Would This Drain My Car Battery

Posted in Car Batteries

I know that on some cars, the power from the cigarette lighter goes off when you turn the car off. However, in my car, that is not the case, if I turn my car’s engine off, I can still plug a phone charger or or my GPS and it still works. Now, if I turn my car off and leave something plugged in, since it is still able to power up, is this draining the battery? Should I unplug my GPS or phone charger every time I leave the car off for long periods of time?

There are 18 Answers for "Would This Drain My Car Battery"

    1. wallydude03 says:

      If plugged in for a long time your device will drain the battery

    2. Pedro S says:

      yes it drains it…i would unplug if you leave it upstarted for 2 weeks or more

    3. Scorpion says:

      Yes, unplug them. It will drain your battery if left in for a long period of time.

    4. Jeff A says:

      It will only drain if you have an accessory plugged into the receptacle. There is no substantial draw unless the outlet is in use. If you leave something plugged in, it will cause a draw. Depending on the amperage draw of the accessory you are using (and how long you have it plugged in), this may or may not cause enough discharge to drain the battery to the point where the car will not start. I wouldn’t recommend leaving anything plugged in for any amount of time without the engine running. Hope this helps!

    5. laserjim2 says:

      To be safe, yes you should unplug anything plugged in. Some devices still will draw current even if they are turned off. If it is a newer car, it might automatically disconnect the device before totally running down the battery, but better safe than sorry.

    6. GSXRRider says:

      If you have something plugged in and it is on (draining the battery) yes it can drain the battery over long periods of time. Just like leaving the radio on or a dome light on it will drain the battery. Turn off the component, dome light or radio and you have no worries.

      For long periods of time you may want to consider getting a battery tender. This keeps the battery fully charged and prevents the battery cells from being damaged by draining the battery.

      Many cars like the new corvettes have continuous power draws on them and for long term storage need a battery tender.

    7. Mark C says:

      To the extent that the devices are drawing power, yes. I keep my GPS plugged in all the time, but I turn it off when I get out of the car. It’s battery will only draw the very minimal amount of power that it loses over time. So, if you were just leaving the device in the car for a few days turned off, this isn’t a big deal.

    8. Joe says:

      Yes if it still powers electronics the power has to come from somewhere and this the car battery. Definitely unplug devices when leaving your car for extended periods of time.

    9. Ray F says:

      If your battery is in good shape, don’t worry about it. Small things like that have little effect on draining the battery. If you will be parking it for weeks at a time, I’d unplug it. Just remember, everyday a battery sits without being used, it loses 1 percent of it’s charge from inactivity and loneliness from the alternator. If it’s only a few days, don’t worry. One time I locked my keys in my truck with the stereo going, It was about 32 hours later when I got a chance to get a spare set of keys and unlock the door. My radio was still playing and it started up fine. If your battery dies quickly though, it may be a weak battery and time to replace it anyway.

    10. imalefty1961 says:

      Yes. unplug any device left in your cig lighter.Some are wired to have power at the lighter itself but it will drain your battery if a device is left plugged for extended periods of time

    11. Wrenchmeister says:

      If you keep a GPS plugged it will eventually will drain the battery, however, it could take a week for you to notice a significant drain. I would be less concern about a cellphone charger, since you are transferring energy more than spending energy. I would recommend to unplug your GPS If you are not using your car in the next 24 hrs and unplug your cell phone charger if you are going to leave your car stored for a week.

    12. ibeboatin says:

      Battery draw only occurs in your case if cell or other device is plugged into end of charger cable. Such draw would be negligible anyway. When charging is complete draw is drastically reduced. Shouldn’t leave electronic devices in car anyway: too much heat & invitation to theft.

    13. DougyFreshâ„¢ says:

      Yes, it will drain it eventually. And yes, you should unplug the GPS or whatever If it sits for over a few days.

    14. livy l says:

      yes, if it is not for a pro-long period, it ok as once you start the car, the alternator will re-charge the battery