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I know this subject has been raised from time to time and the present enforced lack of use has prompted us to check our batteries and charge by one means or another.  I had difficulty in starting my car and although it charged to full using my smart charger. I am currently checking regularly to learn how well the Panasonic original Battery (2015) is holding it's charge.  However, if not soon, there will come a time when the Battery needs to be replaced.

It seems to me that Toyota (Lexus) got together with Panasonic to provide a suitable 12v Battery that would slot into the available space in the boot. I can't see this Battery for sale anywhere else, so a cosy arrangement between Panasonic and Lexus dealers meaning you have to buy from them with Panasonic not facing direct competition from other manufacturers because of the customised dimensions/spec. Another downside to this is when your Battery fails you might be many miles from a Lexus dealer so need to install a temporary non standard Battery to get you to one.

I think the prices asked for this Pan Battery are excessive and I have checked forums on both sides of the pond to see what others have done.  I believe there are other batteries that would work but maybe not as well in certain respects?  I would like to stay as close to the Panasonic Lexus supplied Battery as possible which means fitting a deep cycle Battery giving about 20h 50A. 

VARTA showed their D47 Dynamic Blue as suitable but I find this hard to believe.

It would be good to know any alternatives you guys have found to work satisfactorily over quite some time.

NB Edited following further consideration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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The Panasonic Battery on my 2005 RX300 was still working perfectly when I sold her 13+ years later. Why aren't these new batteries lasting even longer as they have nowhere near as much work to do as a cranking Battery

Alan

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Does anyone know the dimensions of the Battery on the hybrids? The MX-5 uses a 32Ah Panasonic sealed gel Battery which is 325mm long x 125mm deep x 160mm high. It even has vent ports on it because it's designed to sit in the boot on the MX-5.

Not sure if it's the same Battery or has similar specs, but it might be a cheaper alternative.

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I am considering the 12v Battery that sits in the boot.  (It would seem some other models, particularly earlier ones had the 12v Battery under the bonnet). I believe an alternative needs to meet the following criteria, which would exclude the MX5 Battery on at least 2 counts.

* replacement needs to be of a size that can be accommodated.  The Lexus Pan battery is about 215 mm in length allowing for the beadlike protrusion near the top. The battery sits inside a plastic under-tray which has an upturned lip with space around the bottom of the Battery and the lip. So if you wanted to retain the lip on this tray the maximum length of snug fitting Battery would be about 220 mm as the the ends of the Battery tray are slightly rounded rather than square.  If you are prepared to remove the side lips and reroute a cable slightly that is clipped to it, you could just  accommodate a battery up to the more standard size of 242 mm length but this would take the Battery to within a couple of MM or so of the tyre on the spare wheel.  It is possible to move the wheel off centre before tightening down to gain another 3 or so mm clearance.  A similar situation applies with the width where the Pan Battery is about 165 mm + say 5 mm for the bead.  A  replacement Battery of 175 mm would be a very tight fit although easier if one of the cross way lips was removed.  (A width of 175 mm is a very common Battery size). Height is not a problem with any Battery I have looked at.  So in summary, providing you are willing to cut the plastic tray (you can always slip the Battery in polythene before fitting), the biggest size Battery you can fit would be 242 mm x  175 mm.  The height of the Pan Battery is very close to 200 mm with the positive terminal post plus red insulation bringing the  total height to approximately 230.5 mm A small packer would therefore be needed to bring the height up in a typical Battery with height of 190 mm inclusive of the terminal posts.

* the positive and negative terminals have to be in the correct place and if of another type have to have adapters to convert to round posts.

* Battery needs to be a deep cycling one, of about 20 hr 50 amp rating, of AMG lead acid type with vent control valve for release of excess gases.  High cranking power is not required as this Battery does not turn the motor. 

I suppose it's a lot more straight forward to bite the bullet and haggle with Lexus.  With all my previous cars where required I have fitted a good quality after market Battery so buying off a dealer goes against the grain!

  

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Message received today from Listers but alternatively smart charger or solar pane could be used for 12v Battery but I don't think would help the traction Battery which I would hope would hold it's charge longer.  

alt_text
Vehicle Maintenance Tip

The majority of us, with the exception of key workers, are now isolating at home and only venturing out for basic essentials, which means that our cars are parked and being rarely used – if at all.

If your car has not been used for two weeks the last thing you’ll want to worry about is a flat Battery! We’re experiencing a few customer issues directly related to this and you may want to consider starting your car every few days and allowing the engine to run for ten to fifteen minutes to top up the charge. The car does not need to be taken out on to the road, should not be in a garage or confined space and for security it should not be left unattended. If you have two cars in the family it may be worth alternating between vehicles when you do venture out for essential reasons.

To be clear, we’re not advocating wasting fuel or polluting the environment – just trying to help with the unnecessary hassle of charging or replacing your Battery.

I hope that this once a week inconvenience will save you considerably more time and hassle when life returns to some form of normality.

Yours sincerely,

ei?u=http%3A%2F%2Fi5.cmail19.com%2Fei%2Fr%2FD0%2F6FF%2FB6E%2F202820%2Fimages%2Fgeofflister.jpg&d=2020-04-08T22%3A48%3A58.779Z
Geoff Lister
Chief Executive

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I'm thinking about getting a trickle charger... Sealey?

 

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I'll bet given the lockdown effect on car's batteries there'll be no deals from ECP and the like on replacement batteries for a while!

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If anyone is tempted to order anything from ECP make sure it's actually in stock at your local branch. They are offering free delivery but if it's not in stock you're looking at a nearly two week lead time. Don't assume that an item will come from the next closest. As far as I can tell if it's not in at your nearest chosen branch it defaults to coming from their central depot via DPD.

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2 hours ago, rich1068 said:

If anyone is tempted to order anything from ECP make sure it's actually in stock at your local branch. They are offering free delivery but if it's not in stock you're looking at a nearly two week lead time. Don't assume that an item will come from the next closest. As far as I can tell if it's not in at your nearest chosen branch it defaults to coming from their central depot via DPD.

You're right, Richard, I recently had a delivery, (to Yorkshire) from their (main?) stores, (near Heathrow ?) using DPD, great service, but it was only a £13 order!!!!

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I have read some ( Honda? ) say disconnect the Battery before charging the 12v Battery...

I assume this is not the case on an RX300/350?!

It sounds like a lot of hassle to do so.

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14 hours ago, PCM said:

I have read some ( Honda? ) say disconnect the battery before charging the 12v battery...

I assume this is not the case on an RX300/350?!

There is absolutely no need to disconnect the Battery before charging it Piers. As I've said before, all you're doing is supplementing one 12V source by piggybacking another 12V source onto it, so as far as the car is concerned it still only 'sees' or knows that there's 12V there - it doesn't know that a charger has been connected.

And if anyone is going to say that to charge a 12V Battery you have to use more than 12V, ie, about 14.5V, yes, this is correct. This is exactly what the car's own alternator is designed to do, so whether the Battery gets a charging voltage from an external source or from the car's own alternator, there's no difference.

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8 hours ago, Herbie said:

There is absolutely no need to disconnect the battery before charging it Piers. As I've said before, all you're doing is supplementing one 12V source by piggybacking another 12V source onto it, so as far as the car is concerned it still only 'sees' or knows that there's 12V there - it doesn't know that a charger has been connected.

And if anyone is going to say that to charge a 12V battery you have to use more than 12V, ie, about 14.5V, yes, this is correct. This is exactly what the car's own alternator is designed to do, so whether the battery gets a charging voltage from an external source or from the car's own alternator, there's no difference.

Thank you.

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Just for further precaution, when a charger is connected to Battery , car more if it is a hybrid one that has not alternator but a charging separate circuit, should be totally off ( but actually it is just a scruple).

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I got a new Battery from ECP on Friday, £64 delivered, ordered at 1.20pm, arrived at 2.30pm, brilliant service. 

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Be interested to learn make and model/spec purchased, also how is works in short and long term.

Virtually any 12v Battery will do a job for a time but ideally a deep cycle job is preferable, particularly if you use auxiliaries a lot and when fitted under the bonnet like I believe yours is, not so necessary to be an AGM one like that in boot of RX450h.

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I have deleted reference to the Lucas Battery I thought might be a possibility but it isn't. I have done a lot of research on an alternative Battery to the Pan but none of what I have found on forums or seen advertised seems to come close - well maybe I have now found one that is close enough!  I found it on a major Battery supplier's site in Belgium. It is the middle model of a small range of 3 Auxiliary batteries made by Hankook in Korea and is referenced AXS55D23L with 5 year guarantee. Scroll down to see here https://batterysupplies.be/wp-content/uploads/docs/catalog/BSCataloogENG_web_hankook.pdf  The footprint may require a slight trimming of the Lexus plastic undertray.  It's bigger brother the AXS65D26L is shown here  https://www.batterymegastore.co.uk/product/hankook-axs65d26l-dual-purpose-agm-battery/  being sold by Battery Megastore for £106.97 but it is too long.  I don't know whether they would be prepared to stock the AXS55D23L but I doubt it if they could only sell a couple or so batteries.  I will sound out Megastore about this but before doing so would like to ascertain whether anybody else might be interested as they may take this into consideration. 

In need I could investigate the possibility and cost of importing the AXS55D23L from Belgium or agents in France.

Interesting short video here on Battery Supplies Home page https://batterysupplies.be/en/

NB   I don't think it would be necessary to remove any of the lip of the undertray as a fillet of plywood could be used to infill as there is sufficient height to do this do this.  Just use appropriate plastic round the Battery like some of us used to do with the flooded batteries before AGM.

 

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Great work Barry - - I appreciate the update on all your research, and I would like to add my name to your list for Battery Megastore (as well as continue to follow your exploits through the slough of batteries!)

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Hi Barry

I also would be interested in a new Battery, for my RX450h 2010 model if you were doing a group buy?

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Just an update to say I rang Megastore early this week about the Hankook Battery AXS55D23L and was asked to email them so their sales people could consider which I duly did.  I think it preferable to go through a major UK supplier like them if possible before attempting to purchase from abroad which could be more problematical if the warranty had to be invoked.  I did ask for an early reply and if they have not got back to me by the end of next week I will chase them.  However, due to lack of use during lockdown they are dealing with many enquirers for batteries at present.  I will post as soon as there is there is any news. 

The advantage of the above Battery is that it is plug and play (for at least the 3rd Gen RX450h. Megastore actually advertise another Hankook Battery that might serve but it would require modification  from the negative terminal to earth because it is normally run back over the top of the Battery but because the terminal is recessed the cable would have to take another route and the spare wheel impedes.  Also, although it appears to have a vent for a pipe it looks to me as though there may be several vents just under the yellow top lip,  which would rule it out if true https://www.batterymegastore.co.uk/product/hankook-sa55020-agm-car-battery-uk-part-code-063h/  I will only investigate this if the AXS5523D23L proves unobtainable.

Meanwhile, I note that several members are experiencing Battery problems and it makes sense to check the voltage on our cars weekly or fortnightly and charge via solar panel or smart  charger if necessary to avoid a flat battery and possible shortening of Battery life.

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did you resolve your Battery dilema? 

I have the same problem, also on a 2015 (mk3) Rx450h ..... I cannot find a replacement Battery to fit... ECP, Halfords and other main online Battery stores either don't recommend any, or suggest ones that wont fit in the space.

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On 4/13/2020 at 2:44 PM, Barry14UK said:

Be interested to learn make and model/spec purchased, also how is works in short and long term.

Virtually any 12v battery will do a job for a time but ideally a deep cycle job is preferable, particularly if you use auxiliaries a lot and when fitted under the bonnet like I believe yours is, not so necessary to be an AGM one like that in boot of RX450h.

Hi Barry , I understood that an AGM in the boot of the RX450H was safety related in the event of an accident. Other experts on here can confirm, cheers, Roger

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4 hours ago, RgrWynne said:

Hi Barry , I understood that an AGM in the boot of the RX450H was safety related in the event of an accident. Other experts on here can confirm, cheers, Roger

That is my understanding too. You could use an ordinary maintenance free lead acid Battery with vent as I have on my BMW E39 for many years but there is a rear bulkhead in the Beemer (unlike the RX450) which would provide some protection from acid in the event of an accident or explosion as somebody showed the result of in a thread started several years ago on this forum. The AGM batteries have the acid stored in glass matte, are lighter and  not affected by severe angle of tilt, so in the event of an accident are safer and specified in the Panasonic Battery Lexus fit to the car.  There is another type of battery which uses a Gel  but I have not considered that because the recommendation is that batteries should be replaced by like for like type.

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I've been wondering about Battery replacement too for when the time comes. I just came across this video which gives a few more details than I knew before about these AGM batteries.

https://youtu.be/M53Hbh5wpRQ?t=257

 

 

I knew the original replacement batteries were irritatingly expensive. But now I've seen this video, I'm beginning to wonder if I'd be better to stick with the original specification rather than switch to a cheaper option. Over the lifetime of the Battery, maybe the extra expense would be worthwhile spread over several years.

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An interesting video and well explained.  It reminds me I did not mention that greater deep cycling of these batteries, moreso than the heavy cranking ability characteristic of batteries to start engines in cars that are not hybrids.  As regards not using a non AGM Battery, there are people in the UK and USA who have run on a non AGM Battery for a time but this is a bit chancy both from a safety aspect where the Battery is in the boot and possibly causing problems with the electrical systems as explained in the video. I would only fit a deep cycling AGM Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) Battery of the type fitted by Lexus in the RX450h  and the Battery I am enquiring about meets this demand with Prius being specifically mentioned, although this would be the smaller 45Ah version for that car rather than the 50Ah version for the RX450h. Of course you can pay a lot more and buy the Lexus fitted Panasonic without qualms and amortized over 5 or more years this is the route many, will have gone , particularly because of the lack of a suitable alternative.

The Battery on my car having been fully charged drops to 12.25 volts after about 4 days and this with everything possible switched off and the hatch raised and lowered manually.  I will charge it once a week with my CTEK 5 smart charger which has an AGM charging mode.  I will fit the Hankook if I can get hold of one and if it works out well others can do so if they wish, perhaps even a Group Buy.  If Lexus find there is a far less expensive alternative being fitted, they may even reduce the cost of the Pan.  Time will tell.

 

 

 

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+1 for a group buy if the option is quick ... our 2015 Rx450h is no longer holding charge... got enough into it yesterday to allow the car to start... the car was feeding 14v into it once alive, but overnight it's dropped from 12.3 (when stopped) to 11.8 this morning... I'll 'energise' the car daily just to avoid having it totally die again.

Really appreciate your research Barry.... I had a quote from Lexus for £195 for a new one, and found a store selling a genuine one in Japan for £168 .. but have to arrange own shipping.

I see one of your suggestions (Hankook SA55020) is about £85 ... but agree, concern over the venting plus slightly lower capacity.

 

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