Can a Battery Drain With the Negative Cable Disconnected?

can a battery drain with the negative cable disconnected

Are you planning to go out on vacation for weeks and have no idea what to do with your own vehicles, or are you going to store your car in the garage for the winter? In either situation, your vehicle’s batteries could die and create a lot of difficulties when you try to start them. Some people say that to stop the battery in the vehicle from depleting; you should unplug the negative connection. So, what’s the truth behind this? Can a battery drain with the negative cable disconnected? Let’s find out.

Why Does an Unused Battery Die?

Winter times, your automobile most likely stays in storage for lengthier stretches of time. This is certainly not the best circumstance for your car’s battery, even while it might be pleasant to save cash on petrol as well as other upkeep.

Although if your automobile is accumulating dust on its roof, the battery is continuously being employed in some way, resulting in its beginning to die. It’s primarily because it’ll still be supplying power to your vehicle’s systems, security system, temperature controls, and any additional internal technical functions. Additionally, if you reside in a really warm area, you should be conscious that the weather might deplete your battery’s power more quickly. 

Is It Possible for a Cell to Deplete When the Negative Side is Disengaged?

Whenever you’re going on a trip or don’t plan to use your vehicle for several days or months, you’ve probably learned that you need to detach the negative cord on the vehicle’s power supply to avoid it from depleting.

Sounds great, right? You could get rid of many problems in a stored car if the battery didn’t die. But hold on.

If the negative connection is not attached, a battery may gradually “self-discharge” at a pace of 5–15 percent per month, making it the ideal choice for extended storage if a power pack is unavailable. If left connected, the cell will lose 20 percentage points upwards of its charge weekly.

The cell will deplete lesser when the pack is disconnected, although self-discharging will still occur.

Remember that you should never leave the negative wire connected since doing so is secure.

You could also do other things to extend the life of your battery charge.

Frequently, even though the device is not in use, the charge may deplete if it is attached to both ends. All cells experience this widespread problem, and all consumers also experience it. 

What Causes A Battery Pack to Drop Power Even If the Negative Cord is Disengaged?

As I said before, extracting the negative cable would not stop your cells from dropping power. Without a doubt, it’s preferable compared to nothing and will preserve your power source packed when you’re absent.

Each cell undergoes a process called self-discharge. Whenever you purchase a pair of AA batteries, you have probably heard the phrase, “Will keep 90 percent of its power after five years.”

Self-discharge happens if a cell is not attached to a sophisticated adapter while it is floating, essentially maintaining it at an achieve 100 % capacity.

Given that it is theoretically simpler for the battery’s science to do so and given it is exactly where it practically begs to be, self-discharge is a sign indicating your cell is chemically switching back from a battery capacity to a level of depletion.

Your battery’s kind, being a lead-acid cell (vehicle starter batteries fall under this category), determines how quickly your cell achieves this.

Productive lead-acid cells typically self-discharge at the level of 4-5 percent a week if they are not used or linked to any.

Once the negative output is removed and only the positive line is connected, the link will no anymore functional.

The car will surely die in a few weeks if you leave those cables linked because of “a parasitic drain.

Parasitic drain refers to all automotive parts and electronics that demand the battery to provide power even while the vehicle is not moving.

Features like anti-theft technology, alarm clock programs, and much more continually drain the battery while your vehicle is turned off to maintain its configurations.

What Causes A Battery Pack to Drop Power Even If the Negative Cord is Disengaged?

How to Properly Preserve a Battery Pack?

Take into account disconnecting and conserving your battery pack if you anticipate it won’t be utilized for upwards of a fortnight. Your cell will last longer and maintain its power more reliably as a result of this.

However, keeping your cell involves much more than merely setting it on a bench in your basement. Read the instructions to store your batteries:

Verify that the Battery is Completely Filled

Invariably keep a fully charged cell. This will lessen the likelihood of most harm and degradation occurring while in preservation.

Search for Potential Harm

Examine your power pack for corrosion because cells can occasionally degrade or break with use. If the injury is severe, it could be necessary to change.

Maintain the Batteries

Prior to storing the cell, rust and electrochemical buildups must be cleansed. This filth might obstruct the contacts, speeding up the battery’s depletion.

Employing a caustic soda and water solution and washing the cell with a stiff brush is the simplest method for cleaning batteries. After removing the residues, clean the battery’s housing in accordance with international regulations.

Locate the Ideal Storage Space

Whenever the charge-discharge level is expected while the cell is in preservation, you can take steps to reduce how much energy is lost. Climate has a major influence on your battery’s flow velocity in addition to how long it has been kept.

The ideal environment for a cell is dry, well-ventilated, and stays around 5 and 15 ° Celsius. Avoid places that may become excessively warm or cold, which may hasten the battery’s depletion. Additionally, avoid locations with moisture levels because these might lead the cell to degrade.

Periodically Refill the Battery

Maintenance is crucial to prolong the lifespan of your cell during its time of preservation. Aim to inspect your batteries at a minimum once each two months. If feasible, use a multimeter to measure the voltage to determine how much energy your cell still has. Refill it when it has no more than 70 percent capacity.


The negative battery connection could be disconnected to prevent the cell from being drained flat by parasitic equipment. However, this is not the most practical solution because of the effort and risks involved in attaching or removing the wire.

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