Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Car will be garaged for 5 months

We will be away from home for about 5 months and were thinking about connecting a solar battery tender to our car battery. Never did this before, can anyone give us some advise? Would an electric battery tender be better? Any informed information would be greatly appreciated.

Disconnect the battery. Make sure you have the security code for the radio if your car has this feature.

I suggest you add fuel stabilizer to the tank before parking the car for five months.

Solar battery charger needs to be in the sun. Does not seem like it would work properly in a garage?

Simply disconnect the battery and add fuel stabilizer.

Figure the distance from the vehicle battery and where the solar panel for the charger will be positioned for the max exposure to the sun. Then make sure the solar charger has enough cable length for that distance. Otherwise use a plug-in battery tender.


Five months is not a long time. Simply disconnect the battery and don’t bother adding anything to the fuel tank. Or you can simply take no action at all and recharge the battery on your return. A solar charger is a good option but quite unnecessary if you can recharge if needed.

5 months is not a long time. A car could easily sit on a car lot that amount of time. If it was mine I would do stabil or seafoam run through the system and a battery tender be it solar or plug in. I am not familiar with the solar type, look at the cost then decide. My tender from sears was $50 or so. What does solar cost?

The OP didn’t mention the year of the vehicle. And on some vehicles when the battery is disconnected the adaptive memory in the ECU can be lost so monitors need to be reset and modules can go to sleep and not work properly or never wake up.

So the OP could reconnect the battery in five months and be faced with a Check Engine light because all the monitors in the ECU need to be reset, or accessories don’t function right because the modules have to relearn their programs, need to be reprogramed, or need to be replaced because it didn’t wake back up.

I would have suggested disconnecting the battery, but since the year isn’t known, that’s bad advice.


Where will it be stored? In a garage outside next to your house???

Assuming you read and heed Testers messageb[/b]. I prefer to remove the battery and store it away from where the car is stored. Put it on a tender. If you remove the battery you make it a lot more difficult for someone to steal the car. Most thieves don’t carry spare batteries of various sizes.

Also contact your insurance company. Often you can cancel the collusion coverage since it will not be driven and save a lot of money. Don’t cancel the other parts of the insurance.

I use a solar charger for my boat. There is no electricity available at the boat dock and if the battery runs down the boat could sink if the bilge pump has no power to run.

The solar charger works fine. I leave mine near the windshield where it gets sun but isn’t as easy to steal. There are different size chargers, but even the smallest should be fine as long as you park in a sunny area so the panel gets sunlight. The panel has only one active side so read the directions.

For 5 months you might just need a jumper box to jump start the car if needed. Some cars can go 5 months and still start. 2 of mine run a battery down in just about a month and would need a solar charger, battery tender, or a jump start in 5 months.

If you can hook up a regular (a/c power) battery tender, I’d do that instead of the solar one, just because it’s set up to maintain the correct charge on the battery. If you use a solar panel you’ll also need a controller to maintain the correct charge without overcharging.

And I’d do this instead of disconnecting the battery.

And I’d put in gas stabilizer, read the directions.