Question:
When do I need to replace my battery?

The Auto Guys Answer:
That’s an essential question for St. Thomas drivers. All batteries wear out and need to be replaced.

Look, if your battery is dying and you need a jump-start, it could very well be that you have a bad battery. But St. Thomas drivers should have their St. Thomas auto service center test the battery first to see if it’s actually bad. The vital problem could be parasitic drain or a bad alternator that’s not properly charging your battery.

And St. Thomas drivers in this situation also need to have their service advisor inspect their alternator and have it tested. A surprisingly high percentage of “bad” alternators brought into The Auto Guys in St. Thomas are actually just fine: the problem is a worn serpentine belt and/or belt tensioner. If the belt is slipping, it’s not spinning the alternator properly so it can’t fully charge the battery.

Hopefully, St. Thomas drivers can see that a dead battery can be the result of a chain of events: a worn serpentine belt, a worn belt tensioner, a bad alternator or a bad battery. If you don’t check the belt, tensioner and alternator you can just end up replacing batteries that are still good. Talk to your The Auto Guys service advisor.

That brings us back full circle to when batteries do fail. There’s a chemical cycle that takes place inside your battery: the battery is discharged when you start the vehicle and is recharged by the alternator when you drive. Short trips around the St. Thomas area with frequent stops and starts may mean that your battery is never fully recharged. When a battery isn’t fully charged parts of the battery harden and are no longer available to “store” electricity. Over time, your battery just can’t hold enough charge for the needs of your vehicle. This is harmful to your alternator as it tries to keep up, causing it to wear out prematurely.

Batteries last longer in colder climates and wear out faster in warmer ON climates. We want to remind St. Thomas drivers that, on average, 70% of batteries fail within four years. Many ON automotive experts recommend replacing your battery every five years. This will lessen the chances of being stranded on a local expressway with a dead battery as well as prevent undue wear on your alternator.

Stop by or give us a call.

The Auto Guys
135 South Edgeware Rd.
St. Thomas, ON N5P 4C4
519.631.7117