A car battery is the heart of your car. You need it to be healthy and strong to power all parts of your vehicle. If you’ve been driving your car for several years, chances are you will have to replace your car battery at some point. The battery might slowly start to fail or not work one day. Replacing your car battery will likely mean an unexpected event and cost. How much does it cost to replace a car battery?
The bottom line is that replacing your battery can be as little as $50 or as high as $250. That range is affected by the size of the battery you need, and the brand you choose to buy. If you need professional help, add at least another $50 to that price tag.
Replacing your car battery might sound like a challenge. There are certainly many factors to consider regarding price and service when you need a battery. Read on in the post as we answer a few questions on how to replace your car battery.
What impacts the cost of replacing a car battery
There are a few factors to consider in the cost of replacing a car battery.
Engine size matters. A bigger engine requires a bigger battery. Some standard battery sizes are 24, 65, and 75. The price of these batteries ranges between $40 and $90 depending on factors like brand and warranty options.
Battery manufacturers use different materials and technology in batteries. Cars have different types of requirements and recommendations. Premium batteries can fetch anywhere from $120 to $250. A more common, middle of the road brand will run you $50 to $100 per battery. There are also some super cheap batteries out there for about $50.
Cost of Installation
Having a car battery installed can add to the overall cost of replacement. Labor costs to install a battery depend on where you go to have your car serviced and where you live. You might pay $50 to $100 for a pro to install your battery.
How Much Does AutoZone Charge To Replace a Battery?
AutoZone is an auto parts retailer. You can choose from many types of batteries in one of their thousands of brick and mortar stores. Or, you can shop online for a battery that suits your needs.
Once you have purchased your new battery, AutoZone will install your battery free of charge if it’s easily accessible. Most batteries are located toward the front of the car, and installation is a straightforward procedure. Others are located under a wheel well, or a floorboard panel and are more difficult to access. If AutoZone can’t change the battery, they will help you find a reliable shop that can.
Does Walmart Replace Car Batteries?
Yes, Walmart can replace your car battery. Once you have purchased your battery from Walmart, it can be installed for free if your store has a Walmart Auto Care Center. There are more than 2,500 stores with Auto Care Centers.
If you purchased a battery elsewhere, a Walmart Auto Care Center can install your battery for a small fee.
Does O'Reilly Replace Batteries?
O’Reilly Auto Parts is an auto parts retailer. They can replace your car battery if professional installation is not recommended for your vehicle. For example, they can replace the battery on a 2014 Honda CR-V.
Check your car’s manual or the manufacturers’ website to see what is recommended for your vehicle. You can also contact O’Reilly online, by phone or in-person to find out whether your make and model requires a professional installation. If not, then yes, O’Reilly can replace the battery.
Battery replacement is a free-of-charge service once you have purchased a battery from O’Reilly.
How Do I Replace My Car Battery?
There are several options for replacing a car battery. A paid roadside assistance membership such as AAA has a battery replacement service where they come to you. Taking your car to the local auto parts store is a good option as well. You can purchase a battery, and most will install it for free. And of course, there is the car dealer or your local mechanic. These are all reliable options but, if you’re even the slightest bit handy, consider replacing the battery yourself.
Replacing your car battery is a do-it-yourself task. Change into clothes that can get dirty, find your toolbox, and grab a pair of gloves. Now you are ready to roll.
Here are the steps to replace your car battery once you have purchased a new one -
- Make sure your engine is off. Then pop the hood and locate the battery.
- Disconnect the positive and negative terminals. There might be a quick-release clamp. If not, reach for your wrench and loosen the terminals
- Find your socket wrench and remove the battery hold down (a strap or metal plate that secures the battery)
- It’s time to remove the battery. Using both hands, grab the battery with its handle or from the bottom if there isn’t a handle. A battery weighs 20 pounds or more, so use caution.
- Make sure the terminals are clean. If they look like they have a powdery build-up, use a wire brush or a cleaning solution designed for batteries to clean.
- Place your new battery in the battery hold down. Secure the battery with the hold-down clamp.
- Lightly grease or spray the terminals with an anti-corrosion solution.
- Connect and tighten the positive terminal (red-colored)
- Connect and tighten the negative terminal (black-colored)
- Make sure both terminals are tight but be careful not to overtighten.
- Once terminals are secure, check to see that the battery is secure overall. Neither the battery nor the terminals should move back and forth.
- Close the hood and start your engine.
Now you know how to replace your car battery. So, what can you do with that old battery?
Do Places Pay You For Old Batteries?
Your car battery needs to be recycled. And, you might receive some cashback on that old battery. Most auto parts retailers will offer an incentive for recycling. Below are a few retailers and their offer for old batteries.
- AutoZone: Recycle your old car battery here and receive a $10 AutoZone merchandise card.
- O’Reilly Auto Parts: A $10 store gift card is the reward at O’Reilly for a recycled battery, even if it wasn’t purchased from one of their stores.
- Advance Auto Parts: A store gift card for $10 per battery is offered for a recycled battery at Advanced Auto Parts.
- There may be some exclusions to recycling batteries at these retailers. Batteries that are lithium-ion or those that are lead-acid cannot be recycled in these stores. Fees may vary by state, as well. It’s best to check with your local store.
It’s also possible that you receive a credit toward a new battery from the retailer. Or, you may receive credit and deposit back if you are buying from the same place.
Another place to recycle for cash is at your local junk/wreck/scrap yard. These facilities usually pay a price per pound. For example, the going rate might be $.29 per pound for a car battery. If that battery weight 30 pounds, you can collect almost $9.
There are also other online options like eBay or Craigslist. Post your battery, and perhaps you can collect some cash.
The average payout for an old battery is about $10 cash or merchandise credit.
Can You Get Your Battery Charged For Free? (And Where?)
Maybe you left a light on or forgot to close a door, and your battery is dead. Sometimes a dead battery needs a boost. We found three auto parts retailers that offer fast and free charging for dead batteries:
How Do You Know When It Is Time To Replace a Battery?
There are several symptoms to be aware of when it comes to your car’s battery life. If you notice any of the following, you should get your car battery checked out.
- The crank is slow when starting the car
- The battery light is illuminated on the dashboard
- Your car won’t start
Get your vehicle to a local auto parts store. These stores offer free battery testing along with battery charging. And if it turns out that you need a new battery, you are in luck, they can sell you one and even help you install it.
Start That Battery Fund
Time to start that battery fund. Whether you plan to buy a new battery and install it yourself or have someone else install it, you will want to make sure you have some money set aside for that moment. Even though it’s not an expensive car repair, parts and labor can adjust the price of the car battery and installation.