Truck Care

Dealing with a Dead Battery

dead battery
Jumper cables are something every truck owner should own in case of a dead battery.

A dead battery is everyone’s worst nightmare. If it hasn’t happened to you already, it probably will eventually, and you’ll want to be prepared when it does. Car batteries weaken or fail for any number of reasons, but most often because you’ve left your headlights, interior lights, blinkers, or radio on while the car isn’t running. They can also fail if you leave the air conditioning on when you’re not driving, or when you’ve simply neglected proper battery maintenance. Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to have a strategy in place for dealing with a dead battery.

Signs Your Battery is Dead or Dying

It’s not hard to determine if you vehicle has a dead or dying battery. The most noticeable sign is that your engine cranks but doesn’t start, or if it cranks more slowly than usual. If there is an internal problem with the battery, a dashboard warning light may appear in some cars. Keep in mind that, on average, a car battery will last about four to five years. This lifespan can fluctuate even more if your vehicle is exposed to extreme temperature conditions. In some cases, a battery will produce a rotten egg smell if the battery has frozen, overcharged, or shorted.

Jumpstarting Your Vehicle

In order to jumpstart a car or truck you will need a set of jumper cables and another “rescue” car with a functional battery. Never try jumpstarting a car that has a cracked battery or if acid is visibly leaking. That will not end well for anyone.

Step 1

Start off by parking the “rescue” car none-to-nose or side-by-side with the car with the dead battery, such that the hoods are right next to one another. Then, connect one end of the positive cables (usually red) to the positive terminal on the rescue car’s battery, and the other end to the positive terminal on the dead battery.

Step 2

Connect the negative cable (usually black) to the negative terminal on the rescue car’s battery. Connect the other end to a non-moving, grounded part of the dead car’s engine bay (the metal part of the vehicle). The engine manifold is typically unpainted and a good location for the clamp.

Trucking Accessories from Trick Trucks

Looking to get your truck ready for your next road trip? Trick Trucks is here to help. With over forty years of experience servicing trucks, we have the expertise and equipment you need. Contact Trick Trucks online or by calling 1-866-60-TRICK. To find out more about our services and trucks, follow us on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube.