Can You Return a Car Battery? Here’s What You Need to Know

Have you ever bought a car battery to find out it doesn’t work? Or maybe it’s the wrong size, or you changed your mind. Whatever the reason, you may wonder if you can return a car battery.

Depending on the store and its policies, you may be able to return a car battery within a certain timeframe or under certain circumstances. For example, some stores have a 30-day or 60-day return policy for car batteries, while others may require the battery to be unused and in its original packaging.

In this article, I’ll provide important guidance on how to return your car battery. By the end of this, you’ll better understand your options and what to expect when it comes to returning a car battery.

Can You Return a Car Battery?

two men in a mask talking to a sales lady with a mask

As a car owner, you may have faced the dilemma of whether you can return a car battery or not. Below are things to consider:

Store Policies

Each store has different policies when it comes to returning a car battery. Some stores may accept a return without a receipt if you have the original packaging and the battery is within the return window.

a person holding a receipts and a laptop on the lap

Others may require you to bring the official receipt or proof of purchase. Hence, keeping your receipt in case you need to return the battery is always a good idea.


Most car batteries come with a warranty that covers defects or premature failure. The warranty period varies depending on the manufacturer and the type of battery.

woman entering credit card details in her laptop

If your car battery fails within the warranty period, you can return it to the store for a replacement or a refund. However, it’s important to note that the warranty does not cover damage caused by misuse or neglect.

The warranty may be voided if the battery fails due to improper installation or maintenance.

Conditions of the Battery

Most stores will only accept returns for batteries that are new and unused. If the battery has been installed or used, it may not be eligible for return.

Additionally, if the battery has been damaged or modified in any way, it may not be eligible for return.

Retailers’ Return Policies

A battery may fail for various reasons, and being able to return it for a refund or exchange can save you time, money, and hassle.

In this table, we’ve compiled information on the return policies of some of the major retailers who sell car batteries, so you can make an informed decision before purchasing.

RetailerTime Frame for ReturnsReceipt RequiredOriginal Packaging Required
Walmart90 daysYesYes
AutoZone90 daysYesYes
O’Reilly Auto Parts90 days, up to 1 yearYesYes
Costco Wholesale90 days or within the warranty periodYes, but it’s not necessary as long as you can present your Costco membership cardYes
Advance Auto Parts45 daysYesYes
NAPA Auto Parts30 daysYesYes
Pep Boys30 to 90 daysYou can return the car battery without a receipt if you have an acceptable government-issued IDYes

Note: Each retailer’s return policies are subject to change without prior notice. Hence, it’s always best to check with the specific retailer for their most current return policy information.

How to Return a Car Battery

In-store Returns

a delivery boy holding a box beside a computer desk

If you need to return a car battery, the easiest way is to go to the store where you bought it. Most auto parts stores, like AutoZone and Advance Auto Parts, have a return policy for car batteries.

At AutoZone, for example, you can return a car battery within 90 days of purchase if it is unused and still in its original packaging.

The store will test the battery to ensure it is still in good condition and then refund you.

To return a battery at Walmart, you can take it to the Walmart Auto Care Center or the Customer Service desk. Most stores with a TLE will have a separate entrance with their own check-out/check-in counter.

Online Returns

If you bought the battery online, check the website’s return policy. Most online retailers, like Amazon, have a return policy for car batteries.

delivery packing a box

You will need to follow the retailer’s instructions for returning the battery. This may involve printing a return label and shipping the battery back to the retailer.

Returning a Defective Battery

a delivery car with the driver along with a box that has fragile sticker

If the battery is defective, you can return it under warranty. Most car batteries come with a warranty of 2-3 years.

If the battery fails during the warranty period, you can return it to the store where you bought it, and they will replace it. You will need to bring your receipt or proof of purchase and the defective battery.

Sometimes, the manufacturer may require you to return the battery directly to them. Check the warranty information that came with the battery for instructions on how to do this.

Always follow the store or manufacturer’s instructions when returning a car battery. Please ask the store’s customer service department if you have any questions.

Alternatives to Returning a Car Battery

Selling or Trading the Battery

a delivery man delivered a package to a man and entering data to delivery system

If your new car battery is still in good condition, but you cannot return it, you may want to consider selling or trading it. There are a few different options for doing so:

  • Sell the battery privately: You can try selling the battery privately through online marketplaces or classified ads. Be sure to accurately describe the battery’s condition and any relevant details, such as the brand and model number.
  • Trade the battery: Some auto parts stores may allow you to trade your new battery for a different one. This can be a good option if you need a different type or size of battery for your vehicle.
  • Sell the battery to a scrap yard: If you cannot sell or trade the battery, you may be able to sell it to a scrap yard. They will typically pay you for the battery based on its weight and the current market value of the lead.

While returning a newly bought car battery may not always be an option, alternatives are still available.

By considering battery selling or trading the battery, you can ensure that your old battery is disposed of properly and potentially recoup some of your costs.

Wrapping Up

So, can you return a car battery? The answer is yes, in most cases. However, it’s important to check the return policy of the specific store where you purchased the battery.

Some stores may have a shorter return window or may not accept returns on certain items. Again, this will depend on the store’s policy and the specific circumstances of the situation.

Overall, returning a car battery is usually straightforward if you follow the store’s guidelines and have all the necessary documentation.

Whether you’re returning a battery because it didn’t fit your vehicle or was defective, it’s important to act quickly and follow the store’s policy to ensure a smooth and hassle-free return process.



  • “Consumer Rights & Law” by Margaret C. Jasper:


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About Alex Robertson

c3c9d43f1f0d14c4b73cb686f2c81c4e?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: B.M.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Mechanical Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Hi, I’m Alex! I’m a co-founder, content strategist, and writer and a close friend of our co-owner, Sam Orlovsky. I received my Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (B.M.E.) degree from Denver, where we studied together. My passion for technical and creative writing has led me to help Sam with this project.

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