Advise on Car Battery

Young woman with her dog need help…. please

I don't drive the car often, and have problem with new battery been flat out in 1 year… what's the best option to avoid this apart from keep driving ?

I am thinking on learning myself on to how take battery out and charge it myself… instead of calling AA, is it easy to buy the battery charger and DIY ? is it things to watch out when take battery off the car… any one have experience on this please share with me, any danger on doing this DIY ?


  • +1

    Super easy to do!
    I charged mine fortnightly over lockdown and had no issues when I went to drive it.

    Recommend a ctek charger, charge it once a week or fortnight if you're not driving the car and you should have any issues.

    Pm me for more info, I work in automotive and can give you some recommendations.

  • +1

    Totally agree with Icecold! I've got a car that doesn't get driven much - once in past 7 months - but have a Ctek MSX-5.0 always connected and it constantly trickle charges. Before that I ruined a new battery in 12 months through lack of use.

    Check around for pricing, at the moment PBTech @ $160'ish looks good. Got mine from a marine shop in Wanganui, including freight it was still the best deal in NZ.

    Never, ever buy a cheap charger - you'll get what you pay for. A cheap charger..

  • Where did you get the old battery from? Usually, they come with a 3-year warranty. If you got it from AA then they should replace it. Alternatively, it could be another issue such as your alternator not charging the battery.

    If you don't drive often you and have your car in a garage you could try a trickle charger - this keeps it topped up while you're not using it but requires a plug.

    • Hi kaz, I got that AA on the rescue call out….. and it was 2 years warranty but they refuse to replace me the new one, saying I didn't drive often, then battery is not charging up, I can jump you up, and you will need to leave it on for half hour, then drive for half for the next 3 days… I was like what…can't be bothered arguing.

      • I see, they may have done a check on the battery and seen that it's still functional, but just flat. In that case I understand why they wouldn't want to replace it.

        In this instance I would recommend the trickle charger or smart charger, you hook it up to your car and just leave it be - that's assuming your car can be parked in a garage. This way you wont have to remove it from the car either.

  • +1

    You don't need to take the battery out to charge it, you can charge it is place (I even close the hood (just make sure none of the clips touch any other metal or it'll short circuit. Any battery charger will more or less do.

    The secret to making a battery last long is to make sure it never drops too low in voltage. Once a month should be often enough if it's sitting around not doing much.

    • +2

      And don't forget to disconnect it before you drive off… Maybe leave the hood up as a reminder to disconnect 🙂

    • I am no expert, so just throwing this out there as I have been 'told off' by friends for charging a car battery in place.

      They say that with modern cars (I am guessing cars that seem to have computers in them, but maybe more complex than that) there is a risk of damaging the car's electronics if you charge in place, so better to always remove the battery first.

      We have multiple cars in the household as we have older kids and their cars are from around mid 2000s so I am thinking they are perhaps safe to charge in place? Maybe our newer vehicles (2018 for example) we shouldn't?

      My own thoughts are that it seems easier to just drive them around for 30 mins every other week or so - hopefully you don't have any issues that way and even during lock-down there were occasional trips, so we tried to 'rotate' use of the cars but we still had one go flat.


      • +1

        I suspect the issue would be if the charger is connected incorrectly, could cause same damage (although the main fuse should blow)
        Heaps of high end cars are routinely left on CTEK charges while the battery is in place and no issues.

        • Can I please check when you say cars are routinely left on CTEK charges while the battery is in place, do you mean with the cars terminals still connected to the battery along with the CTEK? Thanks

          • @jbird: Yes - this is a good point.

            If we remove the car terminals from the battery, and replace them with the charger's terminals, then it seems to me that there cannot be any risk to the car's electronics at all and it would be an all-round safer option?


          • +1

            @jbird: That's the one. I also use a trickle charger as during lockdowns we sometimes don't shift the car for weeks. No issues at all charging it with the battery in place. I even have the car power on (doing some code adjustments to an Android radio). Having the trickle charger prevents the battery running down while doing that too.

            I'd also recommend the OP to get a portable jump starter in case the worse scenario does happen and the battery goes flat but they don't have time to wait for it to charge up. It saves the call out to AA.

            If you google "xiaomi portable car battery jumper" you'll see what I mean, portable these days really means something that looks like a power bank and can easily fit in the glove box. It's saved my butt a few times.

          • +2

            @jbird: Yeap with terminals in place, Iv seen it done alot where the charging posts under the hood are used as its annoying getting to the battery.
            Keep in mind this is for trickle charger,
            I wouldnt do this with full blown batter chargers. These are designed to bring a battery back to life, and shouldnt be used while still connected to the vehicle.

            • @rkl: @alan6984 - with the car getting occasional use but not enough to maintain the battery, my thinking is it will be more sustainable to trickle charge say every 2 weeks but at that frequency I'd prefer not to disconnect the car terminals as that results in electronics resetting. Sounds like @seifer and @rkl are doing this all good, and the CTEK sounds smart enough to protect the vehicle in this scenario.

              • spark-proof and reverse polarity protected to ensure safety and vehicle electronics are not harmed during charging
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