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Advice for "Cabin" car

16 posts in this topic

Hi All,

We've got a car up at the cabin that we'll use when we're there. I'd say it gets out at least every weekend, but sometimes it may be two weeks.

We've been running into a problem where we go to start it, and the battery is dead. I'm going to replace the battery as it's not holding much of a charge, but I got to thinking about something too.

When I put the boat away for the weekend, I unhook the battery terminals so there's no chance of any juice being sucked from the battery. Would it make sense to do this to the car as well?

Any other causes of this that I could look into?

Thanks for any input!

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Year, Make, Model?

How old is the battery?

most newer vehicles will have up to 50 milliamps usually less than 25 milliamps of draw on the battery at all times. To compare an average trunk light will be around 200 to 250 milliamps. A trunk light left on can drain a weak battery in about 24 to 48 hours. Add in cold weather and it will be much sooner. So it is entirely possible that in a weeks time a small normal draw could drain a less than peak battery.

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Thanks for the quick reply.

It's a 1990 Honda Accord.

The battery that's in there doesn't have a date strip on it (where the month and year are punched out), but I'd say it's at least 2-3 years old, probably more.

Sounds like it would be a good idea to disconnect everything at the end of the weekend, just to be safe.

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It can't hurt. That old of a vehicle the only thing to worry about is the clock blinking 12:00 and no radio presets!

Be prepared to still have to replace the battery. They don't like to be "dead" especially in the extreme cold.

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Maybe buy a battery tender and leave that on it when your gone.

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Thanks for the suggestion. That feeds another question.

I did hook up the charger to it, but it kept reading it as a "bad connection". I have used that charger on lots of things and have never had that happen.

I read through the charger manual and it indicated how to hook up a "positive grounded" and a "negative grounded" battery. I looked at the diagrams and compared to the battery and couldn't tell which it was. I tried all the different combinations with no luck and wrote it off as a bad battery (a bad battery will cause that type of reading).

How can you tell if a battery is positive or negative grounded?

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I think it's safe to say any mass produced vehicle made after the 1930's or so and every mass produced late model vehicle will be negative grounded. There will be some exceptions but yours is not one of them.

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I agree, sounds like a bad battery. Put in a good battery and this thing should stay charged well over 2 weeks.

Jer, new email address? Did the old one get filled, and you didnt want to empty it? grin

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Thanks all!

I'll let you know what happens.

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Jer, new email address? Did the old one get filled, and you didnt want to empty it? grin

Nope, I was running into issues with spam filters not accepting the autoinfo account. Now that I think about it it kind of makes sense.

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Yep, a new battery never hurts and disconnect it while you are gone.

Jer, I could but I will not (e-mail and spam) grin

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Just wanted to give an update...I meant to do this much earlier, but I just got to it this weekend.

I dropped a new battery in the car and everything sprang back to life.

Drove her into town, filled up with gas, gave her a good washing, filled the tires with air etc. She's running like new. Just have to fix and exhaust leak, and she'll be ready for summer.

I'll disconnect the terminals before leaving for the weekends now, just to avoid any problems.

Thanks to all for the input - advice.

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If the battery was the problem (which is what my guess was) there is no reason you should have to disconnect the battery. What a PITA! If the new battery goes dead in 2 weeks you have other problems. I have vehicles that I don't start for 4-5 weeks and have no problems.

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i would just get one of those quick disconnect switchs for the battery. that way you only have to pop the hood and flip the switch and your good to go until you need it again

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It's not a big deal. I just pop the hood and pull the terminals - Takes me 2 minutes.

Thanks!

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suit yourself, just thought that would make it easier and there only like $10

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