PROTECT YOURSELF FROM CRIPPLING CAR REPAIR COSTS

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Acording to a new UK survey, two in five vehicles need some form of repair each year and, while the average repair costs just over £350 (about R6100), some garage bills can spiral to a horrific  £35 000 (the equivalent of R613 000).  

“This is a cost that most of us can ill afford and drives home the fact that Mechanical Breakdown Insurance is a must,” says John October spokesman for Dial Direct Insurance.

Car repair expenses are usually a curve ball that we have not budgeted for so it’s important to be prepared in the event that your car repairs may cost far more than you bargained for.

“Mechanical Breakdown Insurance is a product that has been created to assist with expenses should your car need repairs. The product offers you financial protection if your vehicle breaks down due to mechanical or electrical failure. It includes cover for mechanical or electrical failure occuring to a range of parts including the engine, gearbox, steering, fuel system, cooling system, air-conditioner, drive shafts, prop shaft or electronic ignition,” says October.

Dial Direct Insurance offers the following tips to prevent a mechanical breakdown:

  • Make sure to have your car serviced regularly.
  • At every service, check that your battery teminals have been cleaned and protected from corrosion with a layer of petroleum jelly or grease. Clamps and connections must be secure to avoid a flat battery.
  • Danger signals that your batttery needs attention are: dim headlights or interior lights and power windows that go up and down slower than usual.
  • An engine can have a multitide of problems but it can often start with a broken hose leaking coolant resulting in your engine overheating. To inspect belts and hoses, look for cracks and peeling on the belts and softening on the hoses. Also check the levels of transmission and other fluids with a dipstick similar to that for checking oil.
  • Guard against engine trouble by keeping track of your petrol and mileage from month to month. If you notice a sudden drop in that mileage, it likely is a signal that something is amiss in the engine, or possibly the transmission.
  • Regular oil changes are essential—they lubricate your car’s engine, helping it run smoothly and operate accordingly.
  • Spotting transmission problems in modern, computerised cars has become trickier. Nonetheless, if you feel slipping or a jerk when you put the automatic transmission into gear, get the transmission checked out. Be sure during routine maintenance that your mechanic checks all fluids, including transmission fluid.
  • Nothing is more crucial to your safety than your brakes. Be sure to get your brake pads and rotors checked at least twice a year. In addition, the brake fluid needs to be changed every two to three years, depending on recommendations in your owner's manual. Trouble signs: pulling to one side when you hit the brakes, squeaking or grinding noises and a brake pedal that feels too soft.
  • Be aware of strange noises coming from your car or if something just doesn’t seeem right with it. Always have it checked out if you suspect something may be wrong with your vehicle. Leaving a problem to linger will only make it worse, cause more problems and end up costing you more money in the long run.


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