Petrol may be the food for your car but the car battery gives it a heartbeat. A dead car battery means a useless car.

Trying to jump start your car battery by yourself can be so stressful and time-consuming. You need specific set of tools and the proper knowledge. If you are not confident to do it, it is recommended to call a car battery specialist, otherwise, it is very risky.

Don’t think so? Look here:
//www.straitstimes.com/singapore/3-cars-involved-in-toa-payoh-carpark-fire-no-one-injured

When you call a professional service provider for help, here are the top 3 things to tell the mechanic to assist you better:

What happened?
Tell the story from the beginning. If it showed any symptoms of weak cranking, flickering dashboard lights or clicking sounds, let the mechanic know. These will help you to rescue the vehicle better.

What is your car model?
Car batteries are not all the same. It varies according to car model – even then it is not straightforward, especially for some car brands, they can use two different standards: JIS or DIN for the same model, depending on year of manufacture and country of origin; this is common for the Korean brands. Another example, Nissan Qashqai can be UK spec or Japanese.

Help the mechanic figure out what he needs to bring, be specific about the car’s model & year. If possible, WhatsApp a picture of your existing battery label for the most accurate info.

Where are you?
Let the mechanic know where exactly he can find you – give your postal code and if it is a multi storey car park, the level it is on. With this, he will estimate how long it will take to get to you, and advise you on what you could do while you are waiting – maybe a coffee break?

Also, lifting up the bonnet in a crowded car park helps the mechanic to find your vehicle, as it makes it obviously different from other parked vehicles.

And here are the top tips to ask before you confirm and give the job to a mobile battery service:

1. “How Much is the All-In Price?”
It is important to clear this up before confirming with any service provider to work on your car battery and save yourself the shock caused by the bill afterwards. Many car battery service will quote for a low car battery price and then give you a (nasty!) surcharge upon arrival. Insists on an all-in price and make sure you receive a quote via SMS or WhatsApp before you agree to proceed.

Also insist that your service provider quote for the situation when a car battery change is not needed. The better service provider will quote you for a fixed onsite/jumpstart fee if no battery change is required.

2. “Will there be an installation cost if my battery needs a replacement?”
Installation fee varies from service providers. Some charge for free if you buy the battery from them, however, if they charge you, make sure it is at a reasonable cost.

3. “Is it a flat fee or hourly charge? Will GST be involved?”
Discern if their billing is acceptable. Battery replacements are usually inclusive in the quoted price, and if not, it should be a flat fee because it is usually a quick job, except for complicated vehicles which the access to the battery is difficult, then the cost charged may be higher, but even then, it should not be hourly.

If GST is charged, then it must be clearly stated on a receipt. Some mobile services don’t even provide a receipt! Beware of these, for it will be impossible to claim on any warranty if you have no receipt.

Whatever the GST situation, insist on a receipt! This is always good practice by companies serious about providing a good service – only fly-by-night operators will say they do not have receipts.

4. “If a new battery is needed, how much will it cost?”
Let the mechanic explain the situation to you to understand if you need a new battery.

If your current one has reached end of life, it is important to ask for the cost, and the options. Typically, a good battery lasts about 18 to 24 months on average for petrol passenger vehicles under normal use.

Most times it makes more sense to change the battery if it is projected to last for only a short time after the jump start service, which already costs you some money. Our service mechanics carry a battery life tester and will be able to get you an accurate reading of the state of your battery.

Unless your car is due to be scrape in the next few weeks, use a brand new battery. A recon or second hand battery may save you a few dollars but it is not worth the hassle.

Do get a clear quote in black and white before proceeding, so that the terms of the transaction is clear to both service provider and yourself.

5. “Does it come with a warranty?”
Any manufacturing process can be refined, but to be perfect is not possible, there will always be a small chance the battery has a manufacturing fault – miniscule if the battery is a reliable brand that has been tested and trusted for years, but possible.

A warranty will give you peace of mind. Asking about the warranty only makes you a smart client. And do make sure this warranty is not just spoken over the phone but stated and written down on the receipt that you get!

Also note if the battery warranty is “at the workshop” or at your location (commonly called “Onsite Warranty”). Because if your car cannot start, it will be difficult to reach the workshop offering you the warranty.

6. “Will my car be unable to start again after I shut off the engine?”
There is no guarantee that your car can start again after you complete your journey following a jump start – it depends on the battery condition and if it is able to retain charge from the car after it was driven (the car tries to charge the battery as you drive, taking power from the engine via a belt to the alternator).

Old batteries weaken and will not be able to hold charge over time as they age, and this is the root cause of not being able to start. So if your battery is more than a year old and the car cannot start, it is advisable to go ahead to change that battery rather than just to pay for a jump start – which is something you pay for, but did not receive a new battery. Not quite worth it if your battery is already quite old.

7. “How much does battery jump start service cost?”
A diagnosis will be done by the battery specialist onsite to evaluate the situation. Do not forget to ask about the jump start service rate before engaging a service provider to go to you on site, as the travel to your location already incurs a charge.

FastFix Offers A Quality Service That Answers All The Above Questions!

You will be glad to hear that when we quote over the phone, our price is always the all in price, there will be no additional on-site charge, installation fees and taxes which some service providers add on only after they reach your location. You have no total price transparency when you engage services that refuse to quote you in written format, black and white! We quote you over the phone message,.

Following the call, we will send a written quote to you via Whatsapp so you know what to expect in terms of price and estimated time of arrival, also including our warranty period for battery defects, so that you are in no doubt as to the service you have engaged and what you will receive. Even for jump starts, price for the jump start is quoted and we will also provide you a quote for the expected battery size and its price, just in case a battery change is required. But we will change only with your confirmation.

And when we are done, you will receive a receipt where the warranty is clearly stated, signed by our professional mechanic.

If you want the best service, then choose the best!

Remember to always keep a number for a FastFix. If your car can’t start, dial 81145500.