Power To Save: Car Batteries

MOOSIC, Pa. -- This week's cold blast may have left you stuck in the driveway with a dead car battery.

How can you check if it's really dead and what's the proper way to dispose of your old ones?

"The battery starts its life out with a certain amperage and voltage rating, and as anything in life, it dissipates after time. The cold weather just kind of accelerates that process," said Greg McMichael, Jack Williams Tire & Auto general manager. "After about five years or so, you're probably going to see the battery start to dissipate, so it might not be dead altogether, but you're going to see a decrease in the amperage that the battery is putting out."

The cold crank amperage is the key to getting your car started.

"If your cold cranking amps are a little too low, you go out in the morning, now that battery is not going to kick over for you," McMichael said.

If your battery is truly cooked and it's time for a new one, there are a few things you should know.

"(You) definitely don't want to leave a battery outside or anything like that. The battery acid is very corrosive, very harmful for the environment," McMichael said.

Federal law mandates that all parts of a car battery must be recycled, so you shouldn't see any lying around the landfill anymore.

"I would bring them to a garage or auto part store so that they can properly get recycled," McMichael advised.

There's typically no charge to drop a battery off to be recycled, but if you want to keep your old battery, you can expect to be charged $15 to $20.

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