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Maintenance Tip with Homer Hogg

Posted on February 7, 2017 by TravelCenters of America Inc.

Maintenance Tip

The Ghost in the Machine

It’s a nice brisk morning and your truck is humming down the road. Suddenly, your radio and some of the electrical devices plugged into your power ports all power down. While it’s frustrating, this may just be the beginning of your woes.

Many newer trucks have computer programs that monitor the truck’s voltage. When the voltage starts to drop and reach preprogrammed limits, the computer starts to power down electrical devices starting with those that are least important for operation and for safety. For example, headlights are not part of this program, and will never be shut down or turned off by the computer.

Once the computer turns off the first wave of electrical devices, the system then waits and monitors to see if the alternator can recover and hopefully maintain the achieved voltage level. If not, and the voltage continues to drop, the computer will turn off more systems. This process continues until it’s successful or the truck eventually shuts down.

These systems are very helpful and can help you get your vehicle safely to a service facility for repair. These ghostly systems are great, but the best course of action is to have your electrical system analyzed twice a year to help avoid this type scenario. You want to get your batteries, alternator, starter, cables and connections checked before the ghosts show up and take charge of your electrical system.

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