Will idling an engine charge the car battery?
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Thread: Will idling an engine charge the car battery?

  1. #1
    crv|oc Rank: Freshman
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    Will idling an engine charge the car battery?

    I have a car (not my CR-V) which isn't used very often, lucky to be once a fortnight if that and sometimes the trips are only quite short.

    Today after about 3 weeks of non-use, I thought I should start up the car to run some charge thru the battery for fear of it going flat if I didn't start it up. I noticed it turned over somewhat slowly this time...

    My question is - will starting a low-use car up and letting it idle for a period of time (say 15 mins, maybe 30 mins) actually charge the battery and do it any good? Or will it be better to drive it around the block?

    I don't have a plug in battery charger to trickle-charge it - perhaps if the above isn't an efficient way of doing it then I might have to invest in one.

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  3. #2
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    Assuming that the battery and alternator is in good condition yes it will charge up, but depending on what your car is the time may vary-might take 30mins or longer with a discharged battery. It may be wiser to invest in a trickle charger, the one I got from Sears is only 39 bucks so for half a tank of gas you don't have to worry about battery drain is a pretty good deal.
    2008 CR-V LX Glacier Blue Metallic

  4. #3
    crv|oc Rank: Silver
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    Not Having a Trickle Charger

    If you don't have a trickle charger I would drive the car for about 15 to 30 minutes. Idling will charge the battery but very slowly. Driving it will put a better charge on it. But as PartyVan stated, for the price of gas, a trickle charger will pay for it self fairly quick.
    The Black Pearl . . . 2007 EX, 4WD, 5AT, Nighthawk Black Pearl

    Being Irish he had an abiding sense of tragedy which sustained him through temporary periods of joy. W. B. Yeats

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  5. #4
    Everything in Moderation Carbuff2's Avatar
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    Don't use a trickle charge for extended periods...they will OVERCHARGE a battery.

    Instead look for a "float charger": a low-amperage charger with electronics that only charge when the voltage drops a bit. Here's some available in the USA, you could surely find one "Down Under":

    Amazon.com: battery float charger

    ++++++++++++

    PS if you already have a trickle charger, just plug it in through a timer to charge for 30 minutes a day!
    Atwell "Buff" Haines
    '06 AWD CR-V, 5 speed MT!
    '07 Fit Sport, 5 speed MT!
    NJ

    In theory, there is no difference between Theory and Practice. In practice, there is. - Yogi Berra



  6. #5
    crv|oc Rank: Freshman
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    Kmart had a 25% off sale so I ended up getting this:
    Projecta

    Seems to work well - it charged up my battery and then started to maintain it in about 5 hours.

  7. #6
    Everything in Moderation Carbuff2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpine View Post
    Kmart had a 25% off sale so I ended up getting this:
    Projecta

    Seems to work well - it charged up my battery and then started to maintain it in about 5 hours.
    Wow, I didn't know you had K-Marts down there.



    You will get MUCH MORE battery life from that car now that the battery is kept charged. Discharging a battery shortens its life.


    One thing to remember about Smart Chargers: if connected to a battery that is totally "flat" (discharged), the control electronics may not think it is hooked up at all! So they won't work....
    Atwell "Buff" Haines
    '06 AWD CR-V, 5 speed MT!
    '07 Fit Sport, 5 speed MT!
    NJ

    In theory, there is no difference between Theory and Practice. In practice, there is. - Yogi Berra



  8. #7
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    canada/B.C.
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    solar power.

    try a little solar panel charger.I use one often for atvs and trucks they work fine.Especially for trickle charging for afew days.

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