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    Lexus Owners Club

    Tips on maintaining your Lexus if it's parked for a long time

    With the UK government advice to stay at home and only venture out for specific, essential reasons in light of the Coronavirus, Lexus has produced some tips on how to maintain a car if it is parked for a long period of time with very little use.  No difficult car maintenance is necessary however the following tips can help ensure your car remains in tip-top condition during an extended layoff


    Check the tyre pressure
    Check the tyres are fully inflated to the recommended level. It can be a good idea to repeat this process when you first drive your car after a long period of inactivity.

    Storing the car
    Clean the car thoroughly inside and out and if you are storing it in a garage, make sure it is completely dry before you put it away.

    If you do plan to store your car in a garage, ensure the chosen storage area offers plenty of ventilation. If the space is secure, you could consider opening one of the car’s windows a small way to ventilate the interior. If you do this, you might have to change your car alarm’s setting to prevent it setting off the intrusion sensor – please consult your car’s manual for more information.


    Disengage the park brake
    It can be beneficial to leave the vehicle with the parking brake disengaged to prevent the brakes from binding, but only do this if you are certain the car is on level terrain and isn’t going to move. Ensure the transmission is set to ‘P’ for park and if you have a manual car put it into first gear, and place wedges or chocks, if you have them, under the wheels.

    Put the car keys away
    If you aren’t planning to drive your car for a long time, put the smart key in a safe place and don’t carry it around with you in your pocket. This will prevent the car from ‘waking up’ unnecessarily should you happen to walk near it in your garage or driveway.

    If your vehicle is equipped with smart entry and start but the system isn’t operated for a long time, a battery-saving function will automatically be activated to prevent the 12-volt battery from being discharged.

    Starting the car regularly


    Toyota and Lexus petrol and diesel cars only have a 12-volt battery, which provides the power to start the engine. Regular start-up of the vehicle on conventional petrol and diesel engines needs approximately 20 minutes of running to put back into the battery what you remove on start up, so to maintain this battery, running the engine for a period of time at least once a week is advised.  The length of time needed to charge the battery will vary according to the model.

    Toyota and Lexus hybrids generally contain two batteries: a 12-volt battery (which powers systems such as the headlamps and audio) and a high-voltage hybrid system battery (which supplies the power to start the combustion engine and drive the electric motors).

    The simplest way to maintain charge in both of these is to simply go through the normal start procedure: press the Start button with your foot on the brake until the ‘Ready’ light is illuminated on the dashboard.  Earlier hybrid models may have key ignitions to start the car.

    Lexus recommends the car is put into ‘Ready’ mode for about 60 minutes (no need to keep your foot on the brake) before switching it off again and repeating the process every couple of weeks.  Always adhere to the government’s advice regarding social distancing and Coronavirus (Covid-19) and please don’t leave your car unattended when it is switched on.  While the car is in ‘Ready’ mode, you may hear and feel the internal combustion engine kick in, which is a normal part of the self-charging process. You might be tempted to switch on the radio to pass the time, or turn on other systems, but these will consume small amounts of electrical power so it’s best to leave them off.

    Ensure the parking brake is on; there’s no need to go for a drive, although we must stress that this procedure should take place in a well-ventilated area – something to consider if you park your vehicle in a garage. 


    Keeping the battery charged

    If you have a 12V battery trickle charger, or a solar panel charger, and are confident using them, then these are a good option to keep the battery fully charged while the vehicle is stationary for a period of time.  You might want to consider an intelligent trickle charger that will only charge the battery when it needs to, but these are likely to be more expensive.

    Edited by Lexus Owners Club

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Our UX250H is used for local trips generally about twenty to thirty minutes. With lockdowns the number of trips has reduced considerably.
    Recently my wife drove the vehicle for a short time and parked in a large shopping area car park.. After a 15-20min shop she returned to the vehicle.  She was able to unlock and enter the vehicle but the when the start button was pressed the electronic start up intro ended with an error and the motor did not start. I arrived some 15 minutes later and could not get any response. I was able to source the error as an error in the automatic brake system. I turned off the automatic break system but was still usable to start the car. It became apparent the 12v battery was discharging as the rear door opened but would not close. When the serviceman arrived he was able to get it all working again by giving the 12v battery a boost. We ran it for over 30 minutes to fully recharge the battery. It was right to go after that.

    I have since taken it back to the dealership for a check. The end result of that was that we were advised to run the car longer on our trips to keep the battery charged. The serviceman had suggsted that as a possibility. He also pondered that some interference from the circuitry in the parking area could have messed with the electronics and the flat battery was the result of persistent attempts to startup progressively discharging the 12v battery.  

    We live in a great suburb where almost all the regular activities are within 15 mins of home. So running the vehicle for more than 30 minutes is a an exception,  and more so now we are in lockdown. Once we are out of locknown we will be able to make an occasional longer trip. Running the vehicle for extra time will put a hole in the great fuel consumption we presently get.

    However, this does not seem to fit with the concept of UX, Urban eXplorer. The hybrid is sold as the perfect solution  for an urban dweller. There is no warning system such as a battery indicator to keep the battery  level sufficient.  I have have turned the automatic lights delay from 30 sec to 0 so no discharge occurs after parking the vehicle.

    Interested if others have had a similar experience.


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