Hybrid battery health - ClubLexus - Lexus Forum Discussion


Hybrid Technology Unique topics related to the 2010 - 2015 RX450H model hybrid drivetrain and other features/options found only on the RX450H. Please use the main forum for discussion about shared components with other third generation RX models.

Hybrid battery health

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Old 07-12-17, 10:33 AM   #1
SoonerRX
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Default Hybrid battery health

I apologize in advance for being so ignorant about this, but I am considering a 2010 - 2013 RX450h. I would assume the hybrid battery would wear down over the years, but is there any way to determine the health of the battery? Does the dash have a set of bars, or something?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-12-17, 11:18 AM   #2
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You can see the energy management activities while driving which includes some "charge level" bars, but they are not in any way an indication of the batteries' health. If you're concerned about the battery longevity, replacement for the hybrid batteries is still a rare thing for even the oldest RX hybrids, and some are documented as having really high mileages (in excess of 200K) with no battery issues at all. Even the standard 12v auxiliary battery lasts a long time. I've seen some folks reporting almost 10 year life on the regular battery. Mine was over 7 years old when i replaced it recently in my 2010 RXh, and it was showing no signs of "illness". I only changed it as a proactive measure for my wife.

Bottom line is that unless you're planning on keeping the vehicle for 10+ years, I don;t think yo're going to need to worry about the hybrid batteries. On top of that, as battery technology continues to improve, the cost for replacement hybrid batteries is already coming down.
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Old 07-12-17, 04:24 PM   #3
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"IF" you do happen to have a problem with the hybrid battery there are a growing number of companies that rebuild hybrid battery packs. They replace the dead cells and nearly dead cells in a battery pack for A LOT LESS $ than a brand new battery pack costs. In researching the 2010 RX-450h that I just bought last weekend the number of reported RX hybrid battery pack replacements is pretty close to nonexistent... as Pete said.

The range and performance on a purely electric vehicle will decline over time as the battery wears. Non-plugin hybrids operate at high efficiency over a much larger range of battery condition while loosing very little performance as the battery ages.

I believe a Lexus dealer shop can run some diagnosis on the condition of a hybrid battery with their test equipment but there is nothing I know of in the vehicle that will indicate to the end user the condition of the hybrid battery.

Also note that the 450h uses a water based coolant to heat(?)/cool the battery pack to keep it in its optimum temperature zone which should extend the battery life considerably over air cooled battery packs.

Last edited by MikeInOr; 07-12-17 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 07-15-17, 06:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeInOr View Post
Also note that the 450h uses a water based coolant to heat(?)/cool the battery pack to keep it in its optimum temperature zone which should extend the battery life considerably over air cooled battery packs.
The hybrid battery is air cooled, that is the purpose of the vents under the front of the rear seats. The secondary liquid cooling system is for the power control unit.

In general, I believe the voltage of each battery cell is monitored by the pack electronics. If any cell is outside of spec, the "check hybrid system" message will appear. No warnings, battery is operating in spec.

Last edited by Droid13; 07-15-17 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 07-16-17, 07:39 AM   #5
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In general, I believe the voltage of each battery cell is monitored by the pack electronics. If any cell is outside of spec, the "check hybrid system" message will appear. No warnings, battery is operating in spec.
This is correct. Techstream can see the voltages of the individual cells.
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Old 07-17-17, 01:59 PM   #6
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This is correct. Techstream can see the voltages of the individual cells.
Really?

Arent they multiple (30) 9.6V batteries strung together?

Last edited by NateJG; 07-19-17 at 07:31 PM. Reason: Added pictures
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Old 07-17-17, 02:12 PM   #7
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Yes, each cell is 9.6V x 30, yes. You can see the voltages in techstream for each one of the 30.

Last edited by Stoodo; 07-17-17 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 07-17-17, 02:35 PM   #8
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Each "Module" as Toyota calls them, is a Battery made up of 8 x 1.2V "Cells".

If any 1.2V Cell goes bad (shorted or open), the 9.6V battery suffers - as the weakest link in the 30-link chain.

I'd love to learn that Toyota/Lexus is able to monitor (or even better - manage) the health of all (30x8=) 240 Cells; and if that Techstream software were to report on every one, I'd be interested in purchasing it.
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Old 07-17-17, 02:39 PM   #9
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Module is the term I should have used you are correct.

It is only able to report on each module, but that's the smallest subsection of the battery pack you would be replacing anyway, if one went bad.

I purchased a module for my GS450h for $40 off of ebay.
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Old 07-17-17, 03:57 PM   #10
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Thank you for the reply/info. Knowing the health of each module is very helpful. I'm loving my RX-450h so much that I'm thinking of finding a GS-450h for my winter home. Are you happy with it?

From what hat I know of NIMH cells, they actually take on more voltage as they age - and my h, at 65K miles, is staying in the one-bar-from-full more lately (usual for first 60K was two-from-full.
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Old 07-17-17, 04:15 PM   #11
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The GS450h is great. No regrets.
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Old 07-20-17, 01:21 PM   #12
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I have been owning my 2010 450h RX for two years, now.. I have the habit to monitor the HSD parameters with my Scangauge II, in particular the SOC - State Of Charge. When due to slow traffic the SOC goes below the 50%, it drops very quickly to 38% and the engine kicks in for a forced recharge. I have seen the SOC dropping of 10 points in a minute. Now, I had a GEN 3 Prius, which traction battery is of the same size of my RX, and during the seven years I owned it I have never seen the SOC dropping so fast. In my opinion, this means that my RX has a worn traction battery. Despite this, during yearly maintenance checks the Lexus dealer performs a traction battery check with the car connected to the Toyota network via OBD, and upon results of the test provides my with a traction battery warranty extension of a year/15000 km. IMO this means that my traction battery is just worn, not faulty. However, I am pretty happy with the car and the consumptions, therefore I stopped worring about it, while I do continue to monitor HSD parameters, especially the traction battery temperature which is a critical factory for the battery health. In fact, during the summer I force the speed of the battery fan in order to keep the battery below 40 Celsius.I also plan to inspect at the early opportunity the traction battery fan, to see if it need to be cleaned. Dust and hairs may greatly reduce the fan efficiency...
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Old 07-20-17, 01:28 PM   #13
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Your reasoning is faulty due to the differences in equipment. With the same battery, of course the RX is going to drain faster.


Prius 80 hp (60 kW), Permanent Magnet Motor
RX450H Front: 165 hp (123 kW), Permanent Magnet Motor Rear: 67 hp (50 kW), Permanent Magnet Motor (AWD models only)
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Old 07-21-17, 09:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoodo View Post
Your reasoning is faulty due to the differences in equipment. With the same battery, of course the RX is going to drain faster.


Prius 80 hp (60 kW), Permanent Magnet Motor
RX450H Front: 165 hp (123 kW), Permanent Magnet Motor Rear: 67 hp (50 kW), Permanent Magnet Motor (AWD models only)
I wish you were right... of course the RX, weighting 1,5 times the Prius, spends more current to move at low speeds, but, unfortunately, the SOC droppings I have been observing occur even with the car in idle, with the A/C shutted down and no significant current drain (2- 3 A maximum). I used to put the gear in Neutral while stationary at the lights, until once I noticed the SOC dropping quickly below 30% from the initial 54% (that time the A/C was running). This was due to the fact that in Neutral HSD is unable to charge the traction battery using ICE. However, it was very frightening, since then I stopped to put the car in Neutral at the lights.
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