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While planning on storing your vehicle, one of the first things you must consider is how long you can leave your battery unused. There is no exact answer that applies to all vehicles, but it should be okay to let your battery sit for less than three weeks.

removing car battery
WCar batteries usually last for about three to four years—but leaving your car sitting for far too long hastens the decay.

Most modern vehicles require power even while parked and their engine is off. Your alarm system, electronic control settings, and evaporative emissions system will continue to draw battery power. Your vehicle may not start if you leave it parked for months with the battery connected.

If you have access to a power outlet, you can connect your battery to a trickle charger which will keep it topped up and prevent it from being drained completely.

But if you plan on storing your vehicle long-term, it’s better to disconnect the battery. This will preserve the battery’s charge, allowing your vehicle to start right back up once it’s reconnected.

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Just keep in mind that you may need to reprogram things like your radio presets and seat memory buttons. It’s also important to drive your vehicle for a while before your next emissions test in order for the system to get a passing result.

How to Store a Car Battery

If you intend to keep your vehicle in long-term storage, you’ll need to make sure to do the following:

  • Give it a full charge prior to storage
  • Store it in a cool and dry location
  • Put the battery on a battery maintainer

After taking your battery out of storage, inspecting the case for any signs of damage or leakage is important. Check the battery cable terminals for any corrosion that could cause poor contact and prevent proper charging and current flow. You should also look for the date of manufacture and consider it when deciding whether a battery replacement is necessary. With age, the battery’s capacity may be reduced which can cause slower-than-normal engine cranking.

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Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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