Batteries have a life and under normal conditions a good battery should last 3-4 years. [depending on the discharge and charge cycles and the environment and quality the time can be shorter or longer than the above mentioned time]. Normal drain is when you start the vehicle and to sustain all electronics when it is shut off. The charge happens when the engine is running and is done by alternator which gets spun by the belt [main pulley, A/C compressor and alternator].
Gel type batteries , need extended charge time [note for Optima owners] and may need a hookup to a battery charger once a month for 24hrs.
When you experience drain outs, try charging the battery for 24hrs. Some auto shops can do this for free for you. They can also test your charging system health.
If has been 3-4 years, it might be worth getting a new battery.
Typical drain problems are:
1. Load left on .. like dome light, headlights etc.
2. After market accessory ... like amp, remote starter etc.
3. Bad alternator.
Once 12v supply is removed [battery was dead, or new battery was installed, or battery terminal was removed etc], nearly all the stored information in various ecu's are lost.
Exceptions are: Odo [not necessarily trip], garage opener, key-remote, engine imobilizer. (just a small list)
The vehicle then is set in default mode and it starts accumulating information form sensors as the vehicle is driven.
Time, Radio settings and seat memory setting are lost and require the user to re-program them.
Pinch protection recognition is also lost and one touch close needs to be re-programmed. Please refer to instructions in the user manual. Summary is listed below
Hold the down button till the window/(sun roof) travels to end or stops moving. Let go of the button and then hold the switch up, till the window travels all the way to the top or stops moving. Repeat a few times (if needed). This is needed for all motorized glass windows/sun-roof.
If things do not work as expected, then try to disconnect the battery for about 20 mins and reconnect the terminal. The connection should be made with one deliberate action to prevent partial connection or bounce in the connection.
If things do not go back to normal, then repairs may be needed.
A good driver simply does not just drive. One must pay attention to gauges and retain information from the last drive. As you pull away from your parked spot, look at the location and spot any fluid on the ground. Some may be harmless like drippings from driving in the rain. Here are some simple tests and potential source of leakage.
Please put on a glove and carry out these tests:
Viscosity (pinch and spread thumb and index finger)
Are the standard tests and the my favorite is check the level of all fluids and check again after few hours. The level that dropped is most likely what you are loosing.
Fluids that can drip:
Condensate from AC. Will be clear like water. Can be fairly large puddle during humid days, but happens when A/C is running or recently turned off. [Normal]
Wiper washer fluid:
If the reservoir is blue in color (match color with the fluid that have in the washer reservoir). If you see it shortly after using the washer, then it is nothing to worry about.
Color Pink to ruddy-pink. Check the color of your coolant in the overflow reservoir. Typically this leak gets worse when the engine is hot and then the coolant is even at higher pressure which causes it to leak. You will typically see steam and your temperature gauge will show higher than normal. Lower your windows and turn the heat to max and pull to safety. It is not wise to run the engine with coolant leaked out. [If you have used non-Toyota coolant, then most likely it will be greenish in color]
Golden brown to black. You will get a string in the pinch test before it will break. By the time it trickles down, it can attract grime and turn darker. Engine should be shut off as soon as possible once the oil light comes on and should not be started before ensuring enough oil is present (check dipstick).
Cherry red to dark-red and even brown. Smells a bit nasty and has same characteristics of an engine oil. Once not enough transmission fluid is leaked out, your RX may not engage in proper gear. Transfer case, which shares transmission fluid can leak too.
Steering pump hydraulic fluid:
Check the color in the reservoir. Usually read and will form a string in the pinch test.
Hydraulic (brake) fluid:
Check and match the color with the reservoir. Not very viscous as compared with engine oil but more sticky than oil. If enough fluid leaks out, you will introduce air in the lines and will get partial braking and eventually total failure.
Read diff (AWD models):
Very viscous and smells awful. Leak happens in the rear of the RX.
CV joint grease.
You may see chunks of greyish (white-brown) grease. Since the grease does not flow, so it iv very unlikely to be seen on the ground. It does seem to leave a radial wet look in a circle around its location on the underside of the RX. Note RX has inner and outer CV joints on each of the output shaft (transmission to wheels)
Moveable links are filled and capped with grease. Typically they dont drip, but rips develop over time. They can allow dirt to go in and ruin the joint.
Smell is the dead give away.
This usually never happens but if it does, you will see a path from the battery location to grounds. Bubbling of paint etc. Do not try to touch it with exposed skin. Run water over it and add baking soda to neutralize the acid.
Rips, cuts and break in the hoses etc are the typical reasons of a leak. When a rotating shaft comes out of a block which has fluid, a rubber seals keeps the fluid while the moving part slips on it. Due to wear over time they can leak. The rear engine main seal is the most mentioned seal to leak. It is less than $10, but the labor to get to it runs high. Gaskets can leak over time and a fresh one with proper torque on fasteners can cure the leak.
Fluids will move under gravity, inertia and force of air moving on its surface. Surface tension can make the fluid travel in a counter direction (like against gravity).
Some leaks will be easy to spot. but most would require having the vehicle hoisted up. You should start by tracing the grime trail. If needed you can use simple green or engine de-greaser to clean out. Some times you can aggravate the leak by aggressive cleaning and probing.
If you need a hose or a fitting, physical dimensions are not the only thing. Hoses for air, fuel, oil and coolant are not interchangeable.