and I left that for weeks at time. The only time it let me down was when I left the door ajar in the garage. I was concerned about is the distance between Battery and starter. The reason most cars have the starter Battery near the engine is to keep this distance short,on the Prius and Auris HSD it is in the boot, although it has charging points in the engine bay. I will be very surprised and concerned if Toyota have not fitted a starter Battery man enough for the job.

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It's a meagre 35Ah on my Auris TS HSD - I checked in the boot yesterday after reading this thread. Three weeks of ownership and 951 miles on the odo... no problems for me yet (92 miles a day commuter).

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It should be very easy to prove. Amp meter battery live to earth will show drain. The battery will have the capacity in Ampere hours AH on the side, expect about 45Ah. (1A for 45 hours in a perfect world) Petrol engines do not need big batteries ( unlike diesels) and the only drain, when off, is the memory for the radio and the alarm, which should be almost nothing (a few mA) and known to Toyota.

Bluetooth is a problem because many devices like to stay tethered when the power looks to be off so they can be switched on or accessed from Bluetooth devices. Flight Mode was introduced to Win 8 to overcome this problem. Any competent Auto electrician should be able to check the battery drain and work out from Ohms Law if the battery has enough capacity.

I have not checked mine in the Auris HSD but I think my Prius was 44Ah and I left that for weeks at time. The only time it let me down was when I left the door ajar in the garage. I was concerned about is the distance between battery and starter. The reason most cars have the starter battery near the engine is to keep this distance short,on the Prius and Auris HSD it is in the boot, although it has charging points in the engine bay. I will be very surprised and concerned if Toyota have not fitted a starter battery man enough for the job.

WARNING !!!, DO NOT connect an ammeter from the Battery live terminal to earth, you will short circuit the Battery and blow the ammeter and the Battery could explode in your face. You should remove the Battery negative lead and connect the ammeter between the Battery Negative (-) terminal and the end of the Battery negative lead (or to the car body).

FYI Cvi, the 12v Battery is not a "starter Battery" because it does not operate a starter motor, the engine in the Hybrid system is fired up by one of the electric motors powered by the HV Battery, so it can be placed as far away from the engine as you like.

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Thanks for that post, my mistake in using the term live. Having a motorhome I often check the drain from my batteries when fitting a additional kit (alarm, camera, inverter, LED lights) and always neg to chassis. I assumed the 12v in the Prius was a starter Battery because the only time mine did not start was when I left a door ajar in the garage. Until I read the manual I thought I had a problem as to get to the Battery in the boot when I could not open the rear hatch would have been very hard. On the new Auris Excel TS my rear hatch is still tight and hard shut but I am more careful now, but i would have liked the Merc/ Honda close mechanism. Lesson one do not listen to Chris Evans RTFM before you have a problem. On my first Gen 2 Prius I fitted a 12v socket in the boot direct to the Battery via a fuse. I used this to run a 12v cool box and connect a Battery conditioning unit (Airflow) when away for over a month. I never had a problem. There is 12v socket in the Auris TS in the boot, but if it only has a 35Ah Battery caution should be exercised. Tyre compressors can take 10A and my cool box 5A so should only be plugged in when the engine is running although how hybrids know this is beyond my logic.

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... Tyre compressors can take 10A and my cool box 5A so should only be plugged in when the engine is running although how hybrids know this is beyond my logic.

on a Hybrid this mean "the Ready light is on" - the petrol engine doesn't actually have to be running itself as the HV system provides power to the electrics all the time the Ready light is lit.

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The 12v Battery in a Prius has to provide enough power to monitor the alarm/open doors then start the electronics to power up the system to the point at which the ready light is on. At that point power can also be drawn from the HV Battery which hopefully will have enough charge to start the pertol engine. The "design flaw" in most modern cars is most electrical switches no longer directly control power - they are used to send a low power signel to a central procesdsor thaty then decides if you have made a valid request and then triggers a relay (possible after a time delay), much more complicated than a simple make or break switch.

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It should be very easy to prove. Amp meter battery live to earth will show drain. The battery will have the capacity in Ampere hours AH on the side, expect about 45Ah. (1A for 45 hours in a perfect world) Petrol engines do not need big batteries ( unlike diesels) and the only drain, when off, is the memory for the radio and the alarm, which should be almost nothing (a few mA) and known to Toyota.

Bluetooth is a problem because many devices like to stay tethered when the power looks to be off so they can be switched on or accessed from Bluetooth devices. Flight Mode was introduced to Win 8 to overcome this problem. Any competent Auto electrician should be able to check the battery drain and work out from Ohms Law if the battery has enough capacity.

I have not checked mine in the Auris HSD but I think my Prius was 44Ah and I left that for weeks at time. The only time it let me down was when I left the door ajar in the garage. I was concerned about is the distance between battery and starter. The reason most cars have the starter battery near the engine is to keep this distance short,on the Prius and Auris HSD it is in the boot, although it has charging points in the engine bay. I will be very surprised and concerned if Toyota have not fitted a starter battery man enough for the job.

When my Battery failed the AA tested the car, using a clamp-on ammeter, the reading was 600mA, that's with all lights off and the key out of range, when I told the dealer this they tested it again and reported it as 600mA eventually falling to 60mA, so the AA guy may not have tested it for long enough!

The Battery is rated at 35Ah.

I think the Battery is a little on the small size, but since I've had the new one fitted the car has been fine so it just may have been a duff Battery.

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It should be very easy to prove. Amp meter battery live to earth will show drain. The battery will have the capacity in Ampere hours AH on the side, expect about 45Ah. (1A for 45 hours in a perfect world) Petrol engines do not need big batteries ( unlike diesels) and the only drain, when off, is the memory for the radio and the alarm, which should be almost nothing (a few mA) and known to Toyota.

Bluetooth is a problem because many devices like to stay tethered when the power looks to be off so they can be switched on or accessed from Bluetooth devices. Flight Mode was introduced to Win 8 to overcome this problem. Any competent Auto electrician should be able to check the battery drain and work out from Ohms Law if the battery has enough capacity.

I have not checked mine in the Auris HSD but I think my Prius was 44Ah and I left that for weeks at time. The only time it let me down was when I left the door ajar in the garage. I was concerned about is the distance between battery and starter. The reason most cars have the starter battery near the engine is to keep this distance short,on the Prius and Auris HSD it is in the boot, although it has charging points in the engine bay. I will be very surprised and concerned if Toyota have not fitted a starter battery man enough for the job.

When my Battery failed the AA tested the car, using a clamp-on ammeter, the reading was 600mA, that's with all lights off and the key out of range, when I told the dealer this they tested it again and reported it as 600mA eventually falling to 60mA, so the AA guy may not have tested it for long enough!

The Battery is rated at 35Ah.

I think the Battery is a little on the small size, but since I've had the new one fitted the car has been fine so it just may have been a duff Battery.

So, it draws 60mA all the time, however, if you happen to walk past it with the keys in your pocket, it jumps up to 600mA in preperation to unlock & start the car, every time, before dropping back to 60mA eventually.

Ok,however, the charging current is also the issue, as, according to rumor, it's a bit too quick in going from charging at several amps, to trickle charge at about 10- 100 mA.

Therefore, with a tiddly little 35aH Battery, in general. Output is greater than Input. Nice one mr T.

Still not got my car back, now in it's 3rd week in the dealers.

'Battery's now fully charged & it's starting ok for us, cannot find a fault & Toyota has no issue???'

Time to talk to the DP and explain his options methinks.

G...

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I 've checked and mine 35AH If it draws 600ma or even 60ma it wont last long when the holidays come. looks as if the nice man at Bosch will get a visit soon as there is plenty of room for a bigger Battery. Waste of time complaining to Toyota the answer is always the same "We do not make bespoke cars and you should have noticed in the test drive" Snag is since accountants and marketing idiots have replaced engineers Toyota are not the only car company to get it wrong, they are however the only ones who make a hybrid that goes and an economical petrol automatic, The HSD's are quieter and more relaxing to drive than my old Lexus IS 200,but the Auris 1.3 petrol with 6 gears to guess at across Liverpool in the rush hour was a nightmare. The Focus estate was just as bad, the Golf and C180 were both diesel ,so it was "Hobsons choice" . I have owned or had company cars for well over fifty years and I can count on the fingers of one hand those I did not modify or personalise.

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If a bigger Battery is fitted would that invalidate the warranty? Would the insurance companies accept it?

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. There is 12v socket in the Auris TS in the boot, but if it only has a 35Ah battery caution should be exercised. Tyre compressors can take 10A and my cool box 5A so should only be plugged in when the engine is running although how hybrids know this is beyond my logic.

The 12v sockets are dead when the car is off but are live when it is in Ready or Accessory mode. You could flatten the Battery in Accessory mode as the charging from the HV is not active. As long as you never use Accessory mode, you could leave the cool box plugged in.

By my reckoning a 60mA drain on a fully charged, new, 35Ah Battery should last 3.5 weeks, factor in the 600mA drain initially, the fact that the Battery may not be fully charged when you leave it and it's not brand new and I'd guess that 2-3 weeks tops would be the time you could leave it, not enough to go on holiday and leave the car at the airport in some cases. I have one of those 12v boost starter packs and I would leave it in the car if I was leaving the car anywhere other than home for a couple of weeks, probably on the floor in the rear seat area to save having to climb over into the boot when the hatch door wont open with a flat Battery.

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I think having an Accessory Mode in a hybrid may be a mistake, it seems that it's not advisable to use it.

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Hi

You dont need to get to the boot there are booster/ charger points in the engine bay. By bigger Battery I mean maybe 45 or 60AH. They are all 12v. In my motorhome I have 3 x 90Ah one for starting the others for leisure. When it come to batteries the bigger the better. In cold weather Battery capacity falls to about 75% thats why so many fail on cold morning. A warm boot is better than a cold engine bay.

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Say, can you do the old 'plug a 12v supply into the light socket' trick to start the HSD computer if the Battery dies?

You could carry one of those portable charger packs that plug into the lighter socket then :)

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The lighter sockets are live only when the car is in Ready Mode, so unfortunately you can't plug into it to start the car.

Over on the Lexus Forum, the problem with 12 volt batteries going flat for RX owners is discussed, and Lexus will alter the 12 volt socket wiring so you can do the trick you suggest, in fact some owner even have solar powered chargers plugged into the sockets when they leave their cars at airport carparks while on holiday.

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I leave the country for the winter from September to April and have left my Battery connected to a Ctek maintenance Battery charger. Its what classic car users to over winter their cars to keep the Battery from going flat. Its a great bit of kit, it goes into maintenance mode and run a diagnostic every now and then to check Battery is OK.

http://www.ctekchargers.co.uk/?gclid=CNqdrKnEnbkCFU_MtAodj20Aag

They supply a cable which you can connect to Battery and its just a simple case of clipping on and off. Coming back for Xmas and new year so will be able to update on whether the Ctek has done its job.

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. There is 12v socket in the Auris TS in the boot, but if it only has a 35Ah battery caution should be exercised. Tyre compressors can take 10A and my cool box 5A so should only be plugged in when the engine is running although how hybrids know this is beyond my logic.

The 12v sockets are dead when the car is off but are live when it is in Ready or Accessory mode. You could flatten the Battery in Accessory mode as the charging from the HV is not active. As long as you never use Accessory mode, you could leave the cool box plugged in.

By my reckoning a 60mA drain on a fully charged, new, 35Ah Battery should last 3.5 weeks, factor in the 600mA drain initially, the fact that the Battery may not be fully charged when you leave it and it's not brand new and I'd guess that 2-3 weeks tops would be the time you could leave it, not enough to go on holiday and leave the car at the airport in some cases. I have one of those 12v boost starter packs and I would leave it in the car if I was leaving the car anywhere other than home for a couple of weeks, probably on the floor in the rear seat area to save having to climb over into the boot when the hatch door wont open with a flat Battery.

I did a similar calculation and I thought I must have made a mistake, as that standby capacity is very poor. I'm surprised at the current draw when the car is off, 60 mA is double what I would have guessed.

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Hi

You dont need to get to the boot there are booster/ charger points in the engine bay.

I meant get into the boot to get the booster pack not get to the Battery.

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Say, can you do the old 'plug a 12v supply into the light socket' trick to start the HSD computer if the battery dies?

You could carry one of those portable charger packs that plug into the lighter socket then :)

No, because the 12v sockets are dead until you start the HSD computer.

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I think having an Accessory Mode in a hybrid may be a mistake, it seems that it's not advisable to use it.

Personally, I think it's ok if used with caution.

I often park by the sea front in the evenings to get my 96 year old mother out of the house and give her a change of scenery.

I'm happy to leave accessory mode on for ½ an hour so the Blue Tooth works, and I may turn on the radio for a few minutes when the news is on.

I only put it in Ready if I need to keep warm, or cool, or if I feel I've pushed by luck enough with the 12v Battery. I've never had a problem in 11 years and ¼ million miles in Gen 1/2/3 Prius from using this mode, but only because I'm careful.

Some people on the Yahoo Prius-UK group measured the drain on the Gen 1 Prius over 10 years ago and were astonished at the drain. Can't remember the figures, but the Gen 1 only had an alarm, none of the keyless entry stuff we now have. They did find the Gen 2 had a slightly lower drain,but not sure how the Gen 3 compares with its keyless entry, etc.

Just to make life interesting, my current car also has a permanently wired, forward facing camera hidden behind the rear view mirror, complete with GPS and motion sensors that provides evidence in the event of a crash. It does have a device in the circuit that shuts it off if the voltage falls below a certain level, but it goes to show that even with this additional load accessory mode can be used with a bit of care.

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From what I understand of a 12V lead-acid Battery, it isn't so much the short term usage that reduces life and capacity, but how long the Battery remains not fully charged.

If you use the 12V Battery for 30 minutes with care and then drive the car to recharge what was used then fine.

If on the other you drive the car only at weekends for a short distance, the Battery killer is sitting for days on end not being driven as the lazy convenience saving gadgets consume current.

To be really useful, the standby current measurements needs to recorded by a datalogger to answer questions like, how often and how long do these 600mA spikes occur? I still think 60mA is too high!

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