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I have a 2006 RX400h. On 3 occasions I've been stranded. The car won't start and I get an error/message Shift to P when Starting. However I am in Park. It's coupled with a Check VSC System warning. Service department says I have just drained the accessory battery, however nothing is being used other than standard equip such as lights, dash etc. I've had all batteries changed in the car over the 4 years I've owned it. Is this usual? Any others out there with this experience?
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Welcome to the CL! This has happened to me before with the error shift to P when your trying to start the car. It's frustrating, but I knew right off the bat there had to be something wrong with the traction battery, I don't know if you had the check engine light come on along with the error message on your odometer. So I had it checked out at the dealership and they weren't quite sure what was wrong, so I asked if they had checked the traction battery. Guess what, they replaced it with a brand new traction battery under warranty and I guess the problem was the traction battery. I hope that's what happened to you, good luck on fixing the problem! Hopefully this kind of helps.
I know a fair amount about cars but I have no idea what a traction battery is. Can you elaborate?
Hi, it's basically like the hybrid battery where all the power gained from the trip is saved to this battery. It's also used when the gas engine is not turned on. It's always monitored through the navi screen so you can tell how much power is charged to the battery. It's located underneath the rear passenger seat. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
I'm having the exact same problem as the OP.. Took car in for alignment.. then they drove the car to another bay to do rotation.. then it wouldn't start exactly as described in OP.. I saw my headlights were on while they did the alignment.. I'm guessing that drained the traction battery? Is this covered under the 100k hybrid system warranty?
I had this same problem at the beginning of the winter. I was trying to start my RX to drive off a ferry and got the shift to P message and no start. I thought maybe it was a dirty switch but it eventually started. Then about a week later after the temp dropped to about 15 degrees, it happened again but the car never started. I called AAA and they came out to assess the situation. The 12v accessory battery had a bad cell and only had 9.5v. The cold weather was too much for the old battery. I got a jump and went to Lexus. They agreed with the assessment and put in a new 12v batt under warranty. Problem solved.
I think Lexus should examine their error messages as they do not seem to point to the proper issue. Maybe the switches send bad info to the cpu when the voltage is too low. I also had the check VSC error too.
Last edited by rscarawa; 03-04-10 at 08:11 AM..
Reason: needed to add one more comment
We just had the "Please shift to Park" error too. It also said check VSC once and I saw engine light.....BUT then I noticed only one headlight fired up and then the car had almost an entire power failure. Although the accessory battery ( the more conventional battery that provides power to get started and power lights, window, etc.) measured 12.12v, I figured it must be low. I connected jumper cables to my other car (running) and I could turn on lights right away. So I powered up and all seems to be well. I put on the "ac / defrost" to force the engine to run for a while, disconnected the jumper cables and then the car started cycling normally, starting the engine as necessary to keep everything running.
I am taking in the accessory battery to be checked, but I wonder if something made it run down, like a light left on, door ajar, etc.
So if you get a power fail, I don't know about the Lexus warranty if you have one, but I would have the accessory battery checked and carry jumper cables in case you get stranded; especially until the mechanic figures out what is going on.