What To Do With Old Car Battery? Get Creative With Our Guide

Hi, I'm Luis Johnson, an automobile technician, and power equipment professional. By profession, I'm a businessman and operate a car workshop. I have created this...Read more

Maybe you’re going to wreck your old car. Then why not extract as much cash as you can from it? So, you have removed the battery and discovered something oddly corroded, whitish, and oozing. Now, what to do with old car battery?

You can auction off your old car battery and recoup a bit of money, but it can still be worth it if it still holds a bit of charge. You can also consider recycling it or even utilizing it in your home projects.

If you are desperate to use it, at least we can offer you many alternatives for keeping it out of your trash cans and landfills. This article will inform you of several options to make disused batteries more than just waste.

Can You Throw Car Batteries Away?

You have to get rid of any obsolete or useless items when you embark on a spring cleaning spree. However, you shouldn’t consider old batteries as waste items.

Car batteries are classified as hazardous waste and can be highly dangerous to humans if you throw them out without neutralizing them first, so you must dispose of them carefully.

Properly disposing of your old car batteries will enable you to avoid the hazardous consequences of lead, toxic gas, and lead-contaminated sulfuric acid.

If you do not have familiarity with the right way to dispose of your vehicle batteries, you can always contact your locale for help identifying how to get your batteries disposed of properly.

How to Remove Old Car Batteries Safely?

Now you might have learned you can’t throw your old car batteries. However, no matter what you intend to do with your old batteries, you must first remove the battery safely.

This will protect both the battery and yourself from damage. Here is how to remove old batteries safely from your car:

Ensure Your Safety First

You’ll first need to wear gloves and protective gear. Old batteries may have acid seeping from them, and coming into contact with battery acid can be dangerous.

Detach the Cables

Pull off the connector from the negative terminal of your battery before disconnecting the cable.  It must have a solid black color or a gray covering.

Grab a wrench and remove the nut attached to the terminal. Prevent your wrench from touching the red and black terminals simultaneously.

After that, disconnect the cable from the positive terminal, whose red coating indicates an extended pole where you extricate the cable.

If you don’t know where your battery is located or how to access the appropriate terminals, head to an auto store for technical assistance.

Inspect the Battery Thoroughly and Remove It

When the terminals of the battery have been disconnected, most batteries include an integrated strap or stopper that will need to be cut off. Then you can check your batteries for damaged seals, tabs, clips, and so forth.

Once these are removed from your battery, check to discover if your battery is crack-free, untarnished, or free of bubbles. If everything seems fine, you can safely remove the battery.

What To Do With Old Car Battery?

If you are disposing of old car batteries and do not have in mind what you could do with all of them, here is a brief rundown of a handful of possibilities to assist you.

What To Do With Old Car Battery

1. Recycle the Battery

Did you know 95% of the automotive batteries sold in the United States and Europe today get recycled?

Your car is powered by the same materials that were in the battery from your grandparent’s vehicle. Think about that up to 99% of a car battery is recyclable.

So, in most cases, old batteries get recycled. Many of the materials in an automotive battery can be reused in the manufacture of new batteries, and some components go into other consumer products as well.

Hence, your first choice can be recycling the old battery. Normally, your city’s local council will host an electronics recycling day once per calendar month when you can bring your old batteries for recycling.

This recycling event will help you get rid of unusable batteries, but they will give you little to no cash in return.

How it Works:

A typical automotive battery has three major components that we look at when we recycle. You’ve got the plastics that make up the lid and the case. On the inside, there is both liquid and metal that goes into the battery.

In the case of metals and plastics, in particular, a recycling service provider can reclaim those.

They melt them back down and turn them into their original state.  After that, they mold them. Generally, they use those materials to remold new cases and new lids in case of the plastics.

And in the case of the metals, they’ll reshape the grids. The metal that’s used in an automotive battery is actually one of the most recycled materials in the world.

The electrolyte of the old battery is steamed and evaporated into sodium sulfate, which is utilized in the manufacture of detergent, glass, and textile products.

2. Sell the Battery

In some cases, you can give your old car batteries to other parties if you want to earn some extra money. There are many specialty businesses that will drop money for these batteries.

Sell the Battery

Most of these businesses will bid on used, rechargeable batteries as these batteries can be refurbished and charged back up to be sold again.

However, the condition of your battery will dictate what you get for it. Thus, here you have two conditions; first, when the battery is totally dead, and second, when the battery works, except that it’s somewhat viable for your car.

If you want to sell your used car battery for some extra cash, check out any of the places listed below.

Metal Recycling Centers or Junkyards

Your old or second-hand car batteries should be able to be sold to junkyards for lead, which currently costs around $0.30 per pound.

Junkyards will often take your used car batteries and pay you for all their components. As the price of lead increases in the market, you can earn more profit.

Having similar features as scrap yards but specializing in metal recycling, Metal Recycling Centers can provide you with a decent amount of money.


You won’t wish to dispense with any pieces of your car just because they’re used. In case you’re the proud owner of a used car battery, you can list them on the Craigslist website to see if anybody may be interested in buying them. Itemizing them is simple enough.

Donate Your Vehicle

If you feel heroic and decide to take an old dusty car to a good cause, there are numerous organizations that will gladly take it away.

There are places like Make-a-Wish Foundation, Kash4Kids, and Habitat for Humanity that will be delighted to accept your donation.

They won’t give you the cash, but they will help you to get a refund on your taxes.

Local Auto Parts Store

An excellent place to sell old automotive batteries is at your nearby part shop. This can include small vehicle parts stores or large ones such as Autozone, NAPA, or O’Reilly.

The only fee levied by your regional protective steward covers the motivating costs to recycle car batteries. When replacing a battery, you’ll be able to take advantage of this cost.

Sell on eBay

Just like Craigslist, some people are willing to purchase used automobile batteries from you. Produce a listing on eBay to create an auction for your used batteries today.

Pawn Shops

Your locally untapped batteries could be marketed for a negotiable amount to a pawn shop, serving as an intermediary to obtain some cash. Since an affiliate also has got to get paid, this determination is not quite as beneficial as it may appear.

However, as long as the batteries are not too utilized, you can even yield more cash on the marketplace by marketing them yourself on Craigslist as pre-owned goods.

Auto Repair Shops

Repair stores have the knowledge needed to breathe life into an old but functional car battery. If you find that your old car battery still works correctly, consider selling it to a mechanic or auto parts store.

They can clean it up and re-energize it, or they can offer it to your prospective customers.

3. Upcycle Your Old Battery

While recycling is the process of recovering the materials used in your car battery, upcycling is like giving the battery a new life or reusing it for diversified purposes.

So, do you have any old but functional car batteries sitting in your house? If so, consider infusing your creative side and adapting the batteries to the next fascinating endeavor.

Try out the following right-around corner DIY projects using your dead or old batteries.

Create A Rechargeable Lighting System

Sparking a new level of experience beyond the mere use of old batteries, a DIY portable lighting system is invaluable for camping and electricity outages alike.

You can make it happen with just a few standard electronic items, including an LED plate, switch, IN4007 diode, resistor, LED light, charging socket, super glue, and soldering iron.

DIY Flashlight

Do you want to keep your technology nerd kids engaged in something more exciting? If so, a fantastic lightning invention using discharged or dead batteries will be perfect for you.

You won’t even need a soldering iron. What you require is an old battery, the Mini LED Light no matter what color it is, a resistor, an on/off switch, and pliers.

Create A Solar Powered Generator

With humankind on a collision course with disastrous weather occurrences like droughts and hurricanes, you could play a minor role in safeguarding nature. As opposed to enjoying fossil fuels, consider switching to sustainable energy.

You can do this by collecting solar power and connecting it to your old battery storage so that you can free up energy through small gadgets for several hours.

Create A Solar Powered Generator

This battery-powered solar generator is capable of keeping your Xbox One running for 3 hours and a half once it is fully charged. The energy-efficient bulb it powers can brighten your home for over 25 hours. (Check our other guide to convert your car battery into a powerful outlet)

DIY Rechargeable Fan

A portable battery-powered fan not only looks pretty but helps you stay cool, as well. It’s a simple, cost-effective do-it-yourself project that utilizes disused or dead batteries.

DIY Rechargeable Fan

Power up Your Ceiling Fan

If you’re unsatisfied with a portable DIY fan, you can take your thoughts to the next level. Yes, you can use your old battery to power up a ceiling fan too. However, this is a bit more complex than other DIY projects.

Power up Your Ceiling Fan

A battery, no matter its state, will not generate power; it just returns the power stored within it. Logically speaking, your old battery isn’t in the car anymore, maybe because it has degraded power storage capability.

Still, if you can ensure the battery is getting charged and you have a proper inverter, you can power up the ceiling fan for up to 3 hours using the battery.

Safety Precautions While Dealing with Old Batteries

Car batteries are heavy and may include explosive, flammable, and corrosive compounds like hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfuric acid. To prevent injury, follow the safety considerations outlined below if you plan on working with or handling an old car battery.

Be Careful While Moving Batteries

When checking battery maintenance, make sure only to do so safely. Do not bring your weakened or unsecured hands on wires throughout the procedure.

Also, only use specific gear or high-quality products and machinery intended for the battery in question. Otherwise, you run the risk of non-functional machinery or damaged batteries.

Avoid Metal Contacts

Any type of metal shouldn’t be brought near batteries. These include metal tools and rope or a leather strap in addition to personal items like jewelry, watches, and belts. Since metal has high electrical conductivity, when coming into contact with a battery, you may find yourself electrocuted.

Make Sure the Battery is Properly Stored

So, how do you store car batteries safely? Old car batteries can’t be stored anywhere and in any way you want. You need proper planning and caution while storing old batteries. Make sure the battery area is well-ventilated.

The battery chamber needs to be adequately ventilated in order to prevent the buildup of hydrogen gas and to vent out any gas that has accumulated. Vent the battery; make sure the top is open. Such leading can also be utilized for directing airflow.

Be Aware of Acids

Be extremely cautious if you have to handle massive batteries. Aside from causing severe damage or injury if dropped, batteries are corrosive and dangerous for the body due to their acid content.

Why is Proper Management of Old Batteries Important?

Scientists are continually striving to find more sustainable alternatives in their efforts to create a more environmentally friendly world.

As consumers, people can still use their own actions to contribute to a greener Earth by recycling and reusing hazardous products like car batteries.

Because car batteries are one of the most important components for recycling, it’s invaluable to get them reused for future projects. Check out why below.

  • It protects our health by preventing harmful chemicals from getting into our environment.
  • Recycling batteries prevents leaking toxic chemicals into the soil.
  • We get new raw materials for battery production
  • You have an opportunity to earn some extra cash
  • It is also beneficial to reduce the production cost of batteries

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you still thinking something deeper about your old batteries? Humans are curious by nature, so we have formulated a short FAQ section to satisfy your curiosity. Who knows! Maybe you have the answer to your query here.

Can You Reuse Old Car Batteries?

You might have already understood that old batteries have a strong potential to be used in different projects. So, for those who are hesitant about reusing old batteries, the answer is “absolutely yes.”

How Long Can A Car Battery Last Without Being Used?

If the battery is properly working, you shouldn’t leave it unused for more than 6 months. If the battery is old and stored as scrap material, it can take 12 months. However, we always recommend not doing this.

Where Can I Store A Dead Car Battery?

You can convert your ordinary storage room into a place to store old batteries. But the environment of the room should be strictly regulated. For instance, the area should be dry and free from the risk of freezing.

Final Words

Approximately 1.8 million car batteries wind up in landfills yearly just because they’re not recycled properly. This is eventually destroying our natural environment. However, we hope this figure will diminish as time passes and battery disposal will be safe for everyone.

So, rather than worrying about what to do with old car batteries, make certain you take a look at your local waste management facility or specialized recycling centers.

Through an accredited recycling or recovery company, you can find out exactly what types of waste are acceptable for different recycling facilities.  If they cannot recycle automobile batteries, they will inquire with an outside company for disposal service options.

Hi, I'm Luis Johnson, an automobile technician, and power equipment professional. By profession, I'm a businessman and operate a car workshop. I have created this site Batteryquery to help people purchase the right battery for their vehicles. The reason behind creating this site is to help my customers purchase the right car battery who often purchase the wrong one due to their lack of knowledge.

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