How Long Should You Leave a New Battery Connected Before Starting the Vehicle With It?

Tips & Support
OPTIMA Batteries
Paradise, NV

When you install a new battery in a vehicle, can you start the engine right away or do you need to wait? That's a tough question to answer with universal certainty, as there is so much variation between automakers and the requirements some have when changing and/or installing batteries. As of 2023, it is safe to say the vast majority of vehicles on the road can be started right away after a new battery is installed. However, that doesn't mean that will always be the case going forward.

Automakers describe 12-volt batteries as "low voltage" batteries, to make the distinction between those batteries and the batteries that provide motive power in hybrids and BEVs. New cars and trucks are becoming more complex from an electrical standpoint and increasingly demanding on their electrical systems. Some vehicles, like newer Jeep Wranglers, already have multiple low voltage batteries installed from the factory and that may become more common in the future.

The process for registering new batteries with some vehicle charging systems may also become increasingly complex as time goes on and may even require the use of a plug-in tool. Those factors and others that we may have not yet identified here could result in multiple steps needing to be taken after a battery is installed in a vehicle, so we would strongly encourage you to consult with your owner's manual for information specific to your vehicle when changing the battery.

We can tell you that most 12-volt batteries are not considered fully-charged until they measure at least 12.6 volts and sometimes new batteries that have just been installed in vehicles are well below that level. As such, it is always a good idea to measure voltage of a new battery you are installing and fully-charge them with a quality battery charger, if needed.