Little car not being used

We have two cars - a big car, which is alright I suppose, does the job! And then Little Car - which I love!!! I bought it in October and have been so looking forward to the better weather so I can have the top down more. Alas. It isn’t being used at the moment. The big car is doing the shopping for parents and delivering to pupils. The little car is just sitting outside. So, I have a question. It usually starts no problem. It had been sat for two weeks and wouldn’t start (little light in the boot was on). I borrowed a small battery pack and it started first time, and as this was just before lockdown officially started I was able to take it for a run. Since then it hasn’t been started. I now have my own battery pack and am all set to start it but obviously can’t take it for a run just for the sake of it. Definitely non-essential travel. How often should I turn it over? Should I disconnect the battery in the meantime? What should I be doing? I’m new to this and haven’t had a car that requires any attention of this sort since the late 90s! When my first car died from a broken clutch I was heartbroken and vowed never to become attached to a car again, refusing to name them. Well, that’s gone out the window as I love Little Car and am missing it massively. Should probably give some details. 08 plate, it had done 110,000 miles when I got it and has only done about 600 since. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for rambling on.

I have my 06 regularly connected to a battery charger (CTek) just to keep it in good condition, only small battery so doesn’t take long.


Thank you for replying. I am a total novice and absolutely not a tinkerer. What do you mean by regularly connected to please? And do you just let it sit and idle in our current circumstances? I want to make sure it doesn’t stop working completely. I also want to check the roof goes back ok still but not sure how much battery that will use.

Hiya and welcome to the joys of ownership! :+1: As said, not massive batteries on these cars. The charger referred to is a battery conditioner and can be left attached to the battery for long periods of time. If the battery voltage drops, the charger will restore it, unlike a normal battery charger where you connect, charge and then disconnect. Regarding the power roof, same as mine, Mazda advise opening/closing with engine running to avoid excessive battery drain. At this point in time where the cars are getting very little or no use, it might be worth looking into a battery conditioner/charger if practical. Having said that, I use a conventional charger, connecting it to the car once a month or so, (it has a trickle charge setting) and let the charger do its job :+1:


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If your little car is parked in anywhere near a mains socket (or you can get an extension safely to the car long term) then you should buy a “trickle charger/maintainer” and plug it in to keep the battery charged while its not in use. If however the car is not near mains electricity there are solar chargers that will just about keep it maintained for a month or so.

here is an example of the Solar charger…

Here is an example of a mains charger/maintainer…

(I have just chosen some random examples, not suggesting they are the best value or anything for you, you need to decide that)

however if your battery is flat then it would need a proper charge before the solar option will work (they are not chargers just maintainers). The electric version will charge and maintain.

The roof will take quite a bit of power so suggest you dont try it until the battery is fully charged as you may not get it closed again.


I have two cars that do not get used for several months over the winter and my rule for years has been NOT to start them during the layup period. I have never had any issues and even the old Mini starts on the button every spring.
If you can get power to the car please do invest in a smart battery charger as others have recommended. No need to leave it connected all the time just get into a routine of popping it on every few weeks.
Life will get back to some form of normality eventually but in the meantime just sit in it and make car noises, it’s what I do, but don’t tell anyone!!!


I just pop mine on charge about every third day, leave it on all day.
I’ve even took to charging my other cars battery now, that get done once every week. I’m only nipping to Sainsbury’s in it, a 6 mile round trip each week so nothing really to put juice back in the battery.


Thank you so much for your replies and links to ideas fro products. I just have a little battery charger like the one it started with at the moment. Haven’t had chance to do anything today due to prescription run, etc. I am now armed with more options thank you. I could possibly do a charger through the letter-box but am liking the solar powered idea. First things first, I’ll see if it starts! The roof is another issue to address once I know the battery has charge. I shall report back. My husband isn’t as into having our little car as I am but our son loves it as much as I do! I miss driving it and researching what to do provides a different focus during these bizarre times, as well as connecting me with people who love their cars as much as I do! Thanks again. Watch this space…


I appreciate this may not be popular, but I don’t really see the problem with taking the car for a run every now and then as long as you don’t break the rules regarding social distancing etc. For example, a 50 mile round trip with no stops (so have a wee and a coffee before you leave) shouldn’t really be a sin.

I guess the counter argument may be that you have an accident and have to exchange details or, worse, end up tying up the emergency services.

Obviously a run to the coast for a paddle and an ice cream is only for a true Covidiot.


^^^^ It’s an unnecessary journey really just to charge a battery.
I don’t travel to my usual Tesco’s which is 12 miles away, it’s massive and has everything, we like it. I now use the Sainsbury’s 3 miles away as I’d feel guilty doing the Tesco’s trip.

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Hi Mick,

I only do a 5 mile round trip for my shop and nothing unnecessary so I’m with the rest of us.

My point is though that in the local Morrisons, I must encounter 30-40 people and whilst the queues are managed very well, the in store flow isn’t. Either way, I’m close to people.

On a 50 mile runout by myself, I’m yards from anyone with an airflow or filter system (roof down/up) that can’t possibly harm anyone.

The downside is you then have to handle a fuel pump !

Anyway, wetish weather for us in Yorkshire so the Covidiots should stay away.

All the best,


I should add that Tesco seem to manage in store better than Morrisons but we don’t have a Sainsbury’s.

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We actually have ASDA 1 mile away, easy to walk to which we have done, but. When you are faced with getting in a very long queue snaking around the car park then once in it’s like a free for all and almost empty shelves, was it worth it?
Sainsbury’s much more civilized, around 10 in the queue (no queue last weds) stock on the shelves and even my missus got the hang of this self scan system. She vowed not to enter ASDA again.
I have to sit in the car whilst she does the shop, I feel helpless but suffer with asthma, in any case it’s only one in the store if you’re a couple.
We are just glad we can get out for a walk, plenty of countryside to go at near us and we can walk to it
Love Yorkshire been many times, ho for the time we can get back there, best wishes. :+1:

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Thought it might be helpful to share some advice I received from Jaguar. They have an issue using chargers on their cars by the way.


To build up sufficient charge in the battery, it is recommended that you turn on your car once every seven days. In the first instance, start your car for a 30-minute period, with the heat in the cabin set to 22 degrees. Repeat this process for 15 minutes, once every seven days in the weeks thereafter, to ensure the battery is maintained.


To avoid flat spots developing and ensure your tyres remain sufficiently inflated, check the tyre pressure against those listed in your vehicle manual. In addition, we advise adjusting the parking position of your Jaguar by a ¼ of a wheel turn once every 14 days, to change the point of pressure. Repeat as required.


After extended periods of no use, we’d recommend gently applying the brakes when first driving your car again, at a low speed. This will help to remove any surface corrosion on the brake discs.

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Wow, I spoke too soon. My sister’s father in law decided to start his car and it had a flat battery so he called the AA. They jump started it and advised him to go on a run to charge the battery which he did and the inevitable happened. All the blue lights in the world and a trip to A&E.

What is astounding is that he’s in his late 80’s and, yes, we’re all stumped too as to where he needed to go !

I discovered that, even though the light in the boot has a switch, it does actually go off when the boot is closed (I put my phone in the boot on video mode to prove it). Makes me wonder why there’s a switch at all, unless it was in Mazda’s spare parts bucket when they designed it.

Did you really expect it to remain on?
Your fridge does the same but do not attempt to climb into it to prove it.
As for the switch? Good idea if you don’t need it especially if you are blessed with a SWMBO in the habit of not closing it properly leading to flat batteries.

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I have a Mk3 Auto (14500 miles) reg .63 with which I am delighted. However the battery has seen better days
and when I go to fit a charger I have great difficulty in removing the metal battery protection cover. It has indicator arrows which say “slide to right” but it is the devils own job. Any suggestions ?

I have the permanent lead attached so you just plug in the charger when required, with the CTEK it even has red and green indicators on the lead on the battery to show roughly state of charge.

Metal battery cover? Sounds aftermarket. The arrows on the OE plastic cover indicate that 2 tabs should be lifted to unlock the cover from its latches, not to slide it. I’m not sure that a metal battery cover is a good idea is it? Is there not a possibility of it shorting across the terminals?

The cover will be plastic, the pointers on the right show where the cover is clipped in down the right-hand side. Just lift the cover at the clips down the side and it should wriggle and lift out. Remove the hose clipped into left side first and move out of the way, simples.
I’ve actually got mine off ATM, on a maintenance charge…