How to discharge a removed car battery

Hi all. The story goes like this.

Yesterday, I drove to a local Walmart to see about exchanging my car battery. It was purchased at a Walmart, I believe in April, 2021, and has a sticker on it showing 2/2021. I’m not sure if that’s when it was made or went onto the Walmart sales floor or what.

Since my battery was under a one year warranty, I was told that yes, I could exchange it, and yes, one way of doing this could be to purchase a new one, then remove the old one and bring it back, and they’d reimburse me for it as long as it’s under a year old.

Today, I brought my old battery back to be reimbursed for my new battery payment (an even exchange). They would not reimburse me as I had previously been told. It didn’t matter that the negative terminal was mangled and chewed from corrosion. What they withheld yesterday was that in order to get my money back for the old battery, they would need it to fail a test in their back room. Had I known this, I would have tested the battery before removing it, and possibly never removed it, leaving my issue as is. Swapping out 50lb car batteries in a cramped space in engine bay is tricky, and makes me nervous about accidentally bumping wires or hoses and creating bigger issues.

Anyway, the removed old battery tests at the bare minimum 12.6v according to Walmart. I would like it to lose a voltage point or two, preferably without reinstalling it into my car. Is there an easy way to drain the battery a little so it will fail Walmarts test and they might follow through on their guarantee/policy?

Any help appreciated. Thank you.

Your battery is not going to fail the test, it is fine. If you discharge the battery before returning it, Walmart will place it on a charger for a short time before they run a capacity test on it…which it will pass.

The chewed up negative post is not a warranty failure, it is your failure to protect the terminal when you installed it. Wire brush the terminal until it shines, install the clamp, wipe on some lithium grease to protect it.


@Mustangman beat me to the reply. +1 to his comments

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What was the reason for wanting to exchange the battery ? Why did you not let them check it while you were there ? I can’t blame them for not making a full exchange from what you posted .


Reading your letter gave me a headache so I can only imagine how bad you must feel. None of what you said makes sense except what Walmart told you. First of all, what was wrong with your battery that you wanted a new one in exchange? I’m guessing the car didn’t start, so you could have jumped it, driven it to Walmart, they would have tested it for free, if it was bad they would have happily removed it for you and replaced it. If the problem was the charging system they would have told you the battery was OK, you need a new alternator.

Battery retailers do not replace batteries based on the voltage when the owner brings it in. As Mustangman mentioned, their test consists of charging it and then load testing it, voltage really isn’t a big deal at that point. Bad batteries can have a surface charge where the voltage is good so that’s why they load test it.


Bring the battery to any battery place not under warranty as if you’re wanting to buy a new battery because you think your old battery may be bad. Your battery will suddenly fail the test now.

Maybe you can do this at Walmart. Once it fails, you can then tell them that it’s actually a warranty refund.

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Any car battery warranty for any brand battery requires that a battery has a manufacturer fault in order for the customer to exchange it. All car parts are that way. A mangled and corroded terminal is damage caused by improper installation. It has nothing to do with how the battery was made. If you brought the battery in at 12.6 volts and it passed a conductance or load test, the battery is good and does not qualify for replacement.

Think of it this way…if you bought a battery and dropped it down the stairs and it broke, Walmart wouldn’t owe you a new battery, would they?


Sort of agree with the others but I had the same experience from Walmart. Used to be you could walk in at 1:00 am and get an exchange if you had the old battery out. The last one was a year old and sat in a car seldom used. Very dead. I charged it for 24 hours and still would not operate the starter. Car was sold and didn’t have a lot of time to argue but they said they had to go through the same thing. Finally they relented since the shop was closing and they didn’t have time to try and charge it. I can understand their side of it since many batteries are replaced that are still good, just not 100% but if it is damaged, that a whole nother story. I don’t buy batteries at Walmart anymore. Others will tell how great they are but not my experience. and if you can’t quickly get them replaced, I’d rather pay more right off the bat and save the hassle.


In accord with most of the other forum members, that sounds to me like negligence, i.e. :
Improper installation, followed by failure to coat the terminal with dielectric grease in order to prevent corrosion.

I am very pro-consumer, but I don’t think that the OP’s reasons for returning the battery–under the terms of the warranty–are valid.


I want to exchange the battery because the negative terminal is mangled and will never provide full power without a smooth, flush connection to the clamp that connects to both battery & wires in my car. I was recommended to do this by a mechanic if I could, and if Walmart would take the old battery back. Hence my reason for making sure they would take in it back before moving forward in the process.

Haha, good call! An interesting tactic! Thanks!

Any decent mechanic could solve the battery connection problem . Me thinks you should avoid that mechanic .


Just so that we know as much as possible about this situation, did Walmart install the battery for you, did you do it yourself, or did a mechanic install it for you?

Mangling the negative terminal is the fault of whoever installed it, so if the installation was done by Walmart, you might have a case. If it was done by a mechanic, look to him for compensation. If you installed it, then it is all on you.


He got my car up and running again, yes. But he also told me that because of the jagged shape of the formerly cylindrical terminal, it can’t possibly run at maximum power because the clamp connection will never be fully flush on the terminal. If he could solve that problem, he would, but perfection is not possible as is. He said solder isn’t a great option, nor is a sheet of copper he showed me, nor the lead version of that sheet, nor aluminum foil crammed between the clamp & terminal…

Unless you can prove that Walmart did not install the battery connection properly you are out of luck. It seemed that the battery worked for a year and I still say that mechanic could have made the connection work as it should.

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Oh gee for heaven’s sake, buy a new battery and be done with it. Foil, lead sheet? My gosh. Sometimes we screw things up ONCE and we pay the freight and avoid it next time. Even though not their fault, I still would not buy a Wally battery anymore.

I have my doubts draining the battery will make them give you a new one. They may charge it, say it’s fine, then tell you the damaged terminal is not their problem. Bordering on shady!

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I’m not sure how mangled the post is, but maybe he can file the post round and use a smaller terminal post connector.

The battery terminal doesn’t need to contact all the way around. As long as the clamp is tight and it is contacting 4 corners of the square battery terminal with at least 1/16" coverage it will be fine. Lead is soft and will flatten out enough to provide enough surface area.

When you jump start your car, are those teeth on the jumper cables making contact all the way around?

What part of the universe do you live in that has SQUARE battery posts that is about as assine as your remark about cars having hour meters. :roll_eyes: