General Question

ETpro's avatar

How long should a car battery hold its charge while the car is parked?

Asked by ETpro (34480points) September 15th, 2010

If a car is in storage (2005 VW Golf) with a good battery, how often must it be started and run to keep the battery charged enough to start it?

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7 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

I wouldn’t start the car to charge the battery.

I would get the car serviced for long term storage, then remove the battery. You could do the servicing yourself if you prefer.

When you are ready to use the car again, charge the battery and reinstall it.

missingbite's avatar

@WestRiverrat is correct. VW’s have some things hard wired that will drain the battery in a very short time. I once left my VW for about a month and came home to a dead battery. The radio and alarm keep a small drain on the battery all the time.

ETpro's avatar

@missingbite That’s what I feared. It’s my son’s car, and he’s been in training for deployment for 2 months now. I better get over to the garage and get it jumped and charged up before he gets home on leave. It’d be a bummer for him to get home and find a dead battery to greet him for his last week before flying off to Afghanistan.

We’ll follow @WestRiverrat‘s advice for the year he’s on deployment. The Army takes care of long-term storage then anyway.

missingbite's avatar

@ETpro Bring cables. It may still start but I doubt it. Your son will be in my prayers and thank him for his service!

ETpro's avatar

@missingbite Much appreciated. Thanks.

Ron_C's avatar

I end up parking my car at the airport for up to a month at a time. I find that the electronics on my car draws down the battery in about three weeks. I now use a photocell charger that I place on the dashboard. It keeps the electronics going and battery charged. As soon as they sell an electric car that will go 200 miles on a charge and costs less than $20K, I’m there. Until then, I’ll keep the photocell plugged into my Focus.

ETpro's avatar

Thanks to all who responded. We went over to the parking garage today with a charged up PowerStation Professional—a rechargable jump-start battery. We didn’t even need it. The car started right up.

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