How to Get Rid of Car Oil, Batteries, Transmission and Pretty Much Any Other Vehicle Fluid


Updated October 1st, 2016

Whenever you work on cars, you're going to have to deal with the waste that comes along with it, such as old parts, dead batteries, dirty oil, and so forth. While there's always a temptation to just chunk these items in the trash, it could actually be a hazard to the environment--or your personal safety-- or against the law. Below are some tips that will show you the proper way to dispose of your automotive-related waste. 
Oil, Brake Fluid or Transmission Fluid
If you want to conserve space, you can actually combine these different fluids into one big, sturdy container such as an old washer fluid bottle; just be sure to use a funnel in order to minimize spills. Just Google Search for your local hazardous waste facility or recycling center, but make sure that you check with them to find out if there are any designated drop-off days, otherwise you might have to come back again later. So what happens to these fluids once they've been disposed of, you ask? Many times they are recycled or repurposed for other uses, such as heating oil or various lubricants. 
Antifreeze/Engine Coolant
When it comes to Antifreeze and Engine Coolant you local hazardous waste facility is your best bet. You may want to try your local Advance Auto Parts store too. No matter which one you choose, be sure to keep the fluid in its original container, and don't mix it with other fluids (especially oil). As for what becomes of this old engine coolant, sometimes the fluid is actually recycled into new coolant for pro shops. 
Batteries, Water Pumps, Alternators, or Brake Calipers
Whenever you purchase any one of these items, you typically pay what's known as a "core charge", which is basically a type of incentive to get you to return the item once it's been all used up. Depending upon which auto parts store you go to, you can get anywhere between $10 to $80 for these old items, whether you buy a new part or not. If you're disposing of an old battery, be sure to wrap it in heavy plastic just in case it leaks. After disposal, most of these parts are rebuilt, and the lead in old batteries is recycled.
After your used and old tires have met their fate, try taking them to a recycling center in your area. You will probably have to pay a small fee for their disposal. Used tires are normally shredded and used for various purposes such as asphalt, sports turf or playground surfaces. 
 As you can see, most of the major "casualties" of auto repair can be disposed of without harming the environment or others. Keep the above tips in mind to help you dispose of your auto-related waste in the appropriate manner. 
*Always check your owner’s manual for your vehicle model’s specific instructions before attempting any type of repair. 
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