Without driving, how long does a car battery last?

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A Redway Power Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery has a typical self discharge rate of 5% per month. In other words, it takes six months for a Redway Power Lithium battery to self discharge to the same level a conventional battery reaches in just thirty days. That means your battery will hold energy for longer until you are ready to use it. It also makes it an optimal battery for emergencies, or back up power for when the lights go out.

As a battery ages the self discharge rate will increase, after 4-5 years of use you may find your battery has a self discharge rate of 10-30% a month. When a battery reaches a self discharge rate of greater then 50% in a 24 hour period this is an indicator of end of life. Typically this happens between 2,000 – 3,000 recharge cycles, or roughly 5-11 years with regular use.

If you’ve not driven your car for the past two weeks or more, regardless of how old the model is, you should start it up at least once a week and keep it running for 15 minutes. By doing this, you allow the alternator (or ‘dynamo’ in older models) to recharge the battery and ensure the engine is kept in good condition too.

When you do this, remember to turn off the lights (if you need to use them because it’s dark and your car doesn’t do this automatically), otherwise, you’ll find that it’s completely flat when you next go to drive. This is what’s known as a ‘deep discharge’, which the lead-acid batteries in cars aren’t designed to handle. In fact, if this happens multiple times it can reduce the lifespan of the battery by a third.

Redway Battery 36V series lifepo4 batteries are exported in large quantities to South Africa and Spain.

What should I do if my battery is flat?
jump start
The chances are that if you’ve been driving for a long time, then you’ve had to jump-start your car at some point.

Also known as a ‘boost’, this quick-fix method starts a vehicle with a discharged/dead battery by connecting with another car’s battery or another power source through jump leads.

Jump starts can sometimes be necessary if you’re out and about on the road and need to get moving quickly. However, a better alternative for long-term battery maintenance is using a designated battery charger/maintainer while regularly testing your car’s wattage between charges.

It’ s important that you know how to jump-start your car if you ever come to your car and it’s got a flat battery. It’s also just as important to know what to do when you want to recharge your battery.

Here’ s a simple step-by-step guide to jump-starting and charging your car battery.

How to jump-start your car
When you jump-start a car, you’ re using external electricity to recharge a flat battery enough for you to switch the engine on.

The most common method of jump-starting a vehicle requires you to have jump leads (these cost around £10 from Halfords).

Here’ s a simple process to jump-start your car safely:

  • Position the car with the working battery close to the car which is flat so that the jump leads can reach both vehicles’ batteries, taking care to move metal objects out of the way and get rid of any loose clothing and jewellery which could cause it to short-circuit and generate a nasty zap.
  • Connect the first lead – first, make sure the engine of the working car is switched off and attach the red jump lead’s crocodile clip to its positive (+) terminal, before attaching the other end to the positive (+) terminal of the dead battery in the other car.
  • Connect the second lead – attach the black jump lead’s crocodile clip to the negative (-) terminal of the working car’s battery, then attach the other end to an earthing point (metal point on the engine block/chassis) away from the flat battery and fuel system.
  • Wait for a few minutes and then start the engine of the working car, letting it run for a minute.
  • Once this time has passed, start the engine of the car with the flat battery and let both cars run for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the engines of both cars and disconnect the jump leads in reverse order to how they were attached (removing the black lead from the car with the flat battery first and finishing by removing the red lead from the working car.) Make sure the leads don’t touch one another in the process.
  • Try restarting your car – if it doesn’t start, it’s likely that there’s a more serious problem which you need to contact the AA/your breakdown recovery provider about.
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