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Maintenance Tip with Homer Hogg

Posted on January 5, 2017 by TravelCenters of America Inc.

Maintenance Tip

Are Your Batteries Talking to You?

I know batteries have no vocal capabilities, but they have a way of letting you know when it’s time for a little attention. Look out for these three sure fire indicators, or you may find yourself out in the cold on the most frigid day of the year.

The first, and most obvious sign, is your truck’s inability to crank at the proper speed. Your engine must turn at a high rate of speed, and it must be able to sustain that speed until it starts. Any sluggishness is likely an indicator that you have a cranking system problem that may be battery related. Get your cranking system and your batteries tested before the cold weather locates the problem.

If you walk near your truck and you smell sulphur, your batteries are expelling electrolytes. The source of this problem should be investigated quickly and safely. This smell is enough to tell you that the chemical in your batteries is escaping, leaving more vapor than liquid, which will destroy your batteries. You must approach these batteries with extreme caution because they could explode.

Finally, a battery that is leaking liquid will eventually fail. This condition can be caused by an overcharging alternator, corroded cables or connections or simply a bad battery. So, listen during cranking, smell for a pungent odor as you walk near your truck and look at your batteries for signs of leaking or damage. These simple steps could save you a service call when the cold days of winter arrive.

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