Simple Answers from Car Medics for Kingston: Battery Replacement


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When do I need to replace my battery?

Car Medics Answer:
That’s an essential question for Kingston 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 Kingston motorists should have their battery tested first to see if it’s actually bad. The essential problem could be parasitic drain (this means that something is draining your battery down when it sits parked – such as a trunk or reading lamp) or a bad alternator that’s not properly charging your battery back up after each use.

And Kingston auto owners in this situation also need to have their Car Medics’s team inspect their alternator and have it tested. A surprisingly high percentage of “bad” alternators brought into Car Medics in Kingston 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, Kingston and Glenburnie 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 understanding Car Medics service professional for more information or to schedule a starting and charging system test.

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 your car and is recharged by the alternator when you drive. Short trips around the Kingston 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.

Colder climates like we have during winter in Kingston ON and Glenburnie ON is harder on batteries. We want to remind Kingstonarea car owners that, on average, 70% of batteries fail within four years. Many ON automotive experts recommend replacing your battery every five years. This will cut down the chances of being stranded on a local highway with a dead battery as well as prevent undue wear on your alternator.

At Car Medics, we feel it is wise to start having your battery tested annually, after it’s 3 or 4 years old.  The more starts and stops with short distance (city type) driving, will reduce the lifespan of even the best batteries.

For more questions, call the Other Dr. Phil and his team at Car Medics:

Car Medics
37 Rigney St
Kingston, ON K7K 6Z3


Car Medics
1985 Perth Rd.
Glenburnie, ON K0H 1S0