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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Yesterday, my wife called me and said MY car wouldn't start. She said it must be the starter because everything electrical worked including the radio and power seat. When I got there and tried starting it, all I heard was a click and chatter from the starter. Broke out the jumper cables and hooked it up to the Maxima, which was idling. Still wouldn't start--just a click. Had my daughter rev the Max to 2000 and hold it there for a few minutes. Then the RAV fired right up. Drove it home and changed the 43 month old battery. We had sold my daughter's Altima to a junkyard when the engine had major mechanical problems last year. But I saved the battery, which was less than 1 year old and size 24F, just like the RAV, so that saved me over 100 bucks. I'm convinced the heat is what's killing these batteries. BTW, the failed battery had plenty of water in it. So here's a summary of my RAV4's battery life:

Original Furukawa battery--Nov. 2008-Dec. 2010 (25 months)
Toyota Truestart battery--Dec. 2010-Jan. 2013 (25 months)
AutoCraft Gold battery--Jan. 2013--Jul. 2015 (43 months)
AutoCraft Gold battery #2--Jul. 2015--?
 

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Do you think it is feasible to put a large heat sink on the bottom of the battery?
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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Discussion Starter #3
Do you think it is feasible to put a large heat sink on the bottom of the battery?
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I'm not sure that would help much--the battery sits in a plastic tray. I think what it needs is a heat shield or insulation that would protect it from engine heat.

I've pretty much decided that the next battery I buy will be an Optima.
 

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Heat is death regarding batteries. Here in a mild climate area my OEM Johnson Controls battery is still doing its thing after 6 1/2 years, although by my test the CCAs have decreased to 490. The Walmart Everstart battery in our lawn tractor is still going strong after 10 years . . . .
 

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I'm waiting.........the Duralast Gold battery in her RAV is past 36 months now, that's a first to make it that long.
 

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Just hit the 23 month mark on the OEM battery. Don't expect it to last too much longer with since that seems to be the trend for these batteries.
 

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So here's a summary of my RAV4's battery life:

Original Furukawa battery--Nov. 2008-Dec. 2010 (25 months)
Toyota Truestart battery--Dec. 2010-Jan. 2013 (25 months)
AutoCraft Gold battery--Jan. 2013--Jul. 2015 (43 months)
AutoCraft Gold battery #2--Jul. 2015--?
Seems to show the Toyota battery is of low quality.

On my 4-banger, I reached 44 months on the OEM battery, and now have 45 months on a middle-of-the road Les Scwab branded Johnson Controls battery, so will see how it goes. Idaho is not competition for the South, but we do get 3 months of 90+ F or so. Maybe I'll get a CCA test done for grins this Fall, should reveal if this one is faring better than the OEM.

Awhile back, on the battery sticky thread, forum member Frozen posted some other interesting observations that may apply:

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/99-4-3-mechanical/82508-weak-battery-causes-slow-starting-other-problems-11.html

Among other things, he mentions the toughest thing on a battery is a hot climate, pretty much a given. The next thing is short trips / commutes that don't give the battery a chance to fully charge up contributing to sulfate build-up. Combine those factors with the stress some folks put on a battery at start-up: running air-con full blast, instant-on headlights, radio, other electronic doo-dads--especially bad for the batt at start-up if maxxed.

He says to mitigate that somewhat by turning things on one at a time. Obviously tough to do in the south when you need the A/C pronto!

Anyway, food for thought. Start with a crap OEM battery, then put it through the toughest environment in the South, and possibly short commutes--44 months on the batt may be the norm there.
 

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Are you sure the battery is toast. It could have just been drained down too much.

When I buy batteries I like to buy the largest battery that will fit. Sometimes this means something that is not in the fitment code.

Also I like to buy the battery with the lowest required CCA. They are more robust than the higher CCA version. In order to get a higher CCA they need more plates. Thus each plate is smaller and more closely spaces.
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Discussion Starter #11
Just saying, was the charging system checked?
No, because I've seen this problem before. No warning, no battery discharge light, nothing--I'm sure it was a shorted cell. I took the battery back to Advance Auto and got a $10 gift card. I figure I got my 43 months out of the thing.
 

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Smooth move saving the battery from the Maxima :thumbs_up:
 

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I got to thinking and I'm also on my 4th battery as of earlier this year. It was still in the 36 month exchange warranty so it was a freebie.
 

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I guess I'm lucky. I've got 43 months on the original Johnson Controls battery, no sign of weakness yet.

I'll be giving this car to my son in the next week or so. He knows to be aware of long cranking time. The last Rav I gave him, the battery died the morning his second son was born. That was an exciting day, in more ways than one.
 
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Its time for an Optima !
Todays generic brands lead acid batteries are made to yield 18 to 36 months.
Life then ends in that realm with a plus or minus for usage and abuse.
My OEM died @ 17mos . . . .still covered by warranty, I opted to self insure
and bought an Optima.. . 24 months ago, and its still going better than the OEM ever did.
Heavy winter / snow area . . . good luck
 
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