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Rx300 Hard To Start, Clock Reset On Every Start


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:chairshot:

Cold season started last week and since then, it is hard to start (feels like it is struggling) and after start, the clock in the panel is reset to 1:00 every time.

It usually happens in the cold mornings.

When the car is warm after driving a while, it starts easily but after a long period of time off, it's hard.

Is it due to battery or something serious?

Thanks for ideas.

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The symptoms point to a dying battery. I had the exact same issues last year and it was the battery. Of course you still need to rule out things like corroded/loose battery terminals but a roundup of the usual suspects would certainly include the battery. That's where I'd start looking and I think you won't have to look much further.

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:chairshot:

Cold season started last week and since then, it is hard to start (feels like it is struggling) and after start, the clock in the panel is reset to 1:00 every time.

It usually happens in the cold mornings.

When the car is warm after driving a while, it starts easily but after a long period of time off, it's hard.

Is it due to battery or something serious?

Thanks for ideas.

your battery needs to be replaced....just went thru that...goes into safe mode so car will start

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Thank you for replies FileHorse and 2ndTwin.

I cleaned the terminals with baking soda.

It had layers of grease on it and now it's sparkling clean.

However, the issue is still there.

So, I guess the battery is dying.

I'll go to Autozone and have them check the battery and replace if they find it cannot be recharged.

I'm currently in Denver and it gets pretty cold and snowy in the winter, up to -20 wind chill sometimes.

Now, is there a specific battery brand I should look for?

The current one is Diehard or Duralast (I think it's Diehard--have to go to car and check) and not sure what the crank power is.

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Just for my own comfort, I took the battery to O'reilly and have it checked.

Result: It is weak. It's rated at 600 crank but now its only giving out 360.

Also, 1 cell is dead.

I'll replace it soon but one thing that is weird. When putting the battery back in, the rod on the back of the bracket is just dangling. It does not hook on anything.

Where does that rod on the bracket go to?

Thanks for info.

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Just for my own comfort, I took the battery to O'reilly and have it checked.

Result: It is weak. It's rated at 600 crank but now its only giving out 360.

Also, 1 cell is dead.

I'll replace it soon but one thing that is weird. When putting the battery back in, the rod on the back of the bracket is just dangling. It does not hook on anything.

Where does that rod on the bracket go to?

Thanks for info.

It hooks on to the bottom of the battery tray. There's a hook at the end of the rod - try turning it around and hooking it into the tray.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got the battery replaced at Costco for $65.

The new battery is little shorter in length (doesn't fully fit the battery jacket) and few mm taller.

I had to adjust the bracket little bit to fit the height.

It has 640 cold cranking amps that is lower than my old Diehard battery @ 700 but seems to work fine.

After that, the clock keeps the time and it's not hard to start in the mornings.

Hopefully, it'll last for the 35 months warranty period.

Thanks for all the suggestions. :)

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  • 10 years later...

Advice from 11 years ago is exactly what I needed. I am having the same problem with my Lexus RX 300. A battery is all I need? I can do that! 

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Usually a dead battery can be at the end of its life, noticeable if it doesn't recover but itself after discharging.
Fitting a new battery is very noticeable improvement.

Bit of advise PattyPan .... get the best quality battery you can for your money, you can usually tell by the weight difference...cheap one is a lot lighter than a quality one!

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