4 Ways to Maintain Truck Batteries

truck battery maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential for any vehicle, and even more so for commercial trucks.  Though a vital part of a truck, many tend to neglect battery maintenance.  This disregard for maintenance leads to decreased life of the alternator and starter.

That being said, a battery can stay strong for a long time by following simple maintenance tips such as the ones listed below:

1. Inspect the Battery

Do this, especially when the truck is experiencing hard starts.  Check the state charge of your truck’s battery.  A full charge is 12.6 volts for flooded batteries, while for AGM batteries, it’s 12.8 volts.

Check if the hold-downs and battery connections are fastened securely.  Then, check if the battery is fully recharged and test it using a load or conductance tester (if available).  If this isn’t available, it’s best to turn to a truck charging system repair shop with the appropriate testing equipment.

Lastly, if the battery is around 2 to 3 years old, consider replacing it.  This is better than risking a no-start situation or costly emergency repairs.  This might be the right time to think, “Where can I get a truck battery replacement near me?”

2. Top Off Water in each battery cell

Do this every week or two (especially during hot summer months).  Make sure that each battery cell has an adequate amount of fluid.  A battery cell that lacks water prevents the battery from operating at full power and can lead to shortened battery life.

To refill the water levels of your battery, open the caps located on top of your battery.  Inspect the water level by looking down into each the cells.  Then pour distilled water until it reaches the fill lines.  After that, replace the caps. 

3. Clean the Terminals

A dirty, unmaintained battery will most likely suffer from battery corrosion, which hinders proper connection between the terminals and cables.  This faulty connection then results in components failing to function properly and can leave you with a poor running truck or even a no-start condition.

To avoid battery corrosion, you should keep terminals clean by using a mixture of water and baking soda.  Remove the terminals from the battery posts.  Finally, scrub the components clean with a wire brush dipped in your combination of water and baking soda. Lastly, make sure that the top of the battery & battery case is clean and free of dirt or debris which can cause the battery to experience a parasitic discharge at an accelerated rate.

4. Select the Right Battery Type

This might be simple and obvious, but when not followed, it will negatively affect the battery life.  Failing to choose the battery size and specifications that best fits your truck will significantly decrease your battery’s starting power. This could one day leave you unable to start your truck and then you’re stranded at that location until you can locate assistance.

When choosing a battery for your truck, it is essential to check the total cranking amps and the cold cranking amps.  This helps you find the right configuration.  

It is ideal for trucks operating in areas with a cold climate to have a battery rated with high cold cranking amps, which allows your truck to start up quickly despite the cold temperature.  But for areas with a moderate climate, such as Oklahoma City, you can choose a battery with cranking amps required for your engine’s size.

Conclusion

By following the tips above, you can keep your truck’s battery in top condition.  That being said, if you want to keep your battery strong for a long time, the key is to have it checked regularly with a company that specializes in truck charging system repair.

Doing this will help you check if your battery can produce enough power to start up your truck engine reliably, which is crucial when driving your truck everyday to make scheduled deliveries for your business.  Should you discover that your truck battery is no longer holding up, now might be the time to tell yourself, “I should start looking for shops that offer truck battery replacement near me.”