Automotive

Battery Drain during Summer?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 18th, 2018 12:38 am
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[OP]
Member
Jun 14, 2009
264 posts
3 upvotes
Toronto

Battery Drain during Summer?

Guys, here's the scenario - out for 1 whole month on summer trip, car has to sit in garage -- battery is around 3 yrs old... should I:
a) leave alone and if dead, jump start once back
b) battery maintainer (Eg still need to buy one and leave plugged for that time frame) - dunno how safe that is leaving it plugged during that time frame
c) disconnect battery (again, dunno how safe it is to leave terminals "open")

FWIW it's no german vehicle, just a japanese acura lol...
thanks in advance
17 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 23, 2008
5908 posts
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Edmonton
1 month should be fine. I wouldn't do anything. But when you do come back and get it going again, if you're at all concerned do a longer freeway type trip (as opposed to short stop-and-go commuter trips) to get the battery fully charged.

C
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
6022 posts
713 upvotes
Because of all the electronics in modern cars some of which never shuts off, I would simply disconnect one battery terminal. That'll shut everything down. When you come back put the terminal on and car should start. Battery may be a bit low so you might want to charge. 1 month is nothing.
[OP]
Member
Jun 14, 2009
264 posts
3 upvotes
Toronto
Ok, no biggie it seems then... Thanks guys!
Deal Fanatic
Jan 27, 2006
8088 posts
2586 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
It really depends on the current state of the battery. If the battery is low to start off with (which is possible as many cars these days, don't charge a battery anywhere close to full in order to reduce the load on the alternator and save gas), a few weeks sitting might be enough to lower the charge on the battery to below where it needs to be to start an average car. Also, car batteries like to be fully charged, in fact, a car battery's capacity deteriorates if it sits for an extended period being partially charge as the battery might start sulfating. If your car has one of those eco-charging systems, even a long freeway type drive won't do much to charge a battery.

Your best bet if you want to keep your battery for a long time is the following:

1. Check the battery's fluid levels if possible by removing the vent caps and topping it off with de-ionized water (available at CT).
2. Fully charge the battery with an external smart charger.
3. Disconnect the battery from the car when on vacation so all of those small electrical drains won't drain your battery down. 'Open' terminals are how batteries are typically stored so there is no reason to be afraid of it.
4. Clean the battery terminals when you disconnect the battery and coat the terminals with some dielectric grease.

5. When you get back, just reconnect everything as you cleaned and coated the connections before you left. You probably have to reset your radio presets and adjust your clock.
Deal Addict
May 10, 2011
1266 posts
326 upvotes
Ottawa
We are away from home for at least a month every summer. Never have to do anything special. Cars always start as usual when we come back.

If you do decide to disconnect the battery, make sure your acura doesn't need a radio code, or you have the radio code.
Member
Oct 31, 2017
204 posts
50 upvotes
3 yrs is time replace battery. Doing nothing is prolly fine.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 6, 2007
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Kootenays
Mrsleah wrote:
May 17th, 2018 3:17 pm
3 yrs is time replace battery. Doing nothing is prolly fine.
?????!!!!! A 3 year old battery is still "new" in my books. You must be buying crappy batteries.
Deal Addict
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Sep 26, 2007
3704 posts
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like tires I go 5 years on Costco batteries whether good or bad...seems to have worked out well...last time I tried their warranty at 48 months and they pro-rated the remaining warranty
my dash cam parking mode set to 12.2-12.3V
I leave it alone for just under a month each year...starts fine (also in a garage, also an acura)
Russell wrote:
Sep 10th, 2011 12:29 pm
We come here looking for deals. We use the savings on the things we buy to justify buying more things, thus filling our homes with tons of unnecessary consumer products. Such is the key to happiness.

Deal Fanatic
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
OP, why not get a trickle charger? It's good to have one anyways to periodically give your battery a full charge. It'll extend the life of your battery.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
6639 posts
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Toronto
Mrsleah wrote:
May 17th, 2018 3:17 pm
3 yrs is time replace battery. Doing nothing is prolly fine.
You are joking, right? I changed a 14 year old battery earlier this year, not because it let me down but because it tested poorly. Batteries should not be changed because of age alone but because they fail a test.
Member
Oct 31, 2017
204 posts
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smacd wrote:
May 17th, 2018 7:19 pm
?????!!!!! A 3 year old battery is still "new" in my books. You must be buying crappy batteries.
The average life of a battery is three years. Not sure why you would not have googled a bit before spreading falsehoods.
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 11, 2007
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Mrsleah wrote:
May 17th, 2018 11:39 pm
The average life of a battery is three years. Not sure why you would not have googled a bit before spreading falsehoods.
If you don't take care of your battery sure.. I take care of my batteries and never had one last less than 6 years (only that short because I left the lights on a couple times).
Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
6639 posts
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Toronto
Mrsleah wrote:
May 17th, 2018 11:39 pm
The average life of a battery is three years. Not sure why you would not have googled a bit before spreading falsehoods.
I'd love to know the source for that number. I would be extremely disappointed if I only got 3 years from a battery and would be looking for other causes for such a short battery life.

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