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Let me start off by saying that I live in rural France, so don't have access to Halfords, et al.  I'm not even in a reasonable size town, so my options are online only.

I think that my Battery (2007 RX400H) is getting ready to die, based on the fact the the tell tale leds on the Ctek comfort lead are blinking red, even after a 50km drive yesterday.

As the short charge life of the hybrid small battery seems to be a "thing", could a kind soul recommend an upgraded make and model, preferable available by mail order in France (so Ebay or amazon or maybe Auto Doc)

Thanks in advance.

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The 12v Battery under the bonnet (hood) of the 2007 RX 400 takes a constant rather than being subject to a short but hefty drain such as where it has to crank the engine which in the case of the RX400h it does not have to do.  However, this constant drain even when nothing is manually switched on does run the Battery down.  If you have the radio on or lights that will drain the Battery faster.  Each time a Battery is allowed to go flat or fall below a critical level you shorten its life or may even kill it. 

Unfortunately, the capacity of the batteries Lexus fitted is lower than is practical, particularly in situations where people are leaving their cars at Airports for 2-3 weeks for example.  In such cases top up by means of a correctly fitted solar charger can in effect slow the discharge.  If there is room to accommodate a larger capacity Battery that will also help.  Some people have even added a supplementary Battery in the boot but that can introduce other complications which I will not go into here.

Lexus recommend that the car is used or connected up electronically to the traction Battery weekly or fortnightly depending which source you read.  Clearly, a new Battery will hold up longer than one that is several years old.  Another possibility is to charge up regularly with a smart charger.  Unfortunately Lexus don't even have an obvious means of displaying Battery voltage to enable a quick check.  

Bosch, Varta and Yuasa are premium bands but others can be had that provide long warranties.  Just don't get one with less capacity than the present one.  Certainly you have more choice than with the RX450's that have a Battery in the boot and an expensive small Panasonic AGM one only available from Lexus Dealers if you want the correct one.  Even that lacks good capacity though.

Link includes Battery maintenance https://blog.lexus.co.uk/lexus-hybrid-parked/

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Thanks for the detailed info!

I have an OBD dongle fitted, linked up to a Vline Android unit. The diagnostic app on the Vline is Torque Pro. This afternoon it was showing 10.5v on the acc. position. This after a 50km drive yesterday. The previous owner (my neighbour and friend) fitted the new Toyota Battery about 20 months ago. When he had the car it was used very sparingly here - mainly to get from here back to London where he spends the winter. Not the best use for it. He is in London now so can't find me the receipt, which he thinks he has in his house here.

He'll contact Lexus here and see if they can trace the purchase and honour the guarantee.

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If your friend can't find the invoice or the receipt, don't bother.

Find a good local dealer near you ( when i mean near i mean somewhere in France), so that dealer can ship you fast a new Battery.

For example i bought my car from a dealer in Berlin, Germany. My Battery was also dead so when my car arrived at me, i needed a new Battery also.

But my Battery dealer suggested not to purchase some fancy names (Bosch, Varta etc) rather to choose a quality Battery made in Austria (Banner).

So i currently have Banner on my Lexus RX400H. The dealer checked the Battery when he sold it to me and to have guarantee he first measured my car's charging capacity. Only after that he signed my guarantee papers.

So i presume you can't go to some Battery dealers to check 1st your car charging capacity (could be faulty) then to buy a new Battery?!

I strongly suggest to test the car charging capacity.

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The best thing I can recommend to maintain a Battery is a solar panel with an OBD2 plug on it. It plugs into the OBD2 port and therefore directly to the 12v Battery. Keeping the Battery charge maintained helps prevent sulphation of the lead plates in the Battery due to the Battery being left partially or completely discharged. It helps extend the life of the Battery massively, especially on cars that don't get driven much, or where there is a constant drain on the Battery, or like with hybrids where the 12v Battery is quite small capacity-wise and doesn't take much to discharge to a significant level.

The solar panel can be left on the dashboard and it just sits there and keeps the 12v Battery topped up.  I have one and it can be plugged into any car with an OBD2 port, which is anything since the year 2000. Ours fits in my RX and also my wife's Hyundai.

Of course this is only useful if the car is left outside with some sunlight and not left in a garage!

The sooner hybrid makers start to use super-capacitors for the 12v electrics the better. They are better suited to the large swings of charging level than lead-acid batteries.

 

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David

I think your previous comments say it all

“I think that my Battery (2007 RX400H) is getting ready to die, based on the fact the tell tale leds on the Ctek comfort lead are blinking red, even after a 50km drive yesterday.

This afternoon it was showing 10.5v on the acc. position. This after a 50km drive yesterday.” 

You probably need to get your 12v Battery charging checked as it’s not working properly, 10.5v after 50km!!. Use your Ctek to charge it directly in the mean time.

Don’t bother trying to get a replacement under warranty as I think all manufacturers have this type of wording in that regard.

 ‘No warranty for the deep discharged or flat Battery or under 10.5V. All Batteries warranted against premature failure due to manufacturing or material defects only. The warranty does not cover Sulphation, Wear and Tear; Deep discharged more than 80%, Overcharging, Physical Damage, Incorrect application.

Good luck with getting it fixed.

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Djwbiker said:

"You probably need to get your 12v battery charging checked as it’s not working properly, 10.5v after 50km!!. Use your Ctek to charge it directly in the mean time.

Dave"

 

The invertor charging circuit for the 12v Battery may not be faulty. These small sealed batteries only have a very low charge rate, basically a trickle charge. Because they are sealed, they cannot accept too much current. If a charger supplies too much current, the Battery starts gassing. That's the water being converted to oxygen and hydrogen and floating away into the atmosphere.

In an open wet lead acid Battery, gassing isn't a problem because you just top up the electrolyte with distilled water.

In a sealed Battery, that's your capacity going out of the vents. You don't have the ability to top up the electrolyte, so gassing in a sealed Battery is a bad thing. 

A trickle charge allows the gas to eventually recombine in the Battery case without pressure in the case getting up to dangerous levels and opening the vents.

So even after a good long run the Battery may still be effectively flat. In fact it may take days of charging to bring a sealed lead acid Battery up to full charge, especially the AGM or Gel Battery types.

That's another reason why I recommend a small solar panel to keep the Battery topped up. It's better for Battery life to maintain the charge rather than let the Battery go flat and then charge it up again. It's also less of a pain waiting days for the battery to be fully charged once it goes flat.

 I don't have a hybrid to check, but I'd bet the charging current on even a healthy circuit will only be in the region of 2A max.

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If you go to www.carparts4less.co.uk (basically owned by Euro Car Parts but the prices are cheaper!) then they will deliver to France for just £4.95.  I'm not 100% sure that they deliver batteries internationally but worth a punt.

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On 12/16/2020 at 5:57 PM, Barry14UK said:

Unfortunately Lexus don't even have an obvious means of displaying battery voltage to enable a quick check.  

There is a Battery monitor in the Lexus Link app on my 2020 RX which does at least give some clue. Last week it said "Critical" for me so I've been for a few slightly unnecessary drives (4x20-30 minutes) and it now says "Good". Too many short trips to the shops I suspect in my case.

Doesn't help David sadly but it's something I'm going to check a bit more in future.

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I like Herbs solution best.  It wouldn't have added greatly to the cost if this had been done when the car was built and in a car design where Battery condition is particularly critical.  but I am old school going back to the days when ammeters were fitted too.

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Actually I may have solved the problem.  I have a cheapo dongle plugged into the OBD port which seems to have stopped communicating properly with both my 'phone and the Vline.  I'm thinking it might also be draining the Battery.

I've ordered a new OBDlink LX so I can use Hybrid Assistant.  The spec says that it shuts down when not in use, so we'll see if that makes a difference.

Thanks for all the very helpful comments.

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Try pressing and holding Menu button and turning On/Off the lights three times. This should bring up a service menu on the infotainment screen. You can find the 12V Battery reading there. Switch off the car when you are done.

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