How to Deal With a Car Battery For Long-Term Storage | YourMechanic Advice

How to Deal With a Car Battery For Long-Term Storage

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If you store your car for the winter, or for other long periods, it’s important to make sure that your car battery is properly cared for. Long term car storage can wreak havoc on your battery.

Isn't it okay to just occasionally run the car?

Perhaps you’ve heard that you can simply run your car from time to time in order to keep the battery operating properly, but there are problems with this approach. The most obvious is that you may be one location, and your car could be hundreds of miles away. And even if you have a friend or a relative who will go to the place where you store your car, and start it up from time to time, that may not prevent damage to your battery.

The theory behind regular starting is that it keeps the charge up in the battery, and also that it warms up the engine oil and coolant and is beneficial for the engine. The caveat is that for this to work, the vehicle has to be actually driven for a minimum of 20 minutes. A quick start and a bit of idling is going to cause condensation to build up in the engine and drive train, and this can cause corrosion that will lead to serious problems down the road.

How to store your car battery

The better course of action is to take your car battery out of the vehicle and bring it indoors. Then, hook it up to a battery maintainer. Batteries don’t work well when they’re left discharged, or at a low charge, for long periods of time. There are several battery maintainers on the market that don’t cost much, and they’ll keep your battery in good condition. This is the best method of car battery storage, and the one most recommended by mechanics.

It’s fine to store your car in an unheated facility, but bring your battery inside, and use a maintainer. That way, when you’re ready to drive your car again, you can be assured that you’ll be on the road again with no battery issues.


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Chris

21 years of experience
1861 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Mini Cooper Clubman - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Silverado, California
He arrived early, went straight to work, and it should have been quoted higher as it’s a Mini which takes longer than the average break job. He didn’t try to get more than the quoted amount. He even set out to replace a running light for me when he was finished. I thought there would hard sales telling me I needed more work but there wasn’t. Because he didn’t try to sell me more work, I will use him again. When I hired a mechanic I don’t want a salesman. 
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Irvine, California
Chris again has provided great Service. Everything was great. I was very happy with the work and will definitely have him return for any other work.

Bryant

11 years of experience
408 reviews
Bryant
11 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Indianapolis, Indiana
Bryant has done great work on my car before, the latest work is no exception. He's very flexible, and goes the extra mile to get you back on the road.
Scion iA - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Carmel, Indiana
This is my first time using this service. I am very happy with it. Bryant was very knowledgeable and did quality work. I will use this service more regularly.

Edmar

21 years of experience
184 reviews
Edmar
21 years of experience
Chrysler 200 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Euless, Texas
Edmar always does a very good job. He's done a few different things on my car the last two years. Each job was performed very fast and top quality. Thank you once again.

Mazyar

7 years of experience
255 reviews
Mazyar
7 years of experience
Jaguar XF - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Lawrenceville, Georgia
He was early, courtesy and actually helped me save some money since i didn't need all the work that i thought i needed done. Honest guy. Very knowledgeable. Great attitude.

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