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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2019 Honda Pilot with automatic engine shutoff/restart has not been driven much lately. Perhaps twice in the last month. I would like to make sure the battery does not run down completely. My choices are to drive it around for a while, or put an intelligent car battery charger on it.

(1) Take the Honda Pilot out and drive it a while. I can drive a loop on the open highways, averaging 55 mph.
Question:
* How much driving time would it take to charge the battery this way, assuming that the car has been parked for several weeks?

or

(2) Attach a battery charger to the battery. I have a Tecmate "Optimate 6" - an excellent "intelligent" car battery charger.
Questions:
  • Would you disconnect the battery to protect the Honda Pilot's computer circuits?
  • If I disconnect the battery, am I likely to encounter issues with the electronics failing to communicate with the onboard computer, where I must take the Honda Pilot to the dealer to reactivate them?
 

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None of our cars have moved much in the last four weeks. At the current rate of usage, the Honda will get about 10 weeks per tank of gas and the wife’s Volvo longer. The only trips they are doing is 2-3 miles to the food store.
However both got spoilt and did a 50 mile drive non stop to town over the weekend. IMHO cars are far happier being driven.
so go take it out for a ten to twenty mile drive with stop start disabled.
You’ll feel freer to!
 

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I think it is always better to drive one down the highway for a bit to get it hot and burn off any moisture in the engine. However, I have an old GMC truck that I drive only occasionally and I keep it hooked up to a battery tender whenever I am not driving it. I try to drive it once a month but sometimes life happens and it does not happen. The battery tender has definitely helped keep the battery in good shape.
 

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My 2019 Honda Pilot with automatic engine shutoff/restart has not been driven much lately. Perhaps twice in the last month. I would like to make sure the battery does not run down completely. My choices are to drive it around for a while, or put an intelligent car battery charger on it.

(1) Take the Honda Pilot out and drive it a while. I can drive a loop on the open highways, averaging 55 mph.
Question:

or

(2) Attach a battery charger to the battery. I have a Tecmate "Optimate 6" - an excellent "intelligent" car battery charger.
Questions:
  • Would you disconnect the battery to protect the Honda Pilot's computer circuits?
  • If I disconnect the battery, am I likely to encounter issues with the electronics failing to communicate with the onboard computer, where I must take the Honda Pilot to the dealer to reactivate them?
I do both - periodically take the vehicle for a short drive to circulate the fluids and keep the tires from developing flat spots AND use a battery charger to top up the battery.
I use a battery charger like the one in the picture and have never had a problem with leaving the battery connected.

 

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Or you could just jump the car IF it doesn't start next time you need to go somewhere. I've never heard of a car battery dying after sitting for a month or so. Whenever I go on a longer trip, the car starts right up.
 

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Battery maintainer is a good plan to keep the battery at its peak via trickle charge. But its best whenever possible to drive it a short distance to circulate fluids in the trans, axles etc as well as charging the battery.
 

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Or you could just jump the car IF it doesn't start next time you need to go somewhere. I've never heard of a car battery dying after sitting for a month or so. Whenever I go on a longer trip, the car starts right up.
If you let a lead acid battery go below a safe voltage (~10.5v), to the point of needing a jumpstart, then you hurt it's ability to hold a full charge later, thus reducing its lifespan and effectively killing the battery, requiring a replacement. So it's best to either drive it occasionally or throw a charger on it if you see the voltage getting much below 12v. That said, unless you've got some phantom current draw from something in your vehicle, it should be able sit for at least several months without harming the battery.
 

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It's like your dog. It's happier if you take it out for a strut regularly.
135400
 

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Best thing is to drive it around. 15/20 minutes at highway speeds would be good not only for the battery, but the vehicle overall. It probably would be good for you as well. If that doesn't work then one of these would be great to have.
Battery Tender Jr 12 Volt 0.75 Amp Battery Charger (California Compliant)

I have something similar for the winter months that I put on my riding mower battery. $30 well spent.

The one I linked to can actually be left in place on the battery if you choose and you can either attach the charger unit under the hood and leave it or just leave the installed cables.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for everyone's input. Keep the advice coming!

I have an Optimate 6 battery charger, by Tecmate. I recommend it highly, by the way. I had an Optimate 4 for my motorcycle, and liked it so much that I bought the Optimate 6 for the cars.

... and yes, I plan to drive it around, but I would also like to know about disconnecting the battery for the future:

-> Has anyone had issues with disconnecting the battery for a while, then reconnecting it?
 

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Don't do it unless you are actually storing the vehicle for an extended period of time. Key fob connections can fail having to be reprogrammed to the vehicle for the keyless entry, keyless start and shutting off the security system, you may have to put it the radio code into the radio or infotainment system to get it to work. All of those issues have been reported by different people just from changing out a bad battery. Nothing that can't be fixed, but can be a PITA.
 

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Driving helps me think and clear my head. Every now and then I can't help but cruise around with no location in mind.

Lately a lot less driving but now only during the day.... and not during what rush hour used to be.

Drive it.
 

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Like Dalton said, I would not disconnect the battery on a modern car unless it was going to sit for an extended period of time (like 6 months or a year) because of all the things that have to be reset when you hook it back up. And, if it is going to sit that long it will need fuel stabilizer added to the tank and run for a but to circulate it. I worry more about fuel going bad rather than the battery.

During all this stay at home stuff I would just put a battery tender on it and try to drive it once a month. If you don't usually drive much anyway and the fuel is going to sit in the tank for several months I would throw some fuel stabilizer in it. That is what I do for my mom'c Civic. It does not accumulate many miles during the year anyway and it sips gas so I have it on a battery tender and put stabilizer in it.
 

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I often put a battery tender on my car batteries. I had a few die, the cable clamps were corroded, even on the new Accord. I see battery maintenance as separate from driving the vehicle. Newer cars especially have a heavy load on the electrical systems. I consider the alternator as keeping the car running while the engine is running and ready to start the car next time. But to maintain the battery, I put them on a tender overnight every couple weeks when I'm not driving them daily. You don't have to disconnect the battery, just put the tender on under the hood and leave it as long as you want (unless there's some kind of detector on the newest vehicles for some reason?).

Drive the car for the other reasons. Put a battery tender on it overnight for the battery. And I see no reason to disconnect the battery unless you're replacing it (and it would be dead already) or if you're working on some component connected to the electrical system. But with a brand new car there is no reason to disconnect the battery.
 

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Whenever I plan to NOT drive a vehicle for a while, I would start and let it run for 30 minutes at least once a week, because I figure the car-alarm is somehow draining the battery.
On occasions, I would take said vehicle for a 2 mile strut, to keep joints lubricated etc.
 

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Also make sure to turn off your ac and stereo so it doesnt require more power when starting.
There’s really no need to do that. The power to those items runs through a “relay” that drops out power when the ignition switch is in the crank position. When you release the ignition switch from cranking, power is reconnected to all the accessories. Automobiles are designed that way to give the starter the maximum amount of power.
 

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There’s really no need to do that. The power to those items runs through a “relay” that drops out power when the ignition switch is in the crank position. When you release the ignition switch from cranking, power is reconnected to all the accessories. Automobiles are designed that way to give the starter the maximum amount of power.
Hey, good to know, because I've had that habit since driving cars made in the early '60s. It makes sense that this would be the case in what Scotty Kilmer refers to as "modern cars" -- anything that no longer has a carburetor or has an OBD2 port. :)


 

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My 2019 Honda Pilot with automatic engine shutoff/restart has not been driven much lately. Perhaps twice in the last month. I would like to make sure the battery does not run down completely. My choices are to drive it around for a while, or put an intelligent car battery charger on it.

(1) Take the Honda Pilot out and drive it a while. I can drive a loop on the open highways, averaging 55 mph.
Question:
* How much driving time would it take to charge the battery this way, assuming that the car has been parked for several weeks?

or

(2) Attach a battery charger to the battery. I have a Tecmate "Optimate 6" - an excellent "intelligent" car battery charger.
Questions:
  • Would you disconnect the battery to protect the Honda Pilot's computer circuits?
  • If I disconnect the battery, am I likely to encounter issues with the electronics failing to communicate with the onboard computer, where I must take the Honda Pilot to the dealer to reactivate them?
You don't need a battery charger, to maintain your battery. A smaller device called a battery tender is a great little device that you clip to your battery which automatically applies a trickle charge and shuts off automatically. Most people go out at least once a week to the store which is all you need to put the charge back in that was lost from your car's electronics that don't totally shut off, loke computer memory of diagnostic info, oil life etc.
 
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