Help please, Dead Batteries

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Jenn72, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. Jenn72

    Jenn72 Medium Load Member

    Jun 7, 2019
    Sorry it is long.

    I have a 2020 cascadia with idle management. While doing a 34, 12 hours into it my low battery alarm went off. (Truck did not start on it's own to charge them) Jumped out of bed tried to start truck manually. Nope, not enough juice.

    Luckily was at a terminal. Maintenance came and jumped it @ 0600, Friday morning. He then said at noon to go to shop and he will check batteries. Drove truck around for an hour to recharge. Did errands so truck was on and off till noon. No problems. He checked batteries said they were good.

    Truck was last on @ 5pm Friday night. Idle management working, truck turning on and off. Go to sleep, load @ 0300 to Ohio.

    2am Saturday morning low battery alarm going off. Again tried turning on truck. Nothing battery is dead. Shop is close. Breakdown sends out TA. TA jumps it again @ 0900.

    Call Freightliner, can't be seen for 2 weeks. Company says go to TA. Check alternator and batteries again. Both check out fine. 11am Saturday.

    Leave TA in Bordentown, NJ to pick up a load in Xenia, Oh to bring back to Burlington, NJ. Park @ Loves in Jeffersonville, Oh for 10. (Figured if batteries died again, easy jump)

    Ran truck till I went to sleep. Idle management set. Unplugged everything except fridge. 6 hrs in the low battery alarm again beeped. Immediately turned off inverter and got up to start truck. Lucky me it started.

    I have noticed while the truck is in idle management, interior comfort mode and it is warm outside. My truck would occasionally struggle to turn on. Maybe once or twice a month.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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  3. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    Did they actually test the batteries with a load tester? Or just stick one of those stupid digital testers on it?

    Same with the alternator. Did they load it up and measure the amp output or just stick a voltmeter on it and say it was good because it put out 14 volts?

    My guess is your batteries are toast. No reason for them to die that quickly with only a fridge on.
    Bean Jr., magoo68, Dino soar and 6 others Thank this.
  4. "semi" retired

    "semi" retired Road Train Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    high plains colorado
    I'm not going to add my usual "Freightliner" schtick, I think all trucks today are subject to this kind of baloney. A 2020 truck, that cost 6 figures, won't start,,,anybody else see something wrong here?:dontknow: Used to be, you'd buy a new truck because the old one failed. This is unacceptable.
  5. Long FLD

    Long FLD Road Train Member

    Mar 4, 2015
    Fairmont NE
    Batteries are junk anymore. I got barely a year out of my last set. You should also adjust your low voltage cutoff so that it leaves you with enough juice to start the truck.
  6. Jenn72

    Jenn72 Medium Load Member

    Jun 7, 2019
    Thanks, that is what I thought.

    I figured the alternator is working. Have no problem when running and it charges up my batteries.

    I had even asked them, how can you check the batteries, w/ the digital tester if I recharged the batteries. TA mechanic looked at me like I was a ignorant girl.

    Heading back to NJ, hopefully shop guy will "humor me" and change out my batteries.
    Lonesome Thanks this.
  7. Jenn72

    Jenn72 Medium Load Member

    Jun 7, 2019
    I did, that is how I was able to start it this morning. My batteries are 11 months old.
    LoSt_AgAiN, Long FLD and rachi Thank this.
  8. Wasted Thyme

    Wasted Thyme Road Train Member

    Jan 27, 2020
    Stevens transport DFW TX
    No mechanic. But I wonder if it is the idle management not working right. So it's not firing up to charge them and they just drain out.
    Bean Jr. and Jenn72 Thank this.
  9. reeferwrencher

    reeferwrencher Light Load Member

    Aug 4, 2018
    As stated almost surely the batteries,you might also want to make sure the alternator isn't t allowing an amp draw when the engine is off.It,s rare but does happen and it will still charge when running.
    Jenn72, AModelCat and 062 Thank this.
  10. Hulld

    Hulld Road Train Member

    Oct 19, 2015
    Upstate NY
    It could also be an intermittent parasitic drain somewhere on the electrical system of the truck.
    It would have to go to a qualified shop to have a parasitic drain test performed on it to find it.
    D.Tibbitt Thanks this.
  11. InTooDeep

    InTooDeep Road Train Member

    Jan 17, 2016
    Carmichael CA
    My 2020 is set to start when volts drop to 11.9 volts.Tthe only time so far that they dropped that far it started right up.
    Dave_in_AZ Thanks this.
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