I haven’t driven my car almost at all in 4 months. About 2 months ago, it wouldn’t start, and it had a really old battery that needed to be replaced anyway, so I got a new one put in.

Now, I stupidly left it sitting again thinking it’d be okay since the battery is new, but it won’t start again.

If it matters, my car is pretty old. It’s a 2009 Mercury Milan. But it’s only got 75k miles and it’s in otherwise great shape.

My question is: after I jump start it, should I go for a drive? How often do I need to start my car and how often should I drive it? I really don’t want to buy an expensive charging gadget if I don’t need to. How do I keep this from happening to my battery again? Please tell me I’m not going to have to buy a new one.


3 Answers 3


The battery in your car charges while your car is running through the alternator. If your car is sitting for a long period of time without charging (running), it is possible for the battery to drain enough so that you can't start your car. Try leaving the car running in park for 10 minutes every week, else your other option is to disconnect the battery if you know you're going to leave it without driving for a while that way it doesn't drain as fast.

  • 10 minutes idling per week is not likely sufficient for a battery to recover from the current consumed in starting the vehicle. Jul 6, 2020 at 0:57

Get a trickle charger. Easy to install, cheap to buy and to use, just need an electric outlet or very long extension cord. Any auto store or Target or Walmart normally have one.


Engines need to be cranked periodically to keep the fluids from setting up. Vehicles need to be driven also so the tires dont dry rot and the brake systems need to be cycled to to maintain its integrity. So i would say at a minimum crank the vehicle and let it run and cycle the brakes and roll foward and back even if its only a few feet.

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