Car battery freezing if not used?


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Old 03-03-23, 10:37 AM
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Car battery freezing if not used?

Hi, I am working from home and don't use my car much, just take it for a drive every week or so to keep it tuned (Toyota Corolla).

Since I don't use it much, I would like to disconnect the black positive cable and leave it parked in my driveway for the whole month of March. However, I am preoccupied that my battery will freeze if I don't use it. I am in Toronto, Canada, so it is still winter here, would you know at what temperature the battery could freeze if the car is not used, or is this something to worry about?

The battery is almost new, bought 3 months ago, so it has a full charge.

Thank you.
 
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Old 03-03-23, 10:39 AM
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Batteries in good working order can not freeze.
 
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Old 03-03-23, 12:12 PM
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A 3-month old battery shouldn't freeze above minus 70F so you should be fine.
 
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Old 03-03-23, 01:17 PM
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For a battery to freeze it first has to be completely discharged.
 
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Old 03-03-23, 01:33 PM
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Be careful. Many cars have circuits that draw current from the battery even with the ignition switch off. Without running the engine for weeks could result in a lower battery voltage and my guess is a higher freezing temperature.
 
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Old 03-03-23, 02:34 PM
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Without running the engine for weeks could result in a lower battery voltage
Yep, all the reason the OP wants to disconnect the battery!

Use a battery charger maintainer, and your good!
 
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Old 03-03-23, 03:24 PM
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Marq1, are you suggesting I still connect my battery to a battery charger maintainer, even if the black negative cable is disconnected, and this will only be for one month?
 
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Old 03-03-23, 08:54 PM
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should be fine for a month just leaving it disconnected.
 
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Old 03-03-23, 10:36 PM
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Should be but a maintainer is pretty cheap and will keep battery in top shape.
 
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Old 03-04-23, 02:21 AM
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I have a Noco Genius 5 maintainer but never used it. Instructions shows how to connect it, which appears to be pretty simple, however, instructions show the connection when the battery is removed from the car.

Since I want to keep my battery in the car and disconnect the back negative cable, can I still use my maintainer on my battery in the car, or would the battery need to be removed from the car (which I would like to avoid)? I presume I would just connect the Noco to red positive battery terminal, black to negative battery terminal, while the battery remains in the car?
 
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Old 03-04-23, 03:20 AM
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You don't need to remove the battery to use the charger. If using a maintenance charger I wouldn't even bother disconnecting the negative cable.
 
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Old 03-04-23, 06:03 AM
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If you connect the Genius 5 there is no need to disconnect the battery.
Disconnect if you want but especially in newer battery connections you can introduce a new problem while disconnecting/connecting .
 
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Old 03-04-23, 07:08 AM
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2granddaughters, thx, that makes sense.

So I can just leave the battery connected in the car as-is, and connect the Genius 5 to the 2 battery terminals? Or would the battery need to be removed from the car?
 
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Old 03-04-23, 08:39 AM
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Maintainers can be connected to the battery, but for me, I like to disconnect the positive lead just so it's isolated!
 
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Old 03-04-23, 09:27 AM
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I would suggest you start the car about once a week, let run about 10 minutes and move it a few feet. That way the battery is kept charges and the engine get to run and circulate the oil, and the brake pads won't stick or freeze up.
 
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Old 03-05-23, 05:12 AM
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Norm201, thank you, but that's what I've been doing. My idea was to park it for a full month and disconnect the negative cable, to avoid doing that.
 
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Old 03-05-23, 05:31 AM
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You did not give much info on the car but disconnecting the battery will reset the radio etc. and may also reset the computer.
 
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Old 03-05-23, 05:56 AM
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But the reason is to keep the engine and mechanical parts in good working order. It's considered poor practice to start a car for only a few minutes. It does not expel any moisture that may accumulate from exhaust and within the engine. However, not starting the engine for at least 10 minutes weekly is even worse practice. It will leave the cylinders, pistons, rings and all internal engine parts without an oil film or lubrication, allowing rust and crud to form. So, the lesser of the two evils is to start the car once a week and even better to drive it a few miles.
I mean, once a week to start the car is not much of a chore. Use the remote start, and don't even leave the house. And that will still maintain the battery which should be the least of your worries about maintaining the car.
Just say'n.
 
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Old 03-05-23, 07:34 AM
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Manden, it's a 2004 Toyota Corolla, I have disconnected the black negative cable before and only the radio presets need to be reprogrammed once reconnected, nothing else.
 
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Old 03-05-23, 09:35 AM
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My wife has a 2004 Corolla also. Other than the clock nothing changes if you disconnect and later reconnect the battery. It doesn't affect her radio but I installed an aftermarket radio, GPS and back up camera about 3 yrs ago.
 
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Old 03-06-23, 06:56 AM
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Experts disagree on the best way to preserve the battery.

My expert opinion in early 2023 is this:

The battery can be left unattended and connected for two weeks given the slight drain (parasitic drain) due to electronics that are still alive in the car.

With at least one of the two cables disconnected the battery can sit for something like four months. A few more months if it is not too cold.

Even a battery maintainer must not be left connected for days or weeks after charging is complete. After the maintainer indicates the battery is fully charged, let it go another few hours (one overnight is okay) and then disconnect it. Two weeks later run the maintainer again. (Three months later if possible and if a cable had been disconnected.)

While you might be away and the car has to sit untouched, the more discharging the battery gets before the next recharging visit, the overall life of the battery in years can be shortened, Also leaving a charger or maintainer connected long after charging is complete can shorten the battery life.

A car battery regardless of age is vulnerable to freezing if more than half discharged. The exact temperature depends on how much charge was still there.

When starting or running or using the car just to charge the battery, the car has to run 20 minutes to put back the charge dissipated since the last time you started the car plus put back what you used starting the car now..



 
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Old 03-06-23, 08:37 AM
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Even a battery maintainer must not be left connected for days or weeks after charging is complete.
This is where a maintainer is different from a trickle charger.

The maintainer monitors the charge on the battery and shuts down the current flow where as a trickle charger continues.

A maintainer can be left on the battery for extended periods of time with no concern!
 
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Old 03-06-23, 10:51 AM
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A maintainer can be left on the battery for extended periods of time with no concern!
Similar to a solar charger. I have my ATV permanently attached for the past several years. It has been attached all winter and never started. Then just a few weeks ago it started just like new.
 
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Old 03-07-23, 05:20 AM
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Allan J, thank you, that is interesting information.
 
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Old 03-07-23, 08:55 AM
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Leave the battery connected to the maintainer as long as required -

https://battlebornbatteries.com/battery-maintainer/

From webpage: "So, can you really leave your battery maintainer on all the time? Fortunately, the answer is yes! Battery maintainers are designed for constant and long-term use. When used correctly, they should be perfectly safe to use as long as you need."
 
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Old 03-07-23, 09:25 PM
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I would not really risk a battery disconnected should maintain a charge for a month easy about the only maintainer I would trust would only be capable of trickle charging.
 
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Old 03-08-23, 04:21 AM
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Since COVID I have had our 2016 Dodge van on a maintainer constantly as our trips were intermittent. Works great !
 
 

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