Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Will car not start if not driven for 12 days


I’m on leave from the Air Force and was wondering if my car would start if not driven for 12 days. I’m stationed in San Antonio and the temperature ranges from 35 degrees in the morining to the 70s in the evening. I drive a 2006 Dodge Stratus.



As long as the battery is in good shape–and it should be after only 2 years–12 days should not be a problem.

You should have no problem starting the car even if you left it for twice that long of time period, provided that the battery is in good shape and has a full charge when you park it. You may want to consider getting the battery load tested along with the charging system if you have some doubts about it. Also have the system checked for excessive parasitic current draw. Some draw (about 30 milliamps) is normal for things like the PCM and radio to keep the memories alive. If there is more than 80 milliamps then you need to look for trouble. Unless you have have noticed some weak starting at times more than likely you will be fine even if you don’t have the checks done.

I concur, good battery/charging system and no parasitic drains(rare) you will be fine.

12 days shouldn’t be a problem assuming your battery is in good shape. My parents left their cars unused for a month last winter, one in a garage and the other outside, and they both started right up when they came home from their vacation.

We spent 5 years overseas and came hone at Christmas for two weeks. During that time our son drove each of our 2 cars every few weeks. The idea was to keep the batteries charged up and not to let anything dry out from long term storage.
Glad to report the cars stayed in great shape and my son was able to do with one family car for himself during that time. Oil was changed once a year in each car.

Just make sure your dome light is off (as well as other extraneous power drainers).

Sometimes a fuel injected car will lose its fuel pressure, especially if the fuel tank is low on fuel. When you try to start it, the momentary running of the fuel pump that occurs when you turn the key from off to run is not enough. The engine will turn over but not start. If that happens, turn the key to off, then to run, then to off, then to run, then to off. That builds up fuel pressure. Then turn the key all the way to start.

With so many new/used cars on most car dealers lots ,how often do they start them?

Before I started driving in Mexico, I parked my car in front of the mobile home, and went away for rather long times. We learned that somewhere around 2 months the battery would get too weak to start the car. This car has an alarm with the blinking light.

That battery lasted fine until I simply replaced it after 5 years as PM.

2002 Sienna