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Posted: Jan 07, 2015

Is Buying Used Batteries a Good Idea?

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Everyone likes a great deal, but is a discounted price on a used car battery really a bargain? How can you tell if the battery you are buying is new or used? All of the batteries in this photo had their OPTIMA labels removed, which is standard procedure for batteries that have been turned in for recycling. This reduces the opportunity for unscrupulous people to get their hands on a used battery that still looks relatively-new and present it as such to an unsuspecting consumer. While the labels on these used batteries may look official, they carry no OPTIMA logos and the batteries carry no OPTIMA warranty coverage.

All new OPTIMA REDTOP and YELLOWTOP batteries will have OPTIMA labels on them and will come with full three-year, free replacement warranties, serviceable at the original retailer (BLUETOP batteries carry two-year, free-replacement warranties). If someone presents you with an opportunity to purchase an OPTIMA battery that has no OPTIMA label or suggests their used battery carries any factory warranty coverage serviceable at any OPTIMA retailer, they are not telling the truth.

But These Batteries Do Have Warranty Coverage

Used battery retailers may still offer their own warranty coverage, but those terms are typically measured in days, not years. How's that for confidence in the reliability of their products? Additionally, most used battery retailers don't have multiple locations, so if your battery fails 100 miles from home, you'll probably have to buy a new battery to get back home. When you do return, you may find the used battery retailer won't offer to reimburse you for the price of your new battery or tow service, but may offer to exchange your used battery that left you stranded for another used battery that may do the same thing. At that point, any initial cost savings have all but vanished and a consumer is stuck paying for a new battery, as well as a used battery that they no longer need and maybe even tow service, lost wages, a night's stay at a hotel or any number of other expenses associated with unexpected car trouble.

But They Said This Battery Tested Well

Did the used battery retailer tell you the battery passed a load test or did they show you? Did they test the battery in front of you or show you a picture of a battery being tested or the same test slip that they used to sell five other used batteries? Even if they perform a load test in front of you, are you sure the outcome isn't being manipulated to always show a good test? If the original battery label is gone, how do you know how many cranking amps the battery is supposed to have?

Many batteries in commercial, industrial and military applications are replaced after a finite period of time or number of cycles. Extensive research has typically been done in these applications, to make sure the batteries are replaced before they fail- scheduled maintenance is always preferred over unscheduled downtime that could cost businesses money or jeopardize someone's safety. These batteries may still look very new and may test well, even though they are very close to the end of their useful lifespan.

Everyone's time has value and while any battery can fail at any time, the chances of a new battery failing are far less than a used battery of an unknown age, with an unknown service history. The more value someone places on their time, the less value they tend to place on a used battery that may leave them stranded. You can buy new OPTIMA batteries with confidence directly from the factory or from any of our authorized retail partners nationwide.

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