My Car Has Been Idle, How Does This Impact My Battery?

Mar 3, 2021

My Car Has Been Idle, How Does This Impact My Battery?

My Car Has Been Idle, How Does This Impact My Battery?

Whether you’re working from home, on furlough or isolating, you may find yourself in a situation where your car which used to be used every day is now sitting idle outside your house. But did you know that parking your car for long periods of time can take a toll on your vehicle and the battery? This means the next time you get behind the wheel you might have a bit of trouble getting it started.

How long can my car sit idle without driving it?

The time it takes for your car to become damaged by sitting idle will vary based on several different factors such as the location and whether or not you prepared it for the coming months. The negative effects that come with a car being undriven will come to the surface a lot sooner than you may originally think.

Fuel issues

When you park your car for long periods of time, it’s possible for fuel to go bad after about 3 months because when it’s not in an airtight container, the fuel will react with oxygen causing it to degrade. Old fuel also loses it’s igniting abilities and can damage your car’s fuel system.

Battery Issues

When you’re driving your car regularly, the battery can last anywhere from 4-10 years but when your car is sitting idle, it can go dead in around two or three months. When you drive your car, the alternator is recharging the battery to replenish the power.

Possibility of rust

Another potential issue you could face with leaving your car idle for so long is rust, and this is highly dependent on the environment where your car is parked. Rust can come from damp conditions and from salt used on the roads during the winter months.

Flat spots in tyres

When your car is idle for a long period of time, flat spots will start to form in the tyres and can start forming anywhere after one month of sitting parked. You will also speed up this process if your tyres have not been inflated to the correct pressure.

How long can by battery last without driving?

Most car batteries that are kept in good condition will last maybe two weeks without you before you need to start the car and drive to recharge it. But if you don’t intend to drive the car for some time, you need to start it once a week.

How to prevent my battery from dying?

If you haven’t driven your car in two weeks or more, regardless of how old your car is you should be out starting it up at least once a week, letting it run for 15 minutes. By doing this, you allow the alternator to recharge the battery and will ensure you’re keeping the engine in good condition too.

Here at, we can help you find a local mechanic in your area to carry out repairs on your vehicle, and we will also save you both time and money! Get your quotes!

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