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Electrical Problem?


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I have a 1996 Lexus LS400. THe other day the car would not start. I got a boost and it started. One of the battery terminals had some corrosion on it, and the other was loose so I tightened it. Today when I wen to start my car after driving it, the car would not start, and the power doors would not operate. Every other function in the car worked. When the tow truck came to either give me a boost or tow me, the car started. It has been damp and raining here for the past few days. I am wondering if anyone has had any experience with this. I was thinking the that the problem might be the starter(not starting after heated, and starting after cooling down), but that would not explain the power locks. or it might be some sort of electrical problem. Any help would be appreciated.

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I had a similar problem about a year-and-a-half ago.

I tried to start the car when I left a restaurant and it wouldn't go, but the lights came on.

I got my jumper cables out and begged a charge from a nearby

car owner. We got my car started and he drove off.

When I put the car in drive, it died. I called the Lexus roadside service and they sent a flatbed truck. The driver of that truck took out a heavy duty battery starter and got my car started again. He said it'd be fine, but as soon as I put it in drive, it died again. He had to put my car on the flatbed and take it to the dealer where they diagnosed the battery as having a dead cell. Apparently the battery was able to keep low-powered stuff running, but when trying to crank the starter it just pulled the battery down.

I got a new battery and everything was fine. After about a year the alternator finally went bad, so it may have contributed to the other battery going bad, in some way. It passed their diagnostics tests then, but probably was going bad.

I was able to diagnose that the alternator was bad, because it read only 12V while the engine was runnning, whereas it should have been closer to 14V to charge the battery.

... just a story that sounds a bit like yours. The other suggestions you got seemed like good things to try also...

Good luck!


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hey this may contradict a few things but the battery would not cause the car to die( cell dead or no cell dead)

not start ,yes .

but die no as you can remove a battery from a running car and it will work as if nothing is wrong

the battery is only for starting and power to the car when the engine is off

i would say it was the alternator that was the problem in the first place and the load from a bad battery was causing the car to shut down when you pressed the brake to shift

since the alternaotr is already struggling to charge a bad batteryalso a loose connection at the battery

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Your thoughts seem reasonable, except that the battery tested bad. according to Lexus, and I did not have the alternator replaced (or Lexus did it for free and didn't tell me ;)

And Lexus also told me that the alternator was good, according to their tests!)

Finally, it lasted another year before "fully dying."

It seems, from a business standpoint, that they'd have more to gain from profit margins to replace the alternator, especially if it truly was bad.

They explained that the battery would almost "short-out" when under heavy load. I haven't studied this problem to see if it makes sense as I'm only an electronics engineer and not fully versed in electrochemical processes. I'll have to dig up the old text books and study a bit...

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