Electrical problems with 2008 Lexus RX 350


#1

I own a 2008 Lexus RX 350 with about 65,000 miles on it. Three years ago the battery discharged totally and created large amounts of corrosion around the positive battery cable. The damage required the dealer to replace the engine wiring harness. Since this was about a $3,000 repair I was happy that it was covered under the warranty.

Now I have the same problem again. This time the dealer thinks we can just replace the positive battery cable. They have no idea what is causing this recurring problem.

If anyone has had a similar problem I would appreciate hearing how you resolved it.


#2

Did they replace the battery when they changed out the wire harness? Corrosion usually happens if the battery begins to leak acid from the top posts. At 6 years old, the battery probably needs to be replaced.


#3

They put in a new 7 year Lexus battery when they did the repair 3 years ago.


#4

I would trust that the new clamp will work OK if the mechanic thinks so. I found those anticorrosion felt discs under the battery clamps work pretty well.


#5

Thanks to both of you for the ideas. I will look forward to hearing from others on this topic.


#6

I had a bad corrosion problem around the positive terminal on my 2011 Toyota Sienna. The dealer cleaned the terminal once, but after that, I bought the anti corrosion discs and spray and cleaned the terminals every 6 months. However, the last time I went to clean the terminals, I found that half the positive clamp was eaten away by corrosion. I took the Sienna to my independent shop and had the battery load tested. It was due for replacement. My shop put on a new positive clamp and replaced the battery and I have had no problems.
The service manager at the Toyota dealership told me that there had been a problem with some of the original equipment batteries “out-gassing” and causing the corrosion. The original equipment battery in my Sienna was made by Johnson Controls and the replacement battery installed by my independent shop is a Delco. However, I don’t think the brand makes much difference as far as out-gassing is concerned. As I said, I have had no problems with the replacement clamp on the cable. The technician said that the clamp he attached to the cable is lead while the original equipment was steel and that the lead clamps don’t get eaten away as badly.


#7

I’ll go a little off topic

I’ve found that the replacement Delco batteries aren’t very good

In my opinion

Factory gray label Delco batteries are much better than replacement blue label Delco batteries

I have found that the brand often does make a difference

And it also makes a difference who actually made the batteries

I strongly suspect that gray label Delco batteries and blue label Delco batteries are NOT made by the same manufacturer

I’ve had pretty good luck with Costco batteries, made by Johnson. They seem to generally last at least 4 years in Southern California heat

Not always so with blue label Delco


#8

As I understand it, there are only three or four companies that make batteries and then sell them under different labels. A battery with a brand name in one part of the country may be made by a different manufacturer than a battery with the same label sold in a different part of the U.S. The reason is that batteries are really dense and are expensive to ship. A friend of mine went to a shop that just sells and installs batteries and tests the charging system and bought a battery. The battery had no brand name. When he asked the proprietor of the store what make battery he was buying, the proprietor opened his desk drawer which contained all kinds of brand name labels. “What make battery would you like it to be?” the proprietor asked.
More important than the brand of the battery is the date the battery was manufactured. Walmart and Costco have a high turnover of stock, so the chances of getting a fresh battery at these stores is really pretty good.


#9

Make sure the alternator isn’t generating excessive AC ripple voltage while charging the battery and the DC voltage is okay also. Check the system for a parasitic current draw while the car is parked and things have gone into the sleep mode.