Do Car Battery Charge While Idling? How to keep your car battery charged when it’s sitting idle? Car batteries need to charge or else they’ll die. When batteries are plugged into a circuit, they will start losing power. The amazing thing here is that car batteries are built to recharge themselves as the car is used. So, driving your vehicle is one way to recharge your car battery.

Do Car Battery Charge While Idling

According to automotive experts at CAA Auto, driving your car for 20-30 minutes will help. And if eventually, you need to drive short distances to stock up on essential goods, those trips may not be enough to get a full charge. So, to be sure, ensure you check your driving time.

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Do Car Battery Charge While Idling? – Car Batteries

The answer is Yes. Car Battery can charge while idling. You may have heard that idling your car for 15-20 minutes is a good alternative method to recharge your battery. While idling older cars for 15-20 minutes may give them enough of a charge to restart, this approach is generally not recommended.

Lots of modern cars are equipped with sophisticated battery management systems that are designed to help extend battery life.  With this, the technology may also limit your vehicle’s ability to charge at low RPMs. Unless you’re driving at higher speeds, the battery may be getting a little charge.

How to Charge Car Battery While Idling

A car’s battery will charge when the engine spins the belt tied to the alternator. If the alternator, engine, belt, and battery are all in working order, then yes, a car battery will charge when idling.

The only downside is that it doesn’t really “charge” that fast. This is because the engine doesn’t have a load on it when your car is simply idling.

However, idling RPMs are less than the RPMs when you’re driving down the road. The belt will spin slower, rotating the shaft slower, and producing less electricity to recharge your battery.

The battery still needs to recharge faster than it’s burning electricity. Imagine that all the electrical components running while your car is idling: (The radio, AC system, Fuel pumps, On-board computers).

Further, if the electrical need for these components outweighs the juice that your alternator can pump in, your battery will still lose its charge. Although it’s technically still charging, it’s expending too much electricity.

Other Ways to Charge Your Car’s Battery

If idling isn’t doing it for you, you have some other options.

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A trickle charger is a special tool that goes on your battery for extended periods of time. It slowly feeds electricity into your battery, while charging it.

This charger will plug into a wall outlet and has a positive and negative wire. You hook it up to your car when you’re not using it and that’s all.

How to Make your Car Battery Last Longer

Car batteries last about three to five years. This will depend on conditions like weather and how you drive, some batteries can even last up to six years. Below are some ways to keep your car’s power supply running efficiently.

Get your car battery tested twice a year by an expert: Your CAA Mobile Battery experts can safely test your battery and determine its condition. Ensure you avoid exposing your car to extreme temperatures. Very hot or cold conditions can decrease the lifespan of your battery.

Clean the top of your car battery: It’s important to make sure the battery terminals are clean, tight and free of corrosion so they can work properly.

DIY cleaning solution- mix 15 ml of baking soda with 250 ml of boiling water. Get an old toothbrush with the mixture to scrub the terminals clean. Take note; Make sure your car isn’t running and has cooled down sufficiently before you start cleaning the battery terminals.

Turn off all the lights. Once you’ve parked, don’t forget to turn off your headlights, the lights for your trunk, glove box, door or other interior lights that can take a toll on your battery.


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