Roadside Assistance

Roadside Assistance – A Mechanics Guide

It doesn’t matter how new or old a car is, breakdowns happen and you need to be prepared for when they do. When you rent from Redspot Car Rentals you automatically receive 24-hour roadside assistance for any mechanical faults that may occur for the duration of the rental period. If you’d like to have complete peace of mind, for a small daily fee you can purchase our Premium Roadside Assistance package, which covers you for everything including lost keys, punctured tyres and running out of fuel.

Here are the most common causes of vehicle breakdowns, what the symptoms are, and what you should do if they happen to you.

Flat or faulty battery

car battery

When a battery goes flat or doesn’t work as it should, the most common reasons are terminal and clamp connections, or a loss of voltage.

Signs your battery is the problem include the engine turning over but won’t start, your car displays no signs of life at all, or it starts one minute then it won’t. Unless you’ve got another car to help and a set of jump leads between you, you’ll need to call roadside assistance to get you going again. If the problem is mechanical, we will cover the costs of the roadside assistance. However, if the battery goes flat because you’ve left the lights other car functions on, you will be responsible for the roadside assistance costs. For a small daily fee, you can purchase Premium Roadside Assistance that covers this and several other services that aren’t covered by regular roadside assistance.

Lost keys or keys locked in the car

car keys

Losing your keys or locking them in the car are two of the most common reasons for needing roadside assistance. If this happens to you while renting one of our vehicles, you need to call 1300 668 810 and we’ll let you know which number you should call for assistance.

Please be aware regular roadside assistance provided to all of our customers does not cover you in the case of locking your keys in the car or losing them. You will be responsible for the call out costs plus a $24 administration fee. Premium Roadside Assistance is available for a daily fee and covers you for these situations.

Flat tyres or damaged wheels

flat tyre

Should you need to change the tyre during your rental period, we ask that you refer to the vehicle manual in the glove box and change the tyre yourself. If you still need to use our roadside assistance, and you don’t have our Premium Roadside Assistance package, the costs will be passed on to you.

Fuel problems

refuelling car

Often the cause of breakdowns is simply running out of fuel. Make sure you have plenty of fuel in the tank before embarking on your journey, and remember to refuel before the low fuel warning light comes on.

If your engine is turning over when you try and start your car, but there’s no spark to ignite the engine, there’s a good chance you’ve run out of fuel. Also, your dashboard fuel level indicator should be on. Unless there’s a petrol station within walking distance and your car is in a safe location, you’ll need to call roadside assistance.

As part of the Premium Roadside Assistance package, we can deliver up to 15 litres of fuel to you at no charge. However, if you only have regular roadside assistance that automatically comes with your rental car, the costs will be passed on to you.

Transmission and clutch problems

vehicle gear stick

These issues are becoming less of a problem with modern vehicles, so are more likely to happen in older cars. All of our rental vehicles have regular safety checks, are reliable and look great. The average age of the vehicles in our fleet is just six months, as such mechanical problems are rare.

However, if your car is refusing to go into gear, there’s a burning smell, the gears are slipping, it’s noisy in neutral or it’s leaking fluid, chances are you have a transmission problem. If you feel the clutch slipping, vibrating, squealing or chirping, or you’re having gear change problems, chances are you’ve got problems with you clutch.

These sorts of mechanical problems are covered in your rental agreement and we will pay for all roadside assistance costs. Consult your key tag to call the right number.

Engine overheating

car engine problem

There are several reasons why your engine can overheat. The thermostat could be stuck, there’s a leak in the cooling system, a faulty water pump, a bad cooling fan or a clogged radiator. If you notice coolant fluid on your ground under the rental car, it won’t go for a few metres before overheating, or the temperature gauge is climbing whenever you drive, it’s time to call roadside assistance. Overheating can cause serious damage to the car if not treated immediately.

If your temperature gauge is in the red zone, the ‘check engine’ or ‘temperature’ dashboard light appears, or the radiator boils over and steam pours out from underneath the bonnet, stop immediately and seek roadside assistance. These sorts of mechanical problems are covered in your rental agreement and we will pay for all roadside assistance costs. Consult your key tag to call the right number.

Leaving Home

phone in car

Before you leave on your journey there are several steps you can take to ensure you can access roadside assistance if needed. Make sure you’re mobile phone is charged up and in credit so you can make a call. The details of who you should contact are on your Redspot Car Rentals vehicle key tag.

If you breakdown, move safely to the side of the road as soon as possible. Engage your hazard lights to notify fellow motorists there is a problem and exit the vehicle. It may have been dangerous to pull over as far to the left as possible, so make sure it is safe to exit the car from the driver’s side. If it isn’t safe, everyone should get out on the passenger side of the car, especially on busy roads like highways and freeways.

For all mechanical issues, please don’t hesitate to call us as soon as possible and we’ll get roadside assistance to you as soon as possible. To cover you for very common breakdown issues such as locking your keys in the car, running out of fuel or getting a flat tyre, you’ll need to purchase the Premium Roadside Assistance package when you rent the vehicle. Otherwise these costs will be passed on to you.

published November 5, 2014

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