There’s nothing more frustrating than when your car won’t start because of a dead battery. It’s even worse if you have an urgent matter to attend to and desperately need to drive. You should know that taking care of your car’s battery must be a priority.
To avoid being in this situation, we’ll walk you through the answer to the question: how long does car battery last without driving? We’ll also go over how you can prevent your battery from dying even when your car is not in use.
How Long Does Car Battery Last Without Driving?
The battery life of an idle car is highly dependent on several factors including the type of vehicle, age of the battery, battery size, battery voltage, and where it is placed. The main take away is to adopt a proper car battey maintenance culture.
How Battery Age Affects Battery Life
Typically, an older car battery won’t last as long as a newer one. It can go for maybe a few weeks, but nothing more. Similarly, a high-quality battery will also last longer. The average car battery life is around two weeks to a month without you having to recharge it.
How the Position of the Battery Affects Battery Life
Whether or not the battery is still attached to the car is also a factor to consider. If it’s still in the car, it can last up to four weeks. If it’s detached, it can go for up to four or six months. Note that it is not ideal to let your car battery drain completely, even though it can last for weeks.
How to Lengthen an Idle Battery Life
1. Avoid Short Trips
Whenever you start your vehicle, the alternator charges the battery. When you go on short trips, the battery doesn’t have enough time to charge, and doing this often can weaken the battery with constant draining. To prevent the battery from becoming damaged, regularly go on long drives to allow the alternator to fully charge it.
Short trips of five to ten minutes are not only harmful to your car battery but to the whole vehicle. The problems they can cause include:
- The engine oil will not function properly as a lubricant because of a lack of heat.
- Your tailpipe will get filled with moisture that won’t leave, thereby causing rust.
- Short trips cause wear and tear to the car.
2. Remove Your Car Battery
If you plan on going on a long trip where there’s a likelihood that your car isn’t going to be used for a long time, it’s advisable to remove the car battery to enable it to last longer.
Obviously, before you remove the battery, make sure it is fully charged. On the other hand, you don’t want to wait too long before you decide to charge it to ensure it still works properly.
When it comes to storing it, you want to look for a dry place to put it. Rather than just leaving it lying around, you can put it in a battery box.
3. Turn Off Things That Drain the Battery
This is another way to improve the battery condition. You don’t want to leave on the things that cause regular draining such as the dashcam, lights, etc. If your car is parked in a safe garage, there’s absolutely no need to leave the security system turned on.
4. Battery Maintainer
Getting a battery maintainer is another ideal way to make sure your car battery doesn’t drain fast. When the battery level of a car that’s not in use drops, this small battery charger sends energy to the battery so it goes back to its full charge. It keeps doing this for as long as the car is idle. This will help prevent damage to the battery and extend its lifespan. There are different types of battery chargers, so when you purchase a battery maintainer, get one that’s the same voltage as your car battery.
5. Make Use of the Clutch Pedal
Pressing the clutch pedal when you’re starting your car takes the pressure off the battery and starter motor. This is very helpful in preventing a weakened battery.
6. Avoid Bad Driving Habits
Using too much energy (both when driving and idle) will cause battery issues and reduce the longevity of the battery over time. Turning on the reading lights, radio, air conditioner, and charging electronic devices for a long period of time will cause the battery to weaken and drain more often.
Even though you have the option to use electricity to charge your car battery does not mean you should keep these bad habits
7. Don’t Leave the Fuel Pump Running
When the engine of a vehicle is on, the fuel pump runs, but it is also possible for the fuel pump to keep running if the key is turned on. The fuel pump gets its energy from the battery, so doing this for extended periods of time will eventually cause the battery to die. There are certain reasons why the fuel pump continuously runs with the key on, so finding the underlying cause is the first step to a solution.
How to Tell When Your Car Battery is Dying
Normally, your car battery wouldn’t just die on you without giving any signs or warnings. It’s people who choose to ignore these warnings or do not even know anything about the signs that find themselves with a car that won’t run. They include:
- Your headlights don’t light as bright as before.
- Your car doesn’t start as quick or you hear clicking sounds.
- The electrical features of your car aren’t working as well as before or at all.
- The warning sign on your dashboard is on.
- In some cases where it’s extremely dead, the battery looks swollen or bloated. It is also possible to smell the battery.
The battery is one of the main sources of life in a vehicle, so keeping it in good health should be a priority for all drivers. This is not a difficult task to do as long as you know the proper steps. It is also important to pay attention to the battery (and do regular vehicle maintenance) to spot issues before they become a big deal.
So, how long does car battery last without driving? Usually it’s only a few weeks, but with our tips and tricks, you can greatly extend your battery life.