Here’s something you may not have known. Warm weather is the time for major automotive-battery problems. Heat, not cold, shortens battery life. The average life of a battery is three and a half years, and even shorter in warmer climates. Because of this, today we’ll be sharing some important battery maintenance tips.
Excessive heat and overcharging are the two main reasons for shortened battery life. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate. That can mean a slow death for a battery.
Having clean connections and a fully charged battery is a benefit for you as well as your vehicle. Without the battery, power cannot be supplied to the areas of your food truck that need it in order to run properly. If the battery is dead, your vehicle will not even start, leaving you stranded and unable to make a living.
To get the most life out of the battery in your food truck, we suggest the following…
Food Truck Battery Maintenance Tips
- Be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate; overcharging can damage a battery as quickly as undercharging.
- If your battery is the type that needs to be topped off (not very common these days), check it regularly, especially in hot weather. Add distilled water when necessary.
- Always replace a battery with one that’s rated at least as high as the one originally specified.
- Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt becomes a conductor, which drains battery power. Further, as corrosion accumulates on battery terminals it becomes an insulator, inhibiting current flow.
- The terminals are the positive and negative plugs on top of the truck battery that connect to the corresponding wires to transfer energy from battery to car. Clean these terminals with a wire brush every three months or so.
- Disconnect your battery if you know you won’t drive the vehicle for more than two weeks. This prevents a gradual loss of charge.
- The alternator recharges the battery while the truck runs. However, the food truck must be on for at least 20 minutes to fully recharge the battery. Try to limit how many short trips you take, many starting cycles, coupled with short run times will leave your battery below the ideal charged specification. This cycle will lead to a short life for your food truck’s battery.
The Bottom Line
Winter is right around the corner bringing cooler temperatures. Nothing starts your day off on the wrong foot more than a dead food truck battery when you need to get to work. In order to have a proper working vehicle, your battery needs to be in good working order as well.