I have a 2007 Ford Focus. My new job requires lengthy trips out of town. The last one meant that my car sat in the garage about 7 1/2 weeks. Came back, needed a jump start. It’s fine now, but soon I’ll be headed out for probably 5 weeks or so. I’m wondering what caused the drain: just the car sitting there, the passive alarm system, possibly one of those wireless portable devices that plug into your car’s data port? (I had one from my insurance company that recorded my driving habits for a possibly lower rate; I removed it when I found the battery dead.) Basically, what I need to know is how often, roughly, do I need to make sure the car is run given lengthy trips out of town? Will 5 weeks be too long?
Yeah, thing slike the passive alarm system and even the clock slowly drain power. If you had something plugge dinto the power port that’ll drin power too.
Have you considered a trickle charger?
Are you leaving in your garage? In that case, something like a battery tender would work (better than a trickle charger), see http://batterytender.com/product_info.php?products_id=2&osCsid=c1bcd3b6b4f57be296daffeefc22367b . If you’re parking it at the airport/etc., a battery shut off switch might work, but you’ll lose all your electronics settings.
I don’t think the insurance company device was enough of the drain to matter. It is normal (and expected) for a car battery to drain down after the car has been unused for more than a month (newer cars anyway). The drain comes from many of the electronic modules in the car. The suggestion to add a battery tender is a good one. Academy Sports sells a reasonable and low cost one in/near the boating section.
If parked outside, one of the solar chargers might do the job. The drain could be up to 50mA, so the solar panel would need to be over 100mA (The Sun isn’t out all the time.)
What insurance company offers the driving habit monitoring deal?
Who makes the recording device?, who paid for it? what did it cost?
Were you working from a bad record, and trying to prove good habits?
Progressive offers something called “My Rate,” with a 20% discount on your insurance for signing up, and possible future discounts depending on driving behavior. The device is free. My record’s clean, I think it’s some kind of “good customer” thing. One of my neighbors does it, too. But it is dependent on how much you drive, so with my job, I probably wouldn’t have benefited anyway.
The car is in a secure apartment complex garage when I’m not home; I’ll look into a battery tender or battery shutoff - thanks.