The battery is an essential truck part that supplies the energy needed to start the engine and power the ignition system. Without it, you couldn't start your vehicle, or even power the lights, radio, or windshield wipers when the engine is off. Here's all you need to know to care for this component.
Common Types of Truck Batteries
Starting batteries work on the same principle as the units for most passenger vehicles. They offer cranking power of various intensities, ensuring there's enough energy to start the truck. Most day cabs, dump trucks, mixers, and large diesel vehicles operate on these batteries.
Cycling batteries provide a more moderate level of cranking power, but they are also designed to accommodate several electrical loads at once. This feature is especially important for trucks that need to power multiple components, like lift gates, sleeper cabs, and refrigerated trailers.
Absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries have high cranking power and enhanced cycling capabilities. Their electrolytes, which are housed in glass mats, transfer energy to create power. This allows for longer cycling times, better vibration resistance, and dependable performance in cold temperatures. AGM batteries are found in all types of trucks, including over-the-road, delivery, construction, and cement-mixing vehicles.
Maintenance Tips for Truck Batteries
Performing some upkeep ensures you get the most reliable performance out of your battery. Before setting out on a trip, check that the cables are securely connected to the unit and that both the cables and the battery are free of damage. A small amount of corrosion on this truck part is normal, but if there is an excessive amount, it may be leaking and require replacement.
To clean trace amounts of rust, dissolve one tablespoon of baking soda in one cup of hot water, dip an old toothbrush in the solution, and gently scrub away the corrosion.
Before every trip, test the battery. A truck service provider will perform a diagnostic test that measures the amount of power left in the unit. You can also perform a general test yourself. Start the truck and turn on the headlights. Then, rev the engine and see if the lights' brightness changes. If they dim, the battery may not have sufficient energy to maintain the lights while the engine idles, which indicates you need a replacement.
When you're in the market for new truck parts, visit Northwest Truck Repair. They have served drivers throughout Kalispell, MT, and the Flathead Valley since 1972. They carry replacement parts for all types of commercial vehicles, including trailers and semi-trucks. Visit their website to learn more about their services, or call (406) 755-9762 to ask about their inventory.