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How Long Does a Car Battery Last Without Driving?

By: Milstead Automotive | Published 04/03/2022

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A car battery's primary purpose is to change chemical energy into electrical energy when starting the car’s ignition. The battery also plays a part in powering car accessories such as radio, clock, and alarm systems. When the car is not being driven, the battery doesn't have a chance to recharge, leading to a dead battery. This simple fact is why regular driving is so essential. 

Leaving the battery in your car when it is parked for an extended period will allow the car battery to go from fully charged to completely dead in a little under two months. Experts recommend driving your vehicle for at least 30 minutes a week to recharge the battery. A new car battery can last for about two weeks without recharging. How long does a battery lasts when the engine is off depends on how it is stored, how old it is, and how it is used. 
 
How to Keep a Car Battery Charged When Not in Use
The best way to protect your battery is by driving your vehicle regularly. You can also take other actions to keep it charged when not in use. These include: 
 

  • Disengage the Security System - If your vehicle is parked in a safe location, you can disable your vehicle's security system. Leaving the security system on will drain the battery more quickly. 
  • Disconnect the Negative Battery Cable - The negative battery terminal is located on top of battery. By disabling thus cable, it will help prevent battery drain. Carefully loosen the negative connector by turning it counterclockwise. Once it's loose, disconnect the negative connector by pulling it off and setting it aside from the battery. 
  • Remove the Battery Entirely - If your vehicle will be left undriven for a long period, it is best to remove the battery entirely. Be sure to keep your battery in a dry, well-ventilated area with a steady temperature between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The battery will drain at a slower rate naturally when it is removed, so you will need to charge it when you replace it. 

 
Car batteries will typically last 4 to 5 years or longer on average, given typical driving distances and climate control usage. When your battery is worn out, recycle it to reduce the resources needed for producing new batteries. If you’ve noticed your battery is on its way out, get a new, quality battery so you can get where you need to go reliably.

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