What Can You Do With Old Car Batteries? (Battery Recycling)

What Can You do With Old Car Batteries

Many people who change their own car batteries have the tendency to stick them in the corner of their garage, never to be touched again. However, after some time, these items can become an eyesore, having many homeowners asking, “What can you do with old car batteries.”

You can sell your old car batteries and make a little bit of money off of them, especially if they still work. You can also recycle them or use them in projects around the home. 

Even though it is illegal to throw old batteries away, it doesn’t mean they have to become a permanent part of your garage or basement decor.

In this article, we will give you a bunch of great alternatives to turn your old batteries into something more than just junk.

What Can You Do With Old Car Batteries?

If you are sitting with a bunch of old car batteries and have no clue what you should do with them, here is a list of some options to help you out. (Always remember to handle these items with care.)

Recycle Them

There are many ways to recycle your old car batteries in order to keep them from piling up around your home and take care of the product in a safe way. 

Typically, any municipality you live in will have some type of electronics or recycling day each month where you can take in items like televisions, broken computers, and old batteries. This option will help you get rid of the batteries but will not get you any money out of them.

You Can also return old car batteries to auto part stores or other specific locations that are willing to take these items off your hands, like Home Depot, Auto Zone, and Walmart.

Sell Them

Selling your old batteries is an option; however, depending on whether they still work or not is going to determine just how much you might get.

Batteries That No Longer Work:

If your batteries no longer work or are not in the best conditions to even check to see if they do, then you can take them to junkyards or metal recycling centers, or you can give them to the retailer where you purchase your new battery from. 

Read also: Can You Get Money for Your Old Car Batteries? (Here Is How)

If your old car battery is shot and you go to a place like AutoZone to buy a new one, that store will give you money off if you bring back the old battery; this is called a core charge. 

Batteries That Still Work:

If your batteries still have some life left in them, you can get even more money out of the deal. There is always a market for used car parts that will provide you with some of the best prices possible for your stuff, including used batteries.

Here is a list of places you can choose from to sell your car batteries in working condition:

  • Auto mechanics
  • On eBay or other resale websites
  • On Craigslist
  • At a yardsale
  • On Facebook marketplace or other resale apps
  • At a pawnshop

All of these are great options if you are looking to make a few quick extra bucks on batteries that have just been piling up in your garage.

How It’s Made, Recycling Car Batteries >> Check out the video below:

Upcycle Them

If you have old car batteries sitting around that still work, try to find projects around the house that may require the use of battery power or turn them into a fun science experiment with the kids (using safety precautions, of course.)

Use old batteries to power your home: Combining old car batteries with solar charges will provide enough justice to power small devices for hours.

Use it to build your own “car”– Use the older battery to power a fun “racecar” or boxcar that you put together with your child.

Create a portable lighting system- Car batteries can be used to create a lighting system that you can take anywhere that will be bright enough to light up a large space. 

Always Use Caution

There are numerous things you can do with old car batteries, but it is critical that no matter which option you choose, you are always using caution.

These batteries can be hazardous and improper use can be dangerous. When handling old batteries, make sure there is no liquid leaking anywhere, clean off as must rust and corrosion as possible, and always wear gloves.

When transporting batteries, store them securely in your vehicle wrapped in bags, and somewhere they will not be bouncing around. 

Read also: Will AutoZone Replace My Battery for Free? (Yes Here Is How)

Can You Throw Car Batteries Away?

When you are doing spring cleaning, you typically throw away anything that is useless or lying around. Unfortunately, you can not toss out these old batteries. 

Car batteries fall under the category of hazardous waste and can be very dangerous to everyone if you simply toss them into the trash. Improper treatment of batteries can lead to fires and other dangerous outcomes, so making sure you dispose of them properly is critical.

If you are unsure of how to get rid of your batteries safely, you can always contact the municipality you live in to get an understanding of their laws and regulations.

They will also give you a list of places you can take your batteries if you choose to simply recycle them.

Read also: 5 Effective Ways to Charge a Dead Travel Trailer Battery

How Much Money Can You Get For an Old Car Battery?

The price you get for your old batteries will differ greatly on where you take them and the condition they are in.

Typically, non-working car batteries will go for anywhere between $5-$15. If your batteries are in working order, you may be able to get a few more bucks out of them, between $20 or $30, again depending on condition and brand.

Summing Things Up

Above is a great list of ways to get rid of all the old batteries cluttering up your space. Whether they are working or not, take advantage of these options, and maybe you can even make a little money in the process. 





Jeff is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Reatta. Jeff has been creating written and video content about transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used for more than 18 years. Jeff is based in Boulder, Colorado.

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