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How to Install Semi Truck Batteries

Semi Truck Mechanic


When you’re on the road, it’s important to be prepared for anything and battery care is a key part of your semi truck maintenance. Getting a battery jump or using a semi truck battery charger are good alternatives, but you can prevent detrimental downtime and costly repairs by learning how to install semi truck batteries yourself. With this guide from Rechtien International Trucks, learn about installing new batteries and what can lead to battery failure.

Contact us if you have any questions about battery care, or need help finding the right battery for your semi truck.

Steps to Install Semi Truck Batteries

To go about installing a new battery, drivers will need a socket wrench and wire brush or sandpaper. The use of a battery cleaning solution or anti-corrosion spray can help prevent problems down the line, and if there is any struggle removing lug nuts, WD-40 or a similar product will come in handy.

  1. Access the battery by removing any covers surrounding the battery.
  2. Locate the positive (red) and negative (black) cables, and be sure to note their proper placement.
  3. Start by disconnecting the negative cables from the terminal post by removing any fastening nuts with a socket wrench. Carefully set them out of the way away from the battery. Continue on to detach the positive cables in a similar manner.
  4. Use the wrench again to remove the brackets holding the batteries in the compartment.
  5. Remove the old batteries.
  6. Take the new batteries and securely place them in the battery compartment.
  7. Replace the holding brackets over the battery and ensure they are properly secured before tightening the lug nuts again.
  8. Take the wire brush and use a battery cleaning solution to remove any built-up corrosion from the terminal wires before they are reattached.
  9. Once the wires are clean, begin by reattaching the positive wires and tightening the nuts. Then, reattach the negative wires and ensure the nuts are tightened. Loose connections can lead to battery vibration and cause further damage down the road.
  10. Reattach any battery covers that were removed.
  11. Start the engine and get back on the road.

Problems That Lead to Battery Failure

Drivers that continue to see problems with their batteries may need to look a bit deeper than a simple battery replacement. Here are some common problems that lead to failure in semi truck batteries:

  • Improperly Secured Cables: Ensure the battery cables are properly secured as it could lead to battery vibration and cause poor connections and starting problems.
  • Battery Corrosion: When the batteries are exposed to the hydrogen gas in battery acid, that leads to the corrosion observed on top and prevents the batteries from charging fully. Small amounts of corrosion are to be expected and should be maintained regularly.
  • Parasitic Loads: Parasitic loads are when a device, like a radio, draws power from the battery, but doesn’t replace it. Parasitic loads are sometimes unavoidable, but truck drivers should monitor the number of parasitic loads as they can continue to draw on the battery’s charge, leaving it undercharged or dead.
  • Alternator Problems: Disproportionate voltage from the alternator can cause the battery to see charging issues. Have the alternator checked during routine battery service at our service center.

Learn More About Truck Care at Rechtien International Trucks!

It’s important to know how to take care of your semi truck on the road and learning how to install semi truck batteries is just one key step. Explore more tips on how to take care of your vehicles’ maintenance with truck brake care or oil change intervals.

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