Wednesday, 18 December 2013

First world problems: Clutch

Just a quick note on a recent incident I have had with my car. Driving at 30 miles an hour on a main road, on familiar roads on a journey that I had been planning all morning to visit a friend. Seeing my exit come up, I began my preparations to take the corner, checked my mirrors, indicated left, knowing very well where the road would lead and that very soon I would drive past that gleaming red Porsche that I dream about... anyway I digress.

I put my clutch down to shift into second gear and lo and behold my clutch stuck to the floor and the gearstick refused to budge. This was not like anything I have ever experienced (I have quite a short driving history), in my panic, I slowed the car down to a crawl, went round the corner, and let my momentum pull me to the curb, before stopping the car and putting up the handbrake.

In the ensuing half an hour, I did some very rudimentary checks on the car, under the bonnet and in the cockpit, all to no avail. I then thought back to my insurance renewal a few months back and remember something in the terms and conditions about some RAC cover.

I rang them, (not on the 0800 number on their website, more on this in another post), the very helpful customer services woman, assured me that I had free RAC roadside breakdown cover, and gave me a number to call. Within 45 minutes, a very helpful engineer had come up and inspected the car, gave me a diagnostics and towed my vehicle to a recommended garage*.

So, the moral of the story is that it pays to check your terms and conditions and negotiate with your insurance company!

*I did end up paying £800+ for a manufacturer produced clutch with warranty (there seems to be a lack of aftermarket parts for my brand of vehicle), but that's one of the windfalls that life throws at you, you take the blow, get up and keep fighting. Without having the complimentary breakdown cover, my day could have been a lot worse.

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