Recycled Batteries Are A Smart Buy

Summer is just around the corner and with it comes hot weather. While warm temperatures are welcome after a long winter, the extreme highs can really test a vehicle. That’s because high temperatures put just as much pressure on a vehicle as freezing ones do. When it is 90 degrees, the air conditioning gets cranked and that’s when parts can fail, especially batteries and AC parts. Luckily auto recyclers carry batteries and all other types of AC components, at a fraction of the price of new.

Reed Schram, sales manager for Schram Auto Parts in Mason, Mich. (, said his business sold 750 batteries last year. The batteries are sold for a set price of $40, plus a core charge. That’s a huge savings versus spending $100, plus a core charge, for a new one.

Buying batteries from an auto recycler doesn’t have to be risky either. As Ross Lewicki, co-owner of Highway Auto Parts in Roseville, Mich. (www.highwayautoparts. com), pointed out, most of the batteries sold come off of vehicles that are less than fi ve years old. “Often times the batteries are coming off a car that’s only a year or two old,” he elaborated. And, all of the batteries are tested to make sure they hold a charge.

Lewicki said they have a testing station set up just for batteries. The station’s auto meter tests and charges each battery for eight to 10 hours. At the end of that time, it can tell if the battery is good. Lewicki said they also keep a hand load tester near the batteries so they can test them in front of the buyer - which for Highway Auto Parts is mostly retail. He said they sell 15 batteries a day, on average, between the business’ three retail locations. 

Schram said they sell most of their batteries to shops. They also test each battery they take off a vehicle. “Every battery we take out, we put on a charging station,” he said. “After it’s charged for 24 hours, we test it to make sure it holds its charge and we sell them.”

For even more piece of mind, Schram said they sell an extended warranty for $5 that covers the battery for one year. Lewicki said Highway Auto Parts also offers a guarantee with its batteries. The company sells used, remanufactured and new batteries. Used batteries sell for $30, plus the core charge, and come with a two-week warranty. Remanufactured sell for $45, plus core charge, and are warrantied for a year. The new batteries, which sell for $60 plus core charge, often have a lifetime warranty on them. Highway Auto Parts has a partnership with the Big Three automakers to sell brand new batteries.

It’s easy to buy a battery from an auto recycler. Every battery has a two-digit code that indicates the size of the battery. Consumers can either bring their old battery in, or simply check its code. Schram said they inventory their batteries based on size and condition.

Besides batteries, hot summer weather can test many other parts, including all AC components like compressors, condensers and radiators. Lewicki said he also sells a lot of window regulators (from people rolling their windows up and down more), blower motors and temperature controls. Schram added even motors are commonly sold in the summer.

All of these parts are available at most auto recycling facilities and price is usually based upon condition.

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