Simple Answers from Allen Tire Inc. for Richmond: Battery Replacement

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When do I need to replace my battery?

Allen Tire Inc. Answer:
That’s a key question for Richmond motorists. 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 Richmond drivers should have their Richmond auto service center test the battery first to see if it’s actually bad. The important problem could be parasitic drain or a bad alternator that’s not properly charging your battery.

And Richmond motorists in this situation also need to have their service advisor survey their alternator and have it tested. A surprisingly high percentage of “bad” alternators brought into Allen Tire Inc. in Richmond 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, Richmond motorists 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 courteous Allen Tire Inc. service specialist.

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 minivan and is recharged by the alternator when you drive. Short trips around the Glen Allen 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 minivan. This is detrimental 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 VA climates. We want to remind Richmond car owners that, on average, 70% of batteries fail within four years. Many VA automotive experts recommend replacing your battery every five years. This will impair the chances of being stranded on a local interstate with a dead battery as well as prevent undue wear on your alternator. 

Allen Tire Inc.
5606 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23230
(804) 288-3950