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Thread: Disconnecting my car battery for an extended period

  1. #1
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    Disconnecting my car battery for an extended period

    I知 looking into the option of parking my mk7 for several months until this pandemic is over. I知 planning on run the engine once a month to keep the engine fluids circulating and hopefully be protect the engine. Is running the car engine for 10 minutes every month gonna prevent the battery from discharging completely? Or should I disconnect the battery to prevent it from flattening?

  2. #2
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    Isn't the pandemic pretty much over? If you suggested this 3 or 4 months ago I could understand, but now? It certainly isn't stopping me from doing anything on a day to day basis.

    Unless you want to hook up a smart charger for the battery, just take the car for a drive every 10 days or so for a good 30 mins or so. Simply idling the engine in the driveway will circulate fluids but do nothing to charge the battery. You will circulate the fluids much more effectively + charge the battery taking it for a decent drive.
    Last edited by Lucas_R; 15-09-2020 at 09:31 AM.
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  3. #3
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    I only use the golf for interstate travel so you can see were where I知 coming from. If you池e saying that the pandemics over when can I travel to Victoria from the ACT?
    Last edited by Nudist; 15-09-2020 at 10:09 AM. Reason: Add more

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nudist View Post
    I only use the golf for interstate travel so you can see were where I’m coming from. If you’re saying that the pandemics over when can I travel to Victoria from the ACT?
    Nudist (are you really?): Hi. I won't get into a debate about when the pandemic will be over (it's far too controversial a topic for my feeble brain to contemplate) - but I agree with Lucus that the most appropriate way forward from a battery health perspective if you expect not to use the car often is to use a "smart charger".

    If your view is that the pandemic will be protracted, you might even consider making a loom extension for the charger.

    I've done this on a few cars now. It's a simple (fused) 2 x wire loom that bolts onto the +ve battery terminal and the car frame (important not to connect to the -ve battery terminal for cars with Stop Start) at one end. And, it has a good quality (Gold) 2 x pin connector at the other end which mates into a matching connector on the charger leads. The extension makes it very easy to both hook-up and remove the charger.

    I've suggested to the owners that they leave the bonnet lifted while the car is connected to the charger as a memory prompt - so that they don't forget before putting the car into gear. But on a couple of cars, the owners have wanted not to have to open the bonnet when connecting/disconnecting the charger - so the plug-end is outside the car and I've included a "blind" connector on the loom extension to stop detritus/water from entering the connector while the car is in motion.

    Don
    Last edited by DV52; 15-09-2020 at 11:32 AM.
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  5. #5
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    IMO if you aren't intending to actually drive your car for an extended period it isn't good for engines to simply start and idle for 10 minutes or so, as that will lead to a build up of water and corrosive combustion products in the engine oil, without the engine getting properly warm to evaporate them off. I would instead drive the car for at least 20 minutes, preferably at highway speeds, maybe once a fortnight. It would also be a good idea to put some kind of fuel stabiliser in the fuel, as old fuel can "go off".

    I'm sure a quick search would find plenty of suggestions about the best way to store a car not being used, but others will agree with me that it is better to drive a car properly at regular intervals (better for seals, tyres etc)

    As others have suggested, you definitely should keep the battery topped up, preferably with a good quality battery charger that has a float voltage appropriate for the type of battery fitted (EFB and AGM batteries have different charging requirements).
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nudist View Post
    I only use the golf for interstate travel so you can see were where I’m coming from. If you’re saying that the pandemics over when can I travel to Victoria from the ACT?
    Well you are in ACT so naturally I assumed you would only be travelling within NSW via car. I too would be avoiding VIC for another month or two until they get things under control.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for your comments I値l have a bit to think about

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    Quote Originally Posted by DV52 View Post
    Nudist (are you really?): Hi. I won't get into a debate about when the pandemic will be over (it's far too controversial a topic for my feeble brain to contemplate) - but I agree with Lucus that the most appropriate way forward from a battery health perspective if you expect not to use the car often is to use a "smart charger".

    If your view is that the pandemic will be protracted, you might even consider making a loom extension for the charger.

    I've done this on a few cars now. It's a simple (fused) 2 x wire loom that bolts onto the +ve battery terminal and the car frame (important not to connect to the -ve battery terminal for cars with Stop Start) at one end. And, it has a good quality (Gold) 2 x pin connector at the other end which mates into a matching connector on the charger leads. The extension makes it very easy to both hook-up and remove the charger.

    I've suggested to the owners that they leave the bonnet lifted while the car is connected to the charger as a memory prompt - so that they don't forget before putting the car into gear. But on a couple of cars, the owners have wanted not to have to open the bonnet when connecting/disconnecting the charger - so the plug-end is outside the car and I've included a "blind" connector on the loom extension to stop detritus/water from entering the connector while the car is in motion.

    Don
    Dont need to go all technical like that Just buy a CTek MX 5.0 and you get the permanent connector with it. Can be hooked up and left there forever.
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  9. #9
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    +1 for the trickle charger. And pump up the tyres to about 50 psi

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbilly View Post
    Dont need to go all technical like that Just buy a CTek MX 5.0 and you get the permanent connector with it. Can be hooked up and left there forever.
    Hillbilly: haha....another incisive and absolute response - thanks for the comment!!

    Ain't nothing "all technical" about 2 wires and a set of 2 x pin connectors!!

    I have looked at the CTek charger but I discounted the universal, one-size-fits-all "permanent connector" as being not suitable (IMHO, of course).

    When I install these simple charger looms, I much prefer to make a custom built extension that fits snugly in the engine bay, that is exactly the required length and that uses high quality gold connectors (at both ends). Plus I like to install an in-line fuse for added safety- smart chargers are normally self protecting, but I don't like a directly connected wire to the +ve battery terminal of any sizable length being un-fused. And finally, the CTek "permanent connector" is intended to be bolted to the +ve and -ve battery terminals- as you will be aware, this is a no-no on Stop Start cars with regeneration.

    Anyhow, I ain't had any complaints thus far - but of course, others are perfectly free to accept a different standard (as is their right)!!

    Don
    Last edited by DV52; 15-09-2020 at 07:22 PM.
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