Costco sells Interstate brand car batteries in its tires and auto department, but doesn’t install batteries, even if you buy them at Costco. Costco’s auto services are limited to gas and tire services. Batteries aren’t hard to install on your own and don’t require any specialty tools, so if your car can make the trip to Costco and back, you can still consider buying a battery there. If you’re looking for a place that will sell you a battery and install it, Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, O’Reilly Auto Parts, and NAPA Auto Parts are good alternatives — see below for details.
Car Batteries at Costco
While Costco is a popular place to go for gas (if you’re a member) and most locations offer a tire shop, Costco doesn’t install car batteries. Costco does sell batteries at its locations though, offering batteries from Interstate at competitive prices. So, if your car is running well enough and you’re confident you can install it yourself, go pick one up. Be sure to call your local Costco first to make sure they have the right sized battery for your car.
Interstate batteries from Costco carry a limited warranty, so if your battery dies before the warranty period is up then Costco will replace or refund a portion of your battery’s cost. Costco also carries batteries for vehicles other than cars, like golf carts, boats, motorcycles, and ATVs.
Where Else to Buy and Get Car Batteries Installed
If you don’t want to tackle the battery installation on your own, there are other places that do install car batteries from you. Most will only install batteries purchased at that location, though, so if you’ve found a great deal on a car battery online or through some other means, your only options are to install it yourself or to find a local mechanic. All of these locations will test your current battery at no charge regardless of where it was purchased, and this service carries no obligations, so you can have the test done for free and still decide not to purchase a new one there if you don’t want to.
1. Advance Auto Parts
- Batteries sold: Advance Auto sells batteries for most makes and models of cars under the brand name AutoCraft. Just show up at any Advance location and an employee will test your battery and then sell you a battery and install it if it turns out your current battery is dead.
- Find an Advance Auto
- Batteries sold: AutoZone sells Duralast brand batteries for most makes and models. Autozone has services as well and will test and install your battery for free if you buy it from them.
- Find an AutoZone
3. O’Reilly Auto Parts
- Batteries sold: O’Reilly sells batteries under the brand name Super Start. They sell batteries that fit most makes and models. They’ll test your battery for free and install a battery if you buy from them.
- Find an O’Reilly Auto Parts
4. NAPA Auto Parts
- Batteries sold: NAPA will sell batteries for most makes and models as well under the brand name Legend. Some locations test and install batteries for free. Most NAPA Auto Parts are individually owned and operated, so services aren’t uniform.
- Find a NAPA Auto Parts
There are other full-service shops across the country that will sell batteries and install them as well, such as Pep Boys, Firestone, and Tire Kingdom, but these places will not typically inspect your old battery for free. You’ll usually have to pay for a mechanic to look over your entire vehicle first and may also have to pay an extra fee on top of the cost of the battery. The parts stores listed above generally do not have these extra costs.
DIY Car Battery Installation
If you prefer buying your battery from a place like Costco that doesn’t offer the installation service, the process of changing a car battery is one of the easiest car repairs to do on your own. For most cars, the battery is in the engine bay (some small cars and some sports cars have the battery in the trunk) and is held down by a clamp. The clamp needs to be removed first and you may need a wrench for this part, but some can be removed by hand.
The battery terminals need to be removed next. Always remove the negative (black) terminal first and be sure not to accidentally touch both terminals of the battery with your wrench. You will need a socket wrench or an open-end/adjustable wrench for this part. Once you have the terminals off, you can remove the old battery, slide the new one in, reinstall the terminals (attach the positive terminal first!) and then reinstall the clamp. The video below is a good illustration of the process. It’s pickup truck specific, but the process is similar for many different cars and trucks:
Some auto parts stores may recommend that you apply conductive grease or corrosion inhibitor to your battery terminals when you install the new battery. These don’t hurt to add to your battery installation process but they usually aren’t necessary.
While Costco will sell batteries for your car at competitive prices, it doesn’t offer installation service. There are many other places that will test your current battery and install a new battery for free (provided you buy the new one from them), but you don’t need a professional installer to get a new battery in your car. It’s an easy job to tackle on your own for most cars, as long as you have a few simple tools on hand.