Why Is Disconnecting Car Battery For Storage Is A Good Idea?

Planning to take a winter break and visit somewhere warm? The first thing to do is disconnecting car battery for storage during your absence. The car battery is one of the vital components that powers all other components under the hood. Without a car battery, your car is just a big piece of metal. If the car battery is left without a charge, it can make a simple trip to the supermarket troublesome. Hence, leaving your car battery for a longer time could lead to unnecessary expenses.

In this blog, we will reveal why disconnecting the car battery when you are not around can be good for the health of your car battery.

Why Disconnecting Car Battery For Storage Is A Good Idea?

When going out of town for a longer period, disconnecting your car battery can do a world of good for the battery. Winters might be a time when you plan on going with your friends or family to the snowy mountains for a camping trip. It would be a good idea to remove the car battery while you are away.

Here are the reasons why disconnecting car battery when on vacation is actually a good decision to take.

1. Saving the battery juice

When you disconnect your car battery from the car, it helps prevent the electrical systems including the clock and onboard computer system from draining it completely. Therefore, if you leave the car battery unattended for a longer period, then it might damage the battery and even need replacement. Not to mention, car owners can also disconnect car battery to prevent drain

Effects of Disconnecting Car Battery For Storage (Photo: pixabay)

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2. Save money

By keeping the battery disconnected during your absence for longer periods, the battery does not drain and retains its life cycle. This will save you money on buying a new battery, which costs $100 to $200 and can be an expensive affair. At times, you could try to jump-start the battery but risk reducing the life of the battery. Hence, never forget that disconnecting car battery for storage can actually save you money on unnecessary expenses.

3. Alternate solution

However, at times you are in a rush to leave for your vacation and are not able to disconnect the car battery. No need to worry, buy a trickle charger, and leave it connected to the battery to charge it slowly. However, purchasing a trickle charger is a better idea than disconnecting the car battery when going out of town.

How Should I Disconnect Car Battery?

How to disconnect a car battery for storage is a big question for many drivers. The battery is the most important component in your car that not only provides it power but also keeps other electrical systems running at max. However, after a certain period, it becomes essential to replace the existing battery with a new one. It is a confusing task for many car owners, who are removing the battery for the first time.

No need to worry, the steps mentioned below will help you in disconnecting the car battery without too much hassle.

1. Get your protection

Before taking the battery out, always remember how dangerous it is. Not only does the car battery hold a huge potential of electrical danger, it can also cause gas flames if car owners have no idea what they are doing. So for safety reasons, before touching any cables and terminal, drivers must wear safety gloves and goggles. Don’t forget to turn off the ignition as well.  

2. Identifying the negative terminal

The first step is to identify the negative terminal of the car battery. It is recommended to start with the negative terminal first, then the positive comes after. Usually, the negative terminal will have a black cover but it can also be identified by the negative sign or minus sign close by it. After that, take a pair of pliers or a wrench and attach it to the bolt head over the negative terminal of the battery. Another thing to check is the cable: if it is seized to the post of the car battery, car owners must use a special removal tool in order to remove the connector. If it isn’t, you can continue to the next step: 

3. Pull out the cables

Now, take another pair of pliers or a wrench and undo the securing nut. First, pull out the negative cable and secure it to one side of the engine with a cable tie. Next, repeat the above two steps with the positive terminal on the car battery. Once the positive cable has been undone, secure it with a cable tie. Make sure that the two cables never touch each other and that the positive cable end does not touch any metal part of the car. The positive cable has a short current, which can damage the electrical components of the car in case of discharge.

4.  Safely remove the securing bracket

Many car batteries include a securing bracket, which holds the battery in its proper position. In case, the bracket is in place then you will not be able to move the battery. Hence, it is recommended to use pliers or a wrench to undo any connections and remove the bracket. Once the battery is unsecured, you can remove it without any hassle. Make sure that you have the insulated gloves and safety glasses on and lift the battery with a firm grip. It is better to know some battery maintenance tips than to spend money on a new battery.

Reasons for disconnecting the car battery for storage. (Photo: pixabay)

The Conclusion

Thus, if you are planning disconnecting your car battery for storage for a whole month; we recommend that you think once again. It is not a good idea for the functioning of the battery as well as the safety of your vehicle.

Learning how to disconnect your battery safely:

Frequently Asked Questions

It is understandable that disconnecting car batteries for storage and how to unplug car battery are popular topics. For that reason, here are some common questions and their answers from our automobile experts.

Which battery terminal should be disconnected for storage?

It is always recommended to disconnect the negative terminal first. When connecting the battery, however, the order will be opposite: Positive end first, then negative terminal after

How long will a car battery last if disconnected?

The maximum lasting time of a car battery, when removed, is around 6 months. Nonetheless, car owners should recharge their disconnected batteries from time to time for them to last.  

How do you keep a car battery from dying when not in use?

Apart from disconnecting the car battery for storage, there are 4 common ways to keep the lifespan of the battery:

  • Get a car battery charger. When you go on a vacation or do not use your car for a long time, a smart battery charger is definitely needed.
  • Reduce the drain of a car battery: Car owners can turn off some car features like DVD players, radio, and navigation systems since they are draining energy. 
  • Increase your driving time: It may sound weird, but driving short distances with many stops actually affects your battery life.
  • Keep it clean and cool: Heat is one of the most common factors that drain the car battery. If your battery has dirt and grease-covered, it will trap heat around. For that reason, drivers should usually clean the battery with a towel.

What happens if you disconnect the positive terminal first?

Usually, car owners disconnect car battery negative only so the battery can separate from the chassis. If you disconnect the positive end instead, the wrench could accidentally contact another part of the vehicle and might blow a fuse, which damages the battery and other sensitive parts of your car.