Truck Talk with Nate Brekken
Are you Amped
You may think I am asking you about an energy drink but I am not. This month’s subject is about battery’s and the cables that attach to them. Strictly Diesel has been seeing a lot of battery concerns the last few months. Issues like hard starts, slow starts, no starts, and even computer issues have been very common.
The picture you see was the topper for me. This truck had battery drain issues, (battery draw) according to the customer. When the truck sat hooked up overnight the batteries would be dead the next morning and the truck would not start. But here is a little secret with this truck. It needed two batteries, they were both bad, and a set of good battery cables that had been un-modified.
We tend to have it in our heads that batteries should last an infinite amount of time, after all they are under warranty for 2-6 years depending on who you got them from. Batteries, and the cables that attach to them, do wear out over time. These items wear out over time from heat in the engine bay, usage of the vehicle, accessories, (like radio’s, radio amp’s, light bars, winches, battery cable repairs and so on). All of these things tax the charging system of the truck on a daily basis.
“Battery cable ends (as seen above) are a good example, should NEVER be used. This type of cable end allows moisture and battery acid to easily enter the cables over time, adds resistance to the circuit and does not hold the cable tightly enough. These should be used only in a pinch, and only as a short term fix…never as a long term repair.”
Here are a couple of tips to help you.
1. Always replace your batteries when they fail with the same or better CCA number (cold cranking amps) as what originally came on the truck. The old adage of “you get what you pay for” speaks loudly here. If your truck came with an 850 CCA battery, make sure it gets the same when it comes time to replace it.
2. Clean your batteries at least once a month with a can of coke, or baking soda mixed in water. Watch the science experiment happen and enjoy - rinse the battery off with water when you are done. This will help prevent corrosion from building up on the battery over time, causing damage to the cables, and the batteries themselves.
3. Make sure the battery cables are tight on the battery post. You should not be able to wiggle the cable on the battery post when tight. If you see swelling in the cable, replace it, corrosion is inside the cable at that point and it needs to be replaced.
Don’t forget that Strictly Diesel can help as well. Let our qualified technicians look the charging system of your truck over for any concerns. We will save you dollars, and keep you on the road for miles! Give Strictly Diesel a call today! 623-582-4404
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