Nana doesn’t drive anymore. But she has decided to keep her car(rather than sell it) because she likes us to use her car to drive her to church (which is about every other week)since her car is easier to get in and out of than our SUV. We are wondering about how the infrequency of driving the car will affect the battery in these cold winter temperatures. Some family members have suggested that we run her car (while it is parked in the yard) twice a week… or more. Others disagree. Is this a good idea or a bad idea? We want Nana to keep getting to church…heaven may be just around the corner and we want her to be ready. How do we make sure the battery doesn’t die? (You help me keep the car battery alive and kickin’; I’ll try to keep Nana alive and kickin’!
My MIL has an 01 Civic which is likewise seldom driven.
Every 3 weeks when the wife & I visit I simply connect my 12 amp charger to her battery & in about 4 hours the battery is fully charged.
You can get a charger at any parts store or Walmart will have them for around 40 bucks.
The charger will come with instructions for how to use it. Be sure you read them.
Do not do the ‘twice a week’ routine, that’s bad for the car. If you actually drive it once every two weeks, that should be enough, as long as you take it for a decent (20+ minute) drive to get it fully warmed up and the battery recharged. This all assumes the battery is in good shape. Do have a battery charger available, just in case.
I conclude you want to make sure you get a nonimal life span from your battery or are you asking how you can prevent a dead battery when the car is asked to preform its weekly drive to church?
Don’t just drive it. If the battery does not like a two week vacation, then get a battery tender on it. Some are even sun powered so you don’t need to plug it in.
Idling it as you say will keep the battery up, but it’s very hard on the rest of the car. With a good battery, you really should be able to go two or three weeks without a start. On the non-church weeks, could you or someone else use her car to run errands for a half hour or so?
By the way, don’t forget to check with her insurance agent about a possible discount for a car driven so few miles.