Drivers who have an ignition interlock installed in their car sometimes wonder about the device’s use of electricity. At installation technicians are regularly asked, “Will the interlock device drain my battery?”
The answer is no: under normal conditions, an ignition interlock won’t cause excessive drain on your car’s battery.
An interlock does use current to monitor certain aspects of your vehicle at all times. However, the amount of current is very small: normal driving should recharge your battery so you experience no noticeable drain.
There are exceptions, however, and it’s a good idea to know about them before installation so you can enjoy uninterrupted driving with your interlock device.
- Defective battery or alternator: if your battery is very old or in poor condition, or the alternator is malfunctioning, the drain might cause the battery to die. If your battery is old or defective, it’s a good idea to replace it before the installation.
- Leaving the car sitting: If you leave your car parked for a long time, the battery will have no chance to recharge. Even a brand new battery needs charging with regular driving. The solution is not to let the car sit for too long: make sure to drive it every couple of days so the alternator can recharge the battery.
If you do need put your vehicle out of commission for a period of time, and you have a LifeSafer ignition interlock, give a call to LifeSafer customer support. A representative will give you the instructions you need to keep your battery in shape.
With a little forethuoght, you’ll have no battery issues. Rather, your ignition interlock will empower you with the ability to drive legally and safely.