Proactive truck battery maintenance and care are essential to prevent dangerous problems for drivers. If batteries are only looked at after they have worn out, it risks unnecessary and possibly harmful issues. Proper care and regular maintenance will help catch signs of battery problems or wear before they worsen.
Before Working, Start With Personal Safety
One of the first steps before any truck battery maintenance is personal safety and protection. Start with wearing protective glasses and gloves at a minimum. The liquid electrolyte in flooded batteries can burn the skin if it comes into contact.
Any tools used to recharge or maintain the batteries should always be insulated. That will help prevent electric shocks either to yourself or the battery, which could cause injury or damage. It also worthwhile keeping a neutralizing solution nearby in case of spills.
Use Caution Around the Battery
Following personal safety, it’s essential to have a safe work area for the battery as well. If you are working with lead-acid batteries, make sure to use a fleet maintenance workspace that isn’t near potential sparks or flames. Flooded batteries have a lead-acid liquid that, when charged, produces a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gases. Sparks can ignite the gas and cause an explosion.
Flooded Battery Care
Flooded batteries are filled with a liquid electrolyte solution that covers the lead plates inside. When this liquid is low, and the plates are exposed, they risk deteriorating and causing battery failure. For truck battery maintenance, regularly refill the battery with distilled water to the recommended level. Manufacturer guidelines will tell how high to fill the water. Never go above that mark.
Charging the Battery
When charging, only use a charger that was made for that specific battery. The wrong charger risks overcharging, which can either damage the battery or cause an explosion. For a flooded battery, only add water after charging. The exception is if the lead plates are exposed. In that case, start by adding just enough water to cover the plates. Once the battery is charged correctly, it’s then safe to fully refill the water to its recommended level.
Regular battery charging will help maintain the battery and ensure it lasts for its expected lifespan and should be part of your truck battery maintenance checklist. Otherwise, premature battery failure means avoidable costly replacements. Whenever your fleet or truck is in for fleet maintenance or an inspection, take the opportunity to recharge the batteries.
Battery Cleaning and Storage
Maintain the battery connection by cleaning the posts periodically. Connections blocked by dirt or corrosion will experience resistance and might not work correctly., Clear away any dirt or corrosion from the contact posts with a wire brush. When tightening the wiring connections, make sure to follow the battery manufacturing guidelines. Different batteries will have various levels of tightness, and overdoing it risks causing premature breakdowns.
Lastly, when storing batteries, you should keep them in a dry and cool location. Be sure to monitor their charge as batteries will self-discharge over time. When you take a battery out of storage, always recharge and inspect it before using it.
Regular truck battery maintenance is essential, but so is getting a professional inspection. Keeping your batteries in top condition will reduce failure and keep you running on the road! With fleet maintenance in Spokane, WA and Auburn, WA, our Motorplex teams are always ready to help.
At Motorplex, we are fully trained and certified to help with any fleet maintenance. With services in Spokane, WA and Auburn, WA, Motorplex are always ready to help. Contact us now to book an appointment!