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I have a 2008 RX 400h, approximately 176k miles

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I thought at first I was having battery problems when I bought it (2.5 years ago) because it was not starting, and then I'd find that the little battery was somehow draining. Someone here suggested that maybe I was keeping my key in my house  too close to where  the car was parked and it was trying to connect and causing issues. Moving the location of the key solved my problem. 

But now it sometimes won't start and I know the battery is not at fault. It just won't connect, if that's a way to say it.  I can sometimes hear a click under the hood when turing the key, but it won't "catch" or show "ready".

When I replaced the batteries in the keys, the gentleman who did it said that there was a loose connection inside the key he had to fiddle with in order to get them to work properly, but all the lights come on and the doors immediately lock or unlock, so I think it's not from that. If it's the starter, would it act this way? Every now and then when I turn the key,  it will start, but I never know when it's just not going to. 

I ask because it's really hard to find a place that understands hybrids near me and I'm so handicapped.  Thank you so much.



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The clicking sound you hear when turning the key could indeed be related to the starter, but it might also be a symptom of a weak 12-volt battery or a problem with the electrical connections. Even though the main hybrid battery is not at fault, the auxiliary 12-volt battery can cause starting issues if it’s not holding a charge properly.

The fact that the car sometimes starts and sometimes doesn’t could suggest an issue with the starter, but it’s also possible that there’s a problem with the electrical system or even the key fob itself, especially since you mentioned a loose connection inside the key. It’s worth noting that hybrid vehicles like the RX400h have complex electrical systems, and issues can arise from various components.

Given your situation, it would be best to have your vehicle inspected by a professional who is experienced with hybrid vehicles. How far away is the nearest Lexus or Toyota dealership. Your Lexus is very similar to a Toyota Hilander Hybrid, so a Toyota dealership should be able to help.


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