When Should I Replace My Truck Battery

When Should I Replace My Truck Battery

Timing is key when it comes to battery replacement. It's always advisable to swap out your battery before it becomes absolutely necessary. But how can you determine the right time for a replacement if your battery hasn't completely died yet? While there's no definitive answer on the lifespan of a truck battery, there are certain telltale signs that indicate it may be time for a new one.

Signs your Truck Battery is dying

Newer trucks with all their lights, bings and bongs are pretty good at letting you know if your battery needs replacing. If your truck doesn’t have these features, this is how you might tell your battery will soon need changing:

  • Slow engine crank - If your truck engine is slow to catch, or takes multiple attempts to start, it might be time to change your battery, especially when paired with any of the below symptoms.
  • Distorted Battery Case - Often caused by overcharging or prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures, a bloated or misshapen battery case is a clear indicator that it's time for a replacement.
  • Battery Fluid Leak - When truck batteries are overcharged or damaged, they often develop leaks, indicating the need for a replacement.
  • Corrosion on the connectors - If you observe a buildup of a powdery or crystalline blue-green substance on your battery terminals, it could indicate that it's time to replace your battery.
  • Rotten-egg smell – If you detect a strong sulphur odour resembling rotten eggs coming from your battery compartment, it could indicate a potential leakage of battery acid.
  • Dim headlights – Your truck may experience electrical issues from a bad battery. Headlights, and other lights in the vehicle may dim or flicker suddenly.

A flat battery will cause you the biggest headache when it becomes too flat to supply enough power to the starter motor, leaving you stuck. If you begin to notice one of the above symptoms, your best bet is to buy a new battery before you’re left stranded in the cold.

How old is my truck battery?

The age of a battery is usually on a label located on the top of the battery. The label will indicate the month and year the battery was sold to the reseller. 

Letter - indicates the month i.e. A is January, B is February etc. 

Digit - indicates the year i.e. 0 for 2000, 1 for 2001 etc. 

For example, a battery date code that starts with "B1" would be February 2001. 

Some batteries may use a different code such as a 12 digit number where the last 4 represent the month and year, ‘xxxxxxxx0321’ would mean March 2021.

How often should you replace your truck battery?

Typically, it is recommended to replace your automobile battery approximately every three years. However, it is possible that you may require a replacement earlier than expected. Various factors, such as your local climate and driving patterns, can impact the lifespan of your battery and potentially necessitate a new one prior to the three-year timeframe.

How do you know which battery fits your truck?

Cold Crank Amps (CCA) refers to the vital power generated by a battery to kickstart your vehicle's engine, especially during chilly weather conditions. In New Zealand, the SAE standard sets the benchmark at -18 degrees Celsius. It is crucial to select a battery that matches or exceeds the rating of the original equipment battery initially installed in your vehicle. Remember, the higher the CCA, the more reliable and efficient the battery will be!

Make sure to choose a battery with the exact battery post configuration as the one you are replacing.

You’ll notice our Exide batteries have “Assy A, B, C, D, E or F” this is referencing the voltage and layout of the terminals. Choosing the wrong voltage can cause significant damage to your trucks electricals while selecting the a different terminal layout could result in your vehicles cables not reaching the battery.

Check the physical dimensions of the battery you are replacing and select a battery that will fit the battery tray in your vehicle.

How to look after your truck battery

Make sure to regularly maintain your battery terminals, keeping them clean and free from any corrosion. To effectively remove any build-up, you can use a combination of hot water and baking soda with the help of a brush.

Additionally, it is important to securely fasten your truck's battery and ensure it is not subjected to excessive vibration. This will greatly help in preventing premature battery failure.

Make a wise investment in an automotive battery charger that will effectively maintain an optimal charge level, whether you're away for a week or longer.

Ensure that the surface of your battery remains free from any oil or grease build-up, as these substances have the potential to hinder proper electrical conductivity and compromise the overall performance of your battery.

Make sure you never allow your battery to remain in a discharged state for a duration of 24 hours or more, as this may lead to the formation of sulphation. It is crucial to promptly recharge your battery to its full capacity as soon as possible.

Can I recycle my battery?

Yes, you can return your old spent battery to TWL who will ensure it is recycled in a safe and environmentally friendly process. Automotive lead acid batteries are up to 98% recyclable.