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Four Basic Car Problems - Solved

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

There are some things about cars that are not taught in our K53 system, things that you have to learn as time goes by or by asking an expert. We cover four popular problematic areas for drivers and car buyers to make driving a little bit easier for you.


  1. Buying a used car: When it comes to purchasing a second-hand car, your biggest fear is usually that you end up buying a “lemon”, a uselessly faulty vehicle. There are some steps that you can take to avoid this unpleasant situation.
  • Verify the condition of the car; if you’re not too sure, hire an independent mechanic to do the inspection for you.
  • Always negotiate for the lowest price; negotiate from the wholesale price up rather than from the sticker price down.
  • Make sure that all the paperwork and service record is in order.
  • Plan your budget and stick to it.
  • Remember, there are hundreds of second-hand cars, shop around.
  1. High Fuel Consumption: The ever-fluctuating price of fuel makes it almost impossible to accurately budget for your fuel allowance per month. The best practice is to use as little fuel as possible, distance is not relevant here, you can drive the same distance for less- as long as you take care of your car and adapt you driving style.
  • Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. Ensure that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure, that your engine is properly tuned, that your air filter is not clogged and that your fuel filter is replaced as regularly as necessary (see your car manual).
  • Driving like Night Rider will definitely not raise your fuel economy but driving smoothly, with no sudden acceleration or braking, just might.
  • Most passenger cars get their best fuel economy from driving between 72 and 88 km/h (when possible), so drive steadily to keep fuel consumption light.
  • You’re cool enough, turn off that air conditioner when you don’t really need it.
  1. Breaking Down on the Highway
  2. Your car breaking down next to a heavy highway is a nightmare for anyone, unfortunately, whether due to a flat tyre, mechanical failure or a lack of fuel, it happens. In these situations the most important thing is to make sure that you’re safe.
  • Firstly, pull over to the side of the road and turn your hazards on- if possible, place your triangle behind your vehicle.
  • Stay in the car with the windows and doors locked.
  • Don’t flag down other motorists; you never know what you might be getting yourself into.
  • Don’t stand behind, in front of or next to your car.
  • Call your roadside assistance as soon as possible. Comprehensive Car Insurance with Dialdirect includes Roadside assist.
  1. Becoming Sleepy while Driving
  2. Driving while drowsy is just as dangerous as driving drunk. According to Arrive Alive, sleepy drivers cause about 20% of all motor accidents. If you’re too tired, don’t drive, you’re putting yourself and others in danger. The best practise is to plan in order to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel.
  • When planning on driving far, make sure that you take turns with another driver.
  • If you are driving alone, rest every 2 hours.
  • Coffee and energy drinks might help – 160mg of caffeine could help someone who is not a regular coffee drinker, if you usually drink a lot of caffeine, the dosage should be increased.
  • Don’t drive between midnight and 7 am; these are referred to as the “red-eye hours” when most accidents happen.
  • Call your roadside assistance as soon as possible. Comprehensive Cover with Dialdirect includes Roadside assist.

Make good choices; look after your car and most importantly, yourself. If anything should happen to your vehicle, make sure you’re covered.