If you’re planning on going on a long holiday, say for more than two weeks, some drivers claim disconnecting the car battery will help prevent a dead battery on your return.
However, another camp says that disconnecting the battery is more hindrance than help.
They say the car will lose settings such as the clock, trip computer memory, radio stations and more.
In addition, some cars may prevent you from entering if the battery is low, as a safety precaution.
What can drain my car battery?
Depending on the climate you live in, your car battery will drain faster or slower, but will nevertheless drain because of the systems connected to it.
As mentioned above, things like the radio, clock, trip computer and alarm all constantly draw charge from the battery.
Nowadays, dashcams can continue recording even while the vehicle is parked, which contributes to significant battery drain.
The current draw is small, but over time the battery will be depleted.
All in, modern cars have far more electronics than those just 10 years ago, and all of them contribute to drain the battery when not in use.
I’m going on holiday for more than two weeks: should I disconnect the battery?
Firstly, check your owner’s manual if disconnecting your car’s battery will cause any problems.
Do bear in mind that if your car has an advanced security system, you might require some help to reset it when you reconnect the battery.
If the trouble to reset the electronics far outweighs the benefits of draining your battery, perhaps you need to consider alternatives like a battery tender.
Secondly, ask if someone can help you start your car periodically in the time you are away.
That will help solve the problem of needing to disconnect your car battery.
However, should you really need to, here’s what you should do.
- Remove the cable from the negative port.
- Do not let the positive and negative cables touch under any circumstance: it could lead to disastrous consequences.
- Get some plastic bags – preferably ziploc bags – and tie them around the cable end to keep moisture out