Used Auto Batteries – Good as new, only cheaper.

7 10 2009

Savings – $45
Lifestyle Adjustment – little to none

It’s getting colder out and you know what that means… extra stress on your car battery.  If you’re like me you may so discover that your battery that has been faithfully bringing your car to life for 4 years is ready to give up.  Time for a new one… or is it?

Many auto parts stores carry “used” or “refurbished” batteries for a fraction of the cost of new.  My Acura recently needed a new battery and after some calling around I found out that Advanced Auto Parts had a used battery in stock for $35.  This was a great price considering that the same battery was $80 brand new.  So what did I give up for the $45 in savings?  Let’s take a look.

Brand New: $80, 24 month warranty
Used: $35, 3 month warranty

While going from a 24 month to a 3 month warranty may seem like too big of a sacrifice here are a few things to consider: 1) if the battery is faulty you’ll know within the first week of use. 2) Even if the battery fails after 1 year of use you still come out ahead ($35 + $35 = $70 < $80 for a single new battery).  3) you’re recycling which has an indirect positive effect for everyone.

Outside of cost and warranty the new and used batteries look and function the same.  The used batteries aren’t nasty and dirty.  They look brand new.  Think refurbished electronics.

Keep in mind that used batteries aren’t always in stock so it may take some calling, but you should be able to find one after minimal calling.  If the first place you call doesn’t have one in stock ask for a recommendation on which location or chain to call next.

So next time you get in your car and hear that dreadful grumble and click of a dead battery, think about purchasing a used battery and use some of that saved cash to invest in a pair of jumper cables.

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