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Old 08-05-14, 03:36 PM   #1
doreencp
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Default Loss of battery power during vacation

I just purchased a 2015 RX 450 H, and I am leaving on vacation to Europe for a month. How do I ensure that the battery will be good when I return?
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Old 08-05-14, 06:27 PM   #2
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There are various computers that keep track of stuff with a very low drain. Some folks have reported no problems if their battery was young and in good shape, others needed a jump. If you have a friend that could take it for a 15 or 20 minute drive every couple of weeks that wouldn't hurt. Normally a battery tender would do the job nicely but it doesn't get to the traction batteries. They need their exercise too ya know . Worse that could happen is you'd need a jump, if so carefully read the directions for jumping a hybrid.
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I just purchased a 2015 RX 450 H, and I am leaving on vacation to Europe for a month. How do I ensure that the battery will be good when I return?
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Old 08-05-14, 06:48 PM   #3
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1 month is nothing, you should be fine. If you are really concerned, you would need to get a trickle charger
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Old 08-15-14, 09:53 AM   #4
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I thought our hybrids had a second battery like those of regular cars. At least I thought that's what I was hooking to when I had to use the RX to jump my F. So if the hybrid battery is completely dead, the car won't start?
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Old 08-15-14, 01:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by IS350atWOT View Post
I thought our hybrids had a second battery like those of regular cars. At least I thought that's what I was hooking to when I had to use the RX to jump my F. So if the hybrid battery is completely dead, the car won't start?
Traction battery cannot go completely dead. It has to maintain a specific charge rate, somewhere between 60% and 80%. If it does drop very low, a special device is needed to charge it up. I hear some dealers may have these, but never have to put them to use, so a month without starting will not be a big deal. I doubt dealers regularly start up their hybrids when they are sitting on the lot for months.

Now, the 12V battery that runs ECUs and most of electronics is the same as a regular car battery. If it is low or bad, the hybrid will need to be jump-started similar to a regular car. The difference is, there is no starter nor alternator.
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Old 08-15-14, 01:54 PM   #6
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Two things here, one if your Hybrid battery (traction batteries under the rear seat) are dead then your car will not start w/o a jump. Two, it reads in the manual you are NOT to jump another car with your hybrid. They are really great cars but there is a lot to learn re: their operation. That's one reason there is more than one manual and why they're so thick . The 12v battery in the cargo compartment cubby is the power source for all the electrical components and computers. In my manual it details a rather exclusive way to jump start your car after opening up your fuse box but also states it can not be used to jump start another car.

It's completely different than a conventional system where you hear the starter turning over the engine. In your (h) the engine just sort of 'starts' through a direct connection inside the combined traction motors and CVT.
The diagram below is of a Prius but the technology works the same.

If either battery is dead, your car won't start. The traction batteries are designed to maintain enough charge to always start the car. They are designed to last the life of the vehicle. The 12v battery does not turn a starter motor.
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I thought our hybrids had a second battery like those of regular cars. At least I thought that's what I was hooking to when I had to use the RX to jump my F. So if the hybrid battery is completely dead, the car won't start?
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Old 01-17-15, 10:18 AM   #7
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Default 2.2 Volts after 17 days parked

I parked my 2013 RXh after Christmas, and went to start it 17 days later only to find it dead.

Really really dead.

Of course, I couldn't get to the battery, as the 2013's have electric-only-operated tailgates.

After recharging the battery (the under-hood terminal) for 2+days, I took it to the dealership (an hour's drive at 55~75 MPH speeds) where they reported that the battery had 75% charge and was, in their opinion, still a good battery.

A dealer sales associate recommended to me that I should take one battery cable off when I park my car at the airport during my February trip.

I considered that as an option for a nanosecond, then remembered that once the battery was dead, there was no way to open the tailgate and re-connect the battery terminal.

Fortunately, my service representative (a family man with 5 kids and a wife) empathized with my nervousness with continuing to rely upon that battery - and replaced the battery under warranty.

I am still nervous of parking the car for two weeks (my extension cord won't reach the airport parking). .

BTW: the errant battery tested at over 428 Amps load on their test device; and the dealer reported that the battery is rated at something like 400CCA.

I'm interested in the experience of any other RXh owners with respect to parking their cars where there's no opportunity for a Battery Tender for any length of time.
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Old 01-18-15, 06:11 AM   #8
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In all hybrid models there is a low but minimal drain when shut down. If your 12V is in good shape that shouldn't be an issue. I would be extra cautious that in rushing to catch a flight you saw that all the interior lights were shut off, doors shut tight, etc., to insure no unnecessary drain was occurring. At 5 1/2 years my 12V was still testing well but .... Was time to change it. And in the tens of thousands of batteries built equally, a small number will always fail before the majority do.

Very glad you found a sympathetic person to replace yours under warranty.
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Originally Posted by NateJG View Post
I parked my 2013 RXh after Christmas, and went to start it 17 days later only to find it dead.

Really really dead.

Of course, I couldn't get to the battery, as the 2013's have electric-only-operated tailgates.

After recharging the battery (the under-hood terminal) for 2+days, I took it to the dealership (an hour's drive at 55~75 MPH speeds) where they reported that the battery had 75% charge and was, in their opinion, still a good battery.

A dealer sales associate recommended to me that I should take one battery cable off when I park my car at the airport during my February trip.

I considered that as an option for a nanosecond, then remembered that once the battery was dead, there was no way to open the tailgate and re-connect the battery terminal.

Fortunately, my service representative (a family man with 5 kids and a wife) empathized with my nervousness with continuing to rely upon that battery - and replaced the battery under warranty.

I am still nervous of parking the car for two weeks (my extension cord won't reach the airport parking). .

BTW: the errant battery tested at over 428 Amps load on their test device; and the dealer reported that the battery is rated at something like 400CCA.

I'm interested in the experience of any other RXh owners with respect to parking their cars where there's no opportunity for a Battery Tender for any length of time.
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Old 01-18-15, 07:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NateJG View Post
I parked my 2013 RXh after Christmas, and went to start it 17 days later only to find it dead.

Really really dead.

Of course, I couldn't get to the battery, as the 2013's have electric-only-operated tailgates.

After recharging the battery (the under-hood terminal) for 2+days, I took it to the dealership (an hour's drive at 55~75 MPH speeds) where they reported that the battery had 75% charge and was, in their opinion, still a good battery.

A dealer sales associate recommended to me that I should take one battery cable off when I park my car at the airport during my February trip.

I considered that as an option for a nanosecond, then remembered that once the battery was dead, there was no way to open the tailgate and re-connect the battery terminal.

Fortunately, my service representative (a family man with 5 kids and a wife) empathized with my nervousness with continuing to rely upon that battery - and replaced the battery under warranty.

I am still nervous of parking the car for two weeks (my extension cord won't reach the airport parking). .

BTW: the errant battery tested at over 428 Amps load on their test device; and the dealer reported that the battery is rated at something like 400CCA.

I'm interested in the experience of any other RXh owners with respect to parking their cars where there's no opportunity for a Battery Tender for any length of time.
Sorry to hear of your battery problem. For me, that is one of the worst things that can happen, as having a "dead car" always seems to occur at the most inopportune time. Perhaps fortunately for me, I've had it happen only a couple of times in my home garage -- that was my error and not a failure of the battery itself. The other time was in an airport parking lot when I still owned my RX400h -- yes, at nearly 1AM on a Saturday morning after being away for about 3 weeks. That battery was over 5 years old and I had it replaced the next week.

Our RXs are pretty smart with a number of battery savings functions, and IIRC, were further enhanced beginning with the 2013s, shutting down even more things based on time and number of days the vehicle has been parked (e.g. 20-minute accessory power-off, and after 14 days, you have to use the driver's door to unlock the car by gripping it's handle -- the passenger side becomes temporarily disabled to save power.) Still though, to Jim's point, there is power being used, so any battery will ultimately become depleted, and it's age will be a factor.

In my business days, I would occasionally be away for more than 3 weeks at a time with my RXh generally sitting in the airport parking garage. I only had the single failure as described above, and would not be too worried at even the 4-week mark if my RXh battery were relatively new like yours is now. I would suggest one simple habit that I created for myself when I park and am going to be away for a long while: After parking, making sure my RXh is OFF, and removing my luggage, use your FOB to lock your RXh using two presses of the lock symbol -- that will ensure your RX is off if you don't hear another tone, as well as it will lock all doors and turn off all lights so you can visually be assured everything is truly off. It's at least a good piece of mind. I also have a reminder set on my personal calendar at the 5-year mark after taking delivery of my RX, to have the battery checked at my next service...
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Old 01-18-15, 09:16 AM   #10
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NateJG... One more thought to add onto my previous pontification. After having been pretty much a road warrior for many years, frequenting airport parking garages, and sometimes getting stuck on the road for an extra 2-3 weeks from what was originally planned when I left, I sort of have a 3 week "maximum" in my head that I'm comfortable for any of my vehicles to sit "untended" so-to-speak, and have confidence it's going to turn on. The actual time may be longer -- perhaps stretching it to 4 weeks -- but it's where my head is after many years with my RXh's and other cars. Some of my generic opinion is because of poor experience I had with my former BMW that could not keep a charge for even 3 weeks -- in part due to the way it's (lack of) power savings functions worked, e.g. if my iPod stayed plugged in, BMW Service confirmed that it would cause my battery to drain within a couple of weeks, so I had to remember to always unplug it after each use or potentially have a dead battery. Fortunately, my experience with my Lexi (and MBZ SLK) has been much better than that, and as I said, the 2013 RX made even further improvements from what was already there. I just hate pushing the time my cars have to sit too far, get in from delayed flights, and possibly have a dead battery to deal with when I'd rather be on my way home and into my own bed. Also, with the increasing costs of putting a car in an airport garage where I am, it's frankly cheaper at the 2-week point to get a Super Shuttle door-to-door and leave my ride back in my garage -- it's not as convenient as having my own ride on both ends ready when I want to go, but cost-wise it can be better and I sure don't have to worry if my battery will still have a charge when I get back after a very long trip. Good luck!
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Old 01-18-15, 10:38 AM   #11
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Default 12 V Battery charge is less than I'd expect

Continued...

So the new battery was left on the smart charger overnight, and then the car was driven for a couple hours, then left to sit overnight.

The charge on the battery (measured at the underhood post) was 12.72 VDC.

After starting up the engine the same measurement was 14.08 VDC

I haven't been able to discern whether the battery is an AGM, deep cycle, or considered a "standard" lead/acid battery (the lack of places in which water could be added and/or acid specific gravity could be checked suggests to me = AGM).

The work order listed the battery as: L28800-31290 ; 190011A BATTERY COM

http://oemparter.com/oem-parts/28800...roup=762948121

My local Interstate expert reports that Interstate provides the batteries for local Lexus dealers; and that they're made by Johnson Controls (JC makes many of the other private label - like some of Sears', Costco's, etc - so I'm not surprised). She also advised that there are at least two batteries for my application (a winter zone and a hot zone).

Can anyone decode that?

Can anyone provide that battery's specifications?

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Old 01-19-15, 11:08 AM   #12
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Have you guys tried or considered buying a solar battery tender?

Amazon.com: Battery Tender 021-1163 5W Solar Maintainer: Automotive Amazon.com: Battery Tender 021-1163 5W Solar Maintainer: Automotive

Costco was selling poorly reviewed 1.8 watt solar chargers for a while too.

These guys put out about 9 watts so maybe a 10 watt solar charger would be needed:
Amazon.com: Battery Tender 021-0123 Battery Tender Junior 12V Battery Charger: Automotive Amazon.com: Battery Tender 021-0123 Battery Tender Junior 12V Battery Charger: Automotive

-Eric

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Old 01-19-15, 11:54 AM   #13
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Have you guys tried or considered buying a solar battery tender?

Amazon.com: Battery Tender 021-1163 5W Solar Maintainer: Automotive

Costco was selling poorly reviewed 1.8 watt solar chargers for a while too.

These guys put out about 9 watts so maybe a 10 watt solar charger would be needed:
Amazon.com: Battery Tender 021-0123 Battery Tender Junior 12V Battery Charger: Automotive

-Eric
Interesting idea if it perhaps would work from inside on the dash to avoid vandalism. I remember a similar suggestion made for a guy in Guam a while back -- his car was going to be sitting outside though for an extended period, but don't believe there was any feedback on the final outcome. For me though, solar isn't an option as long-term parking at my airport generally means I'm protected in the bowels of a dark parking garage with only fluorescent tubes to light my way -- when my oh so much better RXh LED headlights are off. ;-)
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Old 01-19-15, 12:58 PM   #14
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Interesting idea if it perhaps would work from inside on the dash to avoid vandalism. I remember a similar suggestion made for a guy in Guam a while back -- his car was going to be sitting outside though for an extended period, but don't believe there was any feedback on the final outcome. For me though, solar isn't an option as long-term parking at my airport generally means I'm protected in the bowels of a dark parking garage with only fluorescent tubes to light my way -- when my oh so much better RXh LED headlights are off. ;-)
It does work from inside the car as long as it is hit by direct light =) You could also put it on top of your car and route it through the sunroof...you'll ward off all but the tallest of vandals.

I'm sure the panels will still produce energy under fluorescent lights as well, just as the old solar-powered calculators did. The questions is how much? That would be an interesting experiment that I would like to try one day. Some trickle charging would still be better than no trickle though?

-Eric
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