Business drivers could face hefty repair bills for damaged engines
With replacements for seized engines costing between £3,000 and £8,500, Masterlease has implemented an education programme to highlight the need for regular car maintenance, including oil top-ups.
The company says that it fears too many drivers are waiting for the red light to illuminate on the dashboard before they put oil in their car. But by that point, the lack of lubrication is likely to have caused some damage already.
Many drivers with new company cars with extended service intervals – up to 20,000 miles – believe their cars are immune from damage. But with high pressure and high mileage jobs, they too often clock up the kind of distances that require earlier driver intervention.
Some engines in popular fleet models are within their manufacturer tolerance levels if they use 10% of their oil in 1,000 kilometres (667 miles), but many business drivers drive further than this in one week.
Anthony Dowdall, head of operations at Masterlease, said: 'All fleet companies will have similar terms and conditions so this is a wake up call to fleet managers to make sure that drivers maintain their cars properly, as engine failure will result in a costly repair for their businesses. And, as a warning, it is easy to identify engine damage caused through a lack of oil so topping it up after the red light comes on is not "a get out of jail free" card either,' he added.