The forklifts that you have in your workplace probably get more use than just about any other piece of equipment, so when one goes down because of battery issues, the loss can completely compromise workflow. Electric forklift batteries are notorious for having issues suddenly without a lot of prior warning. However, if you educate yourself a bit about the various electric-forklift battery issues that can come up, you will be better equipped to tackle these issues so you can get back to work. Here is a quick look at a few of the most common forklift-battery issues and their likely causes and solutions. 

Problem: Battery is overheating when charged.

Cause and Solution: This problem can have a lot of causes, but for the most part, each problem is easy to solve. The first thing you need to do is check to ensure your charger is set up to the proper charging parameters. You should also make sure the battery is well ventilated during charging by opening the battery cover and even setting up a fan if you have to. Check the water level of the battery and top it off if necessary. Examine your battery for shorted cells, and if they show signs of issues, have them replaced. 

Problem: You have issues with maintaining water levels in the battery. 

Cause and Solution: If the water consumption in the battery jumps without explanation, in most cases, it means the battery's cell jar is leaking. Look for moisture around the battery housing and examine the exterior jar for small pinholes or cracks. Replace the battery if you spot issues. Keep in mind, however, that higher temperatures can also mean more water usage, so in some cases, the resolution will be to top off the water level more frequently because this is really all you can do. 

Problem: The battery will not reach full charge capacity, and if it does, it depletes quickly. 

Cause and Solution: This is most often a sign of an ailing battery that just needs to be replaced because it is nearing the end of its lifespan. You can perform a capacity test to see if the battery is in good enough condition to accept full charge. If the percentage of the capacity test is low, it is best to go ahead and replace the battery. If the battery-capacity test seems normal, make sure the battery cells are not damaged, as this can also prevent the battery from reaching full charge.