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NX hybrid starting after a few days


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I must confess I've never owned a Lexus but I'm considering purchasing a NX hybrid. I've recently learned that a few other hybrid SUVs are having problems starting if not running for a few days. With the latest model Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester for example, I have seen quite a few reports they won't start if not driven a few days (brand new cars).

Once the pandemic is over I want to be able to drive to the airport, leave for a week or two, then come home and drive back.

So I'm just wondering if the NX hybrid has been linked with such problems?

Thanks in advance.

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Hi!

During lockdown a number of people with hybrids, including NXs and RXs have had issues with the hybrid auxiliary (the 12v) Battery running down due to non-use. However, as long as the Battery is well charged up before it's left (eg. A long journey to the airport, or good use in the days preceding), it should be fine for at least a fortnight. People have reported they have not had issues leaving them at airports under normal conditions. The problem with lockdown is that people aren't doing significant and frequent journeys. The 12v only needs to have enough juice to get the hybrid system to READY mode, it doesn't have to be able to trigger a starter motor. In a nutshell I'm saying don't worry about it, if you're aware of the potential for a problem you should easily be able to counter it. Personally the Battery on my 2019 NX although discharging has still started the system up after no use for over a fortnight.

HTH

In every other respect, don't forget these are Lexus... More reliable than any other make!

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7 hours ago, Steve Oliver said:

Hi!

During lockdown a number of people with hybrids, including NXs and RXs have had issues with the hybrid auxiliary (the 12v) battery running down due to non-use. However, as long as the battery is well charged up before it's left (eg. A long journey to the airport, or good use in the days preceding), it should be fine for at least a fortnight. People have reported they have not had issues leaving them at airports under normal conditions. The problem with lockdown is that people aren't doing significant and frequent journeys. The 12v only needs to have enough juice to get the hybrid system to READY mode, it doesn't have to be able to trigger a starter motor. In a nutshell I'm saying don't worry about it, if you're aware of the potential for a problem you should easily be able to counter it. Personally the battery on my 2019 NX although discharging has still started the system up after no use for over a fortnight.

HTH

In every other respect, don't forget these are Lexus... More reliable than any other make!

^^ Just decided to go and buy a Sunday newspaper, car is dead. Judging by the slow speed with which the wing mirrors unfolded, the 12v Battery is dead. That seems odd as I’ve used the car twice this week, and have been trying to keep it moving reasonable distances during lockdown but clearly not enough!

Not a huge issue, Lexus Assist will come out. One assumes I can use my CTEK smart charger to charge the 12v Battery? Will get the manual out and have a look now...

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57 minutes ago, First_Lexus said:

^^ Just decided to go and buy a Sunday newspaper, car is dead. Judging by the slow speed with which the wing mirrors unfolded, the 12v battery is dead. That seems odd as I’ve used the car twice this week, and have been trying to keep it moving reasonable distances during lockdown but clearly not enough!

Not a huge issue, Lexus Assist will come out. One assumes I can use my CTEK smart charger to charge the 12v battery? Will get the manual out and have a look now...

Yes, you can definitely charge the Battery up with a smart charger, and it's definitely the 12v. Won't need much of a charge to get it to starting point, then the hybrid Battery charges it after that. As you say, you just may not have done enough long enough journeys to keep it happy. Use the charger every couple of weeks to charge it fully will keep it sweet.

Also very cold weather doesn't help it...

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1 hour ago, Steve Oliver said:

Yes, you can definitely charge the battery up with a smart charger, and it's definitely the 12v. Won't need much of a charge to get it to starting point, then the hybrid battery charges it after that. As you say, you just may not have done enough long enough journeys to keep it happy. Use the charger every couple of weeks to charge it fully will keep it sweet.

Also very cold weather doesn't help it...

Very quickly sorted. AA arrived within the hour, started the car using a jump pack and the special connectors under the bonnet so didn’t need to go near the actual 12v Battery. All seems fine, took the car for a good motorway run of about 30 miles.

The manual says I now need to get it inspected by the dealer, as does the Lexus Assist (AA) report, but I’ll see if they really need to when I speak with them tomorrow morning. I’ll also ask them about charging as the patrolman wasn’t going to commit  one way or another! It wouldn’t normally bother me, except it’s a hybrid...so will get the absolute advice from Lexus Swindon. A final point that may help the OP - the AA patrolman said he didn’t think the hybrids were any more susceptible to this than any other car with a ‘normal’ battery/engine set up. People - like me - just aren’t doing enough long journeys during lockdown to keep batteries charged...
 

 

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With the hybrids you don't actually have to drive anywhere. Just put the car in ready mode on your driveway and leave it in "P" for 30 minutes to an hour once a week. The engine will start from time to time as the car manages the main Battery charge.

https://blog.lexus.co.uk/lexus-hybrid-parked/

 

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1 hour ago, malcolmw said:

With the hybrids you don't actually have to drive anywhere. Just put the car in ready mode on your driveway and leave it in "P" for 30 minutes to an hour once a week. The engine will start from time to time as the car manages the main battery charge.

https://blog.lexus.co.uk/lexus-hybrid-parked/

 

That’s very interesting, not to mention useful! The AA patrolman did say I could leave it - once he’d started it - but said a drive for 45 minutes was the best thing to do. Now I’ve read that blog I can see what to do going forward if I’m not using the car regularly 👍

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I had the same issues with my IS 3 years ago. I have had my UX for almost 2 years now and no problems despite it not being used for long periods of time. I was advised at the time to buy the pouches (on eBay) that shield your keys and stop the car wasting power trying to connect with them all the time, eventually that particular system of the car goes to sleep. Not sure if I was told correctly or not but it does make sense. Also stops the possible of theft by scumbags who use those devices to enhance the signal from your keys while they are in the house to drive away in your pride and joy. 

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4 minutes ago, Richard1200 said:

I was advised at the time to buy the pouches (on eBay) that shield your keys and stop the car wasting power trying to connect with them all the time, eventually that particular system of the car goes to sleep. Not sure if I was told correctly or not but it does make sense

The advise is good to stop potential theft of your vehicle. It does nothing to help the 12v aux Battery, the vehicle will still send out pulses to try and find keys - it doesn't know whether they are there or not. If you wanted to save power you have to turn off the system through the vehicle's menus.

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2 hours ago, First_Lexus said:

I’ll also ask them about charging as the patrolman wasn’t going to commit  one way or another! It wouldn’t normally bother me, except it’s a hybrid...so will get the absolute advice from Lexus Swindon

Yes, it's a hybrid; yes, it's a Lexus - but there is nothing magical or mystical about the 12V Battery and how to charge it up. In that context it's just like any other car on the road.

You can keep the Battery in situ while you charge it* or you can take it out of the car. If it is staying in the car you can connect the charger either directly to the Battery itself or you can connect to the jump start terminal in the engine bay fuse box, which is metallically and directly connected to the Battery anyway. 12V is 12V and it doesn't matter whether it comes from the front or the back of the car. All you are doing is supplementing a dodgy 12V source by connecting a good 12V source in parallel (piggybacking) with it.

*If charging in situ the only caveat is that you must be using a modern 'smart' or 'intelligent' charger with a clean, regulated output and not some rusty old transformer-based thing that's been at the back of the garage for 40 years.

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13 minutes ago, Herbie said:

Yes, it's a hybrid; yes, it's a Lexus - but there is nothing magical or mystical about the 12V battery and how to charge it up. In that context it's just like any other car on the road.

You can keep the battery in situ while you charge it* or you can take it out of the car. If it is staying in the car you can connect the charger either directly to the battery itself or you can connect to the jump start terminal in the engine bay fuse box, which is metallically and directly connected to the battery anyway. 12V is 12V and it doesn't matter whether it comes from the front or the back of the car. All you are doing is supplementing a dodgy 12V source by connecting a good 12V source in parallel (piggybacking) with it.

*If charging in situ the only caveat is that you must be using a modern 'smart' or 'intelligent' charger with a clean, regulated output and not some rusty old transformer-based thing that's been at the back of the garage for 40 years.

^^ @Herbie. I’ve got a CTEK charger which I use to maintain the Battery on my (Summer use only) MINI Cooper. As such I’m very used to charging (maintaining) a Battery in situ, but as somebody with no practical or mechanical knowledge I’m just a bit nervous about using it on my NX. Your post certainly helps with that!

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You might want to see if your key fob can be switched off to save its internal button Battery.  On my NX300h Lux 18 reg the key fob Battery ran down every couple of months or so.  Now when I leave the car parked I disable the key which was constantly trying to locate the car.  I haven't needed to renew the fob's Battery in over a year now.  I also use a RFI pouch from ebay (belt and braces).

On the key fob press and hold the lock button, at the same time make a double press on the unlock button.  A red  LED falshes at the top right of the fob next to the lock button.  To unlock the car just press the unlock button as usual.

Hope this helps.

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30 minutes ago, Centre100 said:

You might want to see if your key fob can be switched off to save its internal button battery.  On my NX300h Lux 18 reg the key fob battery ran down every couple of months or so.  Now when I leave the car parked I disable the key which was constantly trying to locate the car.  I haven't needed to renew the fob's battery in over a year now.  I also use a RFI pouch from ebay (belt and braces).

On the key fob press and hold the lock button, at the same time make a double press on the unlock button.  A red  led falshes at the top right of the fob next to the lock button.  To unlock the car just press the unlock button as usual.

Hope this helps.

Interesting. I’ve never had to renew the key fob Battery and car is almost three years old now. My MINI - owned from new in 2004 and with limited Summer use (12k miles now in 17 years!) - has never needed a Battery for either key. Famous last words...😆

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1 hour ago, Centre100 said:

On my NX300h Lux 18 reg the key fob battery ran down every couple of months or so.

Either you are keeping the key within range of the vehicle (or maybe another one with a similar system) or there is a fault. That is not normal.

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1 hour ago, Centre100 said:

You might want to see if your key fob can be switched off to save its internal button battery.  On my NX300h Lux 18 reg the key fob battery ran down every couple of months or so.

I'd say there's either something wrong or it was just a duff Battery - they should last at least two or three years.

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I certainly don't think it's something to worry about alongside all the other benefits of owning an NX.  I've had to jump start my NX several times during the pandemic (it only took seconds using a Li-ion jump pack and the under-bonnet terminal), so I recently had the 12V Battery replaced - once the original had been fully discharged, it never held its charge again for long.  But it was over 5 years old.

FWIW I'd never had any problem with airports and holidays of up to three weeks' length before the pandemic. In terms of regular charging during lockdown, I sometimes leave the car in "ready" mode in the driveway while I wash and dry it.  When the temperature is well above zero, that is.

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14 hours ago, First_Lexus said:

Interesting. I’ve never had to renew the key fob battery and car is almost three years old now. My MINI - owned from new in 2004 and with limited Summer use (12k miles now in 17 years!) - has never needed a battery for either key. Famous last words...😆

The Battery in the key fob is replaced at the 20,000 mile service as part of the schedule. Belt and braces and all that.

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Hi @Bobster21

Just to add to the great advice already provided to you by others, I have had no Battery problems with my NX however I am still using it quite regularly during lockdown (I am in a childcare support bubble so am able to travel) so it is getting a good charge. I have however invested in a jump starter power pack just in case (thanks to @Herbie and others for the suggestion and advice). I purchased one very similar to the one detailed in the following topic:-

 

 

I haven't had cause to use it on my NX but have used it twice already on my partner's car and it worked well.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks very much for all the interaction on this topic. It seems like less of a problem than other brands...and of course it's the reliability/glitch free motoring which attracts me to Lexus. I was really surprised over on the Toyota forums...lots of complaints there even with fairly regular use.

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1 hour ago, Bobster21 said:

Thanks very much for all the interaction on this topic. It seems like less of a problem than other brands...and of course it's the reliability/glitch free motoring which attracts me to Lexus. I was really surprised over on the Toyota forums...lots of complaints there even with fairly regular use.

How many Toyota Forums have you monitored Rob ?

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Just the one John, a UK based one as I never know if the motors are just the same overseas. I used the word forums as it seemed to be on the Rav4 forum as well as other models of Toyota. As a recent Subaru owner I've seen a number of disgruntled owners with the new Forester hybrid with the same problem.

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35 minutes ago, Bobster21 said:

Just the one John, a UK based one as I never know if the motors are just the same overseas. I used the word forums as it seemed to be on the Rav4 forum as well as other models of Toyota. As a recent Subaru owner I've seen a number of disgruntled owners with the new Forester hybrid with the same problem.

Thanks Rob. I`m on the Toyota Owners Forum and it seems to me that the people who claim to have problems are either relatively new to Toyota or have not taken the time to understand how the technology works or both. The people who do not have problems understand how it all works.The Handbook does explain an awful lot if only people would take the time to read understand it.

Subaru is linked closely to Toyota by the way.

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Bad news - my NX is totally dead again, won’t even open the doors this time. Clearly the Battery isn’t holding charge as I took it for a long run (40 miles, almost an hour) on Sunday which they told me would re-charge it.

As I’m unlikely to be doing many miles going forward - working from home etc - this is something I’ll really need to think about managing. Not something that’s ever been an issue previously...🙁

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25 minutes ago, First_Lexus said:

Bad news - my NX is totally dead again, won’t even open the doors this time. Clearly the battery isn’t holding charge as I took it for a long run (40 miles, almost an hour) on Sunday which they told me would re-charge it.

As I’m unlikely to be doing many miles going forward - working from home etc - this is something I’ll really need to think about managing. Not something that’s ever been an issue previously...🙁

It could be that the Battery is on its way out. I know it's only 3 or 4 years old and you should really be able to expect more, but you just never know.

It's very unlikely, but a possibility none the less, that the DC/DC converter isn't working as it should. You need to check that the voltage at the Battery is around 14.5V when the car is in READY mode.

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4 minutes ago, Herbie said:

It could be that the battery is on its way out. I know it's only 3 or 4 years old and you should really be able to expect more, but you just never know.

It's very unlikely, but a possibility none the less, that the DC/DC converter isn't working as it should. You need to check that the voltage at the battery is around 14.5V when the car is in READY mode.

^^ Lexus Swindon think the Battery will need replacing as it shouldn’t be totally dead after the use it had the other day. They can check it all out, that’s what warranties are for!

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