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cduluk

Rx400H "push Button Start" On Japan Models?

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Hey guys,

As we all know here in the US, the 06-08 Rx400h never came available with the option for the "push button start" that Lexus had implemented as far back as 2004 with the LS430, and with the IS, ES and GS by 2006/2007. Well, after reading a post by another member on here who had purchased an Rx400h from Japan, i learned that the push button start is in fact available for the Rx400h!!

Here's the thread: http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=70125

Apparently citizens of Japan are better than us, and so Lexus engineered a smart key system for their Rx400h's. But i am wondering, can this feature somehow be installed on our US spec Rx400h's?

I can't seem to find ANY information for the car branded "RX400h" in Japan, but i found some info on the "Toyota Harrier Hybrid" which is the name they give the Rx400h in Japan.

Here are some pictures of the Harrier Hybrid:

ohtes5.jpg

23ts3d4.jpg

2a50zs8.jpg

23kx85l.jpg

14m5sna.jpg

1zgyu6a.jpg

dr7f2q.jpg

You can note in the first and second pictures the "PUSH TO START" button where the ignition would be, and the slot where the key enters (similar to the LS430 system). And under the radio you can see they have controls for the "auto retracting" mirrors and you can see the seats have the perforated leather and the exterior mirrors have the LED signals... and the list goes on...

Here are a couple for sale:

http://www.j-spec.com.au/wholesale/2005-Toyota-Harrier_Hybrid-49810001.html

http://www.j-spec.com.au/wholesale/2007-Toyota-Harrier_Hybrid-Premium_S-package-49203143.html

http://www.j-spec.com.au/wholesale/2008-Toyota-Harrier_Hybrid-49812685.html

And even this 2005 has the smart key system:

http://www.j-spec.com.au/wholesale/2005-Toyota-Harrier_Hybrid-49813905.html

I'd be willing to bet that all of our US Lexus dealers haven't the slightest clue these Rx400h's are even in existence, so do you think there's any other way to determine if our US spec Rx400h's could be modified to utilize this smart key feature?

My guess is that it's next to impossible, probably requiring miles of new wiring and new computers, but it would be pretty cool to get it to work! If i could find a scrapped Harrier Hybrid with this feature i'm sure the computers for the smart key could somehow be installed on one of ours...

I found the sticker ID for one of these, but i can't understand the VIN # !!

2e68tug.jpg

What are your thoughts? :geek:

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If it can be done you could do it! :cheers:

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hey the 2007 es has the smart key, same basic platform, however different engine...

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I'm now so disappointed that Lexus didn't include this feature in the model update. My rx400h was manufactured in Japan in Feb 2008 and exported to Australia and the mildly update model is mostly cosmetics - blue badging, blue tint headlights, blue LED-lid door sills, black wood maple on steering and centre console.

I would say the system is identical to the one in the 2006> Lexus GS450h.

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Well the smart key system on the Japanese Rx400h and that of the 06+ ES and GS models here in the USA are very different actually... The ES and GS US smart keys don't have to be pushed into the dash before the START button is pressed. If you look at the pics i posted before you can see the slot next to the START button where the fob has to be inserted. Kind of stupid actually... :wacko:

But still, it's better than the standard blade type our Rx's have!

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Well the smart key system on the Japanese Rx400h and that of the 06+ ES and GS models here in the USA are very different actually... The ES and GS US smart keys don't have to be pushed into the dash before the START button is pressed. If you look at the pics i posted before you can see the slot next to the START button where the fob has to be inserted. Kind of stupid actually... :wacko:

But still, it's better than the standard blade type our Rx's have!

I was recently in a 2006 Infiniti M35X and it had a slot for the remote as well, however, the remote only had to be put in the slot IF the batteries were dead. The rest of the time it worked wirelessly. Maybe the Lexus is the same?

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Well the smart key system on the Japanese Rx400h and that of the 06+ ES and GS models here in the USA are very different actually... The ES and GS US smart keys don't have to be pushed into the dash before the START button is pressed. If you look at the pics i posted before you can see the slot next to the START button where the fob has to be inserted. Kind of stupid actually... :wacko:

But still, it's better than the standard blade type our Rx's have!

I was recently in a 2006 Infiniti M35X and it had a slot for the remote as well, however, the remote only had to be put in the slot IF the batteries were dead. The rest of the time it worked wirelessly. Maybe the Lexus is the same?

Probably not. I had a BMW loaner a 07 x5 and it had the slot that you had to put the key in to use the push button. I am not sure why the decided to use a design like that?

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Well the smart key system on the Japanese Rx400h and that of the 06+ ES and GS models here in the USA are very different actually... The ES and GS US smart keys don't have to be pushed into the dash before the START button is pressed. If you look at the pics i posted before you can see the slot next to the START button where the fob has to be inserted. Kind of stupid actually... :wacko:

But still, it's better than the standard blade type our Rx's have!

I was recently in a 2006 Infiniti M35X and it had a slot for the remote as well, however, the remote only had to be put in the slot IF the batteries were dead. The rest of the time it worked wirelessly. Maybe the Lexus is the same?

Probably not. I had a BMW loaner a 07 x5 and it had the slot that you had to put the key in to use the push button. I am not sure why the decided to use a design like that?

A agree it's kind of moot to have a smart key that you still need to plug into the dash and then press a button to start the car... The 04-06 LS430 key worked this way too.

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I have to chuckle as this reminds me of all the people who flock to tablet computers so that they can push virtual buttons. The standard computer keyboard has been perfected over many, many years and yet the "cool" factor of touching a screen has lured so many folks to plunk down big money for something that will never beat a simple $300 laptop for banging out emails. Even Blackberry physical keyboards are still faster than an virtual keypad on an iphone or Droid.

Is it really worth all the trouble you'd have to go through to have a pushbutton start feature? I CAN convert my ignition switch to a touchless fiber optic switch (wave your finger over the beam) but c'mon!

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I think this works like the older Toyota SKS system CD...

On the Prius it has the same slot, but thats only if the SKS system is turned off (there's a button on the dash) or the battery in the key is dead. Normally you'd just leave that slot empty and use the key as you would think it would be used. Much like the BMW system LEXI mentioned, if the Prius is not optioned with SKS it has the same key, put you have to put it in the dash to activate the system and push the button. I have a coworker who has an '07 BMW X5 that is this way, it doesn't have a smart key and the key has to be inserted before the button can be pressed, but her '08 335 has the smart key, and while it has the slot the key doesn't have to be put in there.

On my 2010 ES350 the slot is gone, you simply hold the key up to the dash next to the button if the battery is dead. All new Toyotas are the same way.

See the attached pictures of the keys, first is of the Prius, see the small rectangle on the side? Theres a lock in the slot that pops into these rectangles on the side when the key is inserted.

post-564-0-48288900-1310095536_thumb.jpg

The key for the non-SKS Prius is the same, only the Toyota logo is simply pressed into the key instead of being metal as it is on my key.

Here's the slot and the POWER button on the Prius...see, same slot...

post-564-0-06490200-1310095918_thumb.jpg

Here's the key for the Lexus, see how the design is different since it no longer has to go into a slot?

post-564-0-99961900-1310095618_thumb.jpg

So these Japanese RX's simply use the old Toyota SKS system.

My guess is this would be INCREDIBLY expensive to add...

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Ahh, SW you're right on. It's weird why they'd design it like that...

And i think you guys are right, it isn't worth it.

Maseace, GREAT FIND!! :cheers: I've sent them an email to see if that system would work on the Rx400h with it being a hybrid and all... If so, i think it might be worth it! I'd still have to find a way to convert that ugly @ss wallet key into something more aesthetically pleasing though... :wacko:

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I just saw that link Maseace posted...thats AWESOME! I wonder how well it works?

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I'd still have to find a way to convert that ugly @ss wallet key into something more aesthetically pleasing though... :wacko:

I'm sure you would come up with another epic mod! B)

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Ohhh good point Jim, i wouldn't want to lose that feature...

I got a response back from the company about their aftermarket smart key system,

"Hi Chris, thanks for inquiring about our products.

Yes our product works with any standard key-type ignition vehicle. The

only extra part needed is a transponder bypass device which can be an

universal type or a vehicle specific type like iDatalink.com offers. It

will be a bit involved if you never done a remote stater install before

and we highly recommend you consider having professional Alarm/Remote

Starter install shop to do this if possible."

Can a remote start system even be installed on an Rx400h with it being a hybrid and all? I thought such systems connected directly to the engine...

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Yes, a remote engine start would work. The issue, is two fold. You have a vehicle with a slightly smaller carbon footprint, and then you install a car starter. If you leave the climate control on, with temp set to say 75 F, and start your vehicle (be it by remote starter or key) the engine will turn over. Heat is generated by the engine, and the hot coolant is sent to the heater core box so as to blow heat into the passenger compartment.

The same occurs in the summer, the climate control is set to cool the passenger compartment. The AC compressor is electric, so the hybrid batteries are used to turn over the ac compressor. When the hybrid batteries are depleted, the engine will turn over and recharge the hybrid batteries while supply energy to the electric compressor.

So, you CAN have an auto starter on a hybrid, but seems like an oxymoron thing to do LOL.

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The HS250h I had as a loaner a few weeks ago had a remote start...

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The HS250h I had as a loaner a few weeks ago had a remote start...

The OP's post is likely a 450h. Completely differently animal - Atkinson ICE and all. Then again, if you want to add the necessary ECU's drill holes for a button, plug the hole in the steering column ... let me know how that works for ya. I'd love to have push button, but already explored the can of worm it'd be.

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i have a harrier hybrid and the smart key just needs to be in the cabin for the push /start button to work. the slot for the key is only to lower the steering wheel into position when you get in. But it also does this when you push start button. This model also has push button lock on both front passenger and drivers door. so no need to use the smart key to lock the car. Car also unlocks automatically when you put your hand up to the door handle, smart key just has to be in your pocket.

Dave

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