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Topic - Sleeping in car - battery life/charging stuff

Ben Sharp - on 15 Mar 2013
On a tangent from SARS thread about sleeping in his SUV, when sleeping in the car I'm always paranoid about depleting the car battery and was wondering if any mechanically minded folk could give me an idea of how much it takes to drain a car battery.

I know it's a bit of a "length of string" type question probably dependent on how big your battery is, how cold it is, how new it is and obviously presuming it's fully charged but for example, how long could you have your stereo on before the battery was too weak to start the car?

I've toyed with the idea of getting a converter for the cig lighter to charge a laptop etc. Would it be a case of only using it while the car was being driven or would the battery be able to cope with it while the car was off.

Also, I've heard conflicting theories about how the alternator charges the battery. Is there a difference between how much it is charged while the car is stationary and while it is being driven?

Cheers

Ben
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