Would occasional 10 minute trips be long enough to charge a completely new Honda 2013 Civic's car battery, without it slowly dying over the long term? It's getting colder now and I don't drive frequently. I could see myself making a 10 minute one-way trip, so I was wondering if this was long enough to recharge the car battery over a period of 2 months like this.

I feel like I shouldn't have to worry about this too much, since many people use their car for short trips (picking up the kids, getting groceries, driving to work) and they have to start the car for each one-way stop. Am I just overthinking this?

I'd be going an average of 30 mph.


Depending on what you mean by "periodic", a 10 mile drive should be enough to recharge a battery if done, for instance, on a weekly basis. There is more to worry about than just the battery, though. Whenever you run your vehicle, you need to completely warm up the car (through driving). This allows for the conditioning of seals, allows gaskests not to dry out, runs old gas out, etc. There are a plethora of reasons to run your vehicle. Speaking of gas, if you are basically going to leave it sit, put some Sta-Bil (or the like) gas treatment into the tank and then completely fill the tank. By filling up the tank, there is less atmosphere in the tank to allow the gas to go bad.

Another alternative for the battery is to get a battery tender. This will keep your battery fully charged and maintained while not in use. Battery tenders I've used have a pig tail which you attach permanently to the vehicle's electrical system. You then plug this into the tender which plugs into the wall. Very easy to utiize and works very well.


Modern vehicles have 'smart' alternators and your vehicle is MY2013 and should not be too troubled by your indicated use. For your peace of mind have you considered a solar panel plugged into your cigarette/power outlet socket? These are widely available from auto accessory shops and are quite inexpensive.


To give a good answer, you need to clarify how often these "occasional" 10 minute trips will be, and how cold the weather is going to be. But unless you're thinking of something like 2-3 weeks or more between trips, or extreme climates, I suspect you're okay. This is based on personal experience with my (much older) Civic with a non-new battery and similar driving patterns in the winter with typical nighttime temperatures around 28-34 F.

Of course when it's that cold you may find yourself wanting to let it run 10 minutes before you even get in the car to warm up the coolant for the heater core, and like Paulster2 said, this will also be good for the car's other components.

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