My car is already more than three years old. Even if my battery is still going well, I’m already thinking of where to get a car battery replaced near me. I hate unpleasant surprises. An old car battery dying on me and not knowing where to go to have it replaced belongs to the category of unpleasant surprises.
Where can I go for a battery replacement? The most logical answer to this question is to go to an automotive repair shop near you. You can also try chain stores selling batteries such as AutoZone, Walmart, Sears, or Costco. Most of these chain stores have auto car care centers that offer free battery testing and installation.
Where To Buy And Have A Replacement Battery Installed
Even before your battery dies on you, know already where you can go to buy a replacement battery and have it installed nearest you. Majority of auto service shops close to residential communities also carry replacement car batteries and are even available on call. The only problem sometimes is that the brands they carry could be limited.
The automotive service and aftermarket business is a thriving industry. Some of the more popular stores carrying automotive parts and accessories including batteries are:
These establishments don’t only sell replacement batteries from their stores. They also have an online presence where you can order your battery. online. In addition, AutoZone and Walmart have service units that offer free battery testing of your old battery.
This is to ascertain whether it is really time to replace it or there is a chance to revive it and give you a little more service time. Car batteries are not exactly cheap. A new car battery could set you back by almost a hundred dollars.
Let’s check out these stores:
Autozone is the number one distributor and retailer of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories, including batteries, in the US. It is an American company based in Memphis, Tennessee with more than 6,000 retail outlets in 50 states and the District of Columbia in the US, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Founded in 1979, AutoZone has been providing the US market with the best parts, customer service, and prices.
The lead-acid car battery brands carried by AutoZone that are AutoZone’s private label brands are Duralast Gold, Duralast and Valucraft. There is also the Duralast Platinum which is the brand for the AGM line of batteries.
At AutoZone, you can have your old battery tested for free, and even have them perform a complete test on your starting and charging system. Most Autozone stores also offer free fast charging for Duralast batteries. They have a Duralast Fast Charger that can charge your battery as you wait. They can even charge 6-volt and 12-volt marine, motorcycle, and lawn and garden batteries overnight.
Walmart is a US-based global retail corporation operating a chain of discount department stores, neighborhood markets, and Supercenters in almost every corner of the world. It also operates Sam’s Club. As of 2018, there are a total of 5,358 Walmart stores across the US. With so many Walmart stores, for sure there is one close to where you live where you can go and buy a new battery.
Walmart stores carry the following brands of car batteries; Optima. EverStart, ValuePower and Chrome Battery. Most Walmart stores have an auto car care center that offers free battery testing and installation performed by certified technicians.
Costco or Costco Wholesale Corporation is a US-based multinational company operating a chain of warehouse clubs that are for members only. It was considered the second largest retailer in the world in 2015, second only to Walmart. As of August 2018, it has 531 warehouses in 44 US States and Puerto Rico.
Costco carries the battery brand Interstate for RVs, boats, lawn mowers and golf carts in its Costco Tire and Battery Center. You can buy this battery from Costco if you are a member, but they won’t install it for you.
There used to be another huge chain retail stores which had 3,500 stores all over America in its heyday in 2010, Sears Roebuck and Company, where you can get a replacement battery near you. However, Sears filed for bankruptcy in October this year.
When To Replace A Car Battery
It is unfortunate that many car owners take batteries for granted. When I bought my car, I knew that there is a battery somewhere there, but it is not something that occupies the forefront of my mind like, say, the engine.
It is only when I noticed some changes in the way my car performed even after having had the engine checked recently, did it dawned on me that the problem could be caused by the battery.
Normally, batteries are given a warranty of three to five years. In spite of that, a battery could last a lot longer than five years if taken cared of properly. But, nearly all car batteries become inefficient and weather-worn under normal conditions because of everyday use in three years time. A battery loses a little of its efficiency after every charge.
As a car battery ages, it loses its ability to hold a charge and its capacity drops. A day will come when, one morning, especially one cold morning, when you’re rushing to work, your car refuses to start. To get it going again, you need to jump-start it. But, jump-starting a battery frequently can cause damage to the car’s electrical system.
To avoid being confronted by such a vexing situation, have your car battery replaced before it’s capacity falls to a level beyond redemption.
Signs And Symptoms Of An Ailing Battery
As already said earlier, after the third year, most car batteries can become quite unreliable and could present some safety problems. Fortunately, recognizing the signs of a failing battery is easy.
The main job of your car battery is to crank up or start the engine. So, when you switch on the ignition to crank up or start the engine and you notice that it takes longer to start or the engine is sluggish, there is something wrong with your battery.
Also, one sign that your battery is weak is when you start the engine and the dash light blink, flicker or dims, but you know that the battery is fully charged.
2. Warning to “check engine lights”
Another sign of a weak battery is when the “check engine lights” warning appears on the dashboard. This means that, even if the engine cranked up quickly, some accessories or features of your car that draw large power such as the headlight may not be functioning completely.
One way to really be sure is to switch on your engine at night with the headlights are on. If the headlights are not as bright as they should be, shift to neutral or park and rev the engine. A sure sign that your battery is failing is when the headlights turn bright as you step on the gas.
3. Sluggish power windows
Turn off the engine and operate the power windows. When the windows move sluggishly or at a pace slower than usual, your battery is weak.
4. Low electrolyte level
It is important to check the electrolyte level of your battery. This is easy to do since most batteries have a translucent window on its casing where you can see the level of the fluids inside. If the electrolyte level does not reach the top of the plates, damages the plates and causes the battery to weaken. If left unattended, it could cause irreversible damage to the battery.
5. Damaged battery case
A swollen or bloated battery casing weakens a battery and shortens its life. Extreme heat can cause the casing to swell or bloat.
6. Terminal issues
Corrosion around the terminal posts caused by a leak is another sign that your battery is not in good condition.
Where to get car battery replaced near me should not be a problem. As I have mentioned, there are auto repair shops that sell batteries and offer installation services either in their stores. Most of them are even on call and can install a new battery right at my doorstep.
AutoZone, the largest distributor of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories such as batteries has branches all over the country. In addition, there are retail chains with thousands of stores and outlets all over America such as Walmart and Costco that also carry batteries as one of their products. Both Autozone and Walmart offer free battery testing and installation.