Semi truck batteries are incredibly important for the safe operation of a commercial vehicle, especially when you are hauling cargo long distances. Proper maintenance is key, since it can be difficult and expensive to replace a battery once it is damaged. When problems arise with your batteries, it’s important to fix them as soon as possible, before they get worse and prevent you from operating safely and effectively on the road. How do you know if there is something wrong with your semi truck battery? What do you do if you find that you do have a problem? We’ve got answers to the 5 worst problems you can have with semi truck batteries here for you, so read along for more information.
1) Undercharging: A Serious Problem
Undercharging is a common problem. Undercharging can be caused by a bad alternator. Low temperatures, age, and even heat can all cause your semi truck battery to lose charge more quickly than normal. Most semi truck batteries will last for about three years; undercharging could make batteries die much sooner than that. If you notice that your battery drains quicker than usual when it’s not in use. check your semi truck batteries every six months or so. The easiest way is simply using a voltmeter; if they are falling below 12 volts. Then it is time to have your charging system checked by a professional.
2) Overcharging: Not As Serious, But Still A Big Problem
Overcharging is a problem that can lead to dead batteries. Overcharging can be caused by a bad voltage regulator or bad alternator. If you start noticing the battery gauge getting too high then you need to check your batteries. A rotten egg smell coming from your batteries is a classic sign that you have an overcharging problem. You are literally baking your batteries. If your batteries are getting excessively hot you may have a problem. If you notice any of these symptoms then you should get your charging system checked out by a professional.
3) Heat and Cold Kills Semi Truck Batteries Fast
Just like humans, batteries don’t do well in extreme heat or cold. When it’s really hot outside and your semi truck is parked for several hours, you can bet there will be damage over time to your batteries. Heat is hard on batteries because it increases the rate of water evaporation from cells even in sealed top batteries. If you are in states like Arizona, New Mexico, and California you should pay special attention to your batteries. And also if you park overnight in the extreme cold you will have damage over time. Also if you are up north in the winter in the cold and snow you should also pay close attention to your batteries. Cold is hard on batteries because the battery needs to work harder to start your semi truck. Extreme cold and heat can kill your batteries. If you are having extreme cold and heat conditions you should keep a sharp eye on your batteries.
4) Harsh Driving Conditions Can Damage Semi Truck Batteries
When you’re hauling a load across several states, it’s easy to forget that your truck batteries have feelings. Semi truck batteries, though more resilient than most consumer car or motorcycle models, are sensitive machines. Batteries subject to extreme temperature changes or haphazard maintenance. Excessive vibration can be a battery killer. Vibration can crack the Plates and connections inside of batteries. Make sure to check any battery hold downs for proper fitment and tightness. Be mindful of the environment and take the precautions necessary to preserve your batteries based on the driving conditions.
5) Age Affects Semi Truck Batteries, Too.
Another problem semi truck batteries face is age. As they get older, their energy capacity will start to drop off. If you’re using your semi truck a lot, you may need to replace your battery sooner than if you only use it occasionally. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on your batteries. Proper maintenance is also a good way to help your batteries last longer. It is a good idea to clean your batteries every 6 months. Clean any corrosion you may find and also spray battery protectant on each exposed terminal and wire. Corrosion can make for bad connections and cause a not start issue. You can test the batteries monthly to make sure they are in good working order.