Dipstick Motorists Count £300m Cost

Posted on: 30 July 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Ignorance, laziness and an over-reliance on technology could be costing British motorists up to £300 million every year.

Failure to spend 60 seconds routinely checking oil levels could leave almost 215,000 drivers facing bills of up to £12,000 as engines seize, according to car care company, Comma.

The research has been released to publicise National Oil Check Day on 25th July and the launch of the Check Your Oil website.

An alarming 3 out of 4 motorists don’t know what the oil light on the dashboard means, with 60 per cent of all motorists admitting they don’t check their dipstick regularly.

Damagingly low levels accounted for an estimated 215,000 engine seizures last year with an average repair bill of £1,413. Although car manufacturers advise stopping immediately when the oil light comes on, a third would continue their journey.

“When the average cost of replacing an engine is £3,462, but can easily reach over £12,000 for bigger cars like a Toyota Landcruiser, too many motorists are walking a tightrope. It only takes 60 seconds,” says Mike Bewsey, spokesman for Comma.

Advances in engine technology mean service intervals have increased to 20,000 miles for some models.

Bewsey adds, “This has distanced the motorist from traditional DIY car maintenance like checking oil. They feel in a comfort zone today.”

Drivers should check their oil at least once a month and always before long journeys.

Research by Comma found that the 17-24 and over 65s were the worst culprits. In each case, nearly 1 in 4 said they never check the dipstick in between services.

Web Links

A guide to basic car maintenance: www.checkyouroil.co.uk

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