Amateur repair jobs costing UK motorists – Halfords

A Halfords survey has suggested that amateur repair or maintenance jobs often have costly consequences. Motorists and householders pay out an estimated £300m a year in order to correct mistakes made by family and friends trying to perform small tasks on cars, with one in six people left regretting accepting help. Maintenance blunders include elementary mistakes involving car batteries, and more serious errors such as using the wrong oil. Almost half (45 per cent) of those who subsequently had to employ an expert were left with a bill of over £100.

Dave Poulter from Halfords said: “It seems that for many people there is no such thing as a cheap favour. Favours can be particularly costly for motorists where a bodged job can damage a car.”

Halfords survey found 10 per cent of motoring DIY disasters were the result of using the wrong motor oil or not putting anti-freeze in the radiator. One in 12 experienced problems starting their cars after a battery change because the leads had been connected wrongly and a further one in six had water added to their screenwash not realising that diluting it reduced its ability to clean effectively and increased the risk of it freezing in winter.

Poulter added: “In an effort to save a few extra pounds, people often turn to friends or family for help. However, the complexities of DIY and loss of basic skills that previous generations took for granted mean that taking it to an expert can save money and friendships in the long run.”

Even when the job is completed without mishap, people are obliged to return the favour and or feel indebted to the person who helped them. The survey found that over a third of people said they felt compelled to return an act of kindness.

The survey coincides with an autumn initiative by Halfords to help motorists fix wearing parts like bulbs and wiper blades through Halfords’ in-store “we fit” service.

Halfords ‘we fit’ services help save drivers time and money by using trained professionals to fit car bulbs, wiper blades, batteries or engine oil bought from Halfords stores while-you-wait.

Halfords stores are also offering to carry out a free five-point winter check comprising bulbs, wiper blades, the battery, oil and screenwash – with a free screenwash top-up – between 17-28 October.

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