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2004 Lexus Service Question

Burgermeister

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In-laws have had a 2004 Lexus ES since new and drive it very little; it currently has only 60,000 miles on it. Long story short, several years ago, the battery kept dying and needed to be jumped. They worked with someone in FL while on “winter break” who took the position that the ONLY way to be sure the car would start was to disconnect the battery. It astounds me that they agreed to this and for 5+ years have driven it without a radio.

Fast forward and now the car won’t start and needs to be repeatedly jumped; MIL says that the battery “is new,” but that may or may not be true. We want to help them get this fixed by someone who is experienced working with Lexus electronics....someone who can get it to start WHILE the radio is working.

We took it to a friendly local Indy for tires and asked them to take a peek and when they looked behind the dash, they proclaimed it FUBAR and recommended going to a Lexus dealership. Given his age, FIL would also prefer that it go to a dealership, so is there a Lexus dealership in the Greater Boston area that comes recommended for service? Not sure if the electronics are the same, but if so, is there a Toyota dealership that is recommended for service?
 

Spanz

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2004 lexus....just how much are you willing to invest into it?

you can buy a used one on cargurus for $5000
 

xjma99

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Electrical problems in an older, fancier car....if really FUBAR, it’s not worth it. Trade it in, let someone else deal with it. It’s going to be a lot of man hours to fix, not cheap man hours. And if it does get fixed, you still have a 2004 Lexus.
 

drgrant

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Electrical problems in an older, fancier car....if really FUBAR, it’s not worth it. Trade it in, let someone else deal with it. It’s going to be a lot of man hours to fix, not cheap man hours. And if it does get fixed, you still have a 2004 Lexus.
This isn’t a fancier car and I know because i drive an 05 es as my daily beater. At only 60k on the clock it’s worth a fix, they’re sitting in a car that will easily hit 250k. The electrical in the car is not rocket science. It’s a camry underneath. This problem can probably easily be fixed if they find someone that isn’t a nipplehead.

-Mike
 

Spanz

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Throw an ammeter on the battery when the car's off. Check the draw while you remove different fuses. And look into what the above post says about aftermarket stuff.
this is a good idea. and watch the ammeter for ten minutes after shutting it down....some weird emissions check might turn on, or fan will turn on, and not turn off...at random times. it might just be a stuck relay somewhere.

can you hear anything running when it is off?
 
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JayMcB

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There's something with a high parasitic draw. The 'pull the fuses' with an ammeter in series is a valid idea.

if the body is solid, that's a car worth keeping. If they don't want it, PM me, my daughter needs a beater for college
 

Spanz

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I would also search thru the clublexus.com forum.

parasitic draw, you just get an ammeter, pull a suspected fuse, and measure the current flowing across where that fuse used to be

i would be suspicious of anything taking more than 30 ma or so
 

SKumar

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What you need is a 1994 LS400. Back in the day, this baby gave the Germans a serious run for their money. There are videos showing the 4L V8 engine lasting 1,000,000 miles.
1579188933956.png
 

xjma99

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I would also search thru the clublexus.com forum.

parasitic draw, you just get an ammeter, pull a suspected fuse, and measure the current flowing across where that fuse used to be

i would be suspicious of anything taking more than 30 ma or so
The guy came on here asking which dealer to bring the POS to. The chances of him owning a DC ammeter are slim to nil.
 
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They worked with someone in FL while on “winter break” who took the position that the ONLY way to be sure the car would start was to disconnect the battery. It astounds me that they agreed to this and for 5+ years have driven it without a radio.

Fast forward and now the car won’t start and needs to be repeatedly jumped; MIL says that the battery “is new,” but that may or may not be true. We want to help them get this fixed by someone who is experienced working with Lexus electronics....someone who can get it to start WHILE the radio is working.

We took it to a friendly local Indy for tires and asked them to take a peek and when they looked behind the dash, they proclaimed it FUBAR
So...you had a parasitic draw related to the radio so the radio was disabled? And now the draw has spread potentially to another system? And the dash wiring is messed up...how? Is there rodent damage? Aftermarket radio or remote starter or alarm ever installed and potentially removed?

#1 I would take the car and have the battery tested to be sure 100% it is good. You might be chasing your tail.

Your next steps will depend on your answers to the above questions.
 

Burgermeister

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The guy came on here asking which dealer to bring the POS to. The chances of him owning a DC ammeter are slim to nil.
True, no ammeter here. Just looking for a repair referral from all the Japanese fanboys who always write that the Japanese can’t be beat. None of my American or German cars have ever shown these problems.
 

Burgermeister

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So...you had a parasitic draw related to the radio so the radio was disabled? And now the draw has spread potentially to another system? And the dash wiring is messed up...how? Is there rodent damage? Aftermarket radio or remote starter or alarm ever installed and potentially removed?

#1 I would take the car and have the battery tested to be sure 100% it is good. You might be chasing your tail.

Your next steps will depend on your answers to the above questions.
That’s the route we’re going; I’m told by in-laws that the battery is “only 2 years old,” but I don’t know if that’s true or not, plus it’s never garaged and driven very little. Indy put in a new Interstate battery so we’ll hit pause now and see if the new battery dies, in which case we’ll look for the parasitic draw. In the mean time, no radio in the Lexus, which just hits a nerve with me in general principle.
 

drgrant

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True, no ammeter here. Just looking for a repair referral from all the Japanese fanboys who always write that the Japanese can’t be beat. None of my American or German cars have ever shown these problems.
Lol not sure if serious, any brand of vehicle could have this type of issue, more likely a matter of shit luck than a design defect. An ammeter from harbor freight even could save you a lot of grief. On something like an ES 330/300 the parasitic draw shouldn't be much with all the shit off. Where is the car located? (I might have a guy that i trust, id have to ask if his boss moved his shop yet, though. )

ETA: if the radio.is unplugged obviously at one point some guy probably thought it was the problem. Kind of a stupid fix, though.
 
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