Can there be significant battery draw if I keep the doors open while the engine is turned off?

In my case I park a minivan (Town&Country 2016, although I'm asking more in general, not specific to this model of the vehicle) in a garage at home. Indoor lights remain on for a few minutes after opening any door before they turn off. My question is about battery and electronic system, so please exclude other potential issues in keeping the door open in a garage.

While mechanics.stackexchange.com#q32854 is insightful, the thread seems to talk about windows being shut, which is not my case.

2 Answers 2


On most later model cars including your T&C if the door(s) are left open, the dome lights automatically turn off after so many minutes to preserve battery. However some of the modules may remain "awake" during the time the doors are left open. I imagine the security system would prevent a module or so to sleep. This may cause some battery drainage. To find out, you can hook an ammeter inline and monitor amperage. You should see the amps go down to the sleep level somewhere between 5 minutes and 1 hour.

  • 1
    I would think the "sleep level" should be no more than with the doors closed and everything shut off. I'd expect a newer vehicle, where the Body Control Module is in charge (like a 2016 T&C), to shut everything down which isn't normally on. At least that was my understanding it's supposed to do (as you stated in your answer). Feb 15, 2022 at 19:24
  • I mark this as an answer as it covers what I want to know and what I could do if I'm curious to further verify. I'm curious to do my own verification when I have time, but without doing that.
    – IsaacS
    Feb 18, 2022 at 10:46

On most cars the dome light, and possibly other lights and systems, may be ON when the doors are open.

This should not be an issue having the doors open for a short period of time but after a while you may drain the battery such that it cannot be started.

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