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Key Fob Dead?

5816 Views 15 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  F'n around
I took delivery of my IS-F in June. Today I was out driving around for work and about mid day I stopped then tried to restart but it balked a bit and I had to try to start 3 times before it took. I came back to the hotel and left it with the valet and departed on foot for another meeting. When I checked my vmail later I had a message saying the car did not start for them and they jumped it!. They eventually got it going by holding the fob next the start button. I'll see what happens in the morning.

Does this sound like a dead battery in the fob to you? If so, has anyone else had this problem and wouldn't you expect longer life?

I've got to say that, while I love the car, the vaunted Lexus service and quality has been sorely lacking in my experience.

Thanks for all the good discussion,

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I would wait until this morning to see what happens when you try to start it. Did you have trouble starting it when you picked it back up from the valet?

When you tried to restart it three times, did the ignition fire and it not catch or did the engine not even try to start? Was the little light on the push start red or green?

If it starts up fine in the morning then I would guess it is all good and it could have just been the placement of the key, if not, try using your other key fob, they gave you two correct? If it works better with the second one then you have a problem (dead battery, etc.) with the first.

Let us know what happens and how it goes
If they got it started by holding the fob next to the starter button, then it's the battery. The owner's manual says they should be replaced every year. Your's seems to have died prematurely.

You gave it to an valet:confused: They tried to jump it:confused: Ouch:eek:

No valet will ever touch my car! I blew a gasket when my dealer washed it, at the 1K service when I told them not to.

I blew a gasket when my dealer washed it, at the 1K service when I told them not to.
What was your concern? That they'd scratch it with the hoses? I hadn't thought of that, and I'll have my 1K service in a week or two. Just want to know if I would be wise to tell them not to wash it.
Did the display between the speedo and tach state "low key battery"? Do you store the key fob in the car or within about 6 feet of the car? The key will still communicate with the car when it is turned off if it is left too close, and that will run down the battery in the key.

If in doubt, take it to the dealer and have it checked.
What was your concern? That they'd scratch it with the hoses? I hadn't thought of that, and I'll have my 1K service in a week or two. Just want to know if I would be wise to tell them not to wash it.
The concern was that I had spent 6 hours the day before detailing it. It was perfect before the wash, not so after. Plus, I don't know what they use for soap, and IMHO, it has to be more harsh than my mit and the soft water I use on it.

Update on Electrical Issues

This only seems to get worse I'm afraid. First off, the hotel and valet are high end and I have been staying there each week for 3 years while working on a project. Under normal circumstances, I agree, no valet gets to drive the F!

After I dropped the car off with the valet I went to a meeting and came back to the hotel about 4 hours later. Apparently, they had great difficulty starting the car. This all happened in Vancouver. To compound the problem, the Prime Minister was also in town and staying at the same hotel. My car was stuck directly in front of the door and from what I heard, his security detail was giving the hotel staff very direct orders to move the car. Yikes! glad I wasn't there!

Anyway, the batteries (car and fobs) were not dead. I luckily had both key fobs as my wife was with me on the trip. Both fobs acted the same. The electrical system acted in a number of strange ways but until late today I could always start the car by holding the fob right next to the start button. That was until I was coming back home via a ferry. Of course, when I went to start the car to get off the ferry it wouldn't start. This was more than a little embarassing as I was second from the front and about 100 cars had to go around me. Fun!

I contacted the dealer and the tech advised to try to jump the car. When we took the covers off the battery the positive terminal sparked a lot, for whatever reason. Didn't look good though. The connection was loose and after it was secured the car started and I got off the boat which was great because the alternative was another 4 hours of riding the ferry.

After it started I still had a number of electrical type issues in addition to the standard reset ones. I drove it straight to the dealer and left it with them.

I am concerned there is a electrical/computer issue with the car. I mean who needs it right? Hopefully its a one off bad component and none of you will have to experience it. I will keep you posted on the outcome. Right now I've got to say my experience with Lexus dealer service and quality has been poor. I've bought about a dozen new cars and this is both the most expensive and poorest to date. Hopefully, things will get better soon.

Sorry for the long post and yes, there is more than a little humour in this now that I have a drink in my hand.


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I'm sorry to hear about all of your problems, what a nightmare! Hopefully your dealer will get everything sorted.

Keep us posted on how things go.

Good luck,

08 Smoky Granite Mica IS-F
Your F went dead in front of the Prime Minister's car? If I remember correctly from my medical school days (I lived with several French Canadians) I would yell out Tabernache, Collis, and I am sure everything will work out fine. Bring the Lexus back to the dealership, I am sure they will fix the problem. Mention the breakdown in front of the PM for added effect.

ps. I love Montreal, especially right outside the city....
Oh! What a gas this thread is! Lol! With Lou freaking out that the dealer washed his car maybe using un oxygenated water, and Tanglewood almost getting into a beef with the RCMP, and Phootdr recalling his Monreal days. Christ de tabarnacle de chalice! Phootdr knows what i'm saying.

Don't get me wrong guys, I love my F too, in fact no one also cleans my F except for my trusted guys in the shop. But man, can we get possesive or what!

But going back to the topic, I also had a weird incident with trying to start my F once. When I went in it to start, the needles in the dash swept but the engine wouldn't do anything. Like the battery died. I tried the second time and same thing. Of course the sweat started to come out of my forehead, thinking ...OH sh_t there's no one here in the country who'd know how to fix this. But the third try was a success. I think it happened another time but not traumatic anymore, by the second try it was OK.

I'll see if it happens again. Thank God there's now a month old Lexus dealer here.
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Interesting Tanglewood. I'm sorry to hear about all your problems starting the F! How many miles do you have on it? I'm glad you were able to drop it off at the dealership and have them fix it! It could be that your battery is dead or was dying and that's all you need is a new one (easy fix). Please keep us updated with what they say and how your experience is :D
Update on Electrical Issues #2

Thanks for all the moral support!

I picked the F up from the dealer yesterday. They think all my problems are related to a loose battery connection? I am not yet convinced as there were a number of electrical gremlins that don't seem to fit with that diagnosis. I will try it locally for a week and see what happens. Hopefully it will all be good now.

Interesting that the non-start description oarngemig described was exactly what I experienced as a first sign of trouble. I also thought nothing of it until the incident with the hotel and PM's security. Boy, that was quite a thrill!

The dealer was very good about the whole thing and is committed to trying to make this head in a better direction. They even chipped in with $300 in a service credit which I has asked for instead to be Lexus gear from the catalogue on the reasoning that the company pays for the car service and I'm the one who needs a smile on his face right?

If anything more happens with this I will post the gory details.

Thanks again,

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Interesting Tenglewood, did you also have them replace your key fob battery? I would have had them do this as well just to be on the safe side. Glad they were able to "fix" it, hopefully nothing else will happen. Let us know if anything else comes up :D
All good so far

Thanks Mike. They replaced the batteries in both fobs for good measure. Had a good little run today after golf and all is well so far.

BTW, my mileage now is about 12,000 km or about 7,500 miles.


Interesting. Hope the issue is resolved. Good thing you weren't driving an Escalade or the RCMP might have called in the bomb squad (for those who didn't know, the PM was in Vancouver giving his anti-gang speech).

Sounds like you're finally getting satisfactory service from the dealer. Is it Metro? I think there's only 1 on the island?
I kinda had the same thing happen to me. The difference is I know what caused the problems when i tried starting my car. At times I park my car near an airport where there is a lot of radio interference with my fob. I just put the fob next to the start button and it works fine. This has only happened when I park near the airport.
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