Roadside Assistance Car Battery Replacement

I drive a Mitsubishi ASX and it happened to have a flat battery today without any warnings.

Called roadside assistance and got charged $360 for replacement as they only had the "heavy duty" batteries not the normal ones ($260).

Didn't really think too much at the time but now wondering if it's the right battery and if I got ripped off by any chance. Any thoughts?

Cheers!

Comments

  • +41

    That depends on your personal point of view. You paid a $100 premium to get a "better" battery (maybe longer warranty?) delivered and installed on a Sunday on a public holiday weekend. That seems pretty reasonable.

    • True! He mentions it lasts longer than normal ones, time will tell!

      • Wonder if that buys you more time if you leave the lights on. Will new cars even let the battery go flat if you leave the lights on?

        • New cars have auto lights so can't imagine that happens these days, but if someone manually leave them on overnight then pretty sure it'll still go flat.

          Apparently it buys you more time if you ever go on a long holiday and not starting your car for months.

          • +4

            @cowboydev: Interior lighting can still be left on and can kill a battery.

            • +1

              @Mechz: An interior light will still flatten our 2019 Subaru. Can’t believe this wasn’t fixed decades ago.

              • @Marty131: Yeah it's too easy to leave map lights on with no override. So many scenarios to program a kill switch for them though.

              • @Marty131: Change the bulbs to LED ones. Have saved me many a time when the interior light has been left on

          • @cowboydev: my NRMA replaced mine for just $199. I think you get ripped big time.

      • +2

        If you owned a manuel that wouldn't be a problem ..

      • not always ..my heavy duty nrma needed replacing 6 months out of warranty so they got me for another one ..

    • Yep this!

      If you want ozbargain prices for stuff, whatever it may be, you need to prepared to lose some convenience yo buying it retail

      All things considered (ie, speed of replacement) I think you got a decent deal

  • +5

    Did you really need to replace the battery today?

  • +6

    Your other alternative could've been to just ask for a jump start so you can drive it home. Then :

    (i) call up a later time when they do have stock of your standard battery and get them out to replace it ; or
    (ii) (somehow) get yourself to the shop to buy your own car battery of your choosing and install it yourself.

    Either way… For the sake of not thinking about it too much , the $100 doesn't sound so bad.

    • Yep I didn't think about it too much as he said my car probably won't start up tomorrow.
      Could've drove back home and get them to come again tomorrow with the right battery, but considering it's a public holiday tomorrow I guess better off doing it today.

      I am now more curious of the quality of their battery and what a "heavy duty" battery is.

    • +11

      This happened the other week to me.
      Flat battery, waited 50minutes so just googled a few local car parts stores while waiting.
      Got NRMA to jump start me, drove to Autobarn and got equivalent heavy duty battery $100 cheaper.

      NRMA guy couldn't care less if you buy off him or someone else, he got paid either way.

  • +3

    I got ripped off by any chance

    Yes, you paid the RRP/convenient pricing. I would jump-start it so I can drive home, do some research for a good deal, and install it myself since it's only ASX.

    • I would have just sat in the car with it running ans drove to the nearest Autobarn/Supercheap/Repco that had a good deal on the battery.

      Surprisingly when I got a new battery the genuine OEM one from the dealer was the cheapest.

  • +7

    Lol. You forgot that you had the $75 gooloo GP2000 jump start pack in your boot. What a donkey.

    • +3

      Lol that was the first thing I thought about after the 1 hour wait! Lessons learnt I will definitely be buying a jump start pack.

      • They are invaluable. No waiting around. Also buys you some time to confirm it's the battery that's stuffed and look for a discounted new battery if required.

      • +5

        You've got a nice new 'heavy duty' (whatever that means) battery that should last for ages now. In this situation, last thing I'd be rushing out to buy is a lithium battery (degrades fast under full charge, stored in a hot car) jump starter.

        This is a bit "after the horses have bolted" kind of thing here.

  • +1

    I had same issue, with one of my cars only it was to do with regular battery being offered.

    Found Bunnings had same model with an extra 6 months warranty for $70 less. Yes Bunnings.

    • $70 isn't too bad then since they deliver and install for you.

      I just did the same thing and looks like they've put a start stop battery in my car which doesn't need it.

      • +1

        And dispose of the old battery for you.

        • Most battery shops will be extra happy to receive a free dead battery.

          • @skillet: I just drop my old used batteries at Supercheap auto, just inside the door. I think they also offer a service to replace the battery for you for a small fee…you need to of purchased the replacement battery from them. However, being able to time the purchasing of the battery during the 40% off century battery deal just before your old battery dies and then opting to replace the battery your self makes you a true hero.

    • +1

      Found Bunnings had same model

      and even cheaper with a Powerpass….

  • You pay for RAA roadside assistance? So the callout is free? Did they try to jump it at least? If the battery couldn't be jumped then it needed replacing, so you could have reused to buy the battery and just pushed your car home I suppose.

    • If OP does pay for roadside they wouldn’t need to push the car. They could put it on a tow truck for free as part of the cover.

      • Maybe the convenience of a new battery was worth it, even at a $100 premium or whatever. It's actually a pretty decent price compared to the hours of doing it yourself.

        • to the hours of doing it yourself.

          hours?

        • Literally less than 10 minutes unless you drive a euro shit box that requires calibration by a dealership with a new battery.

          • +1

            @Muzeeb: How you gonna get to Supercheap Auto with a dead battery?

            • @AustriaBargain: The same roadside cover that you mentioned earlier will jump start the car, if it can’t be jump started they will organize a tow truck.

              • @mapax: The tow truck sounds very inconvenient compared to just paying a bit more for whatever battery the roadside guy has on him. I wonder if OP insisted on getting a tow truck would the RAA guy have given him a discount on the battery to help save the RAA hundreds of dollars on towing and such, or would he just not gaf and say seaya and drive off in his yellow van leaving OP to wait for his tow truck.

  • IMO you didn't get ripped off at all. A good battery would have cost you around $200 already, this is just the battery alone. Your other options would have been:

    1) Find a generous soul to help you jump start your car

    OR

    2) Get a relative/friend/taxi/uber to take you to the nearest automotive store, buy the battery (and spanner/socket wrench if you don't have one), drive back to your car, spend another 30mins taking the old one out and putting new one in (more if you've never changed one before and need to youtube), making sure you don't fry the electrics or kill yourself, then disposing of your old battery at a waste facility. Mind you one of these batteries weighs upwards of 12kg. Consider the time, inconvenience and money spent.

    If you had gone with option 1, you would have needed to replace the battery in the next week or so as it will more than likely die again. Its winter, which is when a lot of ageing batteries will die, and I suspect we will get more posts with the same questions.

    • +1

      Die from replacing a Car battery… This ain't no EV.

      • -3

        Lol. You found the boomer on ozbargain.

    • -1

      Put the stuffed battery on the nature strip someone will pick it up. Depending on the price/time you can get between $5 and $15 a battery extra pocket money for my kids $250 they got from Sims metal all up last time. Only 2 days ago we picked up 8 batteries out the front of a house having a clean up excellent money earner for kids.

  • As others have said, RACx has always been higher on battery pricing - it's how the contractor makes money and they deliver and fit it for you as well so that's worth something.

    FWIW - a premium battery for your ASX is a Century 75D23L MF (40 months warranty) and is $239 at Total Tools (and slightly cheaper at some small retailers):

    https://www.totaltools.com.au/157408-century-75d23l-mf-uhp-c…

    • Actually the one they have put in was SQ85D23LEFB, which is even more premium than 75D23L. I guess it doesn't hurt as all batteries are compatible with the ASX as long as it fits? lol

  • +1

    Happened to me on GTA4. Made Homie an offer he couldn’t refuse though

    • +7

      Her car hasn't stopped in all that time - just like your sentences! :-)

        • I think in this case it was necessary.

          • -1

            @rogerwilko: ok to save any drama about how long my sentence was , i deleted the whole thing ..i hope no one ever writes details longer then a few words ..omg i’ve gone past the word limit AGAIN !!!..

  • Why not get a portable jump starter.( problem solve ).lol.

    • unless the battery could not be jump started because dead dead

  • Honestly roadside assist battery replacement isn't that bad of a deal. Just a small premium to have someone else do it for you.

    Years ago I had RACV Roadside Assist change my battery, got them to meet me at a pub I was going to (after getting the car jump started), guy changed it out pretty quick and was on his way and the price was pretty comparable to if I had bought the battery myself, bonus is they also take it away.

    That battery recently died but I did the swap over myself, honestly bit of a pain to go to a shop, get the battery, take out the old one and all that involves (taking off a couple of covers and a couple of screws for me), put the new one in and then I am left with a battery sitting around that I have to dispose of at some point.

  • They are more expensive at roadside but you pay for the install and convenience. I've found they give you more CCA than you need for the upsell and more margin.For me I just got jumped and drove to SuperCheap auto, if you know your CCA you can get one of their budget ones for $150ish.

  • i find those roadside batteries to be of poor quality. Your only other option was to tow it to a battery place that was open on a sunday. Bad timing unfortunatly.
    Keep the paperwork for any warranty claims.

    Did the car ever struggle to start before it went dead? Did they check the alternator?

    • I have a feeling the battery was due for replacement for a while but I trusted the dealer servicing, it's 5 years old but they said the battery was good.

      I turned off the engine, wanted to play some music for my kid for about 10 minutes (Mistake). Then when I tried to start the engine again it definitely struggled. The start/stop button light was flashing like crazy and some noise was coming out.

  • pretty much is a rip if you get any battery from roadside assistance but if you need urgently that's the only option. then again if you don't know how to do battery maintenance or swap out a battery then you haven't really got ripped off that much

    but if you do know how to do those things probably would only cost you less than $150 for a lead acid 12v

  • -1

    $100 'extra' to get you on the road with someone else doing the work.

    Sounds like a bargain to me and your day's plans would have been unaffected.

    Move on.

  • I had one go on xmas day a couple of years ago. Paid a bit more but was worth it to get where I needed to go on a public holiday. If you’ve already got nrma etc it’s not that much more than normal prices (sale prices a bit cheaper)

  • Paid $450 with RACQ, was an 850CCA AGM battery though.

  • My brother is a qualified mechanic and ex-NRMA battery installer. As others here have said, the NRMA batteries are decent quality and often outlast their warranty periods.

    Whilst there might be a markup on the batteries vs buying them and installing yourself, that premium for the convenience of on-the-spot delivery and installation is worthwhile for most.

    Where I’ve found NRMA Roadside Assist to be especially competitive is on parts. I needed a replacement starter motor (car wouldn’t start in the driveway, battery was fine) and NRMA RA quoted me $360 for the part and installation at home.

    Ever the OzBargainer, I phoned my brother and asked him to get quotes from his 3 suppliers. The results: $390, $420 and $450 after trade discounts.

    • +1

      I'm trying to think of the term used for when tradies over quote you because they don't want the job.

      • +1

        High-ball?

      • Haha :D I looked up the motor on 2 of the suppliers' web sites before calling him, hoping his trade discount would bring the cost way down, but that unfortunately wasn't the case.

    • What brand? If I search for the model he provided, I'm seeing it as low as $245 (ACDelco) and even found it for $218, out of stock.

  • SCA Performance Car Battery NS40ZL SMF
    Detailshttps://www.supercheapauto.com.au/p/sca-sca-performance-car-battery-ns40zl-smf/555038.html
    $114.99 for you car for a shitty one 20 mth warranty 32 amps 300cca …cold crank amps or
    Century Hi Performance Car Battery NS40ZL MF
    Detailshttps://www.supercheapauto.com.au/p/century-century-hi-performance-car-battery-ns40zl-mf/602514.html
    $189.99 for a better one. 30 Mth warranty 30amps with 330 CCA..
    so yeah maybe you got a little raped…lol

      • boo hoo. He wants to know what we think…. Better tell your mummy

    • haha I am not sure if these are the right ones but yeah I did find a Century one around $230 on the supercheap auto, but again they did put a even higher performance one in my car.
      So I don't think I got too ripped off for that particular battery, just more than I would have spent lol!

  • That's better than VW quoting me $500+ to replace the battery with aftermarket brand during service… (Original battery it's said $900+)

    • wtf they quoted you $900!!!

  • Roadside assist batteries are notoriously poor quality & overpriced. They have a tad of leverage on you.

    Sucks but chalk it down to 'the game' make mental note to get proper capacitance battery check every few years & buy a quality replacement at a good price when your battery is close to being unwell.

    A good charger at home helps extend this process out - SLA's don't like how they're often treated by motorists.

Login or Join to leave a comment