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Truck Repair DIY Blog Series: Changing Your Truck’s Battery

Truck batteries typically last three to five years, which means that if you purchase a new truck every three to four years, you may not need to replace a dead battery. But in case of battery malfunction, you need to change the battery. Explore this truck repair DIY blog about changing your truck’s battery.
Semi trucks in for repairs

Truck batteries typically last three to five years, which means that if you purchase a new truck every three to four years, you may not need to replace a dead battery. 

However, if you buy used trucks or retain your vehicle for an extended time, you will almost certainly need to replace the batteries. It's the most common cause for motorists to contact a towing company. Fortunately, this is a straightforward task that you can do with just a few instruments.

A vehicle battery is a 12V device necessary for the engine to start. It also provides electricity to the truck's electrical systems, such as the lights, radio, and electronic windows. The alternator, which functions like a small generator, will replenish the battery while you are driving.

The interior metal elements corrode with time, diminishing the battery's capacity to store a charge. When a vehicle battery is in excellent working order, it will always provide the appropriate voltage to power the truck's systems correctly.

Steps to change your truck battery 

Before we begin the procedure of replacing a vehicle battery, which should take around 30 minutes, we need to gather the following items of equipment:

  • Brand-new battery
  • Spanner or socket set that can be adjusted
  • Work gloves and safety glasses
  • Tablespoon of soda
  • 250 mL boiling water
  • A wire brush or an old toothbrush

1: Locate your truck battery. 

Despite what you would think, not all automobile batteries are found beneath the hood in the engine compartment. To reduce the room or improve weight distribution, check the owner's handbook to see where the battery is located. It might be in the trunk or beneath one of the back seats. It may also have a protective plastic cover that must be removed.

2: Disconnect battery terminals 

The battery terminals are usually found on top of the battery, although they may also be found on the side. There's a negative and a positive connector, just like any other battery. The negative terminal is usually black and has a minus ('-') sign; the positive terminal is usually red and has a plus ('+') sign.

To uncover the battery and prevent a charge from passing through it, detach the negative connection first. To disconnect the positive terminal, repeat the operation.

3: Remove the old battery. 

A clamp at the base of the battery or a bar running across the top will hold the battery in place. Remove any screws from whatever battery holder you have on your automobile. You can now remove the automobile's battery since it is no longer connected to the truck. To make this simpler, most batteries come with a built-in handle.

4: Clean the battery clamps 

Make a solution with the baking powder and hot water to clean the terminal clamps with the toothbrush or wire brush and remove any residue.

5: Install new batteries 

Lower the new battery into the gap left by the old one, making the positive and negative terminals on the right sides. Replace all of the screws in the clamp or bar that holds the battery in place.

6: Reconnect the battery terminals again 

The protective coverings on the terminals of the new battery may need to be removed. Always start with the positive terminal. Place the clamp on the positive terminal and tighten it down. Tighten it by hand first, then tighten it even further using your spanner or wrench. To reconnect the negative terminal, repeat the operation.

7: Ensure that the new truck battery is properly working 

Start the automobile by covering the battery. You'll need to enter the radio code and any additional PINs to restore the electronic systems unless you have a battery memory saver.

When do you have to replace the truck battery? 

It's easy to identify some frequent symptoms that a battery needs to be replaced by regularly examining the status of your battery. On the other hand, an automobile battery might expire without giving you any warning symptoms.

  • The truck will not start at all.
  • The truck will not start even after you jump-start it.
  • Powdery residue has built upon the battery terminals.
  • On the dashboard, there is a battery warning light.
  • The dashboard's Check Engine light is on.

If your vehicle won't start and no warning lights show on the dashboard, you most likely have a dead or flat battery. Try jumping (or bump) starting the vehicle before obtaining a new battery and getting ready to replace it.

Once the vehicle is running, go for a short drive with just the most basic electrical systems turned on to replenish the battery before turning it off. Return to the automobile in a few hours or the next day. If the vehicle starts without difficulty, the battery was merely depleted of power; however, if the truck does not start, the battery cannot maintain a charge and must be replaced.

To function correctly, a battery requires a constant electrical current. The performance of the battery terminals will be harmed if a white or blue residue forms around them. To remove the corrosion, make a solution of baking soda and hot water (250ml) and scrape it away with an old toothbrush. Getting rid of the residue might help fix the problem of a malfunctioning battery in some instances.

The battery warning light on the dashboard shows a problem with the battery charging and that the voltage provided by the alternator is insufficient. The battery light can keep it running until the stored energy runs out. Similarly, the check engine light may be on when the engine fails to start, indicating that the battery needs to be replaced soon.