Genuine Tips To Keep Your Truck Battery In Top Condition

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JE-CO Truck & Trailer
May 11, 2022

Nothing is more frustrating than being stranded in a vehicle with a dead battery. We've all been there at some time in our lives, and the situation is frequently exacerbated by the fact that contemporary trucks have few warning indicators - and there's a good chance it'll happen when you're out and about away from home.

Like the batteries in your phone or laptop, lead-acid truck batteries have a finite lifespan and will eventually lose their ability to hold enough charge to start your truck. A lead-acid battery should last roughly 42 months on average, although this timeframe can vary based on various factors, including temperature, travel duration, and the functioning of your truck's charging circuit. Regardless of the circumstances in which your truck is driven, here are seven suggestions to help you get the most out of your truck's battery.

1. Avoid making frequent short journeys

It strains your battery when you start your truck, but the engine recharges it throughout the drive. If you only drive a short distance, the battery will be unable to recover the lost power – and if you repeat the action every day, the battery voltage will slowly decrease until it can no longer start the vehicle.

Maintain your vehicle's battery power by driving it regularly and for more extended periods - and if you don't use your truck very often, consider investing in a battery charger to assist keep the voltage at the proper level.

2. Make sure your battery is securely attached

Because vibration may shorten the life of your truck battery, it's critical to use an authorized battery clamp to keep it securely fastened at all times. Excessive vibration might harm your battery's internal components, causing short circuits and lowering battery life if it is not attached correctly. But don't make the mistake of overtightening the battery clamp nuts to the point of harm; you might ruin the battery! Instead, tighten the nuts until you feel resistance, then turn them another half turn.

3. Reduce the amount of electricity utilized while the engine is turned off

Keeping your headlights or interior lights on when the engine isn't running is a significant no-no since truck batteries thrive when they're maintained close to 100 percent charged. Ensure that all accessories are switched off before getting out of your truck, and double-check that the lights are turned off as you walk away.

4. Keep your battery in good condition

You want to keep your battery clean, dry, and clear of dirt and grime. A filthy battery may discharge across the grit on the shell, causing a mild short circuit and ultimately flattening the battery.

Over time, the battery terminals can corrode, so keeping them clean and free of buildup is an excellent method to prolong the life of your truck battery. Scrub the terminals using an old toothbrush soaked in a baking soda and water combination. Then, using a spray bottle filled with cold water, rinse the mixture and dry completely with a clean towel.

5. Try to keep heat exposure to a minimum

It's a common belief that cold weather destroys truck batteries, but this isn't always the case. Although truck batteries have to work harder to start your engine in the winter, most of those that fail do so because of damage experienced during the previous summer's heat.

Extreme heat damages batteries by speeding up water evaporation from the cells, even in sealed top batteries. As it attempts to start cold engines with thick oil, the cold shows the weaknesses of a damaged battery, as lower temperatures deplete the remaining cranking power.

So, what are your options? Whatever you can think of to minimize the battery's exposure to extreme temperature.. If feasible, park your truck in the shade or keep it in the garage while not in use. You may also look into techniques to assist in insulating the battery from the heat created inside the engine compartment.

6. Check the voltage of your battery once a month

The longer a lead-acid battery is kept only partly charged, the shorter its life will be. So testing the voltage with a voltmeter once a month is an excellent method to monitor battery health. When fully charged, a healthy lead-acid battery should have a voltage of 12.7 volts or above.

If the voltage falls below 12.5 volts, the battery should be recharged as soon as possible. It's also crucial to understand that at 12.4 volts, a lead-acid truck battery is half-charged, and at 12.0 volts, it's entirely flat/dead.

7. Don't leave your truck sitting for lengthy periods

As you may have noted from some of the preceding suggestions, it is critical to keep lead-acid truck batteries ultimately charged to avoid harm. All lead-acid batteries, regardless of manufacturer, will naturally lose charge over time, known as ‘self-discharge.'

At room temperature, a flooded lead-acid battery will self-discharge at roughly 1% per day, 0.25 percent per day at 50°F, and 1.5 percent per day at 86°F. It's crucial to note that parasitic loads from the truck increase the drain rate, so if your vehicle is sitting unused for more than a week, a trickle charger should be connected to maintain the battery in good shape.

Final words

Now you are aware of some valuable tips on keeping the battery of your pickup truck in its best condition at all times. Make sure that you focus on all these tips to continue to drive your truck without encountering any problems. Replacing your truck's battery can be pretty expensive as well, and you need to make sure that you take good care of the battery by adhering to these tips.