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Dead Battery, Again.. Battery, Starter, Alternator Normal

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Old 01-27-10, 04:50 PM   #16
Francis
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I vote b...no cost!
b. Disconnect the Negative Terminal when I get home?
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Francis
99' Lexus RX300 FWD
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Old 01-29-10, 05:02 PM   #17
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I joined this site after Googling "Battery Tender" since I just purchased one yesterday at my dealer.

Last March my battery died after 7 years of service, nothing unusual about that. I called AAA and they installed a battery & all was well for 7 months and that battery died! They installed another one and then day before yesterday, 6 mos. later again battery took a dump.

I got a jump from AAA and headed to my dealer this time. I had everything checked out to see if something was causing a drain on the battery, everything checked out fine. I purchased a new Lexus battery, didn't want to keep the one that AAA installed even though I was told it wasn't dead, it had just been drained.

The problem was I don't drive it often or long enough! So, yesterday it was recommend for me to utilize a Battery Tender, and I will.
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Old 01-29-10, 05:21 PM   #18
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We started having battery problems with our 2000 RX300 after we moved closer to work. now we drive the car about 1.5 mi each way, total of 3 miles per day. OEM battery lasted seven years and 78K miles. About six months after we moved and changed driving from 18 mi/day to 3 mi/day, the battery died. (lights and seat heater on for those three miles too). Put in a Costco battery, it lasted two years, got my full refund, just bought a Sears DieHard with a four year full replacement. Tech told me that it will just be that way if I don't drive it much...finally learned the symptoms of the weakening battery...clock showing incorrect time, occasional loss of the display screen data...
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Old 01-30-10, 12:20 AM   #19
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Zoey- So Cal. shouldn't be hard on batteries should it? Actually it should be about as easy as anyplace I can imagine, but not driving 'em enough is hard on 'em no matter where you live. I test all my batteries every 2 or 3 mo. (I have professional testing equipment and am experienced at using it professionally), and can tell you for a fact-
#1. it is very difficult to buy a GOOD battery ANYWHERE any more (they could definitely build them, they just won't)
#2. You CANNOT tell the condition of a battery by how it starts and the other electrical works. There are many people who say my "battery was fine and it just went bad all of a sudden one day". HIGHLY unlikely. If tested on a regular basis, you can almost ALWAYS tell when it's time to replace a battery by the decline in the voltage it is able to maintain if driven ENOUGH regularly. It can also be a decline in CCA's or CA's. It seldom develops an open circuit (it is possible) which is the ONLY reason for it to actually test good on a regular basis (12.6V & full CCA's) and suddenly leave you stranded.

What they told you about not driving it enough was true. It is not able to get charged up to full voltage (12.6V-12.8V) and ANY time a battery isn't able to get to and maintain full voltage, it will DEFINITELY shorten it's life. I would actually expect just about what you experienced in battery life when being driven that little. The battery tender is one of the only realistic ways ways to assure that the battery is maintained at 12.6V, and even then, (not realistic for most people), it needs to be LOAD TESTED now and then to make sure that the tender is keeping it at least 12.6V. A simple volt meter test is not an accurate test because you are testing surface charge, which does you no good. Good luck with the BT!

Last edited by code58; 01-31-10 at 12:33 AM..
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Old 01-30-10, 12:49 AM   #20
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Hi Dad- Just curious, what brand of battery was the original battery? I don't know where your RX was built, Canada, Japan ? If it was built in Canada I'm not sure if it would get a Canadian built battery , a Japanese battery (not likely) or what? My wife's '02 Camry was built in Japan so it had a Panasonic battery and they are an excellent battery. I built a custom security system on the car and wired it so that if the relay ever went out (not likely) on the freeway or like place, you would never know it because it wouldn't cut the fuel pump off. We were gone for over 2 weeks at Christmas 2 years ago and didn't think about the long term affects of the relay drawing for 2+ weeks. When I got back the battery wouldn't start the car. I had tested it as usual every 2-3 mo. since new and the battery ALWAYS tested perfect, even at 5&1/2 yrs old when we left. Being run down to about 5 volts because of a very small but steady drain for 2+ weeks damaged the battery enough that I had a hard time bringing it back and even then, though it functioned fine, never came close to testing what it did before it was run to 5V. I ran it about 6 more mo. and decided to replace it so that my wife didn't have problems with it. It shows how easy it is to damage or destroy a battery by severe discharge. I wish we had access to Japanese batteries like the Panasonic here (I don't think Japan has taken to build their cars in Japan with trash batteries), but that's not gonna happen. Even the Lexus batteries here are built in Mexico. My brother just bought a new '10 Camry about 4 mo. ago and he had an '05 Camry that he had purchased new. The battery developed a complete open circuit at about 3&1/2 years (I tested it for him-0 CCA's) because the car was built here it had a Toyota battery made by Excide (absolute junk!)
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Old 01-30-10, 06:13 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by code58 View Post
I don't know where your RX was built, Canada, Japan ?
I think all the RXs were made in Japan until the RX330 model (i.e., post-RX300)
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Old 01-30-10, 11:07 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by code58 View Post
Zoey- So Cal. shouldn't be hard on batteries should it? Actually it should be about as easy as anyplace I can imagine, but not driving 'em enough is hard on 'em no matter where you live. I test all my batteries every 2 or 3 mo. (I have professional testing equipment and am experienced at using it professionally), and can tell you for a fact-
#1. it is very difficult to buy a GOOD battery ANYWHERE any more (they could definitely build them, they just won't)
#2. You CANNOT tell the condition of a battery by how it starts and the other electrical works. There are many people who say my "battery was fine and it just went bad all of a sudden one day". HIGHLY unlikely. If tested on a regular basis, you can almost ALWAYS tell when it's time to replace a battery by the decline in the voltage it is able to maintain if driven ENOUGH regularly. It can also be a decline in CCA's or CA's. It seldom develops an open circuit (it is possible) which is the ONLY reason for it to actually test good on a regular basis (12.6V & full CCA's) and suddenly leave you stranded.

What they told you was true about not driving it enough was true. It is not able to get charged up to full voltage (12.6V-12.8V) and ANY time a battery isn't able to get to and maintain full voltage, it will DEFINITELY shorten it's life. I would actually expect just about what you experienced in battery life when being driven that little. The battery tender is one of the only realistic ways ways to assure that the battery is maintained at 12.6V, and even then, (not realistic for most people), it needs to be LOAD TESTED now and then to make sure that the tender is keeping it at least 12.6V. A simple volt meter test is not an accurate test because you are testing surface charge, which does you no good. Good luck with the BT!
I really thank you for you input, this old gal needs it. If I was able to do what you do in checking the battery, I would do so.

I park in a carport, not in a garage so my vehicle gets the extreme heat in the summer and in the past few months extreme cold.

Now I'm worried that my outside electrical outlet is a bit too far for the Battery Tender cord to reach. I guess now I'm going to have to purchase a heavy duty extention cord like we used to use years ago when we charged our travel trailer battery.
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Old 01-30-10, 03:17 PM   #23
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Has any one tried the solar tender charger?

Salim
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Old 01-31-10, 12:21 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by salimshah View Post
Has any one tried the solar tender charger?

Salim
I have one in my '04 Ford F-150 PU. Since I'm retired I don't drive it much (drive my wife's Camry most of the time when she doesn't need it because of a huge difference in gas mileage) so I put one on the dash (mounted it there). It's from Harbor Freight (rated in watts- I don't remember just exactly how much right now) and it's enough to keep the battery up when not driven much. It's nice looking even- my truck sets out and it charges even on a totally overcast day. It plugs into the cig lighter and has a little red LED light on it that tells if it is charging and how much it's charging by how fast the light is blinking.
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Old 01-31-10, 12:31 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoey View Post
I really thank you for you input, this old gal needs it. If I was able to do what you do in checking the battery, I would do so.

I park in a carport, not in a garage so my vehicle gets the extreme heat in the summer and in the past few months extreme cold.

Now I'm worried that my outside electrical outlet is a bit too far for the Battery Tender cord to reach. I guess now I'm going to have to purchase a heavy duty extention cord like we used to use years ago when we charged our travel trailer battery.
Zoey- didn't realize you were a lady (I guess if you were, you still are ). You don't have to worry about getting a heavy duty cord. If you are getting or have gotten a battery tender, that draws a VERY small current. Any standard electrical cord will do fine for that. Even a light duty one would do fine. I hope you weren't thinking about one of the huge cords like you pull out on the TT to plug into land electric. Maybe you better explain exactly what you got in the way of a battery tender and what you were thinking of in the way of an extension cord. We'll be happy to help you out, just need to make sure we're on the same page. I worked in automotive electrical and do all my own home electrical.
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Old 01-31-10, 12:46 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by bob2200 View Post
I think all the RXs were made in Japan until the RX330 model (i.e., post-RX300)
You probably would know better than I Bob. I don't even own one, I'm here because I'm the mechanic for my DIL's RX. I don't even know when the 330 started, but I thought they had been made in Canada longer than that. Whatever the case, they are likely, like most all cars, to use batteries made in the country the cars are built in because batteries are too heavy and too cheap to transport half way around the world, except a lot of the batteries we get here in the US now, are made in Mexico. We build plenty of batteries here (far from all!), but mostly all junk made by a couple of companies. Happily, my wife's Camry was built in Japan (didn't realize it til we got home, I thought they were all built here now). Sorry, but I would rather have a Japan built car any day than one built here. They just hold a higher standard there.
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Old 01-31-10, 09:34 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by code58 View Post
Hi Dad- Just curious, what brand of battery was the original battery? I don't know where your RX was built, Canada, Japan ? If it was built in Canada I'm not sure if it would get a Canadian built battery , a Japanese battery (not likely) or what? My wife's '02 Camry was built in Japan so it had a Panasonic battery and they are an excellent battery. I built a custom security system on the car and wired it so that if the relay ever went out (not likely) on the freeway or like place, you would never know it because it wouldn't cut the fuel pump off. We were gone for over 2 weeks at Christmas 2 years ago and didn't think about the long term affects of the relay drawing for 2+ weeks. When I got back the battery wouldn't start the car. I had tested it as usual every 2-3 mo. since new and the battery ALWAYS tested perfect, even at 5&1/2 yrs old when we left. Being run down to about 5 volts because of a very small but steady drain for 2+ weeks damaged the battery enough that I had a hard time bringing it back and even then, though it functioned fine, never came close to testing what it did before it was run to 5V. I ran it about 6 more mo. and decided to replace it so that my wife didn't have problems with it. It shows how easy it is to damage or destroy a battery by severe discharge. I wish we had access to Japanese batteries like the Panasonic here (I don't think Japan has taken to build their cars in Japan with trash batteries), but that's not gonna happen. Even the Lexus batteries here are built in Mexico. My brother just bought a new '10 Camry about 4 mo. ago and he had an '05 Camry that he had purchased new. The battery developed a complete open circuit at about 3&1/2 years (I tested it for him-0 CCA's) because the car was built here it had a Toyota battery made by Excide (absolute junk!)
our OEM battery in the 2000 RX300 was a Panasonic
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Old 01-31-10, 10:23 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by code58 View Post
I have one in my '04 Ford F-150 PU. Since I'm retired I don't drive it much (drive my wife's Camry most of the time when she doesn't need it because of a huge difference in gas mileage) so I put one on the dash (mounted it there). It's from Harbor Freight (rated in watts- I don't remember just exactly how much right now) and it's enough to keep the battery up when not driven much. It's nice looking even- my truck sets out and it charges even on a totally overcast day. It plugs into the cig lighter and has a little red LED light on it that tells if it is charging and how much it's charging by how fast the light is blinking.
Thank you Code. For RX the cig-lighter is switched so some alternative will have to be devised.

Salim
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Old 02-01-10, 12:55 AM   #29
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our OEM battery in the 2000 RX300 was a Panasonic
KD- Now you understand why the original battery lasted so long! Panasonic makes good batteries, as you well know. It's difficult for me to imagine a reasonably priced current U.S. sold battery that would go anywhere near that long before putting it's feet in the air. Even the Lexus batteries sold here are made in Mexico, and I doubt seriously that they would ever be made to the Japanese made Panasonic standards. My DIL had one in her Lexus (Mexican made Lexus battery) and though it started the car fine, when I tested it, it showed good voltage but half the CCA's that it was rated at. I replaced it before it went to Seattle for an extended period. (by the way, I believe my brother said the original Panasonic in his '95 Camry lasted 9 years and 140K mi. before he had to replace it. He bought a new Camry in '05 and that's the one that was made here and had the Excide built Toyota battery that went completely upside down in 3&1/2 years. We COULD build good, long lasting batteries here, but instead choose to build junk!
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Old 02-01-10, 01:12 AM   #30
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Thank you Code. For RX the cig-lighter is switched so some alternative will have to be devised.

Salim
Salim- Do you have any idea why T/L chooses to make the cig lighter switched? Traditionally cig lighters, (on american cars at least were always 24-7 hot) From what I remember, my wife's Camry has a C/L ?/ PP? outlet in the bottom section of the center console at the front that IS full time hot. Don't know their reasoning on these things. I was going to hard wire the solar charger in so that there were no exposed wires (I like things NEAT), but discovered that there was a board in the cig lighter plug as well as the flashing LED to indicate charging so figured I'd better leave well enough alone. I have a quantity of nice cig lighter outlets so I may still mount 1 of those under the dash (hidden) and run the wire into the dash under the SC so that it can still be completely hidden but retain the board and LED as built.
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Old 02-01-10, 01:12 AM
 
 
 
 
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