Does AutoZone Take Old Batteries?

Do you have an old lead-acid car battery sitting around, taking up space in the corner of your garage? If you do, you may wonder if you can take it to your local AutoZone store to get rid of it.

Read on to learn more about AutoZone’s procedures for old batteries and what else you can do with your unwanted battery.

Will AutoZone Take Old Batteries?

Yes! AutoZone will accept old batteries, and the process is easy and convenient.

Do They Take Old Batteries for Free?

Yes. AutoZone can be a fantastic option when you have an old battery that you need to get rid of because there are no additional fees for you.

And you don’t have to bring in just one battery at a time. If you have a collection of old batteries, bring them all in, following your local AutoZone’s rules to dispose of them safely.

Does AutoZone Give You Money for Your Old Battery?

Yes! If you take your old batteries to your local Autozone, you will receive a $10 gift card for each battery you drop off.

There is some debate on whether or not a gift card to AutoZone counts as getting money for your battery. But regardless, turning in a few dead batteries for a handful of gift cards will go a long way towards purchasing a new battery or other parts and accessories.

That makes the gift card policy an excellent bonus for getting rid of your old junk batteries.

What Is the Process of Taking Old Batteries to AutoZone?

Removing a battery from your car and bringing it into AutoZone is convenient and straightforward.

Removing a car battery should always be done safely. Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection to avoid contact with battery acid.

  1. Disconnect the negative cable and positive cables on your battery in that exact order. You will need a wrench, but make sure the tool does not contact both terminals simultaneously.
  2. Unscrew any battery hold-downs, most commonly one or more straps or plastic blocks. There may be other safety features that you need to remove in the same manner.
  3. Check the battery for cracks, leaks, or other damage that may pose a potential safety risk.
  4. Bring your battery into AutoZone and speak with one of their experts about turning the battery over to them.

If you don’t feel comfortable removing the battery by yourself, you can find one of AutoZone’s Preferred Auto Shops to have them assist you with removing the battery. Or, many AutoZone locations will help you remove your battery for free.

What Type of Old Batteries Do They Take?

Batteries are used in tons of different types of equipment, and you can’t dispose of most of them with regular household garbage.

Thankfully, AutoZone takes more than just the dead battery you pulled out of your car or pickup truck. Here is a list of some of the battery types that AutoZone will take:

  • Car and other passenger vehicle batteries
  • Marine batteries
  • Power sport batteries
  • Small equipment batteries

To find out if AutoZone will take a specific battery you want to get rid of, check their website or call your local store.

What Does AutoZone Do With Old Batteries?

When you turn in a battery to AutoZone, the store will work with organizations set up to handle hazardous waste recycling.

AutoZone Battery Recycling

Because car batteries use potentially hazardous materials, including plastics, sulfuric acid, and lead, it is necessary to use a unique recycling process to separate, neutralize, and clean a lead-acid battery’s components.


The polypropylene pieces of a battery are washed, dried, and sent through an extruder that turns the parts into plastic pellets. Battery manufacturers use these pellets to create new battery cases.


The lead components of a battery are cleaned and then melted down in a smelting furnace. This molten lead is poured into molds to create ingots that range from 65 lbs to 2,000 lbs. Impurities are then removed from these ingots, and once cooled down, the lead is sent to battery manufacturers to be remelted and formed into new components.

Sulfuric Acid

Handling the sulfuric acid from a battery is done in a couple of different ways.

Sometimes the acid is mixed with a compound similar to baking soda, which neutralizes it and turns it into water. This water is then cleaned, treated, and tested before being released into the public sewer system.

Other facilities use a process that turns the acid into sodium sulfate, a white powder commonly used in laundry detergent, glass, and textile manufacturing.

Finally, an innovative recycling process has been developed that allows the acid to be reclaimed and reused for new batteries.

Who Else Buys Old Batteries?

If you live in an area with no convenient AutoZone location, that does not necessarily mean you are out of options for disposing of your old battery.

Here is a list of common locations that frequently accept old batteries:

  • Auto salvage yards
  • Metal recycling plants
  • Auto repair shops
  • Other auto parts stores

Who Pays the Most for Old Car Batteries?

Auto parts stores like AutoZone are among the best options if you want to get some return on your investment. Payments will vary from location to location, but most stores will offer prices of approximately $8-$12 per dead battery.

Where Can You Dispose of Your Car Battery for Free?

There are many options for places to take your battery that will not cost you anything. Check around your local area for recycling centers, auto parts stores, and mechanics who might be willing to take the battery free of charge.

What Else Can You Do With Old Car Batteries?

If you don’t want to trade your old battery right away, store the battery in a safe location. You will want to find a place that is cool, dry, and offers good ventilation. It would be best to keep temperatures in the storage area between 32ºF and 80ºF.

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Author: Dave Johnston

Dave Junior is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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