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£300m bill for oil shy motorists

COMMA OIL has warned motorists they risk being part of an annual £300m statistic by failing to check their car's oil level on a regular basis.

Research commissioned by Comma Oil found that poor engine maintenance accounted for 1 in 20 of the estimated 7.2m mechanical breakdowns in 2003, leaving the motorist with an average repair bill of £1,300. However, the cost of prevention could have been less than £10.

As part of its Do You Dip? campaign, Comma Oil is now urging all motorists to check their oil not only before long journeys, but also at regular intervals.

Mike Bewsey of Comma Oil said: "Checking oil is still relatively simple. Motorists who rely on the oil light to alert them to the need to refill, or wait for the vehicle to be serviced are risking damage to their engine, a possible breakdown and in some cases, a replacement engine being required."

According to analysis conducted by independent vehicle warranty specialist, Warranty Direct, on behalf of Comma Oil, the average cost of replacing an engine is £2,780 but could be as high as £10,000 for some luxury sports models.

Vehicles now have longer service intervals. New cars usually have service intervals of 12,000 miles, with some as high as 20,000 miles.

Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct warned: "Whilst this may be good for the motorist, relying on the oil being checked during a service could be fatal for the health of your car – and your wallet.

"The number of bills we pay as a result of owner negligence is rising at an alarming rate.”

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