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. This inevitably will result in the need for a new battery.
1.) Open the hood and locate the battery after making certain all switches and accessories in the truck have been turned off. When accessing the battery, you might have to remove some plastic guards or battery covers, depending on the model of your truck. Be sure to put on some gloves before working on the battery.
2.) Disconnect both terminals from the truck battery, starting with the negative terminal. Most terminals can be disconnected by using a basic wrench to loosen the clamps that are affixed to the battery posts. Once the clamps have been loosened, pull straight up on the terminals to remove them; do not twist the terminals.
3.) Brush the battery posts and terminals with a terminal and post brush. If you don’t own one, a simple wire brush will work. Persist with brushing until the posts and terminals are free of corrosion.
4.) Clean the top and sides of the battery. Use a mixture of baking soda and water as a cleaning solution. Mix about two tablespoons of baking soda per pint of water. Pour some of the solution onto the battery and scrub with an old rag. You can also use the solution to clean the terminals and battery posts. Rinse the entire battery, posts and terminals with clean water after you’ve finished. Then dry the battery with a rag.
5.) Check the electrolyte level if your truck has a traditional flooded battery. Remove the caps on top of the battery and look inside. Add distilled water if the level is low. The fluid should rise to the top of the vent walls within the battery. Avoid overfilling the battery. If your truck battery is maintenance-free, you cannot add electrolytes.
6.) Coat the posts of the truck battery with petroleum jelly, which will prevent corrosion. Reattach the terminals, beginning with the positive terminal. Tighten the terminals on the posts; loose terminals will lead to poor performance and corrosion.
7.) Recharge the truck battery if it is low. Make sure you use a 12-volt battery charger. A slow charge at a low-amp setting will ensure a more complete charge for the battery.
8.) Check your truck’s battery every three or four months. If the battery is dirty or corroded, clean it. Also, if the battery dies or loses its charge, be sure to recharge it. Do not allow it to remain drained for long periods of time, as it could result in greater corrosion.