I’m a snowbird, spending 6 mos a year in Florida and 6 mos in Massachusets. I leave a car in my garage when I’m away. Should I use a trickle charger when car is not in use or is just disconnecting the battery ok?
Disconnecting the battery is the cheapest, simplest route if car doesn’t have problems with losing stored information in the electronics.
Another option is a Battery Tender, which is an automatic slow charger/maintainer.
Third is a cheap trickle charger connected to a household timer set for 1 hour per day.
Don’t use a simple trickle charger continuously.
I wouldn’t use a trickle charger, and for newer cars I wouldn’t disconnect the battery. I’d use a battery tender, as recommended above.
If you are going to disconnect the battery, take it out and store it in a place that is above freezing, unless of course the car is in a heated garage. Not doing so will freeze and damage the battery as it gradually discharges.
I have 2 lead acid batteries for my lawnmower, and they are stored in the basement over the winter and occasionally trickle charged up.
This is what you need. I have one and it works great. It will not overcharge your battery. Hook it up, leave it for 6 months, and when you come back the car will start right up.
What’s the difference between a trickle charger and a battery tender?
A trickle charger puts a low, but constant, current through the battery, potentially overcharging it. A battery tender monitors voltage and current, reducing and shutting down charging when the battery’s charged, then charging when needed.
I do the same thing and just disconnect the battery…I don’t like leaving things plugged in for 6 months in a vacant building…During the cold winter months, the battery self-discharge rate is very low…When we return, the car starts right up…