Tech Tip: Combating Cold Weather Problems

A truck that won’t start is one of the headaches of the winter months. Hard starts, no starts, battery replacements and jump starts are common when cold weather hits. But these are just symptoms of problems related to the overall health of the starting and charging system.
As the winter months approach, it’s important to check the integrity of starter cables and connections. You should also load test and verify the quality of the batteries. What’s often overlooked, though, is the role of the charging system in preventing weather-related starting problems.

The best way to increase the odds of starting a truck on a cold morning is to have fully-charged batteries every time the driver turns the key! The charging system’s job is to ensure that the batteries are completely charged every time the vehicle is turned off, including at the end of the day’s work.

What you should do:

  • Check the belts, pulleys and drive System.
  • Check the tightness of the mounting bolts and re-torque to manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Visually inspect the rectifier fins for dirt or clogging. Don’t be afraid to blow the fins out with compressed air so you don’t have early diode failures because of heat build-up in a dirty rectifier set.
  • Perform a voltage drop test on the cables. Stay at no more than .5v (half a volt) loss from the alternator’s terminals to the batteries’ terminals at full-rated alternator output.

If you are unfamiliar with how to perform a voltage drop test, contact Delco Remy at 1-800-372-0222 or watch our Tech Tip Video on the BorgWarner YouTube Channel.

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