How Long Can a Hybrid Sit Undriven?

How long can a hybrid sit undriven varies depending on the manufacturer and model.  You should review the owner’s manual storage guidelines if you plan to leave your car parked for longer than 30 days.

And if you intend to keep your car in storage for longer, you’ll need to make some preparations. Preparations include cleaning the interior of your car, removing the battery, and draining any remaining fluids from the engine compartment.

Understanding how a hybrid vehicle operates


A hybrid vehicle is powered by an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors, which utilize the energy stored in batteries.

Therefore, a hybrid vehicle’s battery cannot be charged by plugging it in. Instead, the internal combustion engine and regenerative braking are used to charge the battery [1].

A smaller engine is possible thanks to the electric motor’s added power. Additionally, the battery can reduce engine idling and auxiliary power loads. These features work together to improve fuel efficiency without compromising performance.

Typically, hybrid automobiles have two batteries. The 12-volt battery powers components like the headlights and the audio system. The other high-voltage hybrid system battery provides energy to run the electric motors and start the internal combustion engine.

The battery system is what makes a car a hybrid. If the battery fails, the vehicle ceases to be a hybrid and becomes a normal gasoline-powered car. The battery system is charged while the vehicle is being driven.

When stationary for a long, the battery will be affected. So, how long can a hybrid sit undriven? Let’s now try and answer this question. [2]

How long can a hybrid sit undriven?


Different brands and models will have varying limitations on how long you can leave your hybrid parked. Therefore, consider consulting your owner’s manual for particular storage guidelines if you plan to leave your automobile parked for longer than 30 days.

The batteries in your car will, of course, hold a charge for a time. But after too long, issues may occur, especially with the 12-volt battery. The battery might deplete much more quickly if it’s left connected to the car.

You can leave your hybrid car undriven for between 4 weeks and 2 months without the battery dying. The duration will vary based on the weather, the type of vehicle, and the age of the car battery [3].

Your car’s battery is always in use, even when the vehicle is stationary.

For instance, the clock, alarm, and radio on your dashboard are powered even when the engine is turned off. Furthermore, if you leave the lights on by accident, you may wake up the next morning with a dead battery.

A Tesla with a fully charged main battery can be left idle for a few months. This is because it will continue to charge the smaller 12-volt battery until the main battery runs out of power.

However, other automobiles don’t operate in this way. Because some components are continuously on, the 12-volt battery will run out of power within a month or two.

In such a situation, a 12-volt battery maintainer—not a charger—is required for your particular type of battery. The maintainer will keep the battery from depleting quickly.

Weather also has an impact on your battery’s performance. Your battery might be less effective in severe heat or below zero-degree temperatures. When exposed to high temperatures (over 110 degrees Fahrenheit), the battery’s storage capacity declines.

If you live in a warm environment and don’t have a garage, consider parking the car in the shade. For those in temperate climates, keep the vehicle in a well-heated room during the winter.

If you go too long without driving, the car battery and the alternator may suffer due to their symbiotic relationship. This is because the alternator in your car keeps your battery charged and everything running properly.

The battery starts the alternator, which then starts the engine. While the engine is running, the alternator produces electricity to charge your battery.

When both function properly, they create the ideal power, generating an electrical circuit that feeds itself to provide long-lasting performance.

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How to maintain your hybrid car when not in use


The procedure for the maintenance and storage of your will vary depending on the model. Nevertheless, you can adhere to certain fundamental guidelines to keep it in good condition if you don’t often drive your automobile [4].

First, you need to think about where you keep your car. Unless you want to use it for a long time, you must keep it in a garage or other covered space.

However, regardless of where you leave it, there are things you can do to keep it in good condition until you need to drive it again.

By carrying out the following tasks, you can ensure that your hybrid car will be in good working order whenever you’re ready to drive it again. Keep in mind that reading your owner’s manual is a good idea since it will offer guidelines for parking your specific vehicle.

  1. The two batteries should be kept charged by starting the car often and letting it idle in “ready” mode for about 60 minutes before turning it off again.
  2. Keep the gas tank full so that condensation won’t form and endanger any car parts.
  3. Avoid keeping the car plugged in when it’s parked for an extended period.
  4. Disconnect the 12-volt battery if it will be several months before the next road trip.
  5. Tyre pressure should be checked regularly to ensure the car is ready to travel when needed.
  6. Give the car a thorough cleaning inside and out. Also, ensure sure your vehicle is totally dry before putting it away.
  7. If you keep your vehicle in a garage, ensure the chosen space has adequate ventilation. Then, if the area is safe, consider slightly opening one of the car’s windows to let some fresh air in. If you do this, you might need to adjust the settings on your car alarm to stop it from activating the intrusion sensor.
  8. If your car has smart lock and start options, the battery-saving feature will automatically turn if it hasn’t been used for a while. This will save the 12-volt and electronic key batteries from depleting. In addition, battery life is reduced by preventing the electronic key from receiving radio waves. Please refer to your car’s manual for more information on manually entering battery-saving mode on various vehicles with this technology. Finally, consider storing the smart key safely rather than keeping it in your pocket if you won’t drive your car for a while. If you happen to walk close to the automobile in your garage or driveway, this will stop it from “waking up” unnecessarily

Read Also: Mercedes E300 Hybrid Problems

Keeping your hybrid battery charged when not in use


Long-term parking or garage storage is bad for the car battery. Driving is similar to a use-it-or-lose-it scenario, which could degrade your battery if you don’t utilize it.

What should you do, though, if you find yourself unable to drive your car for a while? Here’s how to maintain a car’s battery while not being used.

  1. Remove the battery

Your best option is to remove your car battery if you intend to go a while without driving. This will ensure that it uses less energy and lasts longer. Store the battery in a dry place with temperatures between 40 and 60 degrees to ensure it is kept in good condition. Consider getting a battery box to keep it in.

Your car battery can last anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months after removal. To ensure that the battery keeps functioning properly, you should charge it before the three-month milestone. However, there is no need to wait so long. It is recommended to charge your car battery routinely.

  1. Get a battery maintainer

You could choose a battery maintainer if you need a way to keep a car battery charged when it’s not being used.

The maintainer keeps the battery charged without taking it out of the car. When the battery is fully charged, the maintainer will supply enough charge to keep it from depleting [5].

If the battery level falls below a particular level, it will activate once more and begin charging. Look for a battery maintainer with the same voltage as your automobile battery when you shop.

Additionally, you can consider utilizing a solar panel charger or a 12V battery trickle charger. These are good options to keep the battery completely charged while the car is immobile.

Read Also: Low Cooling Performace of Hybrid Battery


It is important that you store your car if you don’t plan on driving it for a while. One of the components most affected by long idling periods is the car battery. Most hybrids can last between 6 weeks and 4 months in idle mode.

Beyond that, your vehicle will start developing issues.

How long your hybrid car sits undriven will depend on the model. Consider proper maintenance practices to guarantee optimal vehicle performance. Ensure the battery stays charged by taking it out of the car or purchasing a battery maintainer.

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