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What If Anything Am I Doing Wrong With My 2008 Gs450h To Make The Batt


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What if anything am I doing wrong with my 2008 GS450H to make the battery die?

I don't drive the car much 525 miles since June 21, only driven 2 to 4 times a week. The battery went dead about 5 or 6 times so far. I think the last time I drove it was2 or 3 days ago, I had to hook it up to a charger to get it started. I went to drive it today and it wouldn’t start again. The first couple times it happened I thought I may have left a light on but I am pretty sure I am not. I just got a puppy a few weeks ago and I take him on a !Removed! walk a few times a night, When I pass next to the car the lights come on for a few minutes and turn off but I find it hard to believe the lights coming on two or three dozen times in a few days can drain the battery. Do you think I should leave the key in the house so the lights don’t come on when I walk next to the car at night? I normally wear the key on a chain around my neck so it is always with me.

Any suggestions before I see the dealer, I really don't have the time to take it to a dealer to get it checked.

Update I just took my puppy on a !Removed! walk around the house and the lights did not come on when I walked near the car, I opened the door and tried to start it, the headlights came on but there wasn’t enough power to turn on the ready light. I just drove it a few hours ago and the battery is dead again.

My puppy

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Your answer does make sense but I owned a RX400H for abour 22 months before I ended the lease and switched to the GS. I drove the RX about the same amount of time I now drive the GS. I am going to drive up to NY in a few days and I don't want to get stuck. I am going to go out right now and put on a over night battery tender charge on the car. In the past I only put the charger on for about a minute to get the car started

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You probably know this, but once the battery is weak enough so that it can't start the car, that battery needs a complete (full) charge. Normally 3-10 amps for a long enough period is sufficient. If you simply boost-charge a near-dead battery, you may not be able to fully charge it by driving the car. In addition, the car should never be driven when the battery is that low, as the alternator can be damaged by trying to bring the battery up to a healthy state. I hope your alternator is okay, but if it is not, that would explain recent events.

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The electronic key would not open the car, I had to use the old fashioned one to open the trunk to get to the battery. I have the battery tender on for a slow overnight charge, but I noticed the terminal was warm when I hooked up the cable as if there was some kind of drain on he battery

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You probably know this, but once the battery is weak enough so that it can't start the car, that battery needs a complete (full) charge. Normally 3-10 amps for a long enough period is sufficient. If you simply boost-charge a near-dead battery, you may not be able to fully charge it by driving the car. In addition, the car should never be driven when the battery is that low, as the alternator can be damaged by trying to bring the battery up to a healthy state. I hope your alternator is okay, but if it is not, that would explain recent events.

Before I sold the NY house and moved to SC I had a house in TX & NY and lived part time in TX and NY. I kept the RX in TX and my Jeep in NY because it was better in the snow. The first time I left the RX in TX I forgot to plug in the battery tender and came back almost two months later and the RX battery was fine. So the RX got more abuse than the GS but didn't have as many problems. I did mess up the RX battery by leaving a Coleman 12 volt cooler plugged in too long, and I left the radio on while working in the garage so I have had battery problems with the RX but at least I knew it was my fault and I know what I did to cause it. It just seems odd that the battery should go down this fast for no apparent reason

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I would suggest having the battery tested by a competent person. This is not accurate however unless the battery is fully charged, by a charger, not the vehicle. You could easily have one dead cell.

Tom

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A battery tender is not meant to charge a battery from a near-dead condition. You need a minimum of 3 amps (I normally use 6-10 amps) to "kick" it back up to normal charge. If you do not have a regular automatic batetry charger, you can pick one up for about $60.

Dave

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I bet you the battery has a bad cell. I'd take it in for replacement...

I have about a dozen chargers {I usually keep the small Schumakers in the trunk of each of my cars because jumper cables are useless if there isn't a car to jump from}, one of which is the the Schumacher 2/10/40/200 amp that is an older version of this one that they use in service stations, is has a fan and it is pretty large so it has wheels. I used that one for a quick jump start but I used the tender because I was afraid to charge it too fast. Too many amps for too long can heat up the plates and cause them to warp. I have brought nearly dead batteries back using the tender but I just checked it and after over 24 hours on the tender the red light did not switch to green. I think I am going to put a bigger charger on it tonight and see what happens tomorrow morning.

I just put a 10 amp right now before going to bed

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There's no reason it should go dead, even if you don't use the car for a while. Leaving the car running for 5 minutes should charge the battery right back up from a "half- dead, only simple things like headlights working but car not starting" state.

There's either s short creating a drain somewhere, or the battery's just bad like stated above. If getting a new battery doesn't work, there's most likely a drain. A few years ago my RX300 was having a mysterious battery drain problem, turned out to be something of a short in the driver's door lock. The dealer had the car 3 days before they found the leak...

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I just got up a while ago and after leaving the car on a 10 amp overnight charge the battery is still not fully charged, I am driving up to NY in a few days with a few last minutes things to do before I leave so I may just take a chance and drive it to NY and take care of it when I get back.

I always keep a set of jumpers and a small charge in the trunk so I should be OK as long as I park close to an electric outlet

PS I don't know if it matters but it has a Panasonic battery, I didn't know they made car batteries

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I would get a new battery first. Then if the new one fails you know there is a problem upstream. I do not beleive lexus uses panasonic batteries.

I thought that was odd also, maybe there was a problem with the car and the NY dealer replaced the factory battery with a Panasonic. I traded in the old RX with a little over a year on the lease and got the GS. I towed [all wheels off the ground] the GS in back of a moving truck. So when I got to SC it only had a few miles on it. The car was new with 30 miles on the OD. I didn't notice the miles till I got to SC. I got it off the dealers inventory and I assume the extra miles were because the dealer added pin striping [real paint] and tinted windows. I assume they drove it to the shop that added the extras

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I just got up a while ago and after leaving the car on a 10 amp overnight charge the battery is still not fully charged, I am driving up to NY in a few days with a few last minutes things to do before I leave so I may just take a chance and drive it to NY and take care of it when I get back.

I always keep a set of jumpers and a small charge in the trunk so I should be OK as long as I park close to an electric outlet

PS I don't know if it matters but it has a Panasonic battery, I didn't know they made car batteries

This tells me that the battery is not accepting the charge, indicating that the battery itself is bad.

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You do not drive the car sufficiently long enough to allow the alternator to recharge the battery. It is usually recharged at highway speeds.

BTW Hen, I see from your avatar info you don't have a hybrid. The Toyota/Lexus HSD Hybrids don't have alternators. The aux battery is charged off the high voltage traction battery system, which in turn is recharged via the hybrid's electric motor(s). Don't feel bad, as many hybrid owners don't grasp the nifty-ness of the hsd.

That said, some folks here have switched over to the yellowtop Optima (we did our 04 Prius when it hit 65K miles), which actually has "cranking amps". The little OEM aux battery isn't designed to do as heavy a work load, so the yellowtop is a nice alternative, even if you're just changing out a defective battery. It'll give you that little extra benefit if/when you're not driving much, or only taking short trips, which doesn't give much time for recharge. The topic has been written here on several other occasions. The search tool can be your friend :D

Good Luck!

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You do not drive the car sufficiently long enough to allow the alternator to recharge the battery. It is usually recharged at highway speeds.

BTW Hen, I see from your avatar info you don't have a hybrid. The Toyota/Lexus HSD Hybrids don't have alternators. The aux battery is charged off the high voltage traction battery system, which in turn is recharged via the hybrid's electric motor(s). Don't feel bad, as many hybrid owners don't grasp the nifty-ness of the hsd.

That said, some folks here have switched over to the yellowtop Optima (we did our 04 Prius when it hit 65K miles), which actually has "cranking amps". The little OEM aux battery isn't designed to do as heavy a work load, so the yellowtop is a nice alternative, even if you're just changing out a defective battery. It'll give you that little extra benefit if/when you're not driving much, or only taking short trips, which doesn't give much time for recharge. The topic has been written here on several other occasions. The search tool can be your friend :D

Good Luck!

By the way I type real slow, it took a long time to type this usin't hunt and peck

The RX400H was something that I loved but never intended to keep from the day I got it it was an extra car I owned while I was living part time in NY and part time in TX. The RX was the car that I kept in my TX house. I can’t say a single bad thing about the RX, I loved the car and the fact it was a hybrid but I am pretty finicky when it comes to cars and like to change them often.

I pretty much intended to switch to a Volt type electric vehicle when the lease was over. But since the lease on the RX would end in Oct 09 there would be a gap between the lease end and the introduction of an electric vehicle. The RX served me well hauling my stuff between my moves to TX and SC but I just didn’t need an SUV and snow was no longer an issue so AWD was no loner needed. Therefore I decided that since I no longer needed the size and utility of an SUV to switch to a hybrid sedan lease that would bring me closer to the introduction of Volt and Lexus’s version of Volt. I have no doubt in my mind that Lexus has a version of the Volt in the works but they are probably keeping it hush hush. So I really saw no point in putting money into a vehicle that I was sure I was going to dump when the lease ran out. By the way it cost a lot to get out of the RX lease 14~15 months early

But a funny thing happened to me when I got the GS that hasn’t happened in the 12 years since I bought my 96 Corvette collector edition. I fell in love with the GS400H. With few exceptions I consider most of my cars to be disposable commodities like Kleenex tissue. Use it up get rid of it and get another one. But this GS is something I like so much I may wind up keeping.

Since I am retired and don’t really put on that many miles a pure electric vehicle won’t have a big impact on my driving costs and when you weight the cost of getting a new electric vehicle against buying out the lease on the GS, so I may just change my plans and keep this car. Although I have only owned for two moths and really haven’t taken it on a long drive yet so far I am very happy with it

I am familiar with the yellow top. Besides the 96 Corvette I also owned a 98 Corvette. The 98 also was a car plagued with battery issues and a lot of C-5 owners have switched to Yellow tops for an important reason. In the 98 the battery is right on top of the computer and if the battery fails and spills acid it can destroy the computer.

I may eventually follow your advice and get a yellow top but right now I have issues with the battery of a two month old car with a little over 500 miles on it. So before I do anything I want to make sure there isn’t an underlying reason for the battery problem.

I retired from the police department due to health issues and they are causing me some problems today so I had to put off taking the car in for service till tomorrow when hopefully I will feel better.

By the way thanks for the info I was aware the car didn’t have a conventional starter, but wasn’t aware it did not have a conventional alternator. That makes me feel better about not possibly causing damage to the alternator by not giving it a full charge before driving off.

PS you are 100% correct about the undersized RX battery, I learned that the hard way. The GS battery seems better but after looking for it under the hood for about 15 to 30 minutes I had to get out the book to find out it is in the trunk.

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I don't know how far the dealer is from you but in a pinch you can go ahead and have someone else replace the battery and take the old one to Lexus when you get the chance and they should re-imburse you for your out of pocket costs under warranty.

Thats what I would do if you need to take your trip to NY before you get to a Lexus dealer...

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I wasn't feeling too good yesterday and today wasn't much better but I got myself down to Greenville Lexus which is about 25 to 30 miles each way,

I brought it in this morning [Tue 11:00 AM], they replaced the battery. I asked the mechanic if he did any tests to see if there was a drain on the battery that caused it to fail. He told me that they usually just replace the battery without doing a test. He said in most cases it just happens when a car is left sitting on the lot for a long time waiting to be sold. I don’t like that they didn’t check to see if there was a reason for the dead battery, I and driving up to NY soon and hope I don’t have a problem but at least I am starting off with a fresh battery. I always carry, jumper cables, and a plug in battery charger in my trunk, I have been also carring a portable battery jumper in my trunk but it is a few years old and the battery does not seem to be holding a charge so I an picking up another one tomorrow. I'll try Sam's club first because they are close but O'Rileys isn't much further

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You have to wonder what kind of mechanic would not perform a quick check to make sure there is not a parasitic drain that is causing the battery to die prematurely like that. Even charging and then load-testing the battery makes sense. I would have demanded that they do one or the other.

Dave

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You have to wonder what kind of mechanic would not perform a quick check to make sure there is not a parasitic drain that is causing the battery to die prematurely like that. Even charging and then load-testing the battery makes sense. I would have demanded that they do one or the other.

Dave

I would certainly agree. This is ridiculously poor service from the car company who justifies a hugely inflated labor rate with "factory trained mechanics."

Tom

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