Vanda13

SC430 Auto Starter Problems

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SC430 auto 2005:  Advice re flat BatteryI've had my beautiful car for nearly 6 yrs and it has been reliably unreliable during this period in not starting if I leave it for any period of time.  During the winter I can drive 100 miles, park for a couple of hours, then it won't start without being jumped.  In the summer I can sometimes leave it for a couple of days before it fails to start.  Again I have to jump start it.  Despite renewing the Battery annually and making sure I turn EVERYTHING off, I now permanently carry a very heavy duty power pack in the boot to start up wherever I am.  It's a joke.  On one occasion I drove it for most of the day, stopped to concentrate on a hands free call for 20 minutes only to find I had to jump it to re-start. My local dealer has not been able to resolve and I really don't know where to turn to.  I absolutely love my car but I no longer drive it in the winter, too much trouble in the rain to jump it, so it is garaged for at least six months.   I've read that other owners have had the same or similar problems - if they've been resolved, how?  Certainly doesn't look good for Lexus, my local fiends/neighbours can't understand it at all.  Find it amazing that I haven't got rid by now!!  We've tried a trickle charge but even that can't be relied upon on such a big engine.  Any advice. I live in Hampshire. 

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Nearly six years and you've not actually done anything to find the fault???

If you want to do it yourself then a multimeter and some knowledge of diagnostic fault-finding is needed, but I think you really need to take it to a proper auto-electrician, not a general garage or mechanic.

I just can't believe that you've done nothing for six years except to spend money on a new Battery every year. There's obviously some sort of short circuit or other parasitic drain happening (that's when the Battery is continuously being discharged after shutting off the engine) that needs to be found and put right.

Auto electricians in Hampshire - click on this link for details

 

 

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The first thing I would check is the condition of the engine to body to battery lead. Connect a volt meter between the negative Battery terminal, and the engine setting the volt meter to a low volt scale (usually 2 or 20 volts). Turn the engine over while noting the reading. Anything over 0.5 volts gives the condition of the lead as bad.

John

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John. She does say 'local dealer unable to solve the problem'!

But I agree in general.

Perhaps I should give up NOT having a Lex and take it off their hands......(-:

(But I want an lpg car.)

Good luck-it CAN be fixed!

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Many thanks for your feedback.  I just don't know who to go to.  The AA have been called out so many times - their engineers clamber to have a go!  It's beyond my local garage, they've referred me to the Lexus dealer.  And each time I've gone to the dealer for servicing or MOT or new Battery they are at a loss to know what else to do other than change the Battery.  I'm not an engineer so don't know how to direct them in what to look for but I will pass on your advice John.  It may help but surely they should know that.  It goes in for another MOT with them later this month.  But hands off my handsome mean machine, he's not for sale - although I've had a few tempting offers!

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Hi John (from Lancashire), just seen your reply.  Yes, 6 yrs is ridiculous.   My problem is, it has been looked at and there's been a lot of head scratching!  So, what qualifications do I need to look for in an experienced auto electrician?  They are about but how do I sort out those with the expertise and knowledge and those without?  We have a heating business and I can tell you that not all qualified heating engineers can see or diagnose a problem even if it were to smack them on the nose.  Some would just throw a load of parts at a problem or run away, we get new customers all the time desperate to resolve a problem that their regular service guy can't or won't assist with.  I need to find someone who knows his stuff, doesn't flannel a woman and will take pride in diagnosing and resolving the problem.  Someone with a good reputation for this kind of problem.  How do I find them?  ANY SUGGESTIONS?

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Alice.

If you have any jumper leads or can borrow some try connecting one lead from the Battery negative (- black) terminal to a clean bolt or piece of metal on the engine. Then try starting the car. If the jumper lead can be left in place temporarily this will help with bringing the Battery up to full charge as well as helping the engine to start.

If this improves or removes the problem the Battery to body to engine cable should be replaced.

On a number of occasions I have come across people that have replaced the Battery, then the alternator, and even the starter motor still ending up with the same problem. Only then finding a cheap piece of cable cured the problem.

John

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Alice, good afternoon

many classic cars often have electrical issues and their local Owners Clubs could well have a good Auto Electrician in tow ..  on a permanent basis.  That might be a useful source of reliable info.

Malc

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This is an issue that has been discussed a few times on these forums. There seem to be two or three potential causes, which an auto electrical should be able to easily narrow down by monitoring the current draw from the Battery whilst removing fuses.

Potential causes that seem specific to the SC430 are:

fault stereo amplifier

auto headlamp setting

poor Battery terminal clamps

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