How long can a car sit before the battery dies? We try to calculate how long your battery will last if you are going to go many days without moving the car from its location.
The battery is one of the most important elements of our car. We could say that it is almost like the heart of our body because if it does not work properly we will not be able to start the vehicle. And of course, in these moments you have not moved your car for many days and you don’t know if the battery will have lasted. Let’s review the factors that affect it and try to calculate how long it will last. So, how long does a car battery last without driving? This is one of the most common questions people ask about vehicles.
- 1 Battery Maintenance
- 2 How long can a car battery last without the engine on
- 3 Our advice
- 4 Car batteries with Start Stop
- 5 FAQs
- 6 Conclusion
The maintenance of the battery could be divided into three operations: cleaning, checking the levels (if the battery allows it) and using it often. Starting with the first one, we should look around our house for some gloves, a cloth and a cleaning liquid being recommended the glass cleaners with ammonia.
We’ll start on the outside of the battery (don’t forget to do this with the engine off) and we’ll remove the possible corrosion that we find in this part. Once everything is clean, it is important to use some drying element so that there are no traces of liquid that could make the dirt appear more quickly.
The next operation will be to remove the battery port plugs. You will most likely find some other dirt there. Then nothing, we take our rag again, although perhaps with a little less cleaning product, and we remove it very carefully so that nothing falls into the tubes.
All this cleaning is very important because a large amount of dirt could cause corrosion in other metal parts around. If access to the battery is complicated, you can always remove it to better perform the tasks, but you should know that many of the meters in the car (like the clock) or radio presets will be lost in the operation. Even in modern vehicles, it could affect the management of the electronics (check the manual before doing so).
How long can a car battery last without the engine on
Sorry, but there is no exact mathematical formula to answer how long can a car sit before the battery dies?… because it depends on many factors. But we can get an idea of taking into account a number of considerations. The first thing is that batteries usually last 4 years on average, so the first thing to check is when you last changed it to get an idea.
A battery in new condition and fully charged will last at least two weeks without needing you to start the car, according to the AA.
Then there are other factors that can make that time decrease. Using devices connected to the car, such as USB cell phone chargers, adding more lighting inside or outside, and even living in extreme climates where temperatures drop below 5 degrees or rise above 30 degrees can make life much shorter.
And then there is the cause of not moving the car for a long time, as happens right now during the alarm state. Although it may seem otherwise, the battery in these cases is discharged more quickly, because when we circulate we are both recharging again.
Taking into account everything written above, our advice is that the car should never be stopped for more than a month. Ideally, before this date arrives, you should “take it for a ride” to recharge the battery, in a distance that could be about 30 or 40 kilometers, that would be enough. And if possible on fast roads.
Another possibility to consider would be to disconnect the car’s battery if you consider that it will be stopped for a long time. Simply unhook the negative terminal and thus slow down its wear. But beware of this operation, especially if you’ve bought your vehicle recently, because some manufacturers advise against it because it could affect the management of electronics, as we discussed earlier.
Car batteries with Start Stop
In case you have a car with Start Stop in its equipment you must know that the battery is not like the conventional ones, but it can be EFB (Enhanced Flooded Battery), with the characteristics of the interior liquid improved, or AGM (Absorbent Fiberglass), which is even more powerful. Its average duration is more or less the same, so all the above serves you equally.
Q: How long will a car battery last if disconnected?
If it is disconnected and fully charged it can hold up perfectly for 4 or 5 months. Keep in mind that the hotter it gets, the faster it discharges.
Q: Can you drain a car battery without moving?
As a rule, a car battery has a life cycle of 4 years, but having the car stopped for a long time can accelerate the discharge of the battery and shorten this period significantly.
Q: How long can a car battery last without starting the engine?
In case you didn’t know, even if your car is turned off, the battery stays on anyway. That’s because it needs to power all of the vehicle’s equipment that runs on electricity, such as the radio or lights.
For this reason, an unused car battery could last much less time than if you use it continuously.
If the battery and car are in good condition in the garage, the car should start after 2-3 months without even driving.
Q: How long does a car battery last without an alternator?
Generally, it will all depend on how often you drive and how many miles you drive.
Typically, most drivers will need to replace their alternator every 30,000 to 80,000 miles.
Q: How long does a car battery last without being charged?
A new battery, in good condition and charged, should last one level of charge for two weeks without being charged by the generator.
This type of situation cannot be foreseen. However, the first thing we must know is that, if we have used the car normally, the battery is able to hold out for many days without losing so much capacity that it becomes unusable. We must take into account that the average life of a normal battery is usually about 4 years, so there is a possibility that the battery is at the limit of its useful life, and this confinement will take its toll.
For the rest of the cases, if possible, it is advisable to start the engine every few days and drive something with the car. Above all, the important thing is to remain calm and trust the quality of our car batteries.
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Hi, I’m Liam. I’m the initiator and writer of this blog. Cars were and will be my first love, and my favorite hobby, that’s why I decided to start this blog and write about my discoveries and techniques to improve my cars or repair them.