Who Put A Used Battery In My New Car?

Amanda’s car is pretty new: it’s a 2008 Honda Civic. She’s its first and only owner, and a trusted family member performs all maintenance on it. When the battery died recently, a mechanic changed it out for her. What was supposed to be the car’s original battery….wasn’t. It was a reconditioned battery that had clearly served her well for 4 years, but didn’t belong in a factory-fresh car. So how the heck did she end up with a used, refurbished battery instead of the shiny new one that it clearly deserved?

Something odd happened to me this week…my car battery died. That, of course, isn’t really all that odd – but it was odd that the mechanic pulled a reconditioned battery out of the car when he went to put in a new one. I’ve never had my battery changed, and bought the car new. Where did this used battery come from?

The mechanic I used said he’s heard of dealership mechanics who take new batteries out of new cars and put them in cars they are repairing. If this used battery didn’t come with the car when I bought it, I have no idea how it got there – I have a family member who does all the maintenance on the car, and have only used the dealership once (this year to replace a dead engine that apparently befalls all 2008 Honda Civics – but that’s another story!) for a repair that couldn’t be done at home.

I’ve done some Googling but can’t find much information about this phenomenon. If it’s as common as my mechanic said it is, though, it might be worth looking into – I feel a bit ripped off and hope others don’t encounter a similar issue. (I realize this isn’t the biggest scandal in the world or anything, but still – new should be new, right?)

Should be. The problem, of course, is that it will be impossible to determine who’s behind the Great Battery Swap. if a dealership mechanic is responsible, they’re not going to admit it. If the dealership where it was purchased did it, they certainly won’t admit it either.