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Everything posted by Herbie

  1. Cheers chaps. Part 2 will come as soon as my ear problem sorts itself out.
  2. If things can be easy or awkward, Murphy's Law will always come into play and make things as awkward as possible; or so I've often found anyway. Thinking that if a jump start is ever going to be needed, it will happen on a cold, wet, windy night and getting to either the battery in the boot or the dedicated 'more convenient' jump start terminal in the engine bay fuse box is not going to be easy no matter which one I go for. So, some of you may remember that some time ago I installed a more convenient 'jump start socket' in the boot: Silly Billy that I am, I hadn't realised at the time that if the battery is flat then the tailgate can't be opened other than by clambering over the back seats to get at the manual release lever. So, spurred on by @Richie_W's recent posting I decided to leave that socket in situ for something else but also to fit another socket that I can use to jump start the car, in a better location. The centre console of the RX has an upper and a lower 'level' to it. The lower level is open and already has a 12V power socket factory installed but it's not energised until the car is either in ACC or READY mode, so that was no good for this purpose. However, it does lend itself to connecting a USB voltmeter in parallel so I did this a while ago and it's great for charging my phone and as an indication of the battery voltage. Having already made up a jump lead for use in the back I decided to use the same sort of socket again at the front, a Neutrik NL2MD loudspeaker connector that's rated at 30A. I soldered a couple of cables on the terminals and terminated the other ends with male bullet connectors. Using a step drill made an easy job of cutting the hole for the socket. The job isn't finished yet because I have to get cables from here into the engine bay fuse box. Behind the glove box there's a big rubber grommet taking the existing wiring loom through the bulkhead and that's where my route out will be. I can't do it at the moment due to a bit of an ear infection. Luckily there's no pain but when I lie down or get my head in awkward positions like I would have to for this job, the whole world begins to rapidly spin round and I get to feeling rather puky, so I'll have to wait for this to clear up before I can do the other side of the job. However, this is what the finished job will look like and what it'll allow me to do (I've kept the original leads that came with this battery pack so that I can use it to help others if necessary but you'll see the lead I made up for my 'more convenient' jump starting, if or when needed):
  3. I know what you're saying Mark and I agree - better to be safe than sorry and all that. However, I must take issue with your statement that "it's not uncommon". In more than 45 years of personally driving, messing with jump leads, doing all my own maintenance etc., talking to friends and family about it, and also talking to the mechanics in the BT garage and also a mate of mine who is a mechanic in the NW Ambulance Service garage, not a single one of us has ever had it happen to us personally, nor does anyone know someone who has had it happen to them. Of course, we should stick to the rules and I'm not telling anyone to do otherwise, but "not uncommon"? I'd say it's about as uncommon as an uncommon thing on World Uncommon Day to be honest 😄
  4. As mentioned above by m4rkw and myself, these things are brilliant for situations like this - jump leads are just so last century The battery negative is strapped to the car body so literally any unpainted bolt, nut or screw that's not insulated from the body will do.
  5. Yep, me too. Well worth every penny just for peace of mind (although I got a DB Power one rather than Halfords 🙂)
  6. If you can get at that, why can't you use jump leads on it? EDIT - because they aren't long enough now that I've just re-read your original post. Can't you just use some bits of wire or mains flex or something to extend your jump leads? You don't need to pass hundreds of Amps like a conventional car, less than 20A will get the car into READY mode, but even less will provide enough power to at least unlock the doors and hopefully the tailgate. EDIT 2 - if you've used the mechanical key to unlock the doors, can you not just climb over the back seats to get to the tailgate release mechanism if there is one. Or maybe even use the shift lock to get the car in N, parking brake off and just push the car away from the wall, closer to the jump leads?
  7. Not on my 2013 RX450h there isn't. Well, there's a mechanical key for the front doors but no key barrel to insert a key on the tailgate.
  8. No, there's only two batteries, a 12V battery to boot the computers to get the hybrid system up and running, and a 288V hybrid or traction battery - so that's two batteries that can go flat if the car isn't used. It sounds complicated (and it is) but it boils down to the fact that you need three things - the 12V battery, the traction battery and the petrol engine. If you ran out of petrol you would not be able to drive the car for more than a couple of miles on the traction battery alone, if at all, and vice versa - if the traction battery went faulty you wouldn't be able to use it purely as a petrol-driven car. So, if the car is in storage and not being used, the 12V battery will be the first to lose charge and go flat. If the car is left even longer then eventually the traction battery will also go flat after about two to three months. The first one is easy to deal with. The second one, if it were to go flat, would need specialist equipment and knowledge to deal with. In a conventional car the 12V battery is used to energise the starter motor and crank the engine. Hybrids don't have a starter motor as such and the process is different. The hybrid computer uses the traction battery to energise MG1 (or is it MG2 - I can never remember) which spins the petrol engine up to about 1,000rpm before applying fuel and a spark, so a flat traction battery means no petrol engine either.
  9. Hi Chris and welcome to the club. I'm no expert on the 400h (or anything for that matter ) but you may get a better response by posting in the dedicated RX forum. I'm not sure £4k would do it but keep looking - there are bargains out there to be had.
  10. Depending on how long it's been there or will still be there, you may have problems. The 12V battery starts the hybrid system which then charges the 12V battery. As you'll see mentioned many times in these forums, these 'starter' batteries if you like, are small and tend to go flat fairly quickly but it's easily remedied if it happens, possibly even by a simple jump start. The traction battery is much, much bigger and seems to last around two or three months, possibly even longer, I don't know. However, it is roughly 288V and if that goes flat you can't simply jump start it, nor can the AA/RAC or the Spanish equivalent deal with it. It would need a Lexus dealership or someone else with the specialist gear and knowledge to get the car running in that situation.
  11. It will indeed be a non-starter but you'll have to call out the dealership or other suitably qualified company with the special gear to get it going. The traction battery is approximately 288v and people like the AA and RAC etc., can't deal wth that.
  12. That is indeed true and it's the reason why you need to fool the car into thinking all doors are closed, locked and alarm activated. The above video does indeed cover this, starting at about 4min 30sec. The motion sensor can usually be turned off with a switch located in the overhead light pod - if not, maybe a piece of masking tape over the sensor would suffice, I don't know.
  13. That's why you leave the doors open and make sure the door switches are in the off position.
  14. 1) Not sure, but I've heard that some cars take up to 2 hours 2) Yes 3) See 5 and 6 4) See 1 5 and 6) I thought this was covered in the Youtube video but maybe not - it's a while since I watched it. When you open any door the interior lights come on and this is usually achieved by either some form of 'pin switch' that is activated as the door swings open, or by a switch mechanism linked to the mechanical movement of the door latch. Either way, you need to fool the car into thinking that the doors are shut by either placing a piece of tape over the pin switch to hold it in (if it's present) or by activating the mechanical latch if it's a latch switch. Make sure everything else is off, keys out and in a Faraday pouch if they are keyless entry type, and wait for at least an hour, or two if you can, then carry out the tests. The aim is to let the car go to sleep and don't open any doors or somehow wake it up once it's sleeping.
  15. When I did the DRLs above I made one 'mistake' in that I used two relays but in fact, it's possible to do it with just one. In the diagram below, Pin 30 is internally connected to Pin 87A in what's called a 'Normally Closed' or NC configuration, so when you switch on the ignition the power will go from Pin 30 to Pin 87A and out to the DRLs switching them on. Later on, when it starts getting dark, you switch on the side and tail lights which then sends 12v to Pin 85 to energise the coil of the relay. The relay then switches over from Pin 87A and connects to Pin 87, therefore switching off the DRLs.
  16. Hi Evis, no, I know exactly what you mean because I did the exact same to my RX300 when I had it. Have a read of this topic:
  17. I don't know where you live but here in the UK it's normal that the DRLs should come on with the ignition and go off either when the ignition is turned off or automatically go off when you turn on your side/tail lamps (so that other drivers are not dazzled in the dark). The correct way would be to use an 'add a fuse' piggyback fuseholder (like the one below from eBay) on any ignition-switched circuit that you can find in the engine bay fusebox. You'll then need to wire in a relay for the automatic switching so that as it starts to get dark, you'll turn on your 'normal' lights and the DRLs will go off at the same time.
  18. Glad it's sorted but what's an ID code box and what was actually wrong with it? And in order to help other members save time and money, it would be helpful for you to give us pointers as to who the three auto electricians were who just gave up because there was no power.
  19. I'd personally say it's a bit high but I'm not sure what's an acceptable figure for the RX400h. As a general rule of thumb, anywhere from about 35-55mA is alright with around 100mA being cause for concern. However, you really must let the car go into sleep mode to get any meaningful readings.
  20. There's a knack to driving a hybrid. Accelerate briskly to the desired speed and then very slightly back off. You should be able to run on battery for a while but remember, these are not electric cars and you'll only get a couple of miles by relying on the traction battery alone. All the 'B' mode does is to increase engine braking and it's not a very efficient use of the system, which really relies on the use of regenerative braking for maximum efficiency. You get much more charge by braking and it's easy to prove. Next time you're on a long descent put the selector in B and watch the power meter, then put it in D and use the brakes - the power meter will move a lot further down the scale (indicating more charge going into the traction battery) when in D and braking, than in B. The vast majority of braking is, or should, be done regeneratively by the hybrid system. The idea is to read the road ahead and brake gently. The regen brakes operate until the car is almost stopped (3mph if I remember correctly) and then the traditional hydraulic brakes take over. The only exceptions to this as far as I'm aware is when you have to anchor on in an emergency and the hydraulic brakes come on immediately, or when the traction battery is fully charged and can accept no more, then again, the hydraulic system takes over. This is the reason why brake pads and discs last thousands of miles longer on a hybrid.
  21. Howard, sorry my friend but that Word document is far too small to read - can you scan it as either a pdf or a jpg? First of all, I can see the reasoning of the warranty people to reject the claim because to cause such discolouration I would think that this could be an existing fault that was present before you took out the warranty. Secondly, I'm still not convinced (partly because I can't read the document as it's so small) that you have a Lexus Extended Warranty in the sense that some of us on here have. It's been mentioned in these forums a few times that even if your car was bought from some small trader rather than a Lexus main dealership, you can take out the Extended Warranty but it's conditional on a thorough inspection by Lexus Technicians beforehand - only if they are happy with the car can you then go on to get the warranty. That doesn't seem to have happened in your case so it's very confusing. Finally, having said all that, remember what John said above - your dealings should purely be with Avalon Autos given that you've only had the car for a couple of weeks. It's their responsibility to right any wrongs.
  22. A Google search on the string "what does condition of spark plugs indicate" (without the quotes) returns over 17m hits, the very first of which is this one: https://www.championautoparts.com/Parts-Matter/automotive-repair-and-maintenance/how-to-read-spark-plugs.html