Tag Archive: breakdown cover

  1. 82% Increase in Pothole Related Breakdowns

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    Cast your mind back to the winter of 2013 and, as well as the freezing conditions, you may also remember the terrible state that bitterly cold weather left many of our roads in.

    And yet despite two mild winters since, earlier this year, the RAC reported a staggering 82% increase in suspension spring related call-outs. In fact, by February the RAC had attended 7,500 breakdowns of this nature, compared to just 4,000 in 2014 and 5,600 in 2013.

    This type of damage to a car is almost always the result of poor road surfaces and as such related breakdown callouts make for a good measure of road surface quality. Potholes can also wreak havoc not only on your car’s suspension springs but also on shock absorbers and even tyres and wheels.

    Such is the state of the problem that the RAC has teamed up with the pothole reporting site Street Repairs to create a new app to help people report potholes. The app will also allow reporting of other highway problems and uses GPS to send the data back to the RAC, where it is then forwarded onto the relevant local authority. The hope is that potholes will be identified and fixed before they get much worse and start damaging car’s suspension.

    It might be a small gesture but it’s initiatives like this that could help save UK drivers money as potholes continue to be a problem. Clearly the public perception is that the problem isn’t going away either, with RAC research finding 41% of motorists surveyed were worried about the state of the roads.

    So what does the future hold? Well, there’s no doubt that the suspension of modern cars is far better equipped to deal with these unexpected bumps in the road but that may not be enough if potholes get too severe.

    The two factors at play here are weather and funding. With the effects of climate change being linked to more extreme weather events, like flooding and cold snaps, and continuing cuts to council budgets in the immediate future, this problem could get a lot worse before it gets better.

    For more information on adding breakdown cover to your DNA insurance policy, call one of our friendly team today on 08445 732 400.

  2. The Top Three Causes of a Motor Vehicle Breakdown (and how to Spot them)

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    Whether it’s happened to you or not, breaking down and getting stranded with your vehicle by the side of the road is everyone’s idea of a nightmare. Whilst it is strongly advisable to take out motor breakdown cover, it is possible to spot some problems before they occur.

    We’ve looked at what the experts say (including Which, the AA, the RAC and Green Flag) and summarised four of the top causes of motor vehicle breakdown as well as how to spot them.

    Flat Battery

    The number one culprit of all breakdowns (between 18% and 20% according to the experts), especially in the winter months, is a flat or faulty battery. Flat batteries are more common with vehicles that only take short journeys. This doesn’t allow the battery to properly charge properly, running it down faster. If this is you, then try to take your car for a longer drive every now again if possible. Also make sure the terminals are protected from corrosion with a layer of petroleum jelly or grease every time your car is serviced.

    How to spot: The engine may turn over more slowly and the red battery light on the dashboard may start to flicker.

    Lost Keys

    Although not technically a cause of a mechanical or electrical breakdown, lost keys are responsible, rather embarrassingly, for a huge number of callouts. There’s not really much more to say about this than keep a spare set and try not to lose them if you’re out. Car dealers will be able to order you a replacement set but this can take weeks.

    How to spot: A growing sense of panic, followed by that sinking feeling of knowing you’ve totally screwed up.

    Flat Tyre or Blowout

    The most common culprit for a blowout or flat is under inflating your tyres. This is easily avoidable simply by making sure you change them when necessary and making sure the tyre pressure is correct. Sometimes a flat is unavoidable if you hit debris in the road, so always make sure you carry a spare tyre with you as well as the means of fitting it, no matter how good a condition your tyres are in beforehand.

    How to spot: Sluggish steering and one tyre losing pressure faster than the others could be signs you have a slow puncture.

    Other Culprits

    These three causes of motor vehicle breakdown are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to breakdown. Other major culprits include, faulty starter motors, alternators, distributor caps, spark plugs and fuel problems (using the wrong fuel). Most are avoidable by getting your car in for a regular service and checking things like tyre pressure oil levels yourself.

    For more info on what to do in case of a breakdown, the AA have produced this very useful guide.

    At DNA Insurance, most of our policies come with the option of breakdown cover. Call one of our team for more details on 08445 732 400.