How Long Can a Car Battery Sit Unused

Besides helping to start the car, the Battery also operates the car’s electronics. It is therefore very important for car owners to maintain their car batteries. However, it is still possible to use public transportation when you go on a trip and keep your car idle. The car can also remain unused for a very long time for a variety of other reasons.

Some parts of your car may no longer function properly after using it for a long time. It is most important that your car won’t start because the Battery will be dead. Generally, finding your car in such a state is inconvenient and frustrating. It may be necessary to jumpstart the cold Battery to start your car. Leaving your car idle for a long period of time is also dangerous for the engine. However, one common question is for how long can a car battery sit unused. Additionally, if you drive your car occasionally, you should be aware of this. Here are some tips to take care of your car battery that we present in this article.

What causes a car battery to fail?

The Battery in your car can fail for a variety of reasons other than being left unused. Find out more about the most common reasons below:

Time: The batteries in cars can wear out and stop working like any other battery. Most batteries last between three and five years. Unused batteries also lose capacity over time. As batteries sit unused longer, their capacity will decrease. A car battery that is not used for two weeks cannot last very long. If you want your car battery to last longer, you should take that into consideration.

Corrosion: Corrosion at the connectors is another cause of car battery failure. In case of a clogged alternator, the Battery won’t be able to recharge properly, causing the car to die. Your batteries have corroded if green or blue growths appear at their terminals. You can wipe corrosion off with a dry rag if corrosion just began and there isn’t much. It might help to use a stiff wire brush if that doesn’t work.

Weather: Another potential reason why your car battery fails is the cold weather. Car batteries are not designed to function well in cold weather. Living in colder climates makes this difficult. If you park your vehicle in a closed area or garage, the Battery is less likely to fail, but it can still fail. A replacement battery is always handy in these situations, just in case. Keeping an eye out for battery malfunctions would be useful.

Human Errors: Our errors can significantly affect battery failure, as you are probably aware. All those situations we all experience occasionally can damage our car batteries, whether we forget to turn off the headlights or charge too many devices in the car. To ensure your Battery will last for years, you should turn everything off and give the Battery a break.

Electronic Drain: Died batteries are commonly caused by electronic problems with the alternator. It doesn’t matter whether your alternator is working or not, but if it malfunctions, you are likely to lose power quickly. The alternator is necessary to recharge your Battery. In other words, you can lose your car battery if the alternator fails. Broken fuses are also common electrical problems. It is best to visit a mechanic if you suspect your car is behaving strangely electric-wise.

How to Save Your Car Battery 

The car battery can either be kept in the vehicle or be kept separate when the vehicle is not in use. Here are a few tips for preventing a car battery from dying. Moreover, if your Battery is completely dead, then don’t worry; you can check out our How to Recondition your Dead Battery article to give a new life to your Dead Battery at your home. So let’s get started:

When the Battery is in your Car :

The Battery would not need to be removed if you will be driving around the vehicle for a long period of time or you will not be leaving the vehicle for a long time. You should continue gazing at the vehicle periodically in that case. Set the car in neutral and run it for about 1,000 RPM for around 5 to 10 minutes. In this way, the battery will be charged when the engine is running. You can extend the life of your Battery by driving frequently. This will not damage the car battery, but it will consume some fuel.

Alternatively, a battery maintainer can be attached to the Battery. This will prevent the Battery from discharging by adding some power to it often. Battery maintainers require AC power when used in this way. The battery voltage is checked often, and the Battery is topped up as needed with this battery maintainer. It operates with very low power. Battery maintainers are beneficial because they do not overcharge the car battery, unlike traditional batteries.

When the Battery is Removed :

The car battery should be removed and stored away if it will be unused for more than a month. The Battery will last longer and will be less likely to wear out. Keeping your Battery in your garage just on a shelf isn’t enough. There are several things you can do to keep it safe. Here are some tips on storing batteries safely:

Keep your Battery Full Charge: Maintain a full charge when storing your Battery. You can avoid deterioration and most damage from occurring during storage by avoiding deterioration and most damage.

Look for Any Damage: You should inspect your battery for signs of damage as batteries can crack or corrode with age. Serious damage may require a replacement battery.

Cleaning the Battery: Putting away a battery requires cleaning the corrosion and electrolyte buildup. Such grime can cause electrodes to discharge faster because it interferes with their electrical conductivity. Baking soda and water are the easiest ways to clean batteries at home. Scrubbing with a wire brush will accomplish the task. Following removal of the deposits, clean the battery case as you get in the manual.

Find the best Location: You can limit battery power drained while the Battery is in storage, even though a certain amount of discharge is inevitable. The temperature of your Battery mainly influences its discharge rate rather than the length of time it has been stored. Batteries should be stored in a dry place between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The Battery could begin to discharge faster if it gets too hot or cold. Further, keep the Battery away from humid areas. The Battery can corrode in these conditions.

Recharge the Battery Regularly: In order to maximize the Battery’s life, you need to monitor it while it’s in storage. Ideally, your Battery should be checked at least every 12 weeks. To determine how much power is left in your Battery, check the voltage with a voltmeter. Recharge it if it has less than 70% of its original charge.

What To Do If You Can’t Remove The Battery? 

As mentioned before, your car contains many components that continue to draw power even after it has been turned off, such as clocks, computers, and security systems. If you do not drive for multiple weeks, this type of drain is known as parasitic or key-off battery drain. Separating the negative battery cable from the chassis ground is the first step when disconnecting the negative battery cable. If the wrench slips to another part of the vehicle, it could damage electrical components and parts. Such damage would be very expensive to fix.

Wrapping Up

The biggest obstacle to maintaining something in top form is not knowing something properly. Your car has been running for more than 15 minutes every day since you started it. Yet, it still had a low battery.

Since you don’t know how to maintain a battery when the car is in the garage, having it in good shape becomes difficult. By now, you know what you need to do to make sure your car battery is taken care of and that it is not left for too long. In this case, it’s only a waste of the vehicle and the Battery. Therefore, make sure your car battery is in as good shape as possible by using any of the strategies above.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can a battery drain when the car is off ?

Answer: When the vehicle is not in use, several accessories drain the Battery. Parasitic drains are responsible for this—a car’s radio system, headlights, air conditioning system, and alarm system drain batteries. By disconnecting the device from the vehicle or by turning it off, you can prevent the device from draining the Battery.

How long can a car battery sit without starting ?

Answer: In most cases, a battery that is in good condition can last up to two weeks between recharges. However, you should still turn your car on once a week, even if you are not planning to drive it for some time.

How Many Years Do Car Batteries Last ?

Answer: Between two and five years is the average lifespan of a car battery. Battery life can be extended to six years just by taking good care of it. Colder climates will prolong the life of the Battery. If you drive your car every day, the battery will last longer. To keep your Battery in good working order, it should be fully charged. Car batteries’ lifespan decreases over time when they are parked for a long period of time.

Can a car battery go dead from sitting ?

Answer: Car batteries usually die after four to two months of sitting without being driven. Car batteries are in use even when you’re not driving, which is why they can only sit for a short period of time before they die.

What happens if you don’t drive your car for a week ?

Answer: A car’s Battery will run out most frequently when it isn’t driven very frequently. It is often the reason that batteries can run for years without being depleted that they can recharge while you are driving. Long-term parked cars have a problem recharging their batteries and will go flat.

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Kaitlyn Kris
Kaitlyn is a real powerhouse when it comes to content. She’s been working as our content editor since she joined the team – and ever since, we’ve seen a huge improvement in the quality of our blog. Kaitlyn brings an incredible wealth of knowledge to everything she does. From her sharp eye for detail that catches even the smallest errors, to her vast understanding of the industry and how to apply it through content creation. She’s always looking for ways to improve our blog and make sure the content is engaging, informative and accurate.

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