Idle cars sitting during 'stay at home' order may lead to dead batteries experts say

SEATTLE -- Mechanics are saying letting your car sit idle during the “stay at home” order could cause issues.

The “stay at home” order has been in effect for several weeks. Mechanics say that is more than enough time for your car battery to drain or die.

“When you let it sit for a week or two weeks it runs out of juice,” said Hunter West.

West is an automotive technician at Downtown Automotive in Seattle. He says recently the most common issue they have seen coming in are dead batteries.

West says this is an issue that can affect any car.

“It doesn’t matter, new, old. You could have a 2018 car, 2019 run out, you could have a 1960s same thing,” he said.

In fact, he says because of the technology in newer model cars it can lead to batteries dying quicker.

West says it’s an easy problem to avoid.

He says make sure you unplug any chargers or other devices that drain the battery from your car. Start your car at least once a week (West says, if possible, do start it every day), and let it run for ten minutes or take it for a drive.

If it does get to the point where you are having issues, West says it’s an easy fix.

“A lot of the times it’s as simple as we put the battery on the charger, but other times they need a new battery because it’s drained so low there is no coming back from it,” said West.

West says if your car will not start, do not continue to crank the engine. That can cause issues that are more expensive to fix.

Also, if you have a newer car, do not repeatedly jump-start it. That can cause damage to the computers inside of the vehicle.