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Really? Is this possibly true?-ALL car batteries die after 3-5 days?

Soooo, I had a family emergency and had to leave my new 2103 Chrysler (2650 miles on it) in the long-term parking lot for 18 days. Despite the crazy parking bill, I also had a dead battery when I returned. I thought, wow,that’s weird but it had been really cold. Upon return, my battery kept losing charge. Every day for four days it died overnight. Finally, it also wouldn’t charge at all so I called the 800 Chrysler number and had it towed to the dealership. (Have to add the 800 number people were very nice and prompt)

Anyway, I explained this was happening every day following the long stay. I was told by the nice person on the 800 number that all new cars (ALL) will die after 3-4 days of not being started because of the new computers, clocks, etc. REALLY? Are you telling me that every new car made dies after a few days of sitting? Does this mean every business man who leaves on Monday and returns on Friday has a dead car battery? That we can no longer go on vacation and leave our cars parked?

Not believing this, I asked my chrysler dealer. Again, he agreed and said it was ALL cars that are new with computers and "stuff"on them. Jeeps, Toyotas, Chryslers, Honda’s , high end and low end.

Come to find out my car battery was defected and that was causing an even a larger problem and was replaced.

BUT….someone please tell me if this is really true? I have a four day conference coming and plan on leaving my car at the BWI airport. Must I keep a set of battery cables in my car forever? Are we all doomed to never travel (unless by car) again? Is this their plan to ruin (albeit air travel is pretty much crappy anyway) all travel not in our cars? Is this a “big oil” conspiracy?

In Southern states that’s probably the norm. In Northern states 7-10 years is the norm. Heat kills batteries. Cold preserves batteries.

Here in the North East I’ve had batteries last 12 years before they started showing signs of needing replacing.

I’ve had the car 4 months. I do have a new battery now and live in Central PA but I’ve never had a new battery die after a few days. When I asked if my “new” battery will survive a 4 day parking stint the dealer said “maybe?” It’s a 50/50 chance.

Mike he’s talking days not years

Total nonsense on the battery dying in a few days.

Mike he's talking days not years

Total nonsense on the battery dying in a few days.

WOW…did I miss that one.

Days??? That’s absurd. 3-5 YEARS minimum. If a battery isn’t lasting at least that long…then something is drastically wrong.

Okay……I hope so. If I come back from my conference after 4 days and it’s dead….I’ll post it here. But, I don’t understand why anyone would say this is the norm. That all NEW cars die because of the constant drain from the computers, etc.

Guys, I think OP is talking about time-to-discharge, not time-to-total-failure here.

In which case, yes, new cars are going to drain the battery faster than old cars because there’s a lot more electronics in them, and a lot of those electronics store data in RAM, which requires constant power in order to maintain the memory state.

That said, 3-5 days seems short to me. I’ve left my Acura in the garage for 2 weeks while on vacation and it started right up when I got back home.

If a battery drains that fast, then there’s probably something wrong - either the battery is bad as in OP’s case, or something’s draining too much power.

Many automobiles will discharge the battery when parked for several days.

Can you define “several”? Isn’t it realistic to expect that it would take more than a few days? I think the comment by shadowfax indicates some cars last up to two weeks? If that’s true, then are the lesser cars (cheaper than Acuras) doing something wrong? Shouldn’t the consumer be alerted to this? At the minimum, shouldn’t there be some sort of “switch” that could be used to shut off the battery for long stays? Are so smart we’ve gotten dumb :slight_smile: I know I could remove the negative charge but that seems like a drastic step to take every time I leave town and also a real pain. It’s also not fun to worry if you’re car is going to start every time you return.

It might help to turn the radio off when you park it. The new “radios” often have large screens with multiple functions, such as radio, GPS, blue tooth, wifi and engine monitoring etc, and because of this, they have a large parasitic drain. Turning the radio off (all the way off using the on off button on the radio itself) also turns off the other functions and will help a little bit, maybe an additional day or two. The bluetooth and wifi are the biggest culprits.

It is true that todays new cars have a much higher parasitic drain than just a couple years ago, and all too often, smaller batteries too.

Okay….thanks for the advice! I will turn off everything I can and see what happens!

Many cars sit on the dealers lot for several months before they are sold. I’ve seldom seen a guy go around with a battery cart to charge them up. Total nonsense.

@cj2speak. 3 or 4 days ? 3 or 4 weeks I might swallow and that would be a stretch. That is really hard to believe ! Maybe they are just talking about Chryslers.;=) Wasn’t the parking lot “full” of cars that stayed there for a week or two. How long did your own car sit on the lot before it was sold ? I am inclined to say the rep gave you a lot of crappola. Either you or the car is at fault or it’s a bad battery that needed replacement anyway. (as done) That is one dumb statement that makes you wonder about their honesty or competence. Trade it for a “real” car with honest representatives. ( just kidding) Guess my cars are too old. Glad you got it resolved but I would wax them good fir that comment. IMHO, unless you have a habit of leaving the lights on, don’t buy one that does not start after a few days. That is a safety issue !!

That’s what I get for just reading the heading.

A battery should NOT fully discharge after a few days. Maybe a few weeks. I’ve left several vehicles sitting around for over a month without any problem what-so-ever.

“several days” is dependent on the condition and quality of the battery. I am familiar with new cars having all unnecessary systems shut down when in transit to prevent battery discharge. Nothing will operate other than the engine cranking and running. The dealerships install the master fuse or an accessory relay to get everything functioning.

Today’s vehicle do run down a little faster due to all the electronic gear that they are loaded down with but running down in just days means you have a parasitic draw. I used to drive “winter cars” and keep my newer vehicles garaged for several months. They always started right up in the spring with no problem. My wife’s Blazer started right up recently after sitting for about 3 weeks while we were on a long trip. Whoever told you that should nonsense should not be in the automotive business in any capacity whatsoever.

If by quality of the battery you mean how much of a charge it had when delivered, I understand. I really don’t think it is normal for any car made in this day to discharge completely in less then a week or even a couple of weeks without driver doing something wrong or a bad battery or a car fault. Even a month would be a tough sell for me. And, we are talking about Penn. IMHO, the rep. lied and his response could easily be on the thread “lying liars…”

If you continue to have the problem, this might help:

I call battery charge life anything less than 2 weeks as an unusual problem that needs to be fixed.

shadowfox, that item could be a problem for some of the new cars.

As for cars on the car lot, wifi and bluetooth can be turned off using the menus on the radio. The salesperson will turn these items on when the car is sold so they can show the new owner how to use them. People very seldom turn them back off, but if you aren’t using them, you should, they are big drains on the battery.

Another big drain that you can’t turn off is the push to start/stop feature.