Playing the radio when parked

How long can you play the car radio without the engine running without killing the battery? What about other accessories?

I can’t idle my engine, because it makes me feel sharp pains in my wallet.

I suppose I could get one of those spare batteries that run off the cigarette lighter, just in case. Does anyone have any experience with them?

With a strong battery, I’ve played the radio for several hours. This includes powering a subwoofer amp (300W). If it is only for a hour or so, no damage will occur. 8-10 hours may be pushing it.

You should be able to play a stock radio system for at least several hours without worring about the battery, if it is in good shape and has a good charge on it.

People go to drive-ins where the audio is played over the radio. It’s rare to see a car not start after sitting through 2 or 3 movies with the radio on.

The radio is not really a big battery drainer. Assuming you have a good battery you should be able to listen to the radio for quite a while without worry. Idling the engine just to listen to the radio would be a bit much.

What other accessories are you asking about?

If you want to have the radio, lights, and other things on, the battery will not last as long. The more things you turn on, the more drain on the battery.

Buy a good battery, use the accessories sparingly, and don’t worry about it.

Should last several hours unless you have a 10k watt system and are blasting it so you can hear it across a football field with the windows up.

Back when VW’s had the radios that didn’t turn off with the ignition, a lot of VW owners would accidentally leave them on overnight every once and a while and most of the time they still start in the morning.

That all depends. With a standard radio at normal volume, you should be good for a week. With a ghetto radio running full blast, I would suspect you are good for a number of minutes, not days.

Have you ever been to a drive-in movie? Running your radio for the length of a movie uses less power than starting the vehicle one time. Your CD player or cassette deck have moving parts though, so they use more power.