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Technician Chris
Technician Chris, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 425
Experience:  I am a certified ASE Master Technician with L1 Advanced Diagnostic Specialist and over 15 years experience.
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Lexus GS450H: I have a 2008 GS450H that wont start. I parked

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I have a 2008 GS450H that won't start. I parked it in the garage 3 weeks ago after a usual outing with half a tank of fuel remaining, and powered it off without incident.

A couple of times when I went to start the car prior to the last outing, it didn't start with the key fob I carry, but would start with my husband's key fob. Then we started to see the dash indicator display the "Check VGRS" light. I think it started only one time after that light came on. It was driven without incident and then parked for 3 weeks. Now it won't start with either key fob. The "Check VGRS" light comes on and nothing else happens.

I notice the lights and other accessories came on okay at first and seemed fine, except the horn sounded a little bit weak. Today things have changed some.

I went out to try again, and this time it was very different. First the "Check VGRS" light came on and nothing else, as was expected. But then upon a subsequent try, I moved the steering wheel back and forth, shifted out of Park and then put it back. This time a number of lights began to flash in a flurry of on and off and on and off. I heard beeping sounds coming from somewhere in the center console and eventually, when the light show was over, all power had ceased, except for the "Check Engine" light which as far as I know is STILL illuminated, even though there is no other power now. Not even the key fob will lock the doors now.

I'm so disappointed! I need my car. I have no warranty. Any ideas?
It absolutely sounds like you just have a dead battery. Just the basic 12V battery, not the big hybrid battery. Even though this vehicle is a hybrid, it still has a basic 12V battery that starts the engine just like every other vehicle on the road. You should be able to just jump start it, and get it into the dealer to get it checked out, and yes, you can safely jump start a hybrid vehicle. Hook up the jumper cables to the battery posts just like any other car, and you should be fine. I am an ex-Lexus technician, and have much experience with this vehicle, so don't worry.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply! I appreciate your kindness and how you were able to read between the lines and gave me more of the information I really needed.


One thing, if the jump start is successful, you mentioned taking it to the dealer to have it checked out. Do I need to do that because that VGRS light was on before, or is there something specific the dealer needs to do after a battery discharge? My understanding is that if the 12v battery is removed and replaced, there will be some resets that will need to be performed, but do you recommend something else the dealer needs to do if it turns out its just a dead battery?

I'm 95% sure the only issue will be a new battery. I absolutely recommend the dealer vs. an independent shop because the vehicle is a hybrid. The battery itself is unique, and will be more costly than a non-hybrid car's battery. You can expect between $150 - $200 for parts and labor. The vehicle is very sensitive to low voltage, so I'm sure that is the reason for the lights on the dash, and would not be surprised to see all the lights go off after a new one is installed. Just to be sure, the dealer will scan all of the systems after replacing and verify no other work is needed. I know this situation can be frustrating, as no one likes a visit to the repair, but in your case, you should be just fine.
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Thank you for the positive rating. It is very much appreciated. Please let me know if I can assist further.