Car battery keeps losing charge


Since lockdown and I'm only going on very short and infrequent trips. And I was ill for 2 mobths out of that and barely drove at all. Tis a nuisance that it so often won't start now. I've been regularly taking it for a slightly longer drive to charge the battery back up but the problem keeps happening because as I say, driving such short infrequent trips. I have a battery that you charge at home and it will start the car 2 or 3 tines before needing to be recharged and its proving invaluable at the mo.

But I've never used it. Mr does it. I confess I'm scared of getting shocked which is daft but there we are.

Was half thinking of getting a car battery charger, but have just been reading and it sounds even more (for me) anxiety provoking than the little gadget we already have.

It's my car, I ought to be able to do this myself, not rely on him.

Wondering what most others might do in similar situations?

Seems like I either need to find a way to charge the car battery at home - which might involve having to disconnect the battery from the car and into the house? :nailbiting: As there's no private driveway or garage.

Or else keep taking the car on battery charging trips?
If it was my car I would take it to my car repair guy.

That's not normal and should be fixed - it sounds beyond anything you can do if it's not just the battery itself. It might be the alternator. Try changing the battery and if that doesn't fix it, can you take it to a mechanic?


1. I was tortured with a car battery. Getting shocked won’t kill you, unless you have an internal pacemaker, a severely damaged heart, or suffer from seizures which can be triggered by even mild electrical shocks. It hurts like a sonnuvabitch is all. And that’s with a sustained charge. Glancing charges are more frightening than painful.

2. You can’t get shocked through sturdy rubber gloves.

3. They sell kids toy kits with waaaaay lower charges, to let you “play” with electricity in a safe way, if you want to practice / get comfortable with pos/neg connections, etc.

Generally speaking, if it’s not the battery? It’s the alternator. HOWEVER if you’re not driving for an hour or more at least once a week? It’s probably your battery. And your next battery. And the one after that. A car that’s not being driven frequently, the battery will “run down” very quickly, not accept charges easily, and eventually refuse to accept a charge at all. That’s what a “good” battery does. And what’s usually tested for. That it can take a charge at all. Not how much of one it can take, or how long the charge will last for. That it can still take a charge doesn’t mean it’s not on it’s last legs from want of use. The battery in a car that’s been sitting in my driveway will still take a charge (jump start), and if I drove 4+ hours will retain enough to start -once- on its own. And then it has to be jump started again. Even if I’ve just stopped for gas after driving 4 hours, if I’ve already stopped once. Because it’s on it’s last legs from want of use. Even though it’s a “new” battery... it’s been sitting for so many months, with so little use, the poor thing is anorexic.


1 I've been frightened of getting shocked for quite a while and amnt keen on exposing self to that. Nu uh :)

2 Rubber gloves I can see me being much less frightened using them. I'll buy some n keep em in the car. ✔

3 noted for possible future but nah thanks just now :D

I agree this is happening because the car isn't bring driven enough. After that forgive me for not being sure I understand fully.

Am I right in thinking I need to get in the habit of driving my car for an hour once a week in order for the battery to remain charged and also not deteriorate?

As in do you think my car battery is somehow damaged for having gone through this? It was MOT'd just before lockdown and battery tested fine.

(I've never driven the thing a huge amount. But this problrm has only been happening since coronavirus - my being ill for 2 months and then not going out much at all cause of lockdown)

In the past month I've tended to take it for a longer drive occasionally and it will start fine the next couple or three times. But I'm not taking it out for a drive long or often enough.

So basically - I need to start taking it out for an hour once a week?


Do I need to get the battery retested / buy another and then take it out regularly fir an hour?
Hey @Teasel - your battery sounds perfectly normal.

All batteries will behave in the same manner if you are not driving regularly. If you continue to not drive frequently, which is what I think you're saying it won't matter if you buy a new battery because it's the lack of charging that is the problem. All batteries, left in vehicles will lose their charge over time. Driving is how healthy batteries are recharged when the vehicle is being used frequently enough.

No, don't waste your life on getting it retested.

No don't waste your dosh on a new battery.

Yes, driving the vehicle for about an hour or so once or more a week - should keep a healthy battery in sufficient charge.


Take your car battery out of your vehicle to prevent it naturally discharging.


Purchase a battery charger (make sure you get the correct type!) and learn how to connect the terminals.


It's not that hard. If you can plug in a toaster or recharge your mobile - you can recharge a battery.

Red to Red,
Black to Black,
Negative (NEG) to Negative
Positive (POS) to Positive.

Remember to not touch anything but the terminals on the battery and wear the rubber gloves.

There is a really easy procedure for safely managing this. Get somebody to supervise you doing it the first time and you'll smash it!!
Tips for recharging a battery

^If you need more info.
ps whilst you're wondering about your car - check the air-pressure in your tyres too? :)


As to the shock fears -

And it may be very survivable even *with* a seizure disorder (not speaking to hearts, yet, since my knock wood isn't that wrecked yet, but.) -

So while caution needed, deadly, it likely isn't :tup: :hug:

So damn proud of you for independence, T. :happy: Much fan and safe journeys.


You have a slow drain always from the computers for the car systems. It’s normal if not driven for a couple weeks. Also any add on you have done to the car can cause a drain as well. Or you could have a bad relay or fuse causing it if it drains in a day or two. As for 12 Volt DC power in a car battery as long as you have rubber soleb shoes you are fine unless saltwater (sweat) is put into the equation which makes DC power more conductive. The voltage isn’t what kills you it’s the amperage you receive. Tasers have 20-50k volts but zero amps. A simple flashlight battery has enough amperage to kill you and only 1.5 volts. It’s all about how the amperage goes through you. If you make yourself less of a conductor with shoes and gloves you will be 100% ok. There is a simple solar trickle charger you can get on Amazon that plugs into where you plug your phone in and just leave it sitting on the dash. That will help keep the charge up.


It drains after a week or so. The solar trickle thing would be appealing except for where I live / park the vehicle it would be robbed. Can’t leave anything at all on show in the car.
Get one of the small battery pack jump start kits. Looks like a cell phone battery pack but a little bigger. Mine will not allow you to hook it up wrong (green light if you hook it up right, red light and alarm if not). When fully charged it can jump start a vehicle many times. It's small and portable. A quick search on your favorite browser will show many different ideas.
Be aware that you may start seeing false "warnings" for different sensors on your car, this happens when your battery is low and most will clear when your battery is fully charged.