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Heavy-duty battery maintenance: What you need to know

We asked battery maker East Penn Manufacturing Co. what types of preventative maintenance practices fleets should have in place to maximize their battery life, and how often these should maintenance items be performed/checked.

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We asked battery maker East Penn Manufacturing Co. what types of preventative maintenance practices fleets should have in place to maximize their battery life, and how often these should maintenance items be performed/checked. This was their advice:

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• Battery maintenance should occur in conjunction with regularly scheduled PMs.
• Check and confirm the state of charge of the battery pack (prior to charging). If the SOC of the battery pack is below 12.4 volts the pack should be fully recharged to: Flooded battery = 12.65 volts; AGM battery = 12.85 volts.
• Make sure to check the state of charge of the battery pack and recharge if necessary before and after PMs, service or extended periods of non-use. We have seen multiple occasions where the batteries have been discharged to the point of failure from draws or parasitic leads related to scheduled maintenance.
• Check and confirm the security of hold-downs. If the battery is not secured properly, it can experience extra vibration and jolting that can damage the battery.
• Clean all terminal connections (group 31 studs or posts and cable lugs).  Road dirt and grime/grease will reduce charge acceptance. Also, inspect battery cables for wear or damage and replace if necessary.
• The following is extremely important! When recharging, make sure to use charging adapters on all stud battery posts. Make sure the charging adapters are screwed tight on the stud so there is a good lead-to-lead contact between the post bushing and charging adapter.

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