Dr T

Is There A Battery That Doesn't Go Dead In 2 Weeks?

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I love my 2002 SC430 with 80K miles. I bought it in 2011 and only put 3,000 miles on it per year. It's a toy, not transporation. That's what the 2007 Camry Hybrid is for.

I'm a non-mechanical woman, so all I do is drive it and pay someone else to fix it. I put an Interstate battery in it right after I bought it. That lasted two years, but it went dead at least twice. The warrantly got me a new one for free. Now it's dead again after sitting for two weeks without being started. I accidently left the headlights on auto - OOPS. I could probably jump it and it would work, but once it dead as a doornail, it's never the same, is it?

Please, can someone recommend a battery that may be a little pricier on the front end, but that won't go dead if I leave the headlight switch on auto for two weeks without driving the car?

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Welcome Pam. Any battery will go dead if you leave the lights on. They make thing called a trickle charger that will keep charging a battery constantly. You might want to look into that. I had a Camaro that would sit for months. It was just a show car. I always cranked it once a week anyway. Juices need to flow in a vehicle. I would also drive it forwards or backwards a few inches so the tires wouldn't get flat spots. It isn't good for a car to just sit.

You could also try an Optima battery. They are expensive. I really don't think you have a battery problem. I think you just need to be a little more attentive.

Post some more pics of the beauty.

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If money is not your primary concern, there is only one choice. Optima Red Top. I have one over 8 years old in my Nissan Frontier and it still works great. Expect to pay about double of a typical battery but also expect it to last 3 times as long. My choice. Never had much luck with Interstate Batteries and am pretty disappointed that Costco switched to them. Advance, Auto Zone etc sell Red Tops.

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3,000 miles per year isn't much. One of my neighbors drives a Mercedes 350 SL no more than a few thousand miles per year and often has it on a trickle charger when it is parked in his garage - particularly noticeable since the battery is in the trunk and the lid is often up with the charging cables running out of it. He's owned the car since new ... something like 43 years!

Make sure that your battery posts and cable clamps are sparkling/shiny clean to ensure that the battery gets the maximum charge. There is a inexpensive specialty tool for cleaning the battery posts and the insides of the cable clamps. Coating the post/clamp connections with petroleum jelly retards corroding.

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I would just charge it up & start it once a week as was suggested. Drive it around the block. Draining a battery is actually good for the battery as long as you charge it back up soon.

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Thanks for all your quick helpful replies. I went to the Optima battery website and they said there was no direct replacement for the 2002 SC 430. Remember I'm not mechanical and I won't know how to jury rig it in there. I have to find a mechanic willing to tinker with it. Is there anyone with direct experience doing this and what model Optima did you get?

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Optima makes three different batteries. A Red Top for road vehicles, a blue top deep cycle marine unit and a yellow top storage I think.

Usually always in stock at Autozone and Advance.

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It turned out I had 2 days left on the warranty for the Interstate, and when the shop tested the battery, it wouldn't hold a charge. I got a new one for free! I also bought a trickle charger based on the advice I got here

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But 13IS, you can't leave the headlights on in this car. They turn off automatically. I said I left the SWITCH on "auto." I may not be mechanically inclined, but I'm not some dumb woman.

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I myself have never heard of a dumb woman. I was born at night but not last night.

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Gosh. I don't remember calling you one. Sorry if I came off that way.

I leave my lights on auto but they go off soon after I exit my vehicle. I don't understand why that would run a battery down.

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uhh

"But 13IS, you can't leave the headlights on in this car. They turn off automatically. I said I left the SWITCH on "auto." I may not be mechanically inclined, but I'm not some dumb woman."

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Elsewhere in this forum it has been stated that leaving the headlight switch on auto can drain the battery in the SC430. The Lexus mechanic has told me this as well. It never happens with any of my other cars, but I drive them more often. Nor do they have as many gadgets that run when the car is off.

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I once saw a battery terminal when I was having this problem with my Camaro. It actually had a knob you could turn that would turn off the power from the battery so nothing could drain it.

Funny story, I went through a bad draining problem with my Camaro. Every time I tried to go somewhere it was dead as a door nail. Took it to a couple of shops, was told this and that. Changed a few switches. One weekend I was going to show the car so I went out a few days before to make sure it would start. I walked out into the garage, opened the passenger door and reached across to crank the car. I could see something between the passenger seat and the console. I realized it was a darned $1.00 CD case I had bought at the flea market and it was keeping the console cover from closing all the way and leaving that light on in there. I had to laugh to keep from crying. Needless to say, the CD case went in the trash.

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I have an Interstate Battery that I replaced about a two months ago. Temps have been in the negatives here in the Chicago area, and haven't had any problems with starting. I will say that over the life of the car (purchased in July 2002), that I've gone through three batteries (OEM, Walmart brand, now Interstate). SC's are the worst in terms of parasitic draw. Lots of memebers point to leaving the headlight lever on "Auto," but I've noticed that the door panel lights have draw also when the car is off (like leaving the trunk open so the lights kill the battery). I've seen so many threads on dead batteries after a few days of sitting. I have not had a problem starting after even a week of sitting with this Interstate Battery. I can provide the number and CCA, and other details soon.

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My original battery is still in my 2007 Lexus. I'm guessing it might get replaced this year after its 8 year life in car, if so I'll replace it with same Lexus battery.

History: 6K/year has been the annual mileage/usage. Regarding the AUTO headlights, usually left OFF.

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But yes, 3K year on a garage queen car is hard on battery. My original Porsche Boxster S battery lasted 3.5 years, annual mileage was 2K to 3K per year.

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LEX-SV- do you have a 2007 SC430 or a IS350? I'm not sure about the IS but the SC430 is notorious for parasitic drain. Lots of threads on another forum about dead batteries. Most owners will need a jump after leaving the car sitting for 5+ days. My new battery got me 7 days and a first crank start. I feel I could have gone longer, but needed to drive after 7 days. The IS probably has a better track record than the SC in terms of battery life. I feel like it's like comparing apples and oranges.

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ShawnOklahoma - Yes mine is 07 IS, and most likely very different electrical system.

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