Tech Tip: Battery Testing & Maintenance

Load testing a skid steer loader battery

A load test is a simple way to check if you need a new battery

Battery maintenance is pretty simple stuff if you know what you’re doing, and a few simple practices and tests will help keep your machine running at full power for as long as possible.

It’s always a good idea to make sure your battery terminals are clean and clear of corrosion, which can negatively impact a battery’s performance. Add it to the list of routine maintenance you do for your machine to keep up with it. If you suspect your battery is defective, then a load test can quickly tell you if it needs replacement. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out our how-to video.

Video: How to Perform a Battery Load Test

If you’d prefer to leave it to the experts, you can bring in your machine for our $99 inspection special, which includes a full examination of electrical and starting systems – including a load test.

Even with all the careful maintenance and testing you’re still going to come across a dead battery now and then. If you’re going to jump the battery, there are a few important safety steps to keep in mind since the wrong move can cause serious harm to people nearby. As a battery charges it releases hydrogen gas, which can explode if accidentally ignited, so it’s extremely important to install properly and remove the battery cable clamps. The best way to do this is:

  1. Attach the positive cable (usually red) to the positive post of the jumper battery.
  2. Attach the other end of the positive cable to the dead battery.
  3. Attach the negative cable (usually black) to the negative post of the jumper battery.
  4. Attach the other end to a good ground on the engine or frame away from the battery.
  5. Disconnect in the reverse order.

If you prefer visuals, here’s a nice wikiHow breakdown with pictures. If you have any questions on charging batteries, battery maintenance or load testing please give our service experts a call at any of our three Chicagoland locations.  We’ll be glad to help!

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