With winter in full swing, it’s time to pay extra attention to your vehicle’s batteries. They’re the heart and soul of the electrical system, and additional care during this time of year can save you tons of hassle. While winter is known for being hard on batteries, it’s also the season when many drivers discover what toll the rest of the year has taken. It’s critical to properly assess your batteries to ensure a successful winter and avoid unexpected no-crank situations during the coldest months. Here are three tips:
- Get your batteries tested regularly.
Many modern trucks have absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries or pure-lead batteries rather than the older standard of flooded cell batteries. This means modern technology is needed to test and inspect them. Visit a certified and highly trained technician with equipment that’s specially designed to inspect your batteries. Results from these tests can reveal invaluable information about the battery’s current state and predicted longevity.
Premature battery failure may be due to damaged or loosened cables, problems with electrical loads, or a faulty charging system, to name a few possibilities. In some of these instances, a new battery won’t even fix the problem, as the point of failure is originating from the battery’s surrounding environment. You’ll want to avoid misdiagnosing the root cause of your battery failure because replacing batteries can become costly if they keep failing time and time again.
- Don’t let your batteries go dead.
The moment you think you may have a problem with low voltage, the best thing you can do is head to a shop to troubleshoot immediately. The biggest downside of modern batteries is that they can take more than ten hours to recharge once they reach a low enough voltage. Most battery chargers simply don’t generate enough amps to recharge a completely dead battery in a reasonable amount of time. Keep a close eye on your voltage, and you’ll prevent long stretches of unwanted downtime by catching problems early.
- Get to know your batteries.
The best way to prevent problems is to know what warning signs to look for. When conducting or receiving pre- and post-trip vehicle inspections, always keep your batteries top of mind and search for any potential issues. If you’re ever in the battery box or near the batteries, be sure to use protective equipment including gloves, a face shield, and an apron, since battery explosions can be very dangerous. But pay close attention to any odors or wet areas that may indicate a leak. Take note of any corrosion that might appear on the cables or battery studs. Beware of any bulging on the sides of your batteries which could be caused by freezing or overcharging.
With these battery tips in mind, we hope you’ll experience a safe and productive winter out there on the road. Visit your nearest TA Truck Service for all your battery inspection needs. Our highly trained technicians are ready to help, no matter what make or model you drive.