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Rx400H Battery Replacement Cost


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#1 bjp

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 09:34 PM

I am looking into buying a pre-certified Lexus 2007 RX400h SUV with about 29k miles. I know the battery warranty is far from being expired, but would still like to know how much a replacement battery would cost. On the internet, I'm only find costs of about $3k, but that was in 2008. It's now 2010 and wondering if the cost has gone down. Any info is appreciated. Thanks.

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#2 maseace

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 10:12 PM

I am looking into buying a pre-certified Lexus 2007 RX400h SUV with about 29k miles. I know the battery warranty is far from being expired, but would still like to know how much a replacement battery would cost. On the internet, I'm only find costs of about $3k, but that was in 2008. It's now 2010 and wondering if the cost has gone down. Any info is appreciated. Thanks.



I wouldn't worry about it. There are lots of older Priuses on the road without battery problems. Did you look for used batteries on eBay? You can save a lot buying one from a newer wrecked car. Looks like it's the same as the Highlander Hybrid battery.
http://cgi.ebay.com/...sQ5fAccessories
http://cgi.ebay.com/...sQ5fAccessories

p.s. you might want to clarify the title of the post to "hybrid" or "traction"
battery, since at first it appears you mean the 12V auxiliary battery.

#3 RX400h

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 10:28 PM

Out of all the hybrids on the road, there has yet to be one with depleted batteries, and that includes Prius versions with over 250,000 miles on them. Unless you plan to drive 50,000 miles per year, you really don't have to worry about having to replace the traction batteries.

Regarding reliability: Our RX400h is now more than 5 years old with more than 50,000 miles on it and we have not had one problem. That in of itself is truly amazing and a good sign of future reliability.

#4 grognon

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 05:38 PM

I have ask my dealer 2 weeks ago for the price here in Canada, and it was $3500. and going down.

#5 bjp

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:44 PM

Thanks all for the re-assurance and replacement cost of the "traction" battery on the RX400h. I'm a hybrid car newbie so still learning the terminology. :)

#6 bvenvert

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 02:26 PM

I purchased a preowned 2006 Rx400h with about 40k on the odometer and did a bunch of research on the batteries before I made the move to purchasing the vehicle. Basically I found out that Lexus warranties the drive batteries for 100K miles but even then, unless something radical happens you can replace the individual cells without having to replace the entire battery bank. If I remember correctly the vehicle has 25 or 28 Lithium Ion cells that make up the battery bank, and they can be replaced individually if needed.

From all my information gathering I think it is very rare to have to replace the entire battery bank and like many poeple on the forum have relayed there are vehicles with 200K+ that have never had an issue with batteries.

#7 RX400h

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 03:11 PM

By the way, the traction batteries are nickel-metal Hydride, not lithium.

#8 Jim Nazium

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 11:51 PM

The one thing you will worry about, is the actual "traditional" battery that turns on the electronics which will get the computers and the "traction" battery under way.

The factory "skinny" battery you will find under the engine bay is a P.O.S.

I do not know how many times in the 4 years of ownership, that battery has been depleted. Sometimes, I am away on business for a week or more, and my wife likes to take my car and leave the 400h in the garage. And, sure as chit, the bugger is too low to power up the computers.

Some on the boards have invested in "trickle" chargers, to maintain the "starter" battery for the computers, but to be perfectly honest this is not practical for most. I do not expect my wife to unplug the plastic shroud housing covering the "starter" battery and have her plug in the maintenance charger. Then, when she wants to go out, remove it and fiddle with the plastic plugs that hold the plastic housing in place.

Finally, after 50 months of use, and after several complaints to the dealer service department over the life of the vehicle (they never changed it or said there was a problem), the factory battery was diagnosed at 25% capacity yesterday and was deemed to be replaced. 2 months out of warranty. Nice, eh? Well the dealer wanted $250 for an oem battery and offered a 1 year warranty. I said thanks but no thanks, and went to a popular auto parts store in my neck of the woods and spent $120 for a battery that came with a 3 year replacement warranty (with an additional 6 years prorated warranty). As well, at time of purchase, if you take there $9.99 insurance plan, the 6 years prorated becomes 6 years replacement at no additional charge.

I couldn't justify the cost of going the "Optima" spiral wound battery route, given the exorbitant cost and very marginal warranty.

Food for thought, make sure the engine battery is in good shape (it has been the only part failure so far on my RX 400h).

Cheers,

MadloR

#9 debmalya

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 06:05 PM


The one thing you will worry about, is the actual "traditional" battery that turns on the electronics which will get the computers and the "traction" battery under way.

The factory "skinny" battery you will find under the engine bay is a P.O.S.

I do not know how many times in the 4 years of ownership, that battery has been depleted. Sometimes, I am away on business for a week or more, and my wife likes to take my car and leave the 400h in the garage. And, sure as chit, the bugger is too low to power up the computers.

Some on the boards have invested in "trickle" chargers, to maintain the "starter" battery for the computers, but to be perfectly honest this is not practical for most. I do not expect my wife to unplug the plastic shroud housing covering the "starter" battery and have her plug in the maintenance charger. Then, when she wants to go out, remove it and fiddle with the plastic plugs that hold the plastic housing in place.

Finally, after 50 months of use, and after several complaints to the dealer service department over the life of the vehicle (they never changed it or said there was a problem), the factory battery was diagnosed at 25% capacity yesterday and was deemed to be replaced. 2 months out of warranty. Nice, eh? Well the dealer wanted $250 for an oem battery and offered a 1 year warranty. I said thanks but no thanks, and went to a popular auto parts store in my neck of the woods and spent $120 for a battery that came with a 3 year replacement warranty (with an additional 6 years prorated warranty). As well, at time of purchase, if you take there $9.99 insurance plan, the 6 years prorated becomes 6 years replacement at no additional charge.

I couldn't justify the cost of going the "Optima" spiral wound battery route, given the exorbitant cost and very marginal warranty.

Food for thought, make sure the engine battery is in good shape (it has been the only part failure so far on my RX 400h).

Cheers,

MadloR


Agreed! My RX400h (auxillary) battery died [one dead cell] under warranty (luckily) and the car was towed to the dealer and replaced at Lexus' cost. The battery tends to deplete easily if the car is not used for a few days. I believe the manual documents that the car be driven for few (?) miles every 2 days. I believe that the (aux.) battery is only charged when the gasoline motor is running. Since the gasoline motor is not engaged at all times, maybe the battery is not charged the same way it is done in a conventional gasoline vehicle. But my understanding maybe flawed about this. But in any case, Lexus should have designed this better and reliably.



#10 RX400h

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:19 PM

Regarding starting batteries: According to Consumer Reports magazine, the best battery out there is the Sears Platinum. Unfortunately, it costs $180 + tax. While our RX's battery is now over 5 years old, when it comes time to replace it, I will look into a Costco Kirkland battery (about $60) to see if its reserve capacity is beyond what the OEM battery has to offer.

#11 boatguy

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:34 PM

Does anyone know if one of those solar chargers plugged into one of the 12 volt outlets would charge the starter battery? I have one on my boat and it keeps the two batteries there topped up nicely. Of course I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some relay that prevented it from working. They're pretty inexpensive, I think mine only cost about $20.

#12 Jim Nazium

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 09:22 AM

Does anyone know if one of those solar chargers plugged into one of the 12 volt outlets would charge the starter battery? I have one on my boat and it keeps the two batteries there topped up nicely. Of course I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some relay that prevented it from working. They're pretty inexpensive, I think mine only cost about $20.


I am not sure, but I think that there is probably a diode inline, therefore limiting the "travel" of electricity between the battery and the lighter plug. The way to be sure is, with a voltmeter. Put the voltmeter on the battery and register the voltage, then, plug in the solar charger or whatever type of maintenance charger you have and record the voltage reading at the battery to see if there is any significant increase. A digital type voltmeter would be the type you would need, since it would be easier to detect any type of change (vs a conventional analog voltmeter).

Cheers,

MadloR

#13 katzjamr

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 03:21 PM

i am happy with the $60 costco replacement battery, it has slightly more cold cranking power and can handle a dome light left on all night and still start the car in the morning. costco also has a 3 year warranty that is not prorated, so if the battery fails in the warranty period you get a new one at no additional cost. i am not married to them for everything, i.e. tires, however i think they are hard to beat on batteries.

#14 debmalya

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:55 PM

Agreed! My RX400h (auxillary) battery died [one dead cell] under warranty (luckily) and the car was towed to the dealer and replaced at Lexus' cost. The battery tends to deplete easily if the car is not used for a few days. I believe the manual documents that the car be driven for few (?) miles every 2 days. I believe that the (aux.) battery is only charged when the gasoline motor is running. Since the gasoline motor is not engaged at all times, maybe the battery is not charged the same way it is done in a conventional gasoline vehicle. But my understanding maybe flawed about this. But in any case, Lexus should have designed this better and reliably.


Another thing to note is, the replacement battery that Lexus provided under warranty is slightly bigger than the original one. Thus it does not sit within the battery tray, rather it sits on top of the flange of the tray. I noticed this and clarified it with the mechanic at the dealer. He said that's how the newer batteries are, but the clamp will hold it in place. Not to mention, the new battery has not moved from the tray in 8 months. But it still seems awkward that the replacement battery has a different footprint than the factory battery. The battery problem I beleive is not uncommon. My car would not turn "Ready" and would indicate "Shift to P when starting" even though it was already in "P"! I had to take a picture and show the dealer as they were not able to reproduce it. If left for long, the battery would most times work. Lexus dealer couldnt diagnose the problem, kept my car for 1 week (and offered me a standby vehicle which I declined) but couldn't figure the cause. Then I suggested them to perform a load test on the battery and they found out the "weakened/dead" cell. Touch wood its been working since.

#15 lemon

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 09:48 AM

Agreed! My RX400h (auxillary) battery died [one dead cell] under warranty (luckily) and the car was towed to the dealer and replaced at Lexus' cost. The battery tends to deplete easily if the car is not used for a few days. I believe the manual documents that the car be driven for few (?) miles every 2 days. I believe that the (aux.) battery is only charged when the gasoline motor is running. Since the gasoline motor is not engaged at all times, maybe the battery is not charged the same way it is done in a conventional gasoline vehicle. But my understanding maybe flawed about this. But in any case, Lexus should have designed this better and reliably.


The auxiliary battery (12 volt) is charged from the traction battery. There is no alternator, so the engine does not have to be running to charge the 12 volt. As long as it's in READY mode, the 12 volt will charge from the traction battery. It's not a matter of being designed better, I think the 12 volt is just too small (not in physical size, but in reserve capacity) for this vehicle. The CCA (cold cranking amps) do not matter, since there is no starter motor on our vehicles, however, usually with greater CCA comes greater reserve capacity. The factory battery only came with 450CCA, which is about perfect for a 4 cylinder Civic.

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