Your truck cannot operate properly without a healthy, functioning battery beneath the hood. In order to ensure that the battery sustains a full charge and remains useful, you must perform regular maintenance. A poorly maintained battery will repeatedly lose its charge, which leads to corrosion and deterioration within the battery.
Charging Truck Battery
1.) Open the hood in your truck and locate the battery. Check to find the red and black cable on the battery. Make sure the motor is turned off.
2.) Match the red clamp of the battery charger to the red post on the truck’s battery. Clamp the red cable to the red post and the black cable to the black post. Make sure you put the clamps firmly onto the post. They will fit right over the cables that are already on the battery. Unhook the battery by loosening the bolt on the cable wire and slip the cable off the battery.
3.) Turn the amp setting to two amps or the lowest setting on your charger. This is a trickle charge, and it is better to charge your battery on this setting. If you need to use the truck in a shorter time, switch to a higher setting. Check the directions on your brand of battery charger for length of time to charge a battery. Yours may have an automatic shutoff, which means the battery charger will shut off when the battery is charged, but do not rely heavily on it shutting off.
Changing Truck Battery
1.) Choose your battery, if you have to buy a new replacement, with the same care that you would purchase a new vehicle. Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended size and performance ratings, and make certain it lists your truck’s requirement. Do not purchase a car battery for a truck. Consider upgrading the recommended battery to one that carries more cold cranking amps. If your truck requires 600 cold cranking amps, for instance, note that if you have added extra accessories like a powerful stereo amp, fog lights or any other aftermarket component. Upgrade to an 800-amp output battery. Determine if you want a maintenance-free—sealed—battery or one that comes with standard removable caps. “Deep cycle” batteries have longer cranking durations and do better with mid-size or large trucks. Some high-performance batteries have yellow tops, indicating their higher quality performance ratings.
2.) Place the vehicle in park or neutral with the emergency brake set. Raise the hood. Use the appropriate end wrench or socket to remove the cinch nuts on the negative and positive battery cables. Remove any battery cover box by removing the screws with a screwdriver, or unsnap the clips. Remove the battery hold-down device, which can be a top strut or bottom lip plate. Lift the old battery from the battery box and set it aside.Use an engine cleaner solvent and brush to clean the inside of the battery box. Remove all oil, dirt and battery acid residue. Rinse and let dry. Paint the box with a spray can of flat black to protect the metal.
3.) Use a battery terminal cleaner tool to clean the insides and outside of the battery cable ends. Replace both battery cables at this time if they show age, cracking or splits. Make sure the cable cinch nuts and bolts have good threads or replace them.
4.) Install the battery cables onto their respective posts—black to black and red to red. Tighten them with the correct end wrench. If you wish to install felt battery washers, place them over the battery post before you install the battery cable ends. Battery washers absorb excess moisture and battery acid. Spray a thick coating of battery sealant, or apply grease, on the cable ends to protect them.
5.) Re-install the battery hold-down device with the proper socket. Replace the battery box cover, if so equipped. Start the vehicle several times with all accessories on.