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What Are the Costs of the Lexus RX 400h and RX 450h Hybrid Batteries?
December 6, 2013
And, the RX 400/450h models make up just over 50% of the half-million Lexus hybrids sold through November 2012, according to The Green Car Website.
Lexus debuted the RX 400h in the U.S. market mid-2005, with more than 9,000 pre-orders at launch, according to a report by NBC in 2004.
The RX 400h led as the first production premium hybrid vehicle, the Associated Press reported.
It was also one of four SUVs recognized by J.D. Power and Associates’ 2006 Automotive Environmental Index of the top 30 most environmentally friendly vehicles.
In 2009, Lexus introduced the RX 450h model, and later other hybrid brothers–LS 600h/LS 600h L, and HS 250h models.
The Lexus RX 400h and 450h Hybrid Systems
The RX 400h’s battery is composed of sealed nickel-metal hydride modules. The 288-volt hybrid battery is located under the rear seat, supplying power to the electric motors during start-up, acceleration and driving up and down hills.
The vehicle is powered by a Lexus Hybrid Drive system that combines the advantages of an electric motor/generator and a gasoline engine. This system automatically charges itself.
With the RX 450h, Lexus added two systems to its powertrain–an exhaust heat recovery system to reduce engine warm-up periods and a cooled exhaust gas-recirculation system to reduce fuel pumping loss.
In addition, the RX 450h boasts higher EPA ratings– 32 mpg city, 28 highway for the FWD model and 30 mpg city, 28 highway for the AWD model. This is a 20 percent increase over the RX 400h.
The Battery Life for the RX 400h and 450h Brothers
The hybrid battery and motor/generators do not require ongoing maintenance. Drivers are encouraged to drive the vehicle at least once every several months for at least 30 minutes to keep the hybrid battery in good condition, according to Lexus. But, Lexus claims the hybrid battery will last the life of the car and provides an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty to the owners.
Replacing, Conditioning and Rebuilding RX 400/450h Batteries
The cost of replacing the battery can run in the $2,500-$3,500 range, which includes installation. As hybrid batteries age, it’s more common for cells to need replacing than for the entire battery to die, according to Lexus as reported in Bloomberg Businessweek.
The bids for used units on eBay range from $2,800 for the RX 400h battery that comes from a vehicle with 49,000 miles on it to $2,875 for the RX 450h with 48,214 miles on it. The RX 400h doesn’t come with a warranty but the RX 450h comes with a 90-day one.
All this being said, many Hybrid owners are finding that “conditioning” their battery is a better solution than spending extra money on replacing the unit.
The Hybrid Shop uses an exclusive technology on HEV batteries, bringing them back to 95% of original performance levels, which ultimately can save consumers thousands in unnecessary expenses.
Through the conditioning process, it may be discovered the battery needs to be rebuilt. The Hybrid Shop also provides this service.
Have a question? Want to leave a comment? Please contact us directly here with any questions or leave a comment below regarding your RX 400/450h Hybrids
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“(After our battery conditioning service) We left the next day for Yosemite and got up to 55 mpg’s going through Los Banos. We have never gotten close to 55 mpg and haven’t seen anywhere near 50 mpg’s for at least 3 years. I cannot remember getting more than 46 mpg in the last few years. The car also seemed to have a little more power climbing which we did a lot of going over 6,000 ft”
- Lloyd’s Tire Service, Santa Cruz, CA