QUESTION: I have a 1996 Honda Accord 4 cyl with a 2 year old 60 month battery. I had driven the car regularly up until about Nov 1 last year and then it has not been driven since. I tried to start it recently and battery was dead. I tried charging the battery with a charger I have used successfully for several years on slow charge for about 10 hours and battery is not taking charge. Any suggestions how I might charge the battery...reluctant to go with 2 hour fast charge for safety reasons.
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
ANSWER: It is likely that your battery is too far gone to save. What likely happened is that your battery went dead within a few months of you parking the car. It then sat in that state for many more months (most likely in very hot and very cold weather). This is the perfect way to kill a battery! The only safe thing to do is to get a new battery.
Any time you are going to store a vehicle for a long period of time it is best to remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry place. This should preserve it for a long time. If you want to be sure it doesn't go dead when in storage then buy a small trickle charger and keep it hooked up.
Fast charge is generally not good for batteries. In fact many times when you put a battery on a fast charge you will come back and hear the battery boiling. This is VERY dangerous because any time a battery boils it means that it is releasing huge amounts of explosive hydrogen gas. If you are familiar with the smell you will smell it very strongly near a battery on fast charge.
You could consider putting it on fast charge for maybe 5 min. but even that can be dangerous. Sometimes giving it a jolt of amperage is enough to get it to start charging again. If you decide to do that you are doing so at your own risk and I definitely don't recommend it.
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QUESTION: Can I jump start the car and drive it satisfactorily to get a new battery?
Thanks very much for your advice regarding the dead battery...thought that would probably be the case.
Technically, yes. Since this battery is completely dead the car might not run right and may die if you let your foot off the gas. You will likely not be able to get it to start again if it dies, so there is some risk if you try to drive the car. If you want to chance it it shouldn't hurt the car to drive it for a few miles to get a new battery.