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Hey guys, yesterday I was on my way out, turned the ignition and the Rav4 wouldn't start, switched off all the dome lights, disconnected my amp/sub, turned it 2 more times and then it started.

I immediately went to advanced auto and got it tested, my battery is supposed to be around 582 CCA and the test showed it was at 340 CCA, there was also some corrosion on the positive terminal. The guy said I needed a new battery. I went to Toyota and they gave me a new one under warranty.

Does anyone know why my battery died at only 2 years? Is it because of my amplifier? Is it the extreme Florida heat and humidity?

I don't notice any lights dimming when my subwoofer is hitting so I'm thinking the alternator is ok. Any ideas? Will this happen again in another 2 years? Will my extended warranty cover a battery? Maybe it was just a bad battery?
 

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The Florida heat is probably the main culprit. Do you do a lot of short distance driving? If you do a lot of short distance driving the car's charging system does not have enough time to sufficiently charge the battery. Over time it will kill the battery.
I'm not sure if you own a battery charger like battery tender. Before the start of the summer or winter season I stick the battery tender to the battery and give it a good charge. This suppose to keep the battery in good condition.
It's hard to say if the battery will last another 2 yrs or more. The rule of thumb is buy the battery with the longest warranty period.
 

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Does anyone know why my battery died at only 2 years? Is it because of my amplifier? Is it the extreme Florida heat and humidity?
My factory battery (Furukawa) died at exactly 25 months. My dealer replaced it under warranty with a Toyota TrueStart battery. That battery went bad at exactly 25 months, one month past the free replacement warranty. I replaced it with an AutoCraft Gold 24F-6 battery from Advance Auto. It has been working great every since, and in January of 2016 the free replacement warranty will run out and the 7 year pro-rated warranty will take over.

To answer your question, yes the heat and humidity in Florida (just like South Louisiana) is part of it. The V6 is the other piece of the puzzle. It seems the I4 owners don't have nearly as many battery problems.
 

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Yes, I do quite a bit of short distance driving, especially in the past few months. I just opened my new business (retail store) last week and for the past 2 months I've been driving there back and fourth everyday (2 miles away). I was thinking about this short distance driving and that it could've messed up my battery but I can really know for sure.


I think I will look into this "Battery Tender" thing you mentioned. Anyways now that Toyota gave me a new battery, what should I do to make sure it will last? Also how long is the warranty on this new battery from the dealer? or does this depend on the actual battery brand this dealer uses? I think I got a Truestart like Junebug
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Also how long is the warranty on this new battery from the dealer? or does this depend on the actual battery brand this dealer uses? I think I got a Truestart like Junebug
The TrueStart has a 24 month free replacement:

Toyota TrueStart Battery Information

When my TrueStart went bad in the 25th month, I asked the dealer how much it would cost me to replace it there using the pro-rated warranty. I think they said it would be like 65 bucks!!

So I went with the AutoCraft Gold with 3-year replacement for $82.
 

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Thanks James. So how long has it been since you got your autocraft gold? Sounds like it's been longer than 2 years?
 

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Yes, I do quite a bit of short distance driving, especially in the past few months. I just opened my new business (retail store) last week and for the past 2 months I've been driving there back and fourth everyday (2 miles away). I was thinking about this short distance driving and that it could've messed up my battery but I can really know for sure.
I think I will look into this "Battery Tender" thing you mentioned. Anyways now that Toyota gave me a new battery, what should I do to make sure it will last?
I agree with both JuneBug and avs. The heat is tough enough on batteries and the short trips are helping sap the life out of yours by keeping it in a low state of charge.

A battery charger to keep it "topped off" will definitely help. Battery tenders are around 1 AMP trickle or float chargers used mainly to keep batteries from going dead during storage. Since I don't ride on a regular basis I use one on my DRZ-400 to help make sure my electric-start-only bike doesn't have problems when I do get out into the woods.

For a car or truck I much prefer at least a 6 AMP charger and prefer the Guest brand such as this one: Guest 2606A Portable Automatic 12V Battery Charger | eBay
I have one each under the hood on my F-250 and my Accord and plug them in when the battery gets low or when I won't be driving for a few days. In your case I'd plug yours in once every few days to keep the state of charge up and extend your battery life.
 
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Don't know about short trips being a problem - a large percentage of my driving is two miles or less and so far my '2011 OEM battery (Johnson Controls) shows no sign of dying.










Based upon owner experience as reported, living in a hot climate is very hard on many batteries supplied by Toyota. Have a look at RTexasF's battery threads, for example.
 
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Thanks James. So how long has it been since you got your autocraft gold? Sounds like it's been longer than 2 years?
Nope, January 11, 2013. If it's like the others, it would bite the dust around February of next year.

***Update***--It bit the dust in July of 2016. So this one lasted 43 months.
 

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Nope, January 11, 2013. If it's like the others, it would bite the dust around February of next year.
WOW, I hope not! However that would be interesting if it does happen, in such a case this would prove that batteries (no matter what brand) in a V6 4.3 just don't last longer than 2 years in deep south's extreme heat and humidity.

Keep us posted James, I'd love to see what happens past that 24-25 months.

Thank you everyone for your time, I will for sure look into a higher amperage charger as suggested.
 

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It's a combination of your hot climate and the total junk Toyota batteries. Both of our OEM batteries split open and leaked acid everywhere. They were replaced with more "substantial" Toyota batteries (warranty) which both crapped out right at two years. Both were replaced with Auto Zone Gold, same three year over the counter exchange as what James purchased. Cold cranking amps were considerably higher than stock. I'm running two amps and no trouble whatsoever.

I've found that the cells closest to the engine take considerably more water to top off than those closest to the fender so engine heat is also a factor.
 
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A lot of European cars and luxury cars have some sort of battery blanket or enclosure over the battery to keep it from heat. Maybe you can look into something alike to keep the battery from heat. When you're looking for a high current battery charger make sure there's temperature sensor built in. Having all that high current pump straight into the battery will cause the battery to heat up rapidly and eventually it will shorten the battery life.
One test you can do if you "feel" the battery is dying is to do a load test using a multimeter. Set the meter to voltage reading and stick the probe across the battery terminal. Have something start the car and see what the lowest voltage is. If the voltage is less than ~9.5-9.6 volt, the battery will probably needs to replace soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A lot of European cars and luxury cars have some sort of battery blanket or enclosure over the battery to keep it from heat.
Ah yes, I just remembered seeing this on some German cars.

My uncle and mother both had BMW's and both cars had their batteries in the trunk. My uncle's 850I had 2 batteries both in the trunk.

I guess one could move the battery location to the trunk.

Anyways, I'll look into getting this: http://www.thermotec.com/products/13200-battery-wrap-acid-absorbing-heat-barrier.html
 

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When you're looking for a high current battery charger make sure there's temperature sensor built in. Having all that high current pump straight into the battery will cause the battery to heat up rapidly and eventually it will shorten the battery life.
Agreed, but by "high current" I'd mean 20+ amps or an "emergency car starting" mode on a larger charger. Using one of them repeatedly would be detrimental. But they're too big to mount under the hood and not waterproof either. The ones I use and linked to are 6 amps which is enough to replace the charge lost from the short trips in an hour or so and then go into trickle mode w/o heating the battery. They are also marine fully waterproof quality.

I'm also thinking once the charge issue is rectified the short trips likely cut down on the heat buildup under the hood so they may actually extend battery life.
 
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Yes, I do quite a bit of short distance driving, especially in the past few months. I just opened my new business (retail store) last week and for the past 2 months I've been driving there back and fourth everyday (2 miles away). I was thinking about this short distance driving and that it could've messed up my battery but I can really know for sure.


I think I will look into this "Battery Tender" thing you mentioned. Anyways now that Toyota gave me a new battery, what should I do to make sure it will last? Also how long is the warranty on this new battery from the dealer? or does this depend on the actual battery brand this dealer uses? I think I got a Truestart like Junebug
A free 2 year Road Service benefit comes along with the purchase from a Toyota dealer of the True Start 84 month battery. I asked my dealer about this and he never heard of it. I called Toyota Customer Service and indeed this is true. I wouldn't cancel your AAA membership but it's something to consider if you are ever stuck on the road.
I came across this when killing some time in the dealership waiting room by reading a Toyota brochure laying around.
 

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Well crap. My original battery died today. 2 weeks shy of 4 yrs old. Not bad I guess. I'm going to go pick up a battery from costco. It comes with 3 yrs free replacement and prorated to 5 yrs.
 

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Sorry I jinxed you :eek: LOL
 

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It comes with 3 yrs free replacement and prorated to 5 yrs.
I buy the same 3/5 year batteries from Walmart.
 

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I agree with all of u about heat and short distance killing a battery. Mine is still the original battery that came with the car 8 years ago and today it just broke 200,000km. I figure I should be buying a new battery by the time winter start this year. I do drive about 40 mins each way to work and back 5 days a week. Mostly cool weather up here helps too but cold winter morning is a real test of this old battery recently.
 

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Veliksam, you got 24 months.... Your lucky.
Around here (Southwest desert) if we get 35 months out of a 60 month battery we feel we got our moneys worth...
As they say; Heat Kills.


Yuma,
 
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