We have a 2009 Honda Jazz, which we're not using at the moment due to coronavirus restrictions.

We're planning on taking it for a 15-20 minute drive once a week to keep it going, as advised in this useful answer.

But the battery is not in a good state, and I'm worried that our drop in usage may cause it to fail completely, especially if the restrictions are tightened further and those weekly trips are no longer possible.

The car is parked on the road (our garage is full of stuff).

So I'm thinking about removing the battery from the car, then hooking it up to a trickle charger in the garage.

Will leaving the car for long periods without a battery installed do any harm?

My intuition is this is fine (eg I'm used to entering the radio code to reactivate it after battery failure). But on trying to look this up, I'm finding some contrary information: eg from https://www.racq.com.au/cars-and-driving/products-and-services/batteries/battery-myths

If a car is not going to be driven for a several weeks, the battery terminals should be disconnected. FALSE. Most cars have on-board computers that run the electrics, steering, transmission and security systems. These systems require a continuous amount of power to operate. If you disconnect the battery, you might find that these systems don’t work even when you reconnect the battery.

1 Answer 1


No, it will not hurt your vehicle. There are other vehicles as you've stated in your excerpt which it might, for the reasons given. Yours is not one of them.

There are a couple of caveats:

  1. Be aware of is the codes for the radio. Ensure you have them before removing the battery. Along those lines, you'll most likely lose all of your radio settings as well.
  2. If the vehicle has a fob to unlock the doors, ensure the key works in the door before locking them. You won't be able to use the fob once it's locked.

Beyond that, there's no fear for the vehicle.

On your battery, a trickle charger may not be such a good idea to just leave it on there. Using a battery tender is a much better option if available. If not, leave the battery off of the trickle charger until the night before you plan on putting it back into the car. A trickle charger will continue to try and charge the battery even after fully charged. By using it for longer than the time it takes to charge the battery can cause further damage to the battery, including boiling it, which can also ruin anything the acid coming out of the battery comes in touch with.

  • Thank you! Really appreciate the speedy & helpful response. I wasn't aware of trickle charger vs battery tender. Thank you - I'll dig in to that now that I know this approach (leave the car without battery) is ok.
    – Ashley
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 17:46

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