How Much Electrical Power Does Your Truck Need?

When you upgrade your truck, you might start to notice some issues. Especially if you have the same stock electrical system installed, you may notice that your vehicle doesn’t always perform as it should – that when the system is taxed it may slow down or not start right away. This can be due to not having enough electrical power and can be resolved with a few simple tests and upgrades.

how much truck power do you need

How Much Power Do You Need?

The amount of power needed by any one vehicle will ultimately depend on what you need it to do. A stock vehicle will have enough power for everything already installed on that vehicle. Adding a winch or electric lift gate, however, will probably tax the system, simply because they go that much above and beyond the initial design of the truck. For many reasons, these are good things to have installed by the manufacturer, to ensure the power output is sufficient.

But what if you’re working on a classic truck or are making upgrades to a vehicle you’ve been driving for years? How do you know you have enough power? Most upgrades that require electrical power will tell you exactly how much power they use. A quick inspection of the truck’s existing electrical systems will reveal how much output it is capable of and how healthy the system is, so you should have these checked as well.

Testing Your Truck’s Electrical Power

It is possible to test your truck’s electrical output on your own. You will need a voltmeter and an ohmmeter so you can measure voltage and resistance. You can also start with a quick 12v light tester to make sure the system is working right in the first place (if it needs repairs, it will be faster to go straight to the garage).

To test the car’s voltage and resistance, you will measure various contact points on the truck, including light bulbs, wipers, ignition assembly, and of course the battery itself (to check for charge). If the battery is not giving off enough power, the rest won’t work either. Always disconnect the battery from the car connections before testing it. If the voltmeter reads less than 12.43V then the battery is either not charged fully or is not holding a full charge – both are problems you should resolve.

If there are no problems with your battery or other electrical components, however, it becomes an issue of whether the output of your truck’s electrical will support whatever upgrades you are making. This will of course depend on what those upgrades demand.

Making Upgrades

Always talk to a professional before making upgrades to your electrical system. From existing components to¬†wiring harnesses, battery space to computer components, you want to be sure everything will work properly after you’ve made your upgrades. Fortunately, with an increased need for electrical and computer systems in trucks, finding the right fit shouldn’t be too hard.

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