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Brand New Car Battery Query

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barry1010 | 18:31 Fri 26th Jan 2024 | Motoring
13 Answers

I gave my neighbour a jump start this morning (oy!) and she asked me how long a new battery would last sat in her garage in case her old battery failed again.  I don't know and I told her I would ask my personal experts - that means you.

Her battery is only a couple of years old, it doesn't need replacing - she simply had used the car for a while.



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Look at the date on the back before buying. A new battery has a 12 month shelf life before needing recharging

Question Author

That's interesting, thank you 

If she has power in the garage, a much better option would be to get a decent modern (intelligent) charger and use it whenever she won't need to use the car for a while. Buying a new battery and leaving it unused for a long time is not a good idea.

A decent charger (C-Tek being amongst the best) can have the wiring permanently fitted with just a small socket in the radiator grille - no need to lift the bonnet to put the battery on charge.

Question Author

A great idea, thanks, ginge

Look for one that has 2023/2024 half way through 2023 will be fine. Should a battery spend the full 12 months on the shelf they fast charge them. But not many batteries do. 

Question Author

I will tell her both options and recommend a trickle charger.

I always keep a large capacity 12volt  battery in my workshop in case I should need a jump start. I have a solar panel hanging inside the workshop window which gives the battery a slow trickle charge all year rond.It was designed mainly for caravan owners who have left their vans on site for a while. It either connects direct to the battery via crocodile clips or has another cable with a cigar socket plug. It has served me well for about 6 years now and going strong.

Question Author

Thanks, retro

Whilst a new battery sitting of a shelf might not need recharging for a year or longer, fitted to a modern vehicle drawing only 30mA will flatten a 60Ah battery in less than 2 months.


Be aware that the solar trickle-charge units that use a cigar lighter plug connection won’t work if the battery power to the lighter socket is isolated with the vehicle ignition off – that is why one option includes an OBD plug for battery connection.

Question Author

Thanks, Hymie.

Trickle charge like CTEK prolongs the batrry life. 

But as an alternative a starter pack is small cheaspish and can be kept in the glove box.

Yes, these starter packs are an OK solution to a flat battery...but I'd prefer to avoid the flat battery in the first place - hence, my trickle charger suggestion.

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