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Suggestions For Battery Replacement


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As part of my 35k mile check up my Lexus dealer said I needed to replace the battery as it failed the tests.

The dealer wants $165 for a battery which seems a bit excessive to me.

Can anyone justify this expense for me or suggest a more reasonable place I could go to buy a battery and have it installed? Thanks in advance.

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What kind of test did your battery fail? Does it start your car and are there any symptoms of a problem? The Lexus dealer here sells a Toyota 24F battery for a little more than $100 which is maybe $5 or $10 dollars more than what my nearby Toyota dealer wants for the same battery. Unfortunately a Toyota battery purchased from a Toyota dealer and put in a Lexus carries no warranty.

I haven't found much if any correlation between battery life and battery price/brand/model and I usually just buy batteries at Walmart. A few months ago I learned again (I guess I keep forgetting) how important it is for battery terminals and cable clamps to be spotlessly clean and bright. We were having problems with dead batteries in both our Camry and LS and all it took to fix the problems was to clean the terminals and clamps with a cheap specialized cleaning tool.

Batteries are super easy to install if you want to do it yourself. Just be sure to connect the right cables to the battery terminals. Doing it backwards causes very bad things to happen!!!

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The paperwork simply says "battery fails performance test" and then recommendation is "replace battery"

I purchased the car in 2009 and it is a 2006 model so I assume the battery is approaching the end of its natural life cycle. The car still cranks fine for the time being.

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The paperwork simply says "battery fails performance test" and then recommendation is "replace battery"

I purchased the car in 2009 and it is a 2006 model so I assume the battery is approaching the end of its natural life cycle. The car still cranks fine for the time being.

If the battery is the original one, lasting five years might be pretty good. The original Toyota battery in my 2000 LS400 lasted almost exactly four years but the same model and size original Toyota battery in our 1998 Camry lasted over six years.

Whether you replace your battery now or later might depend on your "inconvenience tolerance level" and how frugal (OK ... Cheap!) you are. My tolerance/cheap level is pretty high so I always wait until a battery is at the point of death or nearly so before replacing it. My method certainly isn't appropriate for everyone. I don't mind limping my car to a store where I can buy a battery and I've personally installed more than one new battery in a store parking lot and then delivered the old one back to the store for a credit. And I've made one or two "service calls" over the past 35 years when a battery in my wife's cars have failed. It's handy that tool kits in Lexus cars include a wrench of the right size for removing/installing battery terminal clamps.

But five years on a battery is pretty good. And OEM Lexus/Toyota batteries are pretty darned good and have lasted longer than most of the aftermarket batteries, including the expensive ones, I've bought.

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DC - the battery is a OEM Toyota battery. I am not sure if it is the original or was replaced as part of the certified pre-owner program.

I raised the hood and tried to view the dates but could not see it.

1990LS400 - My main concern was the $165 price tag to replace the battery which seems a bit excessive. I checked online and saw replacement batteries at Autozone were around $115 so I assume the rest of the Lexus price would be for 15 minutes of labor.

Like you, my cheap tolerance level is high so I am not opposed to running the battery into the ground since I have towing as part of my insurance.

One thing you said has me wondering if I should just bite the bullet though - "And OEM Lexus/Toyota batteries are pretty darned good and have lasted longer than most of the aftermarket batteries, including the expensive ones, I've bought."

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35k miles on a battery is a short life. Although the battery may be five years old, I would have expected a little more life out of it. Toyota uses Panasonic brand batteries and they are pretty decent. My 02 ES had one in it and at 106k miles and 6 years old, the battery still hadn't missed a beat. My current 06 GS has 82k and five years on the clock and the battery hasn't missed a beat either.

Simple items like these batteries purchased through the dealership can be taxing on your wallet. Take a trip to your local library and thumb through some back issues of consumer reports. See if there are any recent full reviews or comparisons between batteries. You have to take into account cold cranking amps and what the average winter temperature is in your area. You also have to consider any "extra" aftermarket items you may have installed on you vehicle as this will have an impact on battery life.

Lastly, before you pay for anything, get a second opinion. Take you car to Autozone and they will load test your battery for free. If the same "test fail" occurs, then consider a replacement in the near future. Lexus' "fail" may simply be one cell that is not at the efficiency of the other cells and hence they see and easy replacement. You stated the current battery is live enough to start the car and it seems to be accepting a charge from the alternator so I don't think you are in deep water yet. Get a second opinion. Who is to say that the tech performed the battery test correctly at Lexus.

Post up what you find on your second testing.

steviej

oh yeah. If it does come down to getting a new battery,

I have never had a problem with DieHards from Sears (they even replace it for you and take away your old one). Autozone will as well, but I have no experiecne with the Duralast brand battery. Many people rave about Optima batteries.

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Of course the dealer wants to put a new battery in your car, with such a high profit margin, you need a new battery...

Check out Consumer Reports if you want to know the best batteries and the best deals. Btw, I have two Kirkland (Costco) batteries in two of my three non-lexus cars and one is 11 years old, while the other is 7 years old. And if you need a great charger, do a search for 'ctek battery charger' at Amazon.com. It is the same charger they use with Porsche, so I guess good enough for a Lexus or Bimmer or Benz...

P.S. I would tell the dealer to put the battery that they removed from your car in your trunk. So you can take it home and 'inspect' it. Who knows, properly charged you might end up with a fully working spare battery...

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I have also had great luck with Costco/Kirkland batteries, the only "drawback" being you must install them yourself (which is very easy). Most are only $55 at my local Costco and have an excellent 3-year, "no questions asked" replacement policy. I belive they are pro-rated for an additional 5 years after that. Make sure to save your receipt! It is required for a replacement.

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  • 3 months later...

I have a '98 GS400. My Lexus OEM battery lasted eleven-fricking years.

When it finally croaked in July of 2009, I made the mistake of replacing it with a Sears Die Hard, which carried a 3-year full-replacement warranty. It died on Tuesday morning, 2 years and two weeks to the day. When I took it back to Sears today, they would only replace it with a 1-1/2 year-warranty battery.

Gee, if a 3-year-warrantied battery only lasted two years, how long is a 1-1/2-year-warrantied battery going to last? But, HEY, for another $108 on top of the $120 I previously paid, they'd give me a better battery that MIGHT be more reliable. Right.

Coincidentally, I read this week that bankruptcy could be in Sears future. Now I know why. I gave up on Crapman, oops, Craftsman tools back in the 90's.

In the morning, I'm going to start calling around to find the lowest price on a Lexus OEM battery. I don't need to be driving around L.A. and having Damocles-syndrome about getting stuck somewhere with another dead Sears battery.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

My battery started acting up (slow cranking when temp drops to 30-deg and below). I went to Sam's Club and picked up a 34 (upgrade from a 24) with a higher (850) CCA for $85.00 with a 3-yr warranty. I kinda panicked when after installing the new battery, the sunroof and the windows didn't work. Found out later that I needed to reprogram the windows and sunroof by going thru the cycle. I thought I did something and shorted something and blew the fuses.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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