# If The Car Is Idling Will It Charge The Battery

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It’s safe to say that many of us are driving a lot less than usual because of the virus that threatens to grab us and roam the roads every time. Sad, idle, in our driveways, garages and valleys. We’ll talk more about how to take care of your long-term car soon, but for now let’s focus on one area: your battery and whether it makes sense to periodically turn off and charge your car.

## If The Car Is Idling Will It Charge The Battery

By battery I mean a 12 volt combustion engine car battery, not a large complex battery found in an electric car. These car batteries are almost always simple lead acid batteries that are charged by your car’s alternator (a real old timer alternator) while the engine is running.

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I recently discovered that there is even more confusion about how useful idling is when charging a battery, so to get to the bottom of this issue, we reached out to Scott and I, an automotive electrical systems engineer at a major automaker. will reveal that

Scott told us the short answer is yes, you can fully charge your car just by turning it off, but unless you’ve been sitting idle for a long time, you’re unlikely to charge the battery.

Scott uses the example of a 2019 Toyota Tacoma to calculate gas bills. I am paraphrasing what he said here, so you prepare accordingly.

The Tacoma has a 130 amp alternator that stops at 900 rpm. So, if we consider a crankshaft pulley about seven inches in diameter and an alternator pulley about three inches in diameter, if the Tacoma idles at 900 rpm and the alternator rotates at 2100, the alternator speed ratio is 3:7. rpm, according to the performance curve posted on the Denso (generator supplier ) website, this alternator puts out about 100 amps at idle.

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That means you have enough current left to recharge this battery when all the lights, HVAC, and other electronic toys are off, Scott concluded. How long it takes to charge depends on the capacity of the battery and how much charge is left during charging. If the battery is fully discharged, it may take four hours or more to fully charge it. It’s worth noting, then, that a fully discharged lead-acid car battery may be chemically unbalanced and, at least as far as the battery is concerned, completely worn out.

We should mention that four hours is not a fixed rule; Many factors come into play here, such as how low the battery is, how many amps the alternator puts out, how quickly the car stops, etc.

Older cars with less computers or other parasites in the electrical system charge their batteries faster, even with low-output generators or alternators.

So, idle time will drain your battery, but you have to be idle for a very long time to be meaningful. As you can imagine, running your car takes a lot of energy, so if you’re only planning to turn it off for 15 minutes, you’ll be losing more energy than you’re gaining.

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Overall, our engineer felt that while idling could charge the battery, it wasn’t the most efficient way to do it. The smartest thing you can do is actually do it

Disconnect the ground cable from the negative battery terminal and disconnect the battery from the vehicle. Or think positively, or both. Strip it down, that’s the point, and Scott said he does with the test cars he works on.

Then you can read about how to reset your car’s clock and radio settings using the home clock, because you’ll lose them. But it’s better than a dead battery. I noticed this tonight when I left my EA charger and recognized the bolt plugged in. It’s a Target in the middle of most apartments, so I guess they live nearby. They may be on their way, but I know what went wrong the day EA shut down inactive payments for some reason.

Now I know this car is still technically charged. Going to 100% would have gone their way, but it reminded me of my favorite example (I don’t have a picture). Charger for several hours. It was at a Walmart so I have no doubt they hooked it up to the truck and went in to go to work, not knowing if I was there overnight or not. But if Walmart pays a lot of downtime, it’s worth noting.

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That night the charger stopped charging for five minutes, but I didn’t realize it until fifteen minutes later.

Finally, I can’t stand Tesla, but I think they deserve to charge for idle time. Fares are charged only when the station is 50% full and double when it is 100% full. I’m sure Tesla owners are whining and whining and pretending they don’t know, but I’d bet big money the next time their app tells them they have their car, they’ll be more careful. Almost finished.

Some people can’t figure out the ethics of EV charging so it would be nice if the charging networks followed suit. I see the inactivity fee on my EA recharge plan is \$0. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Here’s an idea… Is it possible to call Charger Network Customer Service and call the inactive car account number and let them know that the session is over and someone is waiting? The inconvenience/embarrassment of contacting them may wake up some unsuspecting users, and the added burden may force companies to refund downtime.

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It is a very sad state of affairs if it affects common decency. But politeness is in short supply these days.

Of course, we’ve all seen incidents of unsavory behavior at gas stations, but this is magnified by the relatively small number of public EVSEs. In fact, the time it takes to fill up encourages leaving the car for a long time, which is less likely to happen at gas stations (although it does happen when the store is in the same place).

However, even if street parking fines are successful, they will give you a rough break next time.

His Hardness Says: I noticed this tonight when I was leaving the EA Charger and realized the bolt was plugged in. It’s a Target in the middle of most apartments, so I guess they live nearby. They may be on their way, but I know what went wrong the day EA shut down inactive payments for some reason. Now I know this car is still technically charged. 100% would have gone their way but it reminded me of my favorite example (I don’t have a picture). Charger for several hours. It was at a Walmart so I have no doubt they hooked it up to the truck and went in to go to work, not knowing if I was there overnight or not. But if Walmart pays a lot of downtime, it’s worth noting. There may be others. So I don’t understand why EA stopped the poor graphics. That night the charger stopped charging for five minutes, but I didn’t realize it until fifteen minutes later. Finally, I can’t stand Tesla, but I think they deserve to charge for idle time. Fares are charged only when the station is 50% full and double when it is 100% full. I’m sure Tesla owners are whining and whining and pretending they don’t know, but I’d bet big money that the next time their app tells them they have their car, they’ll be more careful. Almost finished. View attachment 19913 Click to expand… I overheard a conversation with an EA employee, they said.