3 Factors To Consider When Buying A Used Car Battery
When you're ready to head home after a long day, discovering that your car refuses to start is a disheartening way to start your commute. One common cause of a vehicle that refuses to start is a dead car battery. Though it's easy to replace a dead car battery, the cost of a new battery can be a budget buster.
One way to minimize the financial impact of having to replace your car's battery is by purchasing a used battery. As the name implies, a used car battery has previously been used before, usually in another vehicle or for diagnostic purposes. However, many used batteries have a lot of life left in them. Here are a few factors to consider when purchasing a used car battery to ensure you make a smart purchase.
1. The Age of the Battery
When inspecting a potential battery, one of the first things you need to do is check the age of the battery. On average, batteries last anywhere from two to five years. Look for a used battery that falls within this age range.
To check the age of the battery, examine the battery for a date stamp that indicates when the battery was made. The date stamp doesn't follow a typical date format; instead, you'll find that letters represent the months. The letter A represents January, the letter B represents February, and so on. After this later, you'll find a digit or two that indicates the year.
If the date stamp reads C16, this means the battery was made in March of 2016.
2. The Condition of the Battery
Even if a battery has a lot of life left in it, it might not work properly if it's in poor condition. Examine the battery closely for any corrosion, and pay close attention to the area around the battery's terminals. Avoid purchasing a used battery with a lot of orange or green corrosion, as it's likely at the end of its life.
The presence of dirt, debris, mud, or road salt on the battery usually aren't cause for alarm and don't indicate that the battery is in poor condition.
3. Whether the Battery Includes a Warranty
When shopping for a used battery, stick with places that have some type of warranty on their batteries. A warranty usually indicates that the shop has taken the time to check that their used parts work before reselling them. Since most used car parts aren't covered by a manufacturer's warranty, a shop warranty provides you some protection for your purchase.