1

Scenario: There is a parked car in a garage, that's been unused for a month and has the negative side of the battery disconnected. Car is from 2001.

Could the battery explode? Or could the car cause a fire in some other way?

Are both scenarios unlikely?

2
  • 2
    Very unlikely, unless someone goes in with a petrol bomb and matches.
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 18 '20 at 9:11
  • @SolarMike thanks! I know exploding car batteries aren't uncommon and short circuits can cause fire... but given the car had been unused and battery was partly disconnected, I've assumed it is unlikely that a car in this scenario could start a fire?
    – Noobie1357
    Nov 18 '20 at 9:16
1

Well... cars (and car batteries) are made to not spontaniously catch fire.

Unless if you have electrical issues, but even that is not likely to cause a fire, especially since you have the battery disconnected.

If you want to be extra sure, you can remove the fuel from the fuel tank, but that's probably overkill.

3
  • Thanks! If the battery is still in the car, but just the negative side disconnected, is it still possible for something to short circuit/spark and thus cause a fire? The car was just sitting there for a month so I want to assume its extremely unlikely something like that could happen.
    – Noobie1357
    Nov 18 '20 at 10:50
  • To be extra safe, you could take out the entire battery, but I think you can safely assume nothing like is ever going to happen.
    – user60481
    Nov 18 '20 at 11:13
  • If there is nothing touching the negative terminal post, then nothing can happen.
    – John Canon
    Nov 28 '20 at 3:42
1

In 35 years, I've never heard of a battery exploding by itself. A battery with the negative removed will not spark.

I've seen a few cars burn, but it was always due to leaking gasoline. If you can smell gasoline/petrol, it is definitely a fire hazard. If not, there is no concern.

2
  • Many years ago my brother managed to do it ( not a car guy). He had been cranking ( no start) and recharging the battery . He was disconnecting or reconnecting the battery and a side of the battery blew out. Hydrogen had apparently collected in the battery and expolded with a spark. Nov 19 '20 at 14:47
  • Thanks very much for sharing that experience. After I posted the answer, I did remember the potential for hydrogen buildup. I decided not to change my post b/c I didn't feel it's enough of a threat to start a fire. Nevertheless, a battery can obviously be a danger!
    – Carguy
    Nov 21 '20 at 18:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.