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Dead batteries after non use of vehicle for

A Year ago,in December my neighbor went to Phoenix until April First. I watch his house and start his car every 8-10 days. The day before he was to come home, the battery was dead.

This year same scenario but he also has his elderly mother’s car in his garage. Both cars had extensive tune up type work in December and both are very well cared for. I start the cars regularly. February 1, his battery is dead.

Mother’s car continues to start until yesterday. They are due home tomorrow.

What do you mean exactly by “start the cars”? If you start them and don’t run them long enough (preferably by driving instead of idling, which is bad for the cars in general), then the battery will run down over time.

The neighbor should be using a battery tender instead. He should also be using fuel stabilizer, by the way.

Could it just be coincidence? My car batteries generally last about four years. How old are the batteries in these cars?

Instead of starting the cars every 8-10 days, I would put fuel stabilizer in the fuel tank and hook up the batteries to a trickle charger.

Starting the car every 8-10 days is not good for it. He should put non-ethanol gas in it, air in the tires, and hook up a battery tender to it. Then don’t start it unless somebody needs to drive it.

Also if you are not going to be needing collision insurance while you are away, you may be able to cancel your collision insurance (the most expensive part of car insurance) and save more money. Check with your insurance company.

Beg, borrow, steal or buy a small battery charger (at least 5 amps) and charge the batteries. It does no good to start the cars every 2 weeks.

Thank you for your answer. I personally never hard of a battery tender or fuel stabilizer.
I shall keep note for the future.

Thank you for you answer. I personally did not know of fuel stabilizer of a trickle charger.
Just goes to show a 65 year old does not know everything yet.
Learn something new every day

Thank you for your reply. Boy am I ever going to be ready for next winter.
Never hear of a battery tender. I think that two winters ago, my first year as car minder, I drove the car every two weeks.

Thank you for your reply.
Many years ago my husband went to China to teach and I had the insurance canceled during that time. We were living in a place with a 150 foot driveway so every week or so I drove the car back and forth a dozen times. The first few times the neighbors thought I had lost it. Also, that really honed my backing up skill.

Thank you for your reply. I have a small battery charger but am reluctant to use it without the neighbor’s permission. He still is not sure a 65 year old woman knows enough about life in general. he is a very nice man… gracious and gentlemanly too.
Not all bad at my age.

Feel like training my wife? :slight_smile: She’s getting better, but it’s a long road…

Sears model 71219 is an example of a battery tender. That one is nice because you can plug it into an accessory socket (if there’s one that’s always hot) instead of having to connect it directly to the battery terminals.

Here are links to the items I recommend.

About backing down a driveway:

In a murder mystery I read, a woman was a master at making souffles.
When asked how she did it, she said she made souffles one after another until she had it right.

We had just moved into a new house with a long driveway .
So I thought of the challenge of backing down a driveway.
I used the drivers side mirror to line up with an object
on the left which guaranteed I would have clearance on the right.
And backed ddown 25 times until I got it right.
Ever after that, I had no trouble.

So if I were standing in the driveway, you would run over me? Do you have limited mobility?

Of course I would not run over you.
In fact, I had to most most cautious because small children lived in the houses on either side of me.

Do I have limited mobility? Well, as I am 65 years old I guess it is somewhat more limited than 10 years ago. I can’t see my self trekking across Antarctica as I did back then, otherwise I get myself from here to there ok.