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To the mechanically inclined that are familiar with this van’s hybrid system; 

 

I bought this van for courier work over the next 5 months. During that time I’m going to put roughly 13,000km on the vehicle. It’s a 2004 with 175,000km on it. I’m trying to do whatever I can do, to minimize wear on the hybrid system. With my old van, I usually don’t even pull into peoples yards as the extra walking from the street to the house really add up when delivering 200packages a day (health benefit). I’m thinking doing the same thing with Hybrid, but instead of putting the vehicle into “Park” at every stop, just putting the E-brake on and leaving it in gear. I’m thinking this would be the move as it would prevent shifting from Park to Drive and back to Park again, roughly 200x/day. This would put the wear on the Ebrake system and not the drivetrain. But, given I’m unfamiliar with EVs or hybrids, I want to be certain there isn’t an issue with this idea I’m not considering. Is there anyone reading this that thinks this isn’t a good idea? Please explain why. Thanks

Edited by Dat Guy
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just had a thought, do you mean to leave the engine running? Is that legal in your neck of the woods, it's definitely not here in the UK. 

Also don't forget the engine starts and stops itself when the battery is fully charged and you can't restart manually when it's in gear.

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Yeah, 

 

The rules change based on what city you’re in. Different cities have different bylaws. In Ottawa for example, anything warmer than -5, I believe it’s no longer then 5min of idling. If colder than -5, the time changes. The more north you drive, the less you can expect this to be enforced. As a general rule, if you’re outside Ottawa, Toronto, Mtl or Van, and you get a ticket for idling, you’ve upset the bylaw officer and are being taxed for another reason. 
 

I wouldn’t be looking to restart the van with it in gear. I’d just be looking to pull up to a house, leave it in the gear it’s in, put on the Ebrake, make delivery, remove Ebrake, drive away. 
 

What about this do find to harmful to the hybrid powertrain and why? 

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Please do not take this the wrong way at all, but I'm not so sure a 20 year old petrol hybrid (and a very quirky JDM vehicle at that) with 175k kms was an ideal candidate for reliable, big-mile courier work.

 

TBF it is a Toyota and far more often than not they are the paragon of reliability, but it is one complicated bit of kit.  I'm aware the battery inverter for example (and they do fail) costs in excess of $7k it it fails, as it would need to be sourced from Toyota (and probably from Japan).  A regular 2.4 or 3.0 arguably would have made a better option.  I applaud you buying it and putting your faith in it though, be interesting to see how it works out for you.

 

Also suggest just driving it exactly as it's intended.  When pulled up to a stop, put it in Park, or assuming it has a Neutral, put it in Neutral and use the parking footbrake.

 

I believe these things have CVT gearboxes, so unlike a regular auto box that would have a parking pawl (a bolt on an actuator that locks the gears and prevents forward or backward motion), I don't know that CVT gearboxes have a similar thing.

 

I do know that if a regular auto is hit when in park, due to the parking pawl the gearbox will almost certainly be destroyed, but its a risk you take to stop the thing rolling away somewhere I guess.  The foot handbrake on these things from experience is excellent but I'm not sure I'd want to rely on it solely to keep the van in it's current location.

Edited by pipsyp
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Hi Pipsyp, 

 

First, thanks for taking the time to reply. Second, I won’t take it the wrong way because I don’t believe an Alphard hybrid of this age and km is the best reliability choice either. I decided to go this way because there were fairly notable financial and quality of life perks extended to me if I were to switch to an EV or Hybrid van. I was able to negotiate terms to a point where the van will pay for itself with what I’ve saved in fuel costs and van rental charges (used to rent) within approx 95 working days. The goal is to put the van up for sale at the end of 5 months and to be under 190,000km at that time.
 

It’s a gamble, but I really only had two other choices and I felt they were bigger gambles. 
 

Im trying to talk to a Toyota service tech today or tomorrow regarding the parking brake idea. I’ll update on what I hear. 
 

Take care man 

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No worries! Honestly intrigued to see if it gives you great service, as I expect if it stays reliable it'll be pretty epic! I do hope it does 👍

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