Rajesh Sethi, CEO Mondial Assistance India explains, “Drivers often underestimate how dangerous the road conditions become when we’ve had a heavy downpour. Greasy substances, such as lubricants and general debris including tyre rubber and evaporated fuel deposits accumulate until the rain washes it away. But of course it takes a heavy rain fall such as the one we saw yesterday, to loosen the build-up of grime from the tarmac which in turn creates a very slippery surface. This can dramatically impact people’s ability to drive and also affects braking distances and vehicle handling, leading to a much higher risk of accidents.
“Before setting off in the car, however short the journey, drivers should check their tyres as well as all lights, to ensure they can see, be seen and stop as safely as possible. The condition of the tyres is extremely important, and they should be checked for correct pressure and legal tread depth. The greater the depth, the more efficient the tyre is in wet weather. Worn tyres are dangerous as the car loses its grip on the road. Check for any signs of damage to tyre walls or wheel rims which can be caused by wear and tear as tyres hit kerbs and large stones.”
Follow simple Car Care steps to save inconvenience and unnecessary cost - Rajesh Sethi, CEO, Mondial Assistance India
Mondial Assistance, a leading Assistance provider, deals with thousands of vehicle breakdowns every month, many of which it believes could have been easily avoided. Some of the most common reasons for assistance requests are punctures or driver errors such as flat batteries due to lights or other electrical items being left on, overheating, running out of fuel and drivers filling their diesel vehicles with petrol.
However, Mondial is seeing an increase in larger faults often due to smaller ones being left to develop, such as engine coolant leaks that lead to engine overheating - often resulting in a larger repair invoice for the owner. Motorists need to be aware that many roadside Assistance or warranty schemes exclude repairs if the fault is due to a lack of maintenance.
Rajesh Sethi, CEO at Mondial Assistance India explains: “Motorists could reduce the number of breakdowns by sticking to some simple car care rules and more crucially, quickly addressing any problems which arise. This will radically reduce the risk of inconvenience due to a breakdown and reduce the financial burden of repair.”
Most new or nearly new cars will be covered by roadside assistance as part of the original purchase package however, in most cases if the car is older than 2 years of age, owners should look to extend their manufacturer roadside assistance scheme /warranty cover or alternatively take out an independent policy. The vast majority of manufacturer extended warranty schemes include roadside assistance and provide a very high level of protection against expensive repair bills whilst providing expert support in the event of a breakdown.
“If you are not currently protected, check what your car manufacturer offers. In the event of a breakdown, you can be assured that authorized repairs will be completed in manufacturer authorized workshop by trained technicians using manufacturer original parts.” - Rajesh Sethi.
“For those vehicles already covered by warranty, owners should check if roadside assistance is still valid as some manufacturers provide a shorter period of roadside assistance cover when compared to the warranty term.
“Many car manufacturers now offer their own, competitively priced roadside assistance schemes. Alternatively, insurance companies, banks (along with credit cards & auto-loans) now offer added value services including roadside assistance, so make sure you take advantage of this if it is available. Most of all, once protected, please make sure you carry the assistance provider’s telephone number with you at all times.”
Most problems and reasons for breakdowns can be easily avoided by following this simple Car Care Guide:
1) Flat battery –
If you have an older car, check your battery fluid level regularly to make sure it is at the recommended level - most modern batteries do not need tops ups.
Check the battery terminals are protected by a layer of grease or petroleum jelly at all times, to defend against corrosion and poor electrical connections that can lead to a flat battery.
2) Punctures –
Carry out fortnightly checks on your tyre pressure, and know the optimum pressures for various speeds and loads, as provided by the manufacturer.
If you hit a kerb or pothole, thoroughly check your tyres and wheel rims – damage can cause slow leaks which may result in a flat tyre at the most inconvenient moment.
3) Engine Oil –
Check the level via the dipstick frequently and always before a long journey and have the oil and filter changed regularly, in line with the manufacturers recommendations.
Be aware of high oil consumption, as this may be an early warning sign of problems to come.
4) Engine Coolant –
Check the level regularly, when the engine is cold, and note any consumption as this is generally an early warning sign of problems to come.
5) Fuel –
Always make sure you fill up with fuel at the beginning of a long journey, and never let the fuel gauge drop too low in case you get stuck in traffic, have to leave home in a rush, or simply do not notice that you are running low until it is too late.