Why do car batteries die if not used? When your car battery dies, it may be challenging to write it off as a fluke. Car batteries may fail due to numerous factors, and there is always a chance that something went wrong won't go wrong again. But most car batteries die because they are not in use for a long time. Suppose your car battery keeps dying, again and again. In that case, it is pretty good to maintain and run your car once in a while and make sure to resolve the inherent issue as you don't get stuck anywhere.
Scroll down to know more about why batteries die after sitting for a week, how you can keep your battery safe from dying when not in use, and the reason why your car battery is draining again and again.
Is it normal for a car battery to die after sitting for a week?
When most people continuously talk about a battery dying, they are talking about a situation where the vehicle won't start after it has been parked for any length of time. So yes, it is normal for a car battery to die after sitting for a week. And why the car battery fails when it's been sitting for a long time just because of corroded battery connections, persistent electrical drains, charging issues, continually demanding more power than the alternator can provide, and even harsh weather conditions. Some of these problems are sufficient to die a battery on its own. In contrast, others are usually coupled with an already weak battery or on its last legs.
How do you keep a car battery from dying when not in use?
You could have found that your car battery starts to go flat if not in use, and you start finding ways to keep your car battery from going flat. If so, here are some tips you should do to avoid car battery dying when not in use:-
1) Using a battery conditioner or trickle charger
Battery conditioners and trickles are ideal if you don't use your car to preserve your battery for long periods. They can also prevent things such as immobilizers/dashcams, which can drain your vehicle's battery.
2) Stop switching on and off your car again
You might think it helps to power up the engine for a few minutes every few days, but it does more damage than good. So always avoid doing it so your battery can last longer.
3) Avoid short trips
Along with turning on and off your car again, if the battery is already weak, taking short trips could drain a battery speedily.
4) Drive for 15-20 minutes
It is to be expected that your important journeys will suffice to charge your car if you drive it continuously for 15-20 minutes at a single run and will ensure your battery is not going to be dead.
5) Switch Vehicle
When you have more than one vehicle at home, it is important to switch every vehicle to ensure that each battery works properly.
6) Unplug unnecessary accessories
While if you still don't use your car, it might be a good idea to unplug anything that might cause your battery to drain. For example, dash cams.
What is draining your car battery when it's off?
Some of us are curious about what is killing the car battery when it is off. Contrary to popular belief, there are quite a few things that can happen that lead to drained batteries even if you've already equipped the best-rated car batteries. Read on, about the six most common reasons that drain your car battery:-
1) You left your headlights on
If your battery starts to drain, your lights are the first thing to search. Many new cars have headlights programmed to shut down after some time. Your headlights can remain until you turn this off either or until your car battery is drained entirely if you do not have this feature.
2) Parasitic draw
Your battery provides power even when your car is off for stuff like a clock, the radio, and the alarm system. This shouldn't affect your battery significantly. However, things like interior lights, door lights, or even bad fuses can drain the car battery when it’s off.
Throughout the operation of your engine, the alternator recharges the battery, which is why you don't usually have to think about the battery going to work when you blow the radio! When the car is off, the alternator cannot charge the battery, which can drain your battery entirely. A parasite draw is known as the battery tension due to these electric flushes.
3) Connections are loose or corroded
Positive and negative battery terminals will often jostle over time. These terminals can be corroded as well. If you lose or destroy your terminals, it may be difficult for you to start the vehicle because the battery cannot pass on its power properly! You may also interrupt or damage the electronic components of the car when driving.
Hot summer days and freezing winter weather can lead to battery problems for your vehicle. More recent batteries tend to be more resistant to seasonal extremes. But if your battery is older, extreme cold or heat may weaken or even cause it to die totally!
5) Your battery is old
There's nothing ever permanent, even the battery of your car. The battery of your vehicle can last up to five years in some cases, but that depends on where you live and how you drive. High temperatures, typical short journeys, and general daily usage could shorten up to two to three years of battery life. It is time to buy a new battery if your battery fails quickly, even after a jumpstart.
6) Faulty Alternator Diode
A defective alternator diode is another solution to what drains a car battery when not in use. The alternator works on supplying power to a few electrical systems and recharging the battery. If the diode is corroded, it will cause the circuit to draw power even when it is not running.
Last Few Words
The less you drive your vehicle; the more battery gets drained. If you face the battery issues, hopefully, the above methods on how you can maintain and try to avoid the chances of getting battery dead when not in use will surely help you prevent your battery from dying and save your money!
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