Two and half years ago, on an I-35 far far away...

After buying the Lexus in San Antonio, I began driving it up to Plano. Somewhere between Temple and Waco, the dashboard lit up, warning me that the VSC (traction control) was malfunctioning, and had been deactivated. A cursory search of the Lexus forums said that this rarely had to do with the VSC, and was often a warning sign that the battery was dropping charge. The advice was to get the battery checked, as it might be going bad. Pulled into a Walmart service station in Waco at about 6:45, and their battery tester confirmed it: an old battery that was going bad.

I just needed to get to Plano. The cheapest battery on their shelf for the LS400 was a $120 EverStart. It blows my mind how expensive batteries have gotten...I remember buying decent batteries for my cars in college that were $40, and that was only...uh...twenty years...ago...huh.


Every year, as the heat in West Texas and Southern New Mexico starts hitting the 90s (April to October) and pushes well into the 100s (June to September), the old VSC pings here and there. I get the battery checked once or twice to see if it’s going bad, and the answer has been no, just a bit of a low charge. I go on my merry way. But now in the battery’s third year of life, and it being the cheapest off-the-shelf battery I could grab at the last minute, I have the sinking feeling that this black box will become an expensive paperweight sooner rather than later.

How do YOU battery, Oppo? I value your input more than just about anyone, especially because we all come from such different walks. I live in oppressive heat seven months of the year, and if I’m going to pony up more than $200 for a quality battery, it’d be nice if I could get more than three years out of it, too.

RWD 80's sexiness for your time.

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