My mom’s Camry has been sitting for months & the battery is completely dead – but we put the charge-minder on it for 4 hours today, & it was still completely dead. Is this just a battery that needs replacing, or is something more going on??
If the battery sat for months, and it’s over three years old, it’s time for a new battery.
Being allowed to go dead and stay that way for months is a good way to kill a battery. Sometimes you can bring them back to life, but not always and then you should expect a reduced life. If that “charger” was a low power charger, it may hot have had time to charge the battery, it could take a couple of days or longer for some chargers. Frankly I would guess the battery needs to be replaced.
3 years is a good life span for a car batt., even the ones that say they are good for 5 years. Advance Auto or the AutoZone or the WalMart has good deals on them.
Jump start the car and let it run . . . then shut it off and try to re-start it. This will answer both of your questions . . . “Is this just a dead battery that needs replacing?” or “is something else going on?” . My money is on “YES” this battery is completely dead and “NO”, nothing else is going on . . . but you failed to mention whey Mom parked the Camry months ago. Was it running OK when parked? Good luck! Rocketman
A charge minder is about 1 amp so you put in 4 amp hours at best. A completely dead battery will take about an hour before it even accepts charging at any current. It takes about 15 amp hours to start a good running engine in warm weather. At this age a deep discharge on a battery causes damage. Do you want to send your mother out in a vehicle that will strand her somewhere?
You may have a perfectly good battery. Or not. Anyway, your main task is to get the car started. A Chargeminder will not work here. Either get a real battery charger, a portable starter, or jumper cables. Any of those items will get your car started and running.
Take the car for a significant drive to charge its current battery. In the next few days you’ll be able to assess the battery’s condition.