Breakdown cover policies are the perfect backup if you drive often or for long distances, particularly the plans offered by GEM. They aren’t a bad plan if you rarely venture far from home and are uncertain of your driving or mechanical skills. There is great reassurance in knowing that if things go wrong there is someone to call. With that said, some policies have a limit on how many times per year you can call your breakdown cover. Therefore, reducing the number of calls is a very good idea.
Pay Attention to Those Lights!
Most modern vehicles have warning lights on their dash panels these can range from low gas indicator right on up through the dreaded check-engine light. When you take your vehicle directly to your repair facility you help prevent a breakdown along the road and preserve the longevity of your vehicle as well.
Check the Fluids
The main three fluids that a vehicle owner can easily manage are the fuel, the oil and the coolant/water/antifreeze levels. These fluids are very much the lifeblood of your vehicle. The car or truck isn’t going anywhere without fuel. Driving often with low fuel levels encourages spreading the glue-like gunk that can build up in the gas tank throughout the engine. Oil does two things. It lubricates moving parts and it helps clear dirt and debris from surfaces inside the motor. Finally, the coolant/water mixture helps keep excess heat from building up in the motor. The antifreeze compound in the coolant mix helps keep the water from freezing and causing damage.
Avoid Stressing Your Vehicle
If you have a van or small station wagon, it is so tempting to use it as if it were a truck. Overloading your vehicle with excess weight is hard on the undercarriage and on the transmission as well as making extra work for the motor. Read the limits stated in your vehicle manual and pay close attention the recommended amount of weight. Even a shopping trip can tax a small vehicle. For example, a fifty-pound bag of dog food weighs, you guessed it, fifty pounds. Add a bag or two of kitty litter, canned goods for pets and people as well as a few liters of liquid drinks, it adds up really fast.
Use an Ice Scraper
Winter is hard on your vehicle. Nothing is more stressful to your windshield wiper motor than a buildup of ice or snow. Relieve your wipers and your windshield by letting the defroster do part of the work of clearing the windscreen and using a plastic scraper designed not to damage the window.
Back to Breakdown Cover
Your breakdown cover is the good friend you can call when your wipers just quit in a snowstorm, your brakes have gone out on a mountain road, or your car just stopped running and you were barely able to guide it to the side of the road. But like a good friendship, you don’t want to overtax your service with preventable calls.
Breakdown cover can save your trip, whether you are on vacation, commuting or conducting business. But breaking down, even when there is someone to call, creates delays and inconvenience. Prevention doesn’t take the place of your breakdown cover, but it can prevent calling it too many times and having to pay for services that are no longer available thanks to overuse. More than that, it is a pleasure to drive through and not have those annoying interruptions that can be caused by having a flat tire, a fogged windshield, or just having your vehicle stop running. It’s an easy choice.