High Current Draw From Battery In Peterbilt Trucks

Patent US7944173 Lithiumbased battery pack for a high current draw
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Peterbilt trucks are known for their reliable performance and durability. However, one common issue that truck owners may encounter is a high current draw from the battery. This can lead to various electrical problems and can potentially leave you stranded on the road. In this article, we will explore the causes of high current draw from the battery in Peterbilt trucks and provide some tips for troubleshooting and resolving this issue.

Causes of High Current Draw

There are several potential causes for high current draw from the battery in Peterbilt trucks:

1. Faulty Electrical Components

One of the primary reasons for high current draw is faulty electrical components. This could include a malfunctioning alternator, starter motor, or any other electrical device that draws power from the battery. These components can develop faults over time, causing them to draw excessive current and draining the battery quickly.

2. Short Circuits

Short circuits occur when a live wire comes into direct contact with a ground wire or a metal surface. This causes a sudden surge in current flow, which can lead to a high current draw from the battery. Short circuits can be caused by damaged wiring, loose connections, or faulty switches and relays.

3. Parasitic Battery Drain

Parasitic battery drain refers to the continuous draw of power from the battery by certain electrical components even when the vehicle is not in use. This can be caused by accessories like radios, alarms, or aftermarket installations that are not wired properly. Over time, this constant drain can significantly reduce the battery’s capacity.

Troubleshooting and Resolving the Issue

If you are experiencing a high current draw from the battery in your Peterbilt truck, here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and resolve the issue:

1. Check Battery Connections

Start by inspecting the battery connections for any signs of corrosion, loose or damaged terminals. Clean the terminals if necessary and ensure they are tightened securely. Loose connections can cause high resistance, leading to increased current draw.

2. Inspect Electrical Components

Next, inspect all the electrical components in your truck. Look for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Check the alternator, starter motor, and other components for proper functionality. Replace any faulty components that are causing excessive current draw.

3. Test for Short Circuits

To test for short circuits, you will need a multimeter. Disconnect the battery and set the multimeter to the continuity mode. Check the resistance between the positive terminal and the truck’s frame. If you detect low resistance, there may be a short circuit that needs to be repaired.

4. Identify Parasitic Battery Drain

To identify parasitic battery drain, you can use an ammeter. Disconnect the negative battery cable and connect the ammeter in series between the battery and the cable. If the ammeter shows a high reading, start removing fuses one by one to isolate the circuit causing the drain. Once identified, inspect and repair the faulty component or wiring.


High current draw from the battery in Peterbilt trucks can be a frustrating issue to deal with. By understanding the potential causes and following the troubleshooting steps mentioned above, you can effectively diagnose and resolve this problem. Remember to consult a professional mechanic if you are unsure or unable to fix the issue yourself. Regular maintenance and inspections can also help prevent high current draw and ensure the optimal performance of your Peterbilt truck.