How to Properly Maintain Your Battery

By: Leigh M

Slow crank? Check engine light? It might be your battery.

Nothing will ruin your day quicker than a dead battery, it’s a mission critical component on your truck, you need it  to start your engine, but more importantly, you need it for your radio, because there is nothing worse than being in a truck and left alone with only your thoughts…

They best way to maximize the service life of your battery is to make it part of your preventative maintenance checks. Chances are your batteries aren’t as charged as they should be.

The first thing to discuss is safety, batteries are inherently dangerous and if they are not working correctly, they can be dangerous to both people and equipment. When working on a battery, you should be wearing proper rubber gloves and safety glasses, and you should also consider leaving long tools that could accidentally short the battery in the toolbox. Perhaps the most important safety precaution you can take is to ensure you or the tech working on the battery is properly trained, overcharged batteries or a battery that is low on electrolytes are both dangerous and need to be dealt with appropriately.

Before you start assessing, testing or recharging your batteries, you want to visually check for corrosion or other build up on the terminals. If any is present, make sure it is properly  cleaned, as doing this will ensure you have a better connection to your battery and reduce risk of damage to your system. While you’re checking your terminals, you’ll also want to check the battery hold-downs, having your battery securely attached reduces unnecessary vibrations and will in turn extend the service life.

Once you’ve done an initial assessment on the battery, you’ll want to confirm the charge level of the unit and ensure it isn’t below 12.4 volts. If it is, you’ll need to fully recharge it to either 12.65 volts for Flooded Batteries, or 12.85 volts for an AGM battery. When recharging, it is important that you use charging adapters on all posts and that they are securely attached to ensure proper and efficient charging.  It is recommended you check your charge twice a year but if your truck has been sitting for an extended period of time, you’ll want to check the battery before trying to turn it over to see if you have lost any charge.

So, you’ve determined your battery has reached end of life and it needs to be disposed of. Doing so is simple, you can bring a battery into any Parts for Trucks location and we will refund you the core charge that you paid when you purchased the battery new. Doing this is good on your wallet and better for the environment, why? When we receive your old battery, we properly dispose of the hazardous materials contained inside the unit and recycle parts of the battery that can be reused.

If you’re looking for more information on battery care, maintenance or replacement, reach out to us at any of our locations, our knowledgeable team will be able to help you with your specific issues or questions and get your truck back on the road as fast as possible.