3 batteries in 6 years

2011 Lexus LS470 purchased in 2014. Has 26, 500 miles on odometer, batteries last about two years. Lexus dealer says that’s because I drive fewer than 5000 miles a year. Are they right?

Probably .

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Most likely. I suspect you are rarely fully recharging the battery when you use the vehicle.
You could consider getting a battery tender and keep it plugged in when the car is not in use.

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Also depends on where you live.

If you park outside and the car is in the sun a few hours a week you can get a solar panel to put on the dash.
That’s what I do. Ten watts will do the trick.

Next time, try installing a very high reserve capacity battery.

Reserve capacity of a battery is the measurement of how long the battery will keep a vehicle operating if the charging system should fail.

This is measured in minutes.

This can also help a battery last longer when the vehicle sits idle for an extended period of time.

Because with all electronics that draw power from the battery even when the vehicle is turned off, a high reserve capacity battery can help a battery last longer when the vehicle sits.


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High reserve battery may help, but the underlying problem seems that the battery doesn’t get fully charged. A fully charged battery with a high reserve capacity will stay stronger longer. A charger - not just a maintainer - is called for.

Has a valid test for parasitic draw been done?

Any aftermarket electrical devices present?

If you live in a hot climate this is not far from normal. I live near Buffalo NY and only drive 5-7 thousand a year. M 2012 Camry purchased in the fall of 2-11 Is still doing fine.

My NY inspection station which is an oil change place told me I needed a new battery, 5 YEARS ago. Coincidentally , the same year they started selling batteries. It still tests fine after 8 1/'2 years. I would be impressed but my daughters Corolla has gone 10 and she parks outside.

Sitting a lot will certainly kill a battery. While sitting the acid in the electrolyte sticks to the lead plates in the battery. Once running the electrical charge from the alternator drives the acid off of the plates and back into the electrolyte mixture. Each time this happens more and more of the acid remains stuck on the plates and eventually the battery gives up as the acid/distilled water electrolyte mix is now out of range of the proper and roughly 1/3 acid and 2/3 distilled water mix.

You might consider purchasing a small trickle charger and connect it to the battery during those times that you won’t be driving the car much. The slightest charge will keep the acid from sticking to the plates.

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No test. The service manager says it’s because I don’t drive it enough. Period.

You don’t want to use a trickle charger.


Batteries must be exercised to remain healthy.

I don’t think I need one bit of advice from yet another automotive journalist. I learned all of this in the late 60s while working part time in a gas station while in high school.
I suggested a trickle charger. There you have it. Terminology may vary around the country. Just like some places a nylon strap is called a tie wrap. We call them tie-ties. Some call them E or C rings. Some call them spring rings. Some call them castle nuts. Some call them castellated nuts. Some call them roll pins. Some call them drive pins. Some call them shotguns. Some call them scatterguns.


The responses have been consistent: Probably.
Watch the video posted by Tester.

You can go to an independent shop. They can test the battery and test for parasitic drain.

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Pat Goss owns an operating auto repair shop in Seabrook, MD and has for decades. He has a second shop in Gambrills, MD now too. He is on TV shows because he is a subject matter expert. You may not need his advice, but lots of people benefit from it. Could you do what he does? Sure. Talk to you local PBS station Or local cable company about opportunities if it interests you.

@Remazz, I suggest that you take a drive of at least 20 minutes every other week to keep your battery charged. I drive my car about 15 minutes total each week to get carry out food, but do the 20 minute drive thing and it works.

The battery might have been sitting in an undercharged condition for a long time. The solution for that is to hook up a modern battery charger: one that automatically switches to maintain mode after it has brought the battery up to full charge.

It’s penny wise and pound foolish to buy a “battery maintainer” or “trickle charger” when good battery charger does it all.

Why is it foolish to buy a $20 maintainer “trickle charger” and instead buy a $50 to $100 charger? A person who drives infrequently has plenty of time so a low amp “maintainer” is easier on the wallet and maybe the battery.

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IMHO Pat Goss is one step up from Scotty Kilmer.
He tried doing a call-in show like Car Talk, but he was just too grouchy.
He used to be a shill for BG products. He’s strongly anti-DIY.

Of course he’s anti-DIY. That eats into his profits. I’ve never used his shop, even though I work near Seabrook. Other folks I work with recommend a couple different shops In the neighborhood. I get work done near home.

Also remember that Mario Andretti advertised for STP and Carroll Shelby endorsed Z-Max in their commercials. The FTC sued Z-Max for false and misleading advertisements, including the specific product Shelby endorsed.