Figuring out how to keep car battery charged when not in use can save you a lot of aggravation and inconvenience. Anyone that has ever gotten in their car, turned their key, then heard nothing but silence as a dead battery failed to start a car will tell you just how irritating this can be. When you use your car on a regular basis the alternator in it will usually keep your battery charged and in good condition. You do still need to perform basic maintenance by adding water to the cells when necessary, and ensuring that the connectors are clean. But, for the most part, when driven regularly you can count on the alternator in your car to keep your battery charged. But, what happens if you aren’t going to drive your car regularly. Maybe you plan to park it for a few weeks, or maybe you only drive it once or twice a month. In either case, if you don’t drive your car regularly the battery will slowly drain and the alternator in your car won’t be able to recharge it since it isn’t operated frequently enough. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help prevent the problem of a dead car battery when you don’t drive your car frequently.
The Easy Solution – Disconnect The Negative Battery Cable
A car battery will continue to lose charge even when a car is not in use. When your car battery is hooked up to your car when it’s not in use, then it will lose a charge faster because there are various systems in a car that will need electricity to function even when the car isn’t on. For most cars, a car battery should be able to hold enough charge to sit for up to a month before it becomes a problem. For higher-end cars with more features, the battery can be depleted in as little as 2 weeks. If you don’t want to have to worry about your car battery being depleted while it sits there is a very simple solution, you can disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery terminal. This only takes a few minutes, is simple enough to do that just about anyone can do it, and it can greatly extend the amount of time that your car battery remains charged when not in use.
Another Easy Solution – Start Your Car And Let It Idle For 15 Minutes Every Few Days
If you want another easy way to keep your car battery charged you could simply start your car every few days and let it idle for 15 minutes. That’s all the time that the alternator in your car needs to recharge your car’s battery so that it will remain ready to use when you need it. There are some minor drawbacks to this approach. First, you’ll have to go to your car, start in, then wait 15 minutes so you can turn it off. You’ll also use up gas when you use this approach, and since gas isn’t cheap that expense can add up fairly quickly. The good thing about this approach is that it keeps your car ready to use at a moment’s notice. When you disconnect your car battery you’ll have to reconnect it before you can drive. This can be inconvenient, or in the case of an actual emergency, it can be a serious problem. When you start your car and let it idle so the battery can charge you won’t have to worry about disconnecting or reconnecting anything.
Store Your Battery In A Cool Place When It Isn’t Being Used For A Extended Period Of Time
If you want a surefire way to cause a car battery to deplete more quickly, and also shorten the life of its life as well, then keep it sitting in a hot area when it isn’t being used for an extended period of time. Heat kills batteries, it’s as simple as that. If you know that you aren’t going to be driving your car for an extended period of time, one of the best things you can do to preserve its battery is to remove it and store it in a cool place. Most cars have batteries that are easily accessible, so this is a solution that is easy for just about anyone to implement. While disconnecting and storing your car battery might be a minor inconvenience, the trade-off makes the effort required for this approach makes it well worth it.
Use A Battery Tender To Keep Your Car Battery Charged
One way that people have used in the past to keep their car battery from being depleted when their car isn’t be used for an extended period of time is to hook their battery up to a charger. While this will keep your battery charged there are two flaws with this approach. First, when you leave your car battery hooked up to a charger 24 hours a day it will overcharge it and diminish its capacity to hold a charge. This will cause your battery to wear out more quickly, and since car batteries are rather expensive this is something you want to avoid. The other problem with charging your car battery continuously is that it wastes electricity. It may not be the main reason that your electric bill is so high, but it can contribute to the problem.
This is where a battery tender can step into the picture and help you to keep your car battery optimally charged, without having to worry about it overcharging. A battery tender uses internal sensors to monitor the charge level of your car battery so it can adapt how it charges it. This isn’t the same as a trickle charger which provides a battery with a small amount of power periodically to try to keep it charged. This can destroy a battery and it frequently does so. A battery tender can be hooked up to your car’s battery for long periods of time since it constantly adjusts to ensure that your battery is sufficiently charged without being overcharged.