When you replace the battery in your car, you’re left with an old battery that you might be tempted to place in the trash, but that is the last thing you should do. Car batteries are subject to federal recycling guidelines and some states even have rules about recycling car batteries. The best thing to know is that you can bring an old car battery to AutoZone to get a $10 merchandise credit and to protect the environment from the toxic chemicals in the cells.
Knowing When to Change Your Car’s Battery
You can bring your car to AutoZone for a dead car battery diagnosis, or you can watch for signs that you need a new car battery. One easy way to tell when it’s time to look for a new battery is by age. A car battery lasts about three to four years. Look for a two character code on your battery. The first character, a letter from A to L represents the month the battery was manufactured with A for January, B for February, and so on. The second character is a numeral from 0 to 9. This represents the year the battery was manufactured, starting with the first year in the decade. For example, 0 would represent 2020, but on a really old battery, it would represent 2010. The numeral 1 would be for 2011, 2 for 2012, etc. The code H8 would mean the battery was manufactured in August 2018.
In addition to age, when the battery is beginning to get to the end of its life, it might not turn the engine over as easily. You’ll notice that your car works harder to start. You may notice that lights are dimmer than normal or that your electrical accessories don’t work as well. Your car may backfire. When you start your car, you may need to press the gas pedal. Once you start seeing these signs, you should get your battery checked out.
How to Choose Your New Car Battery
Whether you’re looking for the best motorcycle batteries or a high-quality car battery, you need to get the one that fits your ride. Use your owner’s manual or a VIN lookup online to find the specs for your vehicle. Once you know what size battery to get, you’ll need to determine the right power. The reserve capacity (RC) is the number of minutes that your battery has on reserve. Check the specs on your vehicle to make sure you’re getting a battery with the recommended RC. The other power factor for your battery is the cold cranking amps (CCA). The CCA measures the battery’s starting power, particularly in cold weather. If you live in a colder climate, you want a higher CCA while still staying within the recommended specifications.
When you buy your new car battery, bring your old one with you to recycle it. Be careful when transporting an old battery. Carry it upright. Pack it in plastic to prevent the chemicals from leaking. You should wear gloves to protect your hands.
Shop for car batteries and other accessories at AutoZone.