General Question

skfinkel's avatar

If leaving car for a month, should I have the engine started after two weeks?

Asked by skfinkel (13404points) October 10th, 2012

I am out of town for a month, with my car in a garage. I asked if a friend would start the car, to keep the battery juiced up, but she said she thought it would just be a drain on the battery, and better to let it sit. I don’t know if I can ask to have her let it run, but if that would make a difference, she probably would do that. Or should I just leave the car alone?

It’s a relatively new battery—about a year old.

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7 Answers

Aqua's avatar

I think the car will be fine if it’s going to sit for a month. That’s not very long. I once left my car sitting for almost 2 years, and I had someone run it maybe every 4–6 months or so. My point is, it will be fine for a month. Enjoy your trip and don’t worry about it!

woodcutter's avatar

If the car is in tip -top shape it should be fine to leave it sit.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not essential, but it couldn’t hurt.

If you’re going to have her do it, she should start it and keep it running for 15 minutes or so, Let the engine get warm, let the oil thin a little bit. Starting it for 10 seconds and then turning it off is worse for the car than not starting it at all.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Leave it alone. If the car is newer than about 2005, the current draw from the ECM is minimal. Unless you have added other features like aftermarket car alarms you can let it sit for months if you have a good battery and the temperature is above freezing.

Fred931's avatar

Couldn’t you just disconnect the battery as well?

JLeslie's avatar

I would ask her to start it after two weeks and run for 10–15 minutes.

But, @LuckyGuy is pretty smart about things like this, so of all the answers so far, I’m thinking his comes from the best current accurate knowedge.

jerv's avatar

It depends on the car.

My ‘85 Corolla, like the ‘87 Corolla I had before it, is a bitch to start if it hasn’t been run in the last 24–36 hours. On the other hand, my ‘85 Golf started up on the first crank after about four months.

Most cars are more like my Golf was, so there is a >95% chance you will be fine though.

Also, starting drains the battery only by about what 5–10 minutes of running can recharge. It doesn’t take long for an alternator to top the battery back up.

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