How Long Does a Car Battery Last Without Driving? Updated Guide 2023

how long does car battery last without driving

Batteries are vital and useful electronic components in our day-to-day life. But how long does a car battery last without driving for an extended period of time?

Car batteries are essential for vehicles as they supply electrical energy and power to the engine. The main principle of batteries involves recharging and discharging power. But sometimes, there are times when we don’t drive our cars for a while.

The power of the vehicle battery depends on certain factors, such as the size of the battery and the amount of active power consumers present even when the car is not being used. Your car battery can last you for a few months or more if you cut off or detach the negative battery terminals.

Why are Car Batteries Essential?

Before we dig deep into how long a car battery lasts without driving, let’s explore the importance of car batteries.

Car batteries serve many purposes – they are as important as fuel when it comes to the working of the vehicle.

Today, cars are becoming more electric-centric, so their function is increasing more and more day by day. Here are some vital roles of batteries.

Provide Power and Start the Engine and Ignition System

Car Battery

One of a battery’s basic and important functions is to start the engine and power the ignition system.

When you turn on or press your ignition key, it starts a chemical reaction that converts the chemical energy into electricity.

The battery helps to turn on every feature in the car, such as the wiper, radio, sunroof, and more. It supplies electricity and energy to all the electronic components in the car.

Regulate Voltage

There are times when electronic components overload and generate power surges which can damage the vehicle.

The car battery helps to prevent these surges as it absorbs all the additional voltage that other electronic parts produce. It also substitutes the alternator in some cases.

Works Well with Alternator

As mentioned above, sometimes a battery can substitute an alternator when it dies.

It’s generally a good backup as the car battery works along with the alternator and provides energy to other components in the car. Both of their working mechanisms are similar. When you’re driving your car, the alternator simultaneously charges the battery.

Helps to Store Power

A car battery is similar to a power bank. The battery makes sure your car’s energy system stays sustainable at all times. And as you keep driving, the battery keeps storing power so that you can use it up the next time you start the vehicle without any problems.

How Long Does a Car Battery Last Without Driving?

Every electronic component’s lifespan depends on maintenance and usage. If you drive your car regularly, the battery won’t last as long as someone who drives their car less often.

The standard lifespan is somewhere between 4 to 9 years. But someone who takes proper maintenance and caution can surely increase the lifespan of their car battery.

New and Fresh Batteries

New car batteries have a low chance of getting discharged. Ninety-five percent of the time, they will last longer than the warranty period. Without driving the car, however, a battery can last for only about a few weeks.

So, if you’re not going to use your new batteries, it can take between four weeks and two months to fully discharge.

Are you unsure what AAAA Batteries are? Check out our blog on What Are AAAA Batteries Used For.

Old Batteries

As batteries get older, their overall capacity also decreases. They aren’t able to store the max power, and they drain quickly as well. So, without frequent charging, they are pretty useless.

Old batteries only last between one week to one month, depending on their condition.

When a Battery is Detached or Cut-off

Usually, when you drain out a lead-based battery, it will stop functioning eventually. After detaching or disconnecting, the lifespan depends on how well you store the battery. The temperature also plays a vital role.

In colder months, the battery drains faster compared to warmer temperatures. Moreover, a drained battery will fail to work if it’s left out in cold temperatures for a long period.

Since batteries have chemicals inside, the density of electrolytes decreases over time. Eventually, it will destroy the battery due to crystallization.

So, to avoid parasitic drains, ensure to store them in a dry and safe location.

Reasons for A Dead Battery

Mechanic checking car battery

If you find your car battery drained out or dead after not using it for an extended time, there are a couple of factors that could be behind it. Some factors will discharge your battery, whereas others will shut down the battery completely.

Old and Weak Battery

A weak and old battery may not be able to hold charges for a long time. The easiest way to figure this out is by using the radio or battery charger. If it’s not working, it means that the battery is faulty.

On the other hand, if you have a new battery and you find it faulty, we suggest you ask for a replacement. But only if the battery is still under warranty.

Moreover, old batteries can be dangerous & environmental hazards.

Loose and Corroded Wires

Loose and corroded wires can sometimes be the reason for a dead battery, as they prevent the battery from getting charged fully. When it’s not placed properly or in the case of loose wires, your batteries will not charge while driving.


Extreme weather conditions, whether cold or hot, can impact batteries. People often don’t consider this, so if you have a faulty battery, this might be the reason behind it.

By the way, do you know what Ah means on a battery? Head to the link to find out.

Wrapping Up

Car batteries, without any problem, can work for a few months if the car isn’t being driven. However, to increase the battery lifespan, we strongly advise taking proper caution in maintaining your car.

So how long does a car battery last without driving? Using a new battery can last up to two months, but old batteries don’t last for too long. The best way to keep your batteries functional (if you’re not going to use your car for a while) is to take out the batteries and store them in a dry place. Doing so will help juice up the battery and prevent power draining.

Make sure you read our article on The Ultimate 500 Watt Solar Panel Kit Buying Guide before purchasing one.


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