Battery failure can happen for various reasons, but most people are concerned about lack of use. Your battery converts chemical energy stored in the battery into usable energy when you turn on your car. Certain functions (e.g., alarm system, clock, and radio) will remain active even when your vehicle isn’t used.
During driving, your alternator serves as a generator, which keeps your battery charged. As long as you drive your car regularly, it would be best if you didn’t have to worry too much about the battery’s charge. Trouble begins when you aren’t driving for whatever reason. Learn how long your unused car battery will last without being used and how to get the most out of it.
How long does a car battery last without driving?
If you leave it idle for more than two months, you may be pushing your luck. In two and a half months, the battery is likely to have no longer enough energy to start your car. The temperature you store your battery at after removing it from the car is very important. When it’s chilly outside, the battery tends to deplete substantially faster than when it’s warm inside. If a discharged battery is exposed to low temperatures for an extended period of time, it will eventually fail.
But every battery and every car is different. Even when the vehicle isn’t being used, vehicles with many operational features will have a shorter life span, which is why accidentally leaving your headlights on is such a big problem. Additionally, older batteries and batteries that have developed issues in the past will lose power faster.
Checking your car’s battery
Whether you drive your car often or not, even the best car battery won’t last forever. After 4-5 years, batteries start developing issues and losing their reliability, so get them replaced every three years to be on the safe side. Also, keep an eye out for signs that your battery will die, such as the following.
- Your engine cranks slowly when you start your vehicle.
- You hear a clicking noise when you try to start your automobile.
- Your headlights seem dim.
- Various electrical features on your car aren’t working correctly (for example, windshield wipers, power windows, seat controls, dashboard lights).
These signs indicate that the battery might already be completely dead.
- Your dashboard warning light is on.
- You can’t turn on your radio, wipers, or light, or they briefly work before going out.
- You see that your battery is swollen, fat, or bloated.
- The battery has a rotten smell.
If you are not driving your car, how often should you start it?
When you haven’t driven your car for the past two weeks or more, you should start it up and let it run for 15 minutes at least once a week, regardless of how old the model is. As a result, the alternator (or the dynamo on older models) will be able to recharge the battery while maintaining the engine.
If you do this and your car doesn’t do this automatically, you will find that it’s completely flat when you next start your vehicle. If you don’t turn off the lights (if you need them because it’s dark), you will find that the battery is completely flat when you next start your car. Unlike lead-acid batteries, which are designed to handle deep discharges, these batteries have no way of handling this kind of deep discharge. The battery’s lifespan can be reduced by a third if this occurs multiple times.
How should you deal with a flat battery?
If you’ve been driving for a long time, you’ve probably had to jumpstart your car. This quick-fix method of starting a stranded vehicle by connecting it with another vehicle’s battery or an alternate power supply is known as a ‘boost.’ It can sometimes be necessary to jumpstart your engine if you’re on the road need to move quickly. To effectively maintain your car’s battery, it is advisable to utilize a battery charger/maintainer and regularly test its wattage between charges.
If your car’s battery runs flat, you need to know how to jumpstart it. Knowing what to do when recharging your battery is just as important.
What are the steps to jumpstart and charge your car battery?
You jumpstart your car by using external power to recharge the battery so that you can start it. Jump leads (costs around £10 at Halfords) are most commonly used to jumpstart a vehicle.
- You’ll want to place the car with a good battery close to the one with the flat battery so you can use jump leads to reach both batteries. Make sure there are no metal objects in the way and don’t wear anything loose that may short-circuit and produce an unpleasant zap.
- Connect the first lead – ensure that the working car’s engine is turned off and attach the crocodile clip of the red jump lead to its positive (+) terminal, then attach the other end to the positive (+) terminal of the dead battery in the other vehicle.
- The second lead should be connected by connecting the crocodile clip to the negative terminal (-) of a working car’s battery and connecting the other end to a metal earthing point (away from the flat battery and fuel system) on the engine block or chassis.
- Start the engine of your working car after a few minutes, and let it run for a minute.
- After this time has passed, start and let both cars run for 10 minutes with the flat battery in the vehicle.
- Connect the jump leads in reverse order (removing the black lead from the vehicle with the flat battery first and then the red information from the working car). Turn off the engines of both vehicles and disconnect the jump leads. Be sure the authorities don’t touch one another during the process.
- If your car won’t start, there’s probably a more severe problem, in which case you should call the AA/your breakdown recovery provider.