Hazards drain battery?


#1

I live in a dorm and occasionally park my car and put my hazards on instead of finding a parking spot. I have been told this drains my battery, its not out there for more than an hour at a time. Is this true?


#2

It all depends on how old your battery is, how many miles the car is typically driven each time that it is started, the condition of the alternator, and the condition of the battery terminals.

In short, if your battery and alternator are in decent condition (as verified by a load test and a charging system test), if the car is normally driven for at least 5 miles after it is started each time, and if the battery terminals are tight and free of corrosion, doing this occasionally will not drain your battery excessively.

If your battery is more than 3 years old, I would suggest having a load test done.


#3

It will if you let it sit there long enough. Eventually the battery may reach a point where it can’t hold sufficient charge to crank the starter, and then you’ll need to purchase a new one.

Not really worth it simply because you don’t want to look for a parking spot. It’s also not worth it when the car gets towed for being illegally parked, and then you’re on the hook for towing and impound fees, along with the parking fine.


#4

Yes. The hazard lights require energy to work. If the engine is not running, then the battery provides that energy, and it will eventually drain. How much and how fast is questionable, but is not a good idea unless you are willing to get a jump if you forget them on for much longer. Plus, it does reduce the life of the battery, but by how much I cannot say for certain. Plus, hazards on does not relieve you of any parking fines for illegal parking. The campus police will eventually catch on and start ticketing you.


#5

Yes, the hazard lights will drain a battery if left on too long. Less than an hour’s usage will do no harm to a fresh battery, but college students typically try to stretch the life of a car battery to its bitter end. Fortunately, most college students have jumper cables. Garrison Keillor reports that a set of jumper cables are a common high school graduation gift in Minnesota. So you should have little to worry about other than the campus cops.