There’s few things less enjoyable than having to purchase a new set of batteries and they rarely fail at a convenient place or time. If you’re lucky they might be under warranty or partial warranty saving you some money. So let’s look at some common issues we see with them and how to keep them from causing other problems and costly repairs.
The most important part of your truck’s electrical system starts with the batteries. As batteries draw down it can cause many different symptoms. The alternator will work overtime to maintain a charge and if voltage is too low it can affect onboard electronics. We’ve seen weak batteries affect computers, transmission operation, HVAC and security systems to name a few. It can also affect diagnosis as we rely on sensors for input, if they aren’t receiving proper voltage we may see false readings. In our repair shop we frequently have to replace batteries before any diagnosis can be performed. If your truck regularly sits for a week or more we recommend recharging them periodically, or install a battery tender to maintain a full charge. Automotive batteries last longer when they maintain a full charge unlike a deep cycle type which can be run low and recharged several times.
On average batteries in Arizona have a life span of about two years because of our extreme summer temperatures which isn’t very long but a lot can happen in that time frame. It’s normal for them to lose charge over time and very common for them to leak acid. When they leak acid it will form a white crusty build up at the terminal and start looking like your child’s science experiment. If they are not cleaned and allowed to build acid, this acid (or corrosion) can travel through the insulation and damage the cable or eat right through the terminals. We always recommend terminal protectors to help neutralize the acid and slow the process of the acid spreading. If the battery terminal bolts become stripped or corroded, we make double ended battery bolt replacements. These bolts also allow an easier way to attach positive terminal leads without overtightening or stripping the bolt.
As corrosion builds inside of the cable it’s noticeable since the rubber insulation will swell up. We’ve seen some creative repair attempts over the years but the best option is to replace the entire cable. Replacing only the damaged part of the cable means you’re adding another connection which can cause high resistance, in other words current won’t fully travel through that point. Battery cables on diesel trucks aren’t your standard foot long cable you can purchase from an auto parts store, they can be quite expensive since many of them have multiple leads branching off or connect both positive terminals together. Many battery cables are no longer made by the manufacturer so we have to build them in the shop as needed, again not an inexpensive repair.
Now that you’re a pro on batteries and battery cables go outside and pop the hood on your truck and take a look. While you’re at it check any other vehicle in your household. If there is any moisture on the top of the battery or corrosion build up, then they need to be cleaned. If you don’t want to deal with the mess we can perform the cleaning for you, it’s inexpensive and doesn’t take very long. So give us a call today!
Call Strictly Diesel today! 623-582-4404