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Guest Blog: Seven signs indicating it’s time for a heavy duty vehicle battery upgrade

Jan. 28, 2021
A heavy duty vehicle will present signs that the battery needs attention; the following is a list of seven common signs that it is time to replace the battery.

Not only is a battery necessary to start a truck’s engine, but it also powers other important onboard electronics, including the air conditioning, audio/video accessories, and security systems. In addition to making the vehicle run, the battery also contributes to the comfort and safety of the driver.

EnerSys is the manufacturer of ODYSSEY Extreme and ODYSSEY Performance batteries, which feature Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology to provide premium and long-lasting power for heavy duty commercial trucks. They are designed to handle the increased use of onboard accessories in today’s high-end vehicles and provide both deep cycle reserve and maximum cranking power, with engine cranking pulses up to 2,700 amps for 5 seconds.

A heavy duty vehicle will present a variety of signs that the battery needs some attention, if not a full replacement. Following is a list of seven common signs that it is time to replace the battery.

A note on safety: When working on or near batteries, always wear proper personal protective equipment for eyes and hands. Also use insulated tools and always refer to the owner’s manual for both the vehicle and the battery being looked at and/or being replaced. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for battery care and handling and direct any questions to a battery professional.

  1. Engine cranks slowly when being started. The Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) rating indicates the power generally available to crank the engine in a vehicle. If the vehicle is slow to start, the battery may need replacement.
  2. Lights dim or problems with electronic/electrical devices, such as electric windows or locks. As with slow starting, lights that dim or electric windows and locks that are slow to operate may indicate that the battery is compromised in some way and may need to be replaced.
  3. Engine won’t start after sitting overnight or after it was just turned off. If the battery will not operate properly after being idle for several hours, or shortly after the engine is started and shut off, these problems may indicate that the battery is near end of life and in need of replacement.
  4. Accessory runtime is decreasing. Hotel loads on the vehicle require higher reserve capacity. If DVD players, lights, or other additional accessory runtime is needed, a heavy duty battery should be considered.
  5. Additional loads are added to the vehicle. As more additional loads are added to the vehicle such as a microwave, fans, etc., there will be greater demand on the battery. To get the longest battery life, a larger capacity/heavy duty battery is needed.
  6. Vehicle is operated in extreme temperature conditions. Battery performance and life is impacted by temperature, so if a vehicle is operating in extreme cold, a battery with the highest CCA available is needed to ensure reliable starts.
  7. Vehicle is operated in high vibration environments. Battery life is impacted by high vibration, so if a vehicle is frequently exposed to high vibration, a heavy duty battery with the best vibration resistance is needed for the best life outcome.

Using high-quality batteries with advanced chemistries, such as ODYSSEY batteries with TPPL technology, may provide a longer life and more reliable service. The investment can make the difference between making timely deliveries or being delayed with a failing vehicle. As heavy duty vehicle drivers face increasing demands, such as larger hotel loads and extreme weather conditions, the benefits of higher quality products can provide peace of mind.

Information provided by: EnerSys, Inc.

About the Author

Bryce Gregory | Systems Product Manager, Transportation and Specialty at EnerSys

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