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Car won't start-Error Shift to P when start

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Old 06-08-09, 01:04 PM   #1
luchaprov
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Default Car won't start-Error Shift to P when start

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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Old 06-08-09, 11:32 PM   #2
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Hey Luchaprov,

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.

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Old 06-09-09, 02:06 AM   #3
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LEXveryG8,

Thank you! At this point anything helps. The dealership keeps telling me there is nothing wrong, but obviously with 3 incidents in 4 years...there IS! I love my car, but need it to run . Thanks again.
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Old 06-10-09, 09:49 PM   #4
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No problem, let us know how it goes down with the dealership. Good luck!

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Old 06-11-09, 07:58 AM   #5
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I know a fair amount about cars but I have no idea what a traction battery is. Can you elaborate?
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Old 06-11-09, 10:35 AM   #6
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I guess this should have been in hybrid technology ...

Multiple power sources. [and one of them is called "traction" battery]

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Old 06-17-09, 10:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpa72 View Post
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.

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Old 06-18-09, 08:39 AM   #8
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I've always wondered how much this bad boy is gonna cost without warranty.. please let us know!
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Old 06-18-09, 10:57 PM   #9
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I've always wondered how much this bad boy is gonna cost without warranty.. please let us know!
I'm not quite sure how much, but the traction battery/hybrid battery alone can be costly. I have heard it can cost a couple grand, and I have heard different stories.
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Old 10-28-09, 09:12 PM   #10
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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?
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Old 02-14-10, 10:52 AM   #11
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Default Same error "shift to p when starting" and "check VSC"

I have a 2006 Highlander Hybrid and I have the same problem. Of course it happened the minute I am supposed to drive 200 miles north to pick up family flying in from the east for a vacation.

If I do get it to start, it sounds like I should not try to use it for this weeks vacation...? Not that I will be able to.

Is this covered under the hybrid warranty?
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Old 02-14-10, 01:57 PM   #12
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Is this typical of the hybrids?
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Old 03-04-10, 08:09 AM   #13
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Default Had same problem

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.

Scot

Last edited by rscarawa; 03-04-10 at 08:11 AM.. Reason: needed to add one more comment
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Old 09-19-11, 09:44 PM   #14
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Default Exactly the same problem as you.

Same thing, 3 incidence over 4 year. What should I do? Which battery should I replace?

It seem to happen more, when the car is park on an incline. Anyone else nOtice this?
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Old 10-20-11, 08:41 AM   #15
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Cool Accessory battery suspect

Hi,
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.
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Old 10-20-11, 08:41 AM
 
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2006, 400, 400h, car, car won't start, check, gs300, lexus, p, park, rx, rx400h, sc400, shift, start, started, vsc, wont

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