Simple Answers from AJ's Automotive for Columbia: Battery ReplacementApr 10th, 2014
When do I need to replace my battery?
AJ's Automotive Answer:
That's a good question for Columbia drivers. All batteries wear out and need to be replaced – but some are replaced before their time.
Look, if your battery is dying and you need a jump-start, it could very well be that you have a bad battery. But Columbia drivers should have AJ's Automotive test the battery first to see if it's actually bad. The problem could be parasitic drain or a bad alternator that's not properly charging your battery.
And Columbia drivers in this situation also need to have their service advisor check their alternator and have it tested. A surprisingly high percentage of “bad” alternators brought into AJ's Automotive in Columbia 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, Columbia 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 friendly and knowledgeable pros at AJ's Automotive .
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 Jefferson City 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 demanding on 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 Missouri climates. We want to remind Columbia drivers that, on average, 70% of batteries fail within four years. Many Missouri automotive experts recommend replacing your battery every five years. This will reduce the chances of being stranded on a local street with a dead battery as well as prevent undue wear on your alternator.
13 Colorado Avenue
Columbia, Missouri 65203