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Dipstick motorists count £300m cost

Submitted by on Friday, 25 July 20083 Comments

http://www.reviews4cars.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/national-oil-check-day.jpgIgnorance, laziness and an over reliance on technology could be costing British motorists up to £300m* every year.

Failure to spend 60 seconds routinely checking oil levels can 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 (today, 25th July 2008) and the launch of www.checkyouroil.co.uk

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

http://www.reviews4cars.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/commagirl.jpgDamagingly 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.”

Comma recommends that drivers 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.

* 215,000 x average engine damage cost of £1,413 = £303,795,000
** One in three passenger cars will break down every year, a total of 9.5 million according to DVLA stats. Of these, Warranty Direct says 2.26% of breakdowns are due to oil-related failure. 2.26% of 9,500,000 is 214,700, rounded up to 215,000.
*** Data from Comma research carried out at Dover Port, May 2008
**** Data from Warranty Direct’s 50,000 policies
***** Average cost of engine replacement at franchised workshops across 25 models –data from Warranty Direct

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