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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Eladio

8 years of experience
128 reviews
Eladio
8 years of experience
Honda Civic - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Greensboro, North Carolina
Eladio arrived at the scheduled time and was great to work with. He was very professional and I am very satisfied with his work. This was my first time using YourMechanic and I am very pleased with how easy and convenient this service has been from start to finish. Definitely would recommend.
Nissan Altima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Greensboro, North Carolina
Eladio was on time, expedient, and very professional. Very pleased with provided service (brake shoes replacement).

Chris

13 years of experience
107 reviews
Chris
13 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Port Richey, Florida
CHRIS IS THE BEST MECHANIC I HAVE EVER MEET IN MY LIFE. HE IS HONEST AND HE KNOWS HIS STUFF. VERY PROFESSIONAL AND KNOWLEDGEABLE. THANK YOU CHRIS!!!

Pardeep

19 years of experience
587 reviews
Pardeep
19 years of experience
Dodge Caravan - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Fremont, California
Pradeep was early to my appointment and during his work he showed me that I didn’t need rear brake shoes saving me money.He cleaned and serviced the existing shoes and he also adjusted my parking brake cable. Great job. I will always use Your mechanic for any car repairs.

Oreste

12 years of experience
117 reviews
Oreste
12 years of experience
Dodge Avenger - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Miami, Florida
Orestes is very professional. He explained what was done to my vehicle and suggested upcoming maintenance needed. Great person

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