Drivers looking into replacement turbos for their motors and potentially considering investing in a new second-hand car have been warned to check vehicles over to make sure they’re not flood damaged.
AA Insurance is now advising people that the used car market could well be inundated with vehicles that have been affected by the recent terrible weather and floods that have hit the UK.
Tips from the company for spotting a flood-damaged car include feeling the carpets to see if they’re damp, serious condensation on the windows, checking beneath the cap of the oil filler to see if there’s a whitish deposit beneath and seeing if there is any water trapped in the car light clusters. You can do this by rocking the car – if there is water there, you’ll see it moving in the red rear filter.
“Catalytic converter and exhaust system life can be seriously reduced, wheel bearings could seize, brakes can be affected and alternator and starter motors could fail. In addition, water can seriously affect electrical and electronic systems including the airbags, which might go off unexpectedly – or not deploy when they should,” director of AA Insurance Michael Lloyd said.
When buying any used car, make sure you budget carefully, check car tax rates and get insurance quotes before you sign anything. Always check price guides and look at similar cars so you’re familiar with the value of different vehicles to prevent yourself from being overcharged. In addition, always view the car during the day when the weather is fine so you can see dents, scratches and other issues.
Be careful with your Audi turbos and other cars this festive season – research has just revealed that 42 per cent of motorists will put their Christmas shopping at risk by leaving it in the car.
With the average person expected to spend £623 on Christmas this year (£387 on presents and the rest on food and drink), M&S Bank is now warning Brits that if their car is underinsured they could miss out and ruin the Christmas holidays for themselves.
Head of products with the organisation Paul Stokes said: “With shopping for the festive season well under way, it’s an exciting time of year for many. However, this also means that, unfortunately, the car can become a target for opportunistic thieves, so it’s important that shoppers make sure they’ve got adequate cover in place to insure their Christmas shopping, should the worst happen.”
Advice from the bank includes keeping bags covered and locked in the boot of the car, locking away mobiles and GPS devices, closing all windows and sunroofs, and always locking the car when you leave it.
You should get in touch with your insurer as well to see what you’re covered for as standard and what you’re not. It may be a bit more expensive changing your policy but it could be worth it in the long run if your car is broken into and all your Christmas presents stolen.
If possible, try not to leave gifts in your car at all. Once they’re purchased, head home rather than leaving them in the vehicle. Or shop online to avoid the problem entirely.
Are you preparing your new Mercedes turbo for the winter? According to the AA, it’s important that you consider how fog may affect your driving during the colder months.
The motoring organisation warned drivers to refresh their memory regarding the Highway Code to ensure they remain safe when fog strikes. For example, you are required to use headlights when visibility sinks, especially when you can’t see further than 100 metres ahead.
Fog lights are also recommended even though they are not a legal requirement. The AA said insurers may query your claim if you failed to have your fog lights illuminated and you get involved in an accident.
Recent statistics show Essex drivers can be particularly stung by the cost of car repairs. Figures from WhoCanFixMyCar.com showed East Anglia and the South East are the most expensive regions to visit a mechanic, with costs averaging £241 and £238 respectively.
“When there’s fog around visibility can seriously deteriorate in a matter of seconds. Be extra vigilant and drive only as fast as conditions allow,” the AA states.
Drivers were also encouraged to maintain a safe distance from vehicles in front to avoid collisions and to use dipped headlights at all times. People who switch on their fog lights must also remember to turn them off when visibility returns, as they can dazzle other motorists.
The AA-Popular Motoring Panel revealed nearly ten per cent of drivers rely entirely on automatic lights, but the organisation said this is not advisable on a foggy day.