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Things That Can Leave Your Car Battery Dead After Sitting 5 Days 

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When your car battery dies at least once, you might think it is just a fluke. But if it keeps on dying or you get a dead battery after sitting 5 days, you might start to fret.

Try jump-starting your car if your battery completely dies after sitting for an extended period of time. Possible causes include a parasitic drain, a corroded positive or negative terminal, a broken alternator, a dead battery, or even the fact that you sometimes left your interior lights on.

A car battery is responsible for powering a vehicle and starting the engine. If your battery is low-charged or completely dead, your vehicle will not start. It is usual for car batteries to keep some power after several days or weeks.

On the other hand, if you experience a dead battery in less than a week, like 5 days, you might start looking for the possible reason and solution.

So, keep reading to know the truth behind car battery dead after sitting 5 days and how you can deal with it!

5 Things That Can Cause a Dead Battery After 5 Days

Your car’s battery is a critical component that promotes smooth vehicle operation. It provides the necessary power to different car systems, including lights, ignition, and other car electrical components.

If you have a battery failure, your vehicle can no longer start or operate correctly. Also, a vehicle battery regulates the current flowing through the electrical system. This ensures that no components are damaged.

A car battery’s charge typically lasts longer than 2 weeks. But some car batteries can last up to 4 weeks. However, it is not always the case. The battery’s age and state can impact its performance once you turn off the engine.

If you have a car battery dying sooner after sitting for 5 days of no use, there is an underlying issue you should know about. Below are some possible causes for this:

#1: Weak or Poor Battery 

Your battery can be in poor condition or weak; that’s why you will find it shut or dead after 5 days. As mentioned earlier, the battery must stay charged for at least 2 weeks.

On the other hand, if your car’s battery was nearing its end or was not properly maintained, it could be the reason for its shortened life. Plus, you might notice the following:

  • Dimmed headlights and other car electrical components while the car engine is running.
  • The car engine does not turn over when the ignition key is turned to start it.
  • Starting the car can be tricky during cold mornings.

If you experience any of the scenarios above, it indicates that your car battery is getting weak. It could also be the reason your car battery dies after 5 days.

If so, you can perform a battery test or allow a professional to test it for a more accurate battery health reading.

#2: Headlights or Dome Lights Were Left On 

Do you own a newer vehicle model? Please note that newer vehicles feature a light that turns on once the engine is off. These lights sometimes stay on for several hours after the engine is off.

This drains the power from the battery faster than usual. Leaving your headlights or dome light sitting in the driveway for 5 days can drain your car battery until you can no longer start it again.

Plus, this scenario might happen quickly. However, you can avoid it from happening by always turning off the lights when you park your vehicle.

#3: Loose or Corroded Battery Connections 

When your car sits for 5 days and gets drained, loose or corroded battery connections could be the reason. If constant vibrations occur, your car will run with loosen-up battery connections.

Your weak battery works extra, trying and drawing the necessary power when there is a gap in the wires. This leads to a quicker battery drain than usual.

The same thing will happen if the battery terminals are dirty and corroded. So, checking the car battery regularly is critical to keep the connections tight and clean. This helps not just avoid shortening of car battery’s life but also keep the car starting with no hassle after a 5-day sitting.

Make sure to tighten the positive and negative battery terminal of your battery if necessary. You can use a wire brush to clean the terminals to ensure your car will run smoothly.

#4: Parasitic Drain 

In some instances, a parasitic drain on the car battery might take place after 5 days of sitting. This issue refers to the electrical fault. It also occurs when the accessory slowly drains your car battery without your knowledge. This could be one of the electrical systems required for the vehicle to run or as simple as defective radio wiring.

If you believe that there is a parasitic drain on your car’s battery, let the professionals check the battery and electrical systems to determine the root cause.

However, if you have the skills and experience with vehicles, you can test them yourself with the following steps:

  • Wear protective gloves before you start.
  • Open the car hood and look for the battery altogether.
  • Disconnect the negative battery cable or negative terminal.
  • Use a multimeter and make sure to set to the ohms setting.
  • Touch the red lead to the negative terminal.
  • Touch the black negative to the connector.
  • The reading must be between 0.2-1.0 milliohm.

If the reading is higher than that, a parasitic drain might be present, and it drains your car battery. You can remove the fuse one by one to troubleshoot this issue and see if the reading drops and the possible reason for that.

#5: Faulty Charging System 

If your car has a problem with its charging system, it could be the reason your battery dies in as fast as 5 days. The battery might have been undercharging or overcharging. There might be another issue with the alternators or car wires that send the charge to the car battery.

If you think that your vehicle has a faulty charging system, the best thing you can do is call a professional mechanic to get your vehicle checked.

#6: Extremely Hot or Cold Temperature 

A battery is specifically built to work at a particular temperature. So, it is best to keep your car battery out of extreme temperatures as much as possible.

If you drive and the temperature outside gets too cold or hot, there are higher chances that the battery charge will drain more quickly than expected.

The battery label provides the optimal temperature requirements. Check the battery’s temperature if the car has been sitting outside during the winter or in the sun.

If it is too hot, add ice packs or take it to a cooler location to keep the temperature down. Meanwhile, if the battery is too cold, use a battery heater or move the vehicle somewhere warmer to warm up the cells.

How to Prevent the Car Battery from Dying When Not in Use

Here are several tips on how you can prevent your car battery from dying if you are not using your vehicle for several days:

Tip 1: Disengage the Car’ Security System

If you keep your car in a secure garage, you can disengage its security system. The car’s security system needs a lot of power from its battery. In other words, the system will keep drawing the power.

However, since the car’s alternator is not running, your car battery is not charging. This means the battery will drain even more.

Make sure to disconnect or disable the security system if you do not need it while your vehicle is sitting. Doing so can prevent power drains on the battery, keeping it well-charged when it is not in use.

Tip 2: Drive the Vehicle to Charge the Car Battery 

Do you plan to use your vehicle in the next few days? If yes, you can drive your car for a short period of time, around 30 minutes, to charge the car battery. This helps charge the battery and make your vehicle ready to go even after more than 5 days of sitting.

Tip 3: Use a Car Battery Tender or Battery Charger 

Using a car battery tender or charger is another way to keep the car battery charged every time you need to be away from your vehicle for a long time. These devices effectively charge the battery while keeping it healthy when not in use.

Can You Leave Your Car Battery Charger Overnight?

The answer is YES. If you use a modern smart car battery charger, it features a regulated output voltage. This allows you to leave it on overnight. Also, this charger is designed to keep car batteries working in their best condition. It will not wear out or hurt your battery as long as you use the correct settings.

When Should You Conduct A Parasitic Draw Test?

You should conduct a parasitic draw test whenever you suspect there is an electrical issue with your vehicle. Before doing so, perform a visual inspection of both the negative and positive terminal connections and check for any melted or corroded wires.

If you do not notice any corrosion or problems with the cables, proceed to jump-start your vehicle with jumper cables or with a portable jump starter. Check that the door lights, glove box lights, dome lights, and alarm system are completely off.

These can draw power from the battery or cause parasitic draws if your vehicle sits for a considerably extended time. Use a multimeter to test if your battery is working correctly. You might need to get a new battery if this problem continues for more than two weeks.

Conclusion 

How long can a car sit before the battery dies? In some instances, you do not use your car. And you expect it to still have a charge after 5 days of sitting. However, something must be wrong if you notice that the car’s battery is dead after that period.

There are several reasons your car battery drains after a 5-day sitting. If the car ignition is left on for an extended period of time, the battery may be drawing power from a poorly wired car radio, a malfunctioning relay, an alarm system, or a mobile phone charger that has been left plugged in.

Hopefully, this post helped you determine the reason for this issue and solve it. You can also consider the tips above to keep your car battery healthy and reliable.

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