How long does a Car Battery Last with Radio on?

Are you thinking about how long does a car battery last with radio on? Generally, the car lasts for 10-15 hours with the engine off. However, it depends upon the battery life of the vehicle.

Are you wondering how long the vehicle battery will survive with the radio on? Music and News make long journeys fun, and entertained. Everyone loves listening to music and the radio makes time with family and friends more entertaining. However, when the engine is off, music can drain the battery. Usually, it is not recommended to use a radio for a longer period when the engine is off.

Sometimes when you listen to the radio when the engine is off. The car battery wears off, and it’s challenging to start the car engine again.

 In this article, I will guide you on how long a car battery lasts with the radio on? Before starting, let’s discuss how a car radio battery works.

car battery lasts with the radio on

How does a car radio battery work?

Generally, car batteries rely on the concept of a lead-acid chemical reaction, and they come in the category of SLI (starting, lighting, and ignition). Car radio batteries have short life.

Usually, they provide energy to power lights and other accessories.

When the engine is shut off, the battery stores energy used to operate the car’s electrical components. As battery life is limited and every mechanical component has a different amperage requirement. Sometimes it is completely drained because of prolonging usage of the radio. This causes problems in turning on the car.

How long does a car battery last with radio on?

You must be thinking about how to listen to the music without draining the vehicle battery. Generally, the amount of time you can spend on music with the car turn off depends upon the charging condition of the car. If the car has a powerful battery it takes 10-20 hours on the radio without losing radio signals. Moreover, in some cases battery last for 600 minutes without charging.

In an older car, experts suggest turning off the radio before ignition. It will reserve charging power and avoid full drainage if you notice car battery drainage within few hours. It is an indication of battery replacement. Moreover, consult a professional mechanic for the replacement and repair.

Can a car stereo drain battery?

Yes, the car stereo battery is fully depleted on long-term usage. A battery charge is reduced by the use of radio, receiver, mechanical utilization of light, and electricity. Normally, the process of drainage of the battery is known as a parasitic draw. Among different things that can drain the battery, the radio is the most common. Parasitic draw is harmful to batteries. Sometimes the automotive charge is drained slowly, and sometimes it happens quickly with no notification.

Normally, it takes days or weeks to drain the charge completely. It’s better to keep a check on battery leakage.

Sign of car radio battery Drainage

Sometimes car battery runs off suddenly. Let’s look at different signs of the drainage.

  1. Dim headlights.
  2. A car takes time to start on even with the new good spark plugs in engine.
  3. Consistently turning off dashboard light.
  4. Sometimes devices stay on and don’t turn off.

Can car battery die in accessory mode?

Generally, the accessory mode doesn’t deplete battery charge. If you turn on the accessory mode, different applications can use the battery. However, there is a unique feature that doesn’t allow accessories to take power. Some accessories work without an engine. So, they should turn off they can drain the battery.

How long does a car battery last without driving?

Generally, batteries last for two weeks without charge. However, it depends upon the lives of the battery. Most mechanics suggest battery recharge once a week if you intend to drive the car, recharge it with a 12.6 V battery for 15 minutes. If the battery is charged, it helps in improving engine life as well.

Battery maintenance once a week avoids the condition of deep discharge. State of deep recharge reduces the life span of the item.

How to find battery drainage?

Usually, when you notice the signs of parasitic battery drain. It’s better to check it by using a digital multi meter. Suppose you notice the reading of multi-meter dropping. It is an indication that the battery needs replacement or repair.

1. Turn off the engine

Remove all the plugs and wires and make sure there are no electrical components is attached. Turn off the car and make sure no circuit is activating.

2. Charge the battery

Fully charge the battery and charge at 12.6 volts and check it by using a multi meter.

3. Remove the negate battery terminal

Check the (-) minus sign cable and remove the negative terminal.

4. Use a digital multi-meter to check the reading

The Digital multi-meter has both black and red wire attached to it. The value of red wire should be 20 A. If the multi-meter reading is between 20 to 50 mili amps, then there is no battery drainage. However, if the reading is higher than these values. It is an indication of drainage.

5. Reconnect Negative terminal

Reconnect the negative terminal with the battery.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)

1. Does listening to the radio drain the car battery?

Yes, listening to the radio with the car engine off drains the car battery. Generally, the audio equipment installs also affect the drainage. Normally, an old car with poor one life gets drained more often.

car battery

2. How long can a car run on battery only?

Generally, if the car has an alternator (alternator supplies DC power), it can run without a battery for a long period because it charges the car while driving. However, without an alternator car can travel for 25 miles only.

3. Why does my battery keep dying overnight?

If a car battery keeps on draining, the reason is corroded terminal connection, charging problems, extreme weather condition, and electrical drains.

4. Why does a car battery drain when not in use?

When a car is idle for a long period, the battery dies slowly. The reason is the cell loses its charge. Moreover, expert mechanics recommend charging within a week. The vehicle battery provides energy to operate the radio, car lights, and other accessories.

5. How long can I play the car radio without draining the battery?

Generally, a new car has powerful battery life, you can play music with battery for a specific time and you can listen to the radio for 10-15 hours without turning on the engine. However, if the battery drains within few hours. Consult a mechanic; it is an indication of replacement.


Typically, people ask how long does a car battery last with radio on? The answer is a car with a good and powerful battery that lasts for 10-15 hours. If the vehicle battery is idle for a long period, it can go towards the condition of deep discharge. This condition reduces the life span.


Mr. Rubel is an Engine Mechanic. He has more than 15 years’ experience on repair and maintenance of different kinds of vehicles. He is also providing training to mechanics and works as a Senior Mechanic of a well-known organization. He is sharing his knowledge to support the car lovers to solve the vehicle issues.

Recent Posts