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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

My previous vehicle as it got on in age was plagued with battery/electrical issues. Something was draining the battery; if I didn't drive the car for three days, it would not start, yet I never could identify with an ammeter what was drawing the excess current (or even if any excess current was being drawn). As I routinely leave my car at the airport for trips of 3-5 days, this got very annoying.

In any case, for our 4th Gen RAV4s, how long do you have to plan to not drive the car before you make the decision to disconnect the battery? My battery should be very recent in age, given I just got the vehicle new.

If I disconnect the battery, will I lose my bluetooth phone pairing with the Entune system or is that stuff stored in non-volitle memory? I've never had a car this "advanced" so are there other gotchas I might not be thinking about with a battery disconnect?

--Michael
 

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I had to replace the 12 volt battery in my 2005 Prius about 8 years into owership. I suspect that is all you needed to do.

Anyway, I don't know what data you may lose if you disconnect it. You can test it anytime. The battery is next to the spare tire.
 

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My '08 goes 2-3 weeks without driving and cranks up so that is a safe interval I would think.
 
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Just left my 2014 with 30K miles on it at the airport for 8 days. Fired up immediately when I returned.
 
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There's a list of things in the owner's manual that need to be done after the battery is disconnected.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There's a list of things in the owner's manual that need to be done after the battery is disconnected.
Aha! Indeed there is...page 662. Conveniently -- I suppose -- none of them are options I have. They are: the power back door, the moon roof, and parking assist monitor, and the panoramic view monitor all must be initialized.

Just left my 2014 with 30K miles on it at the airport for 8 days. Fired up immediately when I returned.
Very good to know! I'll actually be going on a five day trip later in June. It'll be my experiment. I'll leave the battery attached. I've got one of those battery-powered jump starters with me, just in case.

Just checked the battery....12.78 V, so fully-charged (as one would expect from a new battery!).

--Michael
 

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I left mine for a two week vacation with no problem. If your previous car couldn't go three days, it definitely had a problem of some sorts. Its been my experience that any modern car can go two or three weeks
 

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I haven't let my RAV set, but I LET my Hyundai Elantra set for six weeks and it fired up with no problems at all. I wouldn't have any problem with letting a vehicle set with the battery hooked up.
 

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I've left different vehicles with the battery connected sit for as long as three months, and they've all started right up.
 

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If you're leaving it frequently, then get a battery isolator switch. The generally cost between $5 and $50 and are easy enough to mount. I've got one behind my centre console so I can easily reach it from the driver's seat. I disconnect the battery each time I'm parking up for more than a few days. Works a treat. All you need to do is turn it 90 degrees before you leave the car. Super easy and super effective. I've attached a picture of the one I use, but you can get smaller and less conspicuous switches if that's what you're after. I just like mine to be big and brash because racecar :p
PROTIP: Do NOT turn the isolator switch while the car is running
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all....sounds like I should have no problem leaving the RAV4 for a few days in an airport parking lot a few times a year.

I do like the battery isolator switch. Sure would beat popping the hood and quickly trying to remember where I put the 10 mm wrench in the car...

--Michael
 

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If the battery is disconnected from the rest of the vehicle with a switch the effect is the same as disconnecting one of the terminals - many settings will be lost. It is not at all necessary to disconnect the battery when leaving the vehicle at airport parking. My wife often parks her car parked for weeks while flying without disconnecting the battery by switch or other means and has never had a problem when she returns. Disconnect switches generally are used for example for boats, where the boat is not used for months, and partially then as a safety factor.
 

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I have left my 2015 RAV4 sit with battery connected for 3 months.... Then it started without any problems.
 

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Don't know if this helps you but I have a 2015 Rav LE. I took the battery out and let the Rav sit for 6 months without it. Put the battery back in and Rav fired right up and everything worked fine. Even the radio settings were still the same and did not need to be reset.
 

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I'd be knocking on my dealer's door if my healthy battery failed to stay charged when the vehicle sat for several months. As in 6 months to a year. In my opinion, if there's enough parasitic drain to kill the battery in a matter of days (or a matter of months), then something is not working correctly. Unacceptable.

For long periods of non-use (30 days or more), I put the battery on a float charger like a Battery Tender or Battery MINDer in order to keep the battery in top shape for the long haul. With a pigtail installed, all I have to do is plug it in. No disconnecting battery leads, installing shut-off circuits, etc. Any battery that sits at other than full charge will build up lead sulfate on the plates, which lessens longevity and capacity.
 
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