Drive in theatre - How long will the battery last? [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

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stillriza
05-02-2010, 11:11 PM
So now that it's warm, the wife and I will start hitting some drive-ins. ($11 for 3 movies!)

Question was..how long you think the battery can last with the car off. I know its a pretty subjective question.

I've been a couple times before, but I've never stayed longer than a 2 hour movie without any real starting issues.

I've googled and read some mentioning that a newer battery could probably last a good 8 hours with just a stock stereo playing and it would take roughly 4 hours for the battery to drain if the headlights were on ..for comparison.

The way I've done it in the past, I'd have the handbrake up to keep the headlights from coming on, and would turn the key to ON, then off again and the stock radio would stay on for 10 mins before shutting of. I'd have to repeat this through the movie but that wasn't an issue.

I now have an aftermarket headunit in which I have to leave the key in the ON position for the radio to stay on. I still have the stock speakers aside from the 6x9 kickers and a sub/pioneer amp but since the radio wouldnt be loud at all (not even half 1/4 volume) and the bass turned down, I dont anticipate a large power draw in the first place. Is there anyway to test how much current or power is being drawn?

They'll be playing Iron Man followed by Nightmare on elm st. and I'd like to sit through both without having to worry about getting a boost when time to start up and go :)

Mattyj724
05-03-2010, 01:45 AM
idk how long the batt will last. depends if you have a system.. but if you turn your car on in the middle of movies you can annoy people with the lights... PULL THE E-BRAKE FIRST and no lights will come on when you start the car.. a trick i figured out one day.. i dont know how many people know of this... but its cool..

sugar ray
05-03-2010, 01:56 AM
WOW! didn't think they had drive in theaters anymore? Our town was the last one to have a drive in theater in our province. BC Canada. It was finally taken down in 2003 and a Walmart now resides on the land. I sure miss those summer nights. We use to get 2 or 3 movies for one price as well. What everyone use to do between movies is just start their cars and let the battery charge during the credits. I betcha a few cars will do the same at your drive in

Amidath
05-03-2010, 03:01 AM
Instead of putting the car to the ON position, just put it to ACC which will just turn on your radio and a few other small functions using minimal power. I am not sure how long it will last, but it will last longer than having the car in ON with the E-Brake up keeping the head lights off because not even the indicator lights on the dash will come up.

If you have a system I would recommend turning the subwoofers off/down via the head unit if you can since they will draw a lot of power from the battery.

~ Kyle

DrFabulous
05-03-2010, 07:37 AM
Whenever I've gone to the local drive in, I've just started the car in between the movies and let it run for a couple minutes. Never had a problem.

WidbyJ
05-03-2010, 01:13 PM
Around here we run the car as needed to stay warm, mostly between flicks. With a truly quiet car, not mine, you could get away with it during some movies. Generally I go with friends and have a recliner in the back of the pickup. They make us park in back, but hey.. it reclines! Best part, I'm not driving so I can drink...

PhantomLover007
05-03-2010, 01:27 PM
There's a drive-in about 20 miles from my post. Go there quite a bit. I start the car every 30 mins or so just to charge the battery and I usually keep the key turned on ACC too.

S much cheaper than the movie theaters and you don't have to deal w/ the riff-raff..

02andahalfgt
05-03-2010, 09:34 PM
I used to take a little boombox radio and a pack of batteries. lol

stillriza
05-03-2010, 09:50 PM
thnx for the replies everyone. I was thinking of grabbing a little boom box with batteries too. I dont know if i can sit through 2 movies with the car in ACC the whole time.

You do see people start thier cars up during the credits .. But how effective would that really be? How long does the car need to idle before it starts recharging the battery? I thought it took atleast a 30 min drive to really charge the battery at a meaningfull rate and not just idling.

Mike Jung
05-03-2010, 09:59 PM
I used to take a little boombox radio and a pack of batteries. lol
x2

Car batteries do NOT like to be deep cycled / drain down EVER !

(Unless you have a deep cycle battery like an Optima Yellow Top.)


I remember also stopping of at a pizza place & grocery store to load up on snacks too lol

Mike Jung
05-03-2010, 10:04 PM
thnx for the replies everyone. I was thinking of grabbing a little boom box with batteries too. I dont know if i can sit through 2 movies with the car in ACC the whole time.

You do see people start thier cars up during the credits .. But how effective would that really be? How long does the car need to idle before it starts recharging the battery? I thought it took atleast a 30 min drive to really charge the battery at a meaningfull rate and not just idling.
To meaningfully charge a drained car battery:

You need a car battery charger.

Car alternators are not meant to charge a drained car battery.
+ GA's at idle don't put out much current.
(Ever notice that you lights dim when braking ?).

I remember some car enthusiast with sound systems used to leave their cars running through the whole movie.
But that is bad/hard on the engine oil.
& gasoline is more expensive now lol

westerndragon
05-04-2010, 06:23 AM
boombox=getting home and not begging for a jump lol

i_ammetal
05-04-2010, 09:55 AM
To meaningfully charge a drained car battery:

You need a car battery charger.

Car alternators are not meant to charge a drained car battery.
+ GA's at idle don't put out much current.
(Ever notice that you lights dim when braking ?).

I remember some car enthusiast with sound systems used to leave their cars running through the whole movie.
But that is bad/hard on the engine oil.
& gasoline is more expensive now lol


Well call me wrong, but im still running the same charge on my battery from last January, which means it survived my girlfriend's and I adventures to the Drive in on many different occasions all last summer.

And thats with a downright bad-ass stereo system. Never had any problems needing a jump or a charge for that matter. I've know that the power rating on this car with the battery is pretty weak.. but then again, I've disproved it.

This year though, were going to rock the boom-box to be safe. Got tired of messing with the EQ and SUB settings on the stereo every time we went.

roksoc
05-04-2010, 10:01 AM
My battery died just having the flashers on for 2-hours :(

Stefalicious
05-04-2010, 06:21 PM
I used to take a little boombox radio and a pack of batteries. lol

Wow i NEVER would have thought of that. lol. I love drive inns, Lakeland has i think the only drive inn left in Central/and South Fl or all of Florida 2 movies for $6, i love it and my battery has never failed me although i turn my subs off and i had an optima red top. :)

xxbackhillxx
05-04-2010, 07:20 PM
Why don't you just go and find out? ;)

cmtapanes
05-04-2010, 07:31 PM
There's one down the street from my house (Ruskin, FL)

Wow i NEVER would have thought of that. lol. I love drive inns, Lakeland has i think the only drive inn left in Central/and South Fl or all of Florida 2 movies for $6, i love it and my battery has never failed me although i turn my subs off and i had an optima red top. :)

02andahalfgt
05-04-2010, 09:23 PM
I remember also stopping of at a pizza place & grocery store to load up on snacks too lol

lol I do that, but gotta hide it in the trunk, then pull the seat down after you park. Fockers look for coolers.

burgett2103
05-04-2010, 09:26 PM
my battery died while the hazards were on for less than 20 minutes, but that day has come and passed and the stock battery got taken out. Replace your car battery with a marine (boat) battery. those are good with power and are meant to be drained.

lone_wolf025
05-05-2010, 12:25 AM
If you're really worried about draining the battery down I'm sure you could find a battery pack for cheap that you can plug into the cig lighter to give your car an extra capacitance. If the battery is new or only a year or two old you could probably get away with just running it at a high idle during credits to make sure you don't completely drain it down. Personally though I'd go with the radio+batteries or the (prob) pricier option of a portable battery pack.

stillriza
05-05-2010, 07:46 PM
if my battery was newer i wouldnt be worried ..but my battery is pretty old..

i think i will just do the portable radio/batteries thing. thnx for the responses all.

Mike Jung
05-05-2010, 07:59 PM
my battery died while the hazards were on for less than 20 minutes, but that day has come and passed and the stock battery got taken out. Replace your car battery with a marine (boat) battery. those are good with power and are meant to be drained.
(Generally) Marine deep cycle batteries = not made for cold = not made for CCA.