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Battery problem?

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Old 10-08-01, 08:23 AM   #1
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Angry Anyone else experiencing electrical problems?

Hello Everyone,

I just picked up my SC430 three weeks ago, and I have had a very frustrating issue with it. If the vehicle sits for more than 4-5 days without driving it, it will not start because of a dead battery. This has happened three times now. My dealer is looking into the problem, but they indicated that Lexus knows about this issue, and there are no fixes! Supposedly, the vehicle has so many computers, that if it is not run every couple of days or so, it will discharge the battery. The only workarounds from Lexus are to either install a kill switch for the battery, thus turning off all power to the car (and deleting radio presets and the like), or always hooking up the battery to a trickle charger when I am gone. Unfortunately, I travel for business frequently, and neither of these are appropriate. Is anyone else experiencing this issue, and if so, what have you heard?

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Old 10-08-01, 09:27 AM   #2
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Unhappy unresolved issues

I have had other issues which have yet to be resolved by Lexus...

Re the car sitting- my car often sits for a week at a time without my useing it and there is no such problem-yet. If the dealership cannot fix the problem- and the kill switch is NOT a solution- you should call and deal with someone at Lexus- and not a customer svc rep .

When you pay $70,000 for a car, you shouldn't have to deal with this B.S.
The pursuit of perfection.....?

Anyone else with unresolved issues?
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Old 10-09-01, 03:43 PM   #3
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My SC 430 often sits for over a week. I have not experienced this problem. Car starts right up everytime.
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Old 10-09-01, 03:50 PM   #4
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Originally posted by TOPLEXS
My SC 430 often sits for over a week. I have not experienced this problem. Car starts right up everytime.
I'll second what TOPLEXS said.. I had the car down for a 8 days since I was Zainoing the daylights out of it and the weather out was rainy.. Started up no problem this morning.. Bring your car back to Lexus and let them figure it out.. Not a good problem to have..

I hope you get it sorted out soon!!
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Old 05-20-06, 04:24 PM   #5
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Default SC430 2002 - dead battery, again and again

Advice - bought 2002 SC430 last June ( 24k miles ) - since then, the battery(s) have died at least 5 times. Have had it to shop 3 times ( towed once, roadside replaced battery once - car died a week later) - no problems found. Recent 25k service done 3 weeeks ago - yesterday - dead car. Car is standard vehicle - nothing added or different - very stock. This car, while nice - is turning into the biggest dissapointment I have ever owned. IS there a problem with the battery or charging with these cars ? It is becomming a joke ! a previous visit to the dealership ( when towed ) revealed that the car has had at least 2 previous batteries installed, and two CD / Stereos. My guess is that something is draining the battery very slowly.

Last edited by 827empress; 05-20-06 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 05-20-06, 06:07 PM   #6
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Sorry to hear of your issues. I have not come across any issues with the charging system of this car.
Since this car was purchased preowned anything is possible even though you state the car is very stock which it may be on the exterior. A prior owner or shop could have done anything within the electronics/wiring of the vehicles which would makes things a bit difficult to diagnose other than starting from scratch.
Have you had the charging system checked? If so how was it done? Voltmeter? Alternator machine? Did it put a load on the system?

Also does the battery light come on as it is part of the charging system?

How often do you drive it? Does it sit for days?

I will try my best to assist but need more information. Could be a few things including what you mentioned. As the battery was changed twice and the CD/stereo changed twice which is rare, could take some serious diagnosing. Letís start with the above first.
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Old 05-21-06, 02:57 AM   #7
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According to the Lexus records - I am the 2nd owner. In the short year I have had it, the car has died on me 4 times, including 4 days "after" roadside help replaced the battery. I have also had it to 2 dealerships to investigate these issues. When this issue happens, the car has been sitting for 2-3 weeks ( most of the time ) as it is my 2nd car. I have had high end sports cars all my driving life, all sitting for the same duration, and I've never had powers problems as described. When I discover this issue, the car is totally dead - nothing works - no lights, remote key does not work ....I simply can't believe that a high end car of this nature must be started on a frequent basis to keep a charge. That, to me, describes a flawed design.
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Old 05-21-06, 03:47 AM   #8
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Off topic but...Can you tell me about the other sports cars?

Maybe you got something along the lines of a lemon? I know with our sc, after we bought it, around 3-4 months later we had to change the battery and yeah, been fine for around 6-7 months now, great car really though
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Old 05-21-06, 07:58 AM   #9
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I've been reading these posts since 2001 when the car came out and I bought mine, and there is something not right with your car. That is not a common problem with these cars (or with any car, as far as I know).

I drive mine very little compared to most (24,000 miles in over 5 years), and I will let it sit in the garage for several weeks at a time in the winter, and I've never had a battey problem, and am still using the original battery (from April 2001), which shows no signs of growing weak.

The only thing I recall from here are a few notes that leaving the headlight switch in the "auto" position can drain the battery over several weeks. Since I never use that feature, I'm not sure about that here, but there have been posts to that effect.

If it's not that, you have something in the car that is drawing power and draining the battery.
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Old 05-21-06, 08:29 AM   #10
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Might suggest you take it to a auto electric speciality shop. They can meter the slightest load on a battery and determine the cause. My suspicion would be an audio modification.
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Old 05-21-06, 08:32 AM   #11
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I have a suggestion for you. I often recommend this to many of my customers who leave their car sitting for more than a week at a time. Its called, priority start. Hooks up to the battery of the car and guarantess (sp?) a start after its been sitting.

PM me if you have questions. Works really well, or even do a search online for priority start.
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Old 05-21-06, 08:59 AM   #12
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Or it could just be a lemon of a battery. I never found out what truly did in two of my OEM batteries on my RX300, but my Optima has been chugging along quite well. However, even my buddy's dry cell Stinger had problems, but he too let the car sit at times and the battery had its issues.
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Old 05-21-06, 10:56 AM   #13
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Obviously, something is draining the battery that is "much" greater than normal. "Normal" means the amount of current being drained required to keep the memory in the car's ECU, clock/radio settings, etc.

You can test the actual "battery demand" by disconnecting the positive clamp and hooking a multi-function electrical tester between the positive clamp and the positive pole of the battery. Key in the off position with the doors closed and all room lights turned off (much like in the condition you would leave your car for a long time). The tester must have the capability to test DC current up to 10A. Radio shack or home depot sell these guys.

Come back to the forum with your results. If your results are much higher than everyone else's, then you can start testing each fuse slot to determine where that "extra" juice is going.
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Old 05-21-06, 11:01 AM   #14
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It sounds to me like there's something wrong with the electrical system. I've owned two of these cars (I currently own an `04 SC430) and I've never encountered this kind of problem. Is the car CPO? Did you purchase it from a Lexus dealer? Because this is not typical for this car, you may be able to leverage a "lemon law", assuming your state provides such protection for consumers. The fact that the dealer has tried several times to fix this problem to no avail would appear to add strength to the position that the car is a lemon. By the way, I have left my `04 SC sitting in the garage for months at a time and have had no problem with the battery or with starting the car. It's also disconcerning to me (if you purchased the car from a Lexus dealer) that the dealer did not disclose this problem, since it was documented and on-record in the database of the car's previous history.
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Old 05-21-06, 11:10 AM   #15
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Not sure of your area but most auto parts stores will check out your battery and charging system for free. This will eliminate those from the equation and then you can direct your focus on other areas.
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