Spring's warmer temperatures may seem like a real treat for both you and your truck's starting-charging system. But while these more pleasant conditions can help amplify battery capacity - making it easier for your engine to turn over - they also increase the rate at which your batteries deteriorate.

That's because warmer temperatures encourage corrosion and lead sulfate to build up on the grids and electrodes. This, in turn, can interfere with charging, eventually leading to battery failure.

But that's not the only power threat you face. Electronic parasites can also drain a battery to discharge. Whether it's a TV, microwave or laptop charger left running too long, or a telematics system pulling 24/7 from an already weakened battery bank, parasitic loads deplete reserve capacity, putting you at real risk for unexpected battery failure and costly downtime.

Follow this simple five-step plan to help prevent excessive discharge, and keep your batteries running strong all spring and summer:

  1. Unplug your electronics - Even when they're not in use, cell phone chargers, coffee makers, lights and such can still pull a few milliamps of current from your batteries as long as they're plugged in. Over time, this can drain a battery of its charge. So be sure to turn off and unplug all electronics to reserve power.
  2. Keep your cool - Higher temperatures accelerate corrosion and sulfation. But you can extend battery life by parking in shaded or covered areas whenever possible.
  3. Move more - Electronic accessories and systems within your truck draw power 24/7. The longer your truck is parked, the fewer opportunities your batteries have to recharge. Keep moving to minimize the effects of parasitic loads.
  4. Stay charged - Deep cycling speeds the rate at which batteries deteriorate, eliminating hundreds of normal starting cycles or even causing immediate failure. Make sure you've got the right sized alternator installed in your truck to help keep your batteries in a fully charged state.
  5. Upgrade to AGM - Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) batteries require less maintenance, and are designed to handle extreme heat and high parasitic loads better than conventional flooded batteries. They also have low internal resistance, which allows them to recharge more quickly.

Regular inspections and testing are critical for maximum battery longevity. For more information or to schedule a service appointment, contact the starting-charging experts at your nearest Mack Trucks dealership today. You can also order a full range of batteries online through SELECT Part Store™. Log on today for immediate stock checks, easy parts ordering and fast delivery - often the same day.

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