How long can a car battery sit unused?

My car’s battery seemed to be on the fritz recently, so I bought a replacement. But my neighbor offered to charge the old one for me, and it’s been working great since. The replacement battery has never been used. I can’t return it, but how long can a car battery sit unused?

Answer
I’m happy you could get the old battery working again! The good news is that the new battery can sit unused for two to four years and still work—as long as it’s properly stored and maintained.
Your unused car battery can be safely shelved for years if you:
  • Store the battery upright.
  • Keep it in a dry, well-ventilated area.
  • Avoid temperature extremes and try to keep the room around 60°F.
  • Keep the battery clean.
  • Connect the battery to a smart trickle charger or charge the battery every two weeks using a standard charger.
The battery’s shelf life will be severely diminished if these conditions are not maintained or if the battery loses its charge entirely.
If you want to do something nice for your neighbor as a thank you, you could help them save money on their car insurance by recommending Jerry.
Jerry is an insurance comparison app that shops for low prices with over 50 different insurance companies for free. You will get quotes in seconds, can make changes at any time, and if you ever have any questions, agents are just a text away! They will even help you cancel your old policy.
Jack Walsh
Answered on Nov 22, 2021
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