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

How long will the battery last?

I don’t use my car (Toyota Camry 1999) for the foreseeable future but I want to keep it anyway in case I will use it later.
It was in the backyard for 1 year but now I have to park in the street. Each time I need to turn it on, I need to use my portable charger, meaning

  1. Opening the hood,
  2. Charging,
  3. Let it run a little bit,
  4. Removing the cables (or should I do 4 then 3?)
    then drive a few feet (because all I do is switching the car for street cleaning) On Tuesday afternoon I switch to the other side which had cleaning the day before (Monday) then after 3 pm on Tuesday I can drive it back.

This is a real hassle because as I said I need to open hood, charge etc. Twice a week!

So my question is: If I somehow deep charge my battery* and use it only to switch side of the street, how long will the battery last? I wouldn’t mind so much switching side (although it is a hassle) if I can just turn the key and go).
Also, if I let the car run for ½ hour or 1 hour without driving would that recharge my car?
I was thinking let it run, close the door and go home and come back after an hour or so).

Some day it may prove to be a bad idea to keep it. Birds, squirrels and failing electronics as well as vandalism could make battery life seem like a non-topic. Seriously, the battery charge won’t last long enough no matter what you do. Selling it would probably be best. Why go to all that trouble just to make you and your street look bad? Get free while the car is still worth something.

No real parking place, insurance and registration on 1999 vehicle you don’t use . Keeping it makes no sense at all.

Why not just buy a new battery. Most for this vehicle would be less than $100.
Then every third time you start it, just drive around for 10 minutes or so.

If you cannot drive it around then put a solar charger on the new battery.


Or put a squirrel cage charger in it and leave some treats there. U might get some takers.

Time to dispose of this one. A guy down the street had a 70s Volvo left to him by a deceased aunt. It sat in his driveway for over 10 years without being started. He was finally persuaded to get rid of it and had to pay to have it removed! All this time he had to pay for plates and compulsory minimum insurance.

He now still has a 1976 VW rabbit in his garage. left to him by his late father. He put synthetic oil in the crankcase believing that this would keep the car “young”.

He can still get some money for it as a collector car since the body is very good. But a lot of other items will need to be replaced.

People like this are normally called "anal retentionists "!

I forgot to mention that The car has a Non-operational status so I don’t pay insurance or the DMV fee. I don’t even pay the $17 for the Non-operational status as I did in 2014 (I guess the law has changed; I don’t pay anything now).
But it also mean I can’t drive it (sticker is from 2013 and no insurance).

For those who said I should get rid of it; I bought it second hand for $7000 in 2004. It is fabulous car.
I don’t use it now for some reason that I will not get into but I will use this car in the future. If I get rid of it (value is $500) I will have to pay $10,000+ to buy another one.
Since it doesn’t cost me anything to keep it (no storage fee, insurance, DMV, etc) it make sense that I keep it.

Thank you Yosemite. Your answer is the most helpful.
I was Googling “solar power for car battery” to see if this exist or if you were joking. You were not.
And I live in Los Angeles so we have plenty of sun (Christmas Day 82 degrees. February, March: 74 degrees).
I will study the various brands and options.
Thank you.

I suspect you are using a jump pack to start the car. If you recharge the battery with a battery charger the car should start for 60 to 90 days without assistance. Operating the engine for 10-15 minutes will not charge the battery.

You should find a place to park this vehicle, you cannot park a vehicle with PNO (Planned non-operation) status on the street. There are people who are concerned about vehicles belonging to others and some day they may report your unregistered vehicle.

PNO means that the vehicle will not be driven, towed, stored, or parked on public roads or highways for the entire registration year.

If at any time the vehicle is operated or parked where it may be subject to citation, then full registration fees and penalties for that year become due.

You can park an unregistered and uninspected car on the street in LA without getting ticketed or towed?

Even in my little socialist town, you can’t park a non-operable car in the street and has to been on a hard surface off the street. Even with current registration, it can’t be on the street more than 18 hours at a time. I thought it was monkey see monkey do and everything they did on the west coast we would do later. Evidently they haven’t caught up to us yet. You’ve been warned LA. And start collecting plastic bags. They are no more.

To the question though, I usually start my car that sits about once a month and the battery holds. I do charge it up with a battery charger from time to time though.

I can’t speak for LA but where I live a non operational designated vehicle can’t be on public streets at all and we can only park on solid surface parking areas at our homes.

A solar charger should work in LA.

In LA it is ILLEGAL to have a non-registered, non-insured, and non-operational car on the streets

Even in my neighborhood, which is admittedly not very nice, parking enforcement vehicles drive by from time to time, looking for clearly abandoned cars and cars which are obviously not registered, insured, etc.

On a quiet road with neighbors that don’t make it an issue, may be why the OP has gotten away with it. I know in our county, they would tow it and I’d be paying to get it towed back.

Then again with it sitting idle and not being driven a little…Id worry about other problems that will be caused from it sitting. Frozen brakes, Steering components that hardly ever move, and bearing surfaces getting pitted.

That said I would think you could put a solar charger on it and place the solar panel on the dash. Then with a new battery it would always start.



I wouldn’t tolerate it

From time to time, people like to abandon cars on my street. It’s not okay, because when trash day comes around, you can’t put the trash out, because there’s an abandoned car on the street, in front of your house, where you would normally put the trash cans

I call that stuff in

There was a guy . . . a real POS, IMO . . . who would leave his F250 for days on end, parked on the street. He didn’t even live on the street. Everybody was terrified that he would park the truck in front of their house for a week or more.

it was an extended cab F250 superduty with the long bed, so long that you couldn’t put the trash cans out on the street. Not without blocking the neighbor’s driveway with MY trash cans

I reported him a few times. He was wise to the game and knew how long he had, before it got towed. He always showed up just before and moved it a few houses down. And the process was reset, so to speak.

One time, I happened to be outside, getting my mail, and I saw him outside, talking on the phone. He walked right PAST his truck. I yelled at him “Are you going to move your truck, or what?!” He looked at me and said “Excuse me?” I said “It’s been here 10 days already and I can’t put my trash out.” He said “That’s not true.” I said “Don’t lie to me” and I went back in the house because it was pointless talking to an untruthful and inconsiderate person

Well, eventually he did slip and failed to get his truck before it was towed :naughty:

I never did see it again :smiley:

I’m kind of hoping the fee to get it out of impound was so high, that he decided to not retrieve his truck. It’s been known to happen.

You show up at this forum–a complete stranger to us–ask a question, request answers, then proceed to neg-rep every answer you get that fails to confirm to what you “wanted to hear.”

Not only is that horrific manners, but it makes little sense: if you came here with your mind made up, why bother asking the question at all? I mean, I’m sorry you got a DWI and all, hopefully it won’t happen again. but once you tally up the insurance costs, as well as the PITA of needing to move it 2X/week, you’re making a huge mistake in keeping it.

Sell it on e-bay/Clist, with the intention of buying back an equivalent make/model once the license suspension is over.

There is nothing wrong with a stranger asking questions here, that is what the forum is for.

And I don’t see the OPs responses as negative.


“. . . I’m sorry you got a DWI . . .”

Did I miss something . . . ?

I’ve been following this discussion since the beginning, and AFAIK, you’re the first one to mention a DWI

Are you perhaps assuming OP got a DWI, because the car is non-op?

Makes sense. The other thing is if it gets towed, you can’t get it out again until it has insurance and a current license. When I was away for six months back in 1970, I rented a garage from an elderly lady for something like $5 a month. It gave her a little money for her empty garage and got my car out of my folk’s hair.