5 Tips To Mitigate Being Faced With A Non-Running Car

You just have to watch a couple of episodes of the British TV series, Wheeler Dealers, to appreciate the mechanical engineering, complex design and inner workings of a car. And much like our bodies, we take it all for granted. We don't fully take cognisance of every little part doing its job to get us from A to B. So, when a warning light flashes or the car suddenly splutters to a halt, we shrug our shoulders at our non-running vehicle in frustration and confusion.

As with most machines, things can go wrong.

A flat or faulty battery, alternator problems, starter motor faults, clutch faults, spark plug problems, electrical faults and transmission issues are just a few of the culprits that could leave you stranded on the side of the road. (This is not the time for wishing you had checked your oil and water or having paid attention to that clunking sound). But the problem may be much more serious, such as an engine seizing, engine fire or another catastrophic failure.

Sometimes there is no explanation, but generally, there is an obvious cause or general wear and tear that may cause your car to break down and you having to weigh up your next step.

This is a cue for us to punt our service. Depending on the extent of the mechanical or electronic damage, you may be faced with the serious prospect of selling your non-running car as the costs of repairs prove prohibitive. We will assist you with the towing of your vehicle, handling the paperwork and offering you a competitive cash price.

Get a competitive cash offer for your non-running car.

The time may inevitably come when your car hits the end of its lifespan - and when that does happen, please give us a call.

But until then, here are a few helpful tips to keep your car running for longer:

#1 Service in time

‘A stitch in time may save you nine,’ but not missing a service is going to save you a whole lot of cash and nightmares. It may be a grudge purpose, but if you want to ensure you don’t land up with the headache of a non-running car, you will heed this advice.

Just think: you are unlikely to tell an orthopaedic surgeon he doesn’t know what he is talking about when he recommends a knee replacement. In the same way, your servicing mechanic is a vehicle expert, and if he says your spark plugs, brake pads, or shocks need replacing, we suggest you listen to him.

#2 Check the oil

Regularly checking your oil - a good discipline is every time you fill your tank with petrol or diesel - stops heat and friction building up within your engine, allows all of the moving parts to work optimally and is vital for the smooth running of your car. If your engine warning light comes on, this is not a suggestion.

Pull over as soon as it is safe to do so and check under your car. If there is an oil leak - stop driving and call for immediate roadside assistance. If there is no oil leaking, get to a garage and have the engine and oil levels checked.

Check oil levels regularly to prevent car engine issues.

Click here if you don’t know how to check your engine oil levels.

#3 Be a savvy driver

The adrenalin rush of revving at the traffic lights (especially in cold weather) or zipping off to break your 0-60 second record may be a thrill ride but these behaviours are not doing your car any favours. Proper driving habits will definitely reap rewards in the long run. Don’t ride the clutch (it wears down the friction plates), and avoid hard stops and starts (which wear down the brake pads).

For most of the population, buying a car is a big-ticket investment item and the goal is a trustworthy ride for many years, not the potential of a non-running car sitting on bricks in your backyard.

#4 Get rid of excess weight

Most cars are not built to carry excess weight. When a car is overloaded, it has to work extra hard when braking, accelerating and turning corners which put extra strain and pressure on your suspension and brakes and it certainly doesn't help with the fuel economy of your car. If you do have to transport an extra load, at least pump up your tyres to the suggested pressure to cope. (Otherwise, borrow a friend’s Bakkie; a vehicle designed to be a workhorse)

Tip to avoid sitting with a non-running car: don't overload your vehicle with extra weight
#5 Heed warning lights

Most cars come with an inbuilt electronic system to warn you of potential problems. Do not ignore them in the hope they will go away. Addressing these early warning lights will save you money and potentially save your life. The same goes for any strange noises. Besides the smooth-running purr of the engine and Beethoven’s 5th, your vehicle should not be making odd sounds. So turn the music down and stay tuned. 😉

At sellyourdamagedcar, we are not here to micromanage you and we cannot force you to take these 5 tips seriously. What we are here to do is assure you that should you ever be faced with having to sell your non-running car (whatever the reason), we get the thumbs up. Our professional team are on hand to lend a hand, tow the vehicle free of charge, sort out all the paperwork, and offer you a great cash price. (You can certainly take that to the bank).

Until then, drive safe and drive smart.

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