Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How to Deal With a Car Battery For Long-Term Storage

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

car battery storage

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....

Related questions

Q: 2007 Nissan Sentra completely dead

From the information provided on your Nissan Sentra, it leads me to believe that your vehicle may have an electrical problem. It is very likely that the main fuse for the Sentra has failed, and that is preventing the battery...

Q: How Do You Deal With a Car Battery for Long Term Storage?

Batteries need special care when being stored for an extended length of time. A battery has 3-5 years’ life expectancy. This can be shortened when doing long term storage incorrectly. When the battery is connected, voltage draws from the vehicle’s...

Q: What does the Intelligent Key™ battery discharge indicator mean?

Your Intelligent Key™ is a critical element to operating your car, but it does require a little bit of maintenance. The most important tip for owners is to make sure the battery is replaced. Without a good battery, they key...