Adrian Flux Insurance Services takes a look at some common car problems, and ways to approach them.
The engine won’t start
A first test, advised by Driving-test-success.com, is to simply turn on the headlights – if they don’t work it means the battery is flat, and a jump start might do the trick. Menshealth.co.uk offers a quick, illustrated guide on how to do this.
If the lights do turn on, this indicates that the problem is more serious than a flat battery and the car requires repairing, in which case you’ll need to call your breakdown service.
It’s often tempting to continue travelling home, or to the nearest garage, when your tyre is slightly flat. But driving on a flat tyre will most likely damage the wheel. So it’s better to stop immediately and change it, or, if you can’t change the wheel or don’t have a spare one, call your breakdown service.
The British Tyre Manufacturer Association (BTMA UK) offers a downloadable PDF document with everything you need to know about tyres, from noticing wear and tear to how to replace them. For something simpler, WikiHow offers a quick ‘how to change a tyre’ guide.
Running out of fuel
Many of us rely too heavily on our fuel gauges, which can be inaccurate. You don’t want to run out on a lonely rural road in bad weather conditions, or worse still on a motorway. To be safe, greenflag.com recommends keeping your tank above a quarter full at all times, that way you’re never running on empty.
Diesel in petrol, petrol in diesel
Filling up your car with the wrong type of fuel instantly causes problems and needs to be dealt with immediately. According to whatgas.com, older petrol cars may still run with a tiny bit of diesel if topped up with petrol. However, modern cars tend not to, and the safest solution is to call a breakdown service. Fuel Fix specialises in mismatched fuel. Whatgas.com notes that filling a diesel car with petrol is far more common than visa versa, and unfortunately, much worse. Whatever you do, don’t turn the ignition. This will send the incorrect fuel straight to the engine, resulting in a more expensive repair job. Recognising how common and costly a problem this is, Adrian Flux Insurance Services offers Misfuelling Insurance cover.