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1999 Toyota Camry
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1999 Toyota Camry and just had a quick question (consider it an average car battery). Usually before I go into school I sit in the parking lot with my car off, radio on at a comfortable level, and phone charging (this is probably for about 15 mins). I usually do the same thing during lunch (radio on for 10 mins. Phone charging for 25). Then after school I do the same thing for 15 more mins, then start the car and drive off. My car has never had trouble starting. I drive home about 5 miles going 35mph some of the way then up to 65mph probably 7/10 of the way, so the alternator most likely fully charges it every time since I’ve never had trouble with a low battery start. Am I doing more harm than good? Should I stop what I’m doing and leave my car idling when I do this instead? How bad does this affect the lifespan (or maybe it doesn’t?) of my battery?
Thanks!
 

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Most likely your battery is being discharged and will eventually have problems. I would buy an external battery tender/charger and charge it once a week. In the long run, a battery tender/charger is cheaper and better than letting your engine idle.

Something like this:


If you don't park your car in a place where you can charge it, I would stop charging your phone when the engine is off.
 

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09 Corolla Base 17 Camry SE
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You could also charge your phone during your trip.
 

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Don't worry about it. The loads you are talking about are a drop in the bucket compared to starting loads. If you were running the battery down to where the car wouldn't start that would be bad, but you aren't even coming close to that and you're fine.
 

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1999 Toyota Camry
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Discussion Starter #5
Most likely your battery is being discharged and will eventually have problems. I would buy an external battery tender/charger and charge it once a week. In the long run, a battery tender/charger is cheaper and better than letting your engine idle.

Something like this:


If you don't park your car in a place where you can charge it, I would stop charging your phone when the engine is off.
Awesome I will look into it. That’s true and thanks!
 

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1999 Toyota Camry
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Discussion Starter #7
Don't worry about it. The loads you are talking about are a drop in the bucket compared to starting loads. If you were running the battery down to where the car wouldn't start that would be bad, but you aren't even coming close to that and you're fine.
That’s very true. I will definitely listen to my starts and if it sounds weaker than normal I will have to start laying off my habit a bit :)
 

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08 Toyota Camry 2AZ-FE R9K Tuned
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Generally, if I am parked somewhere for a short period of time and need power I leave the car ON engine ON. If I am gonna be there for a prolonged period of time, I will have the entire car OFF engine OFF and use a portable battery. While I may not drain the battery enough to kill it if I leave the car ON engine OFF, I rather not drain it anyway because it would be that one time where the car does not start because the battery is dead. Basically, I rather have a dead phone that I can charge with a running car than a dead car with a low battery phone.

When I was still in school and I had a 3+ hour break in between classes, I would use a portable battery to charge my phone and to connect a USB-fan to keep me cool along with having the windows down while going to sleep. In the end, most the battery issues that you would get if you were to leave your car ON engine OFF depends on how old your battery is. If you got a new battery (and properly working alternator) then you should be fine. If you got a 5+ year old battery, you better pray it ain't drained.
 

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1999 Toyota Camry
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Discussion Starter #9
Generally, if I am parked somewhere for a short period of time and need power I leave the car ON engine ON. If I am gonna be there for a prolonged period of time, I will have the entire car OFF engine OFF and use a portable battery. While I may not drain the battery enough to kill it if I leave the car ON engine OFF, I rather not drain it anyway because it would be that one time where the car does not start because the battery is dead. Basically, I rather have a dead phone that I can charge with a running car than a dead car with a low battery phone.

When I was still in school and I had a 3+ hour break in between classes, I would use a portable battery to charge my phone and to connect a USB-fan to keep me cool along with having the windows down while going to sleep. In the end, most the battery issues that you would get if you were to leave your car ON engine OFF depends on how old your battery is. If you got a new battery (and properly working alternator) then you should be fine. If you got a 5+ year old battery, you better pray it ain't drained.
Understood! It will keep getting riskier and riskier as I do this. I’m laying off a little bit though, my battery is about 2 years old and still feels strong. I also agree with your statement that having a dead phone is better than having a dead car battery (unless your stranded some where). I just think about how much bigger my car battery is than the battery in my phone so I try not to worry about draining it too much 😂
 

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08 Toyota Camry 2AZ-FE R9K Tuned
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Understood! It will keep getting riskier and riskier as I do this. I’m laying off a little bit though, my battery is about 2 years old and still feels strong. I also agree with your statement that having a dead phone is better than having a dead car battery (unless your stranded some where). I just think about how much bigger my car battery is than the battery in my phone so I try not to worry about draining it too much 😂
Pretty much, if I don't need my car ON engine OFF I don't do it. I got my phone, it can play music, if I need a charger I will use a portable battery and if I don't have one I live with it. I'm not in school anymore so I don't have prolong periods of time that I sit in my car. It's just one step to preventing you from getting stranded in the middle of nowhere and I personally will do everything I can to prevent that from happening to myself.
 

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1999 Toyota Camry
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Discussion Starter #11
Pretty much, if I don't need my car ON engine OFF I don't do it. I got my phone, it can play music, if I need a charger I will use a portable battery and if I don't have one I live with it. I'm not in school anymore so I don't have prolong periods of time that I sit in my car. It's just one step to preventing you from getting stranded in the middle of nowhere and I personally will do everything I can to prevent that from happening to myself.
Yeah for sure. Ill tell you one thing I sure won’t trust my car battery over my life 😂. And I usually do have a portable battery charger but it’s usually to much of a hassle to take it every where you go. I don’t keep it in my car because the nights and afternoons where I live are either way too cold or way too hot, for a lithium ion battery.
 
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