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The car parts most likely to fail this summer

23rd August 2011 Print

Motorists could be hit by 10% higher repair bills as summer takes its toll on car reliability, according to data revealed today. 
The warning comes as specialist insurer, Warranty Direct, discloses which parts fail most often between June and August.
The UK’s relatively warm, dry summer climes appear to hasten axle and suspension failures (accounting for more than a quarter of Warranty Direct claims), engine cooling breakdowns (9.35%) and major internal engine problems (9.16%), resulting in repair bills as high as £7,239.
The average summertime repair bill is 10% higher than in winter and more than 4 in ten motorists will make a claim between June and August, compared to 36% during the colder months.
Last year, four of the five most expensive repair bills occurred between June and August.

The parts most likely to fail during June-August

Part of Car - Proportion of claims (%)

1 Axle & Suspension 25.39
2 Engine Cooling System 9.35
3 Major Engine fault 9.16
4 Braking System 5.36
5 Steering System 4.77
6 Battery 4.64
7 Manual Transmission 4.63
8 Air Conditioning 4.62
9 Turbo 3.61
10 Ignition System 3.58

Overall, the 10 components identified by Warranty Direct as most likely to cause a breakdown in the summer account for over 75% of claims during that period.
Brake and steering components are the next most likely items to fail during the summer – though equally susceptible in the winter – followed by the battery, transmission and ignition system.
Unsurprisingly, more air-conditioning malfunctions surface as temperatures climb, while turbochargers round off the top 10.
Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct said: “Cars are complex and sensitive to the environment they are subjected to.
“In these straightened times, anything a motorist can do to mitigate motoring costs, or at least make them more predictable, is worthwhile. Maintenance and a degree of mechanical sympathy make a difference, but often breakdowns just happen.”
Warranty Direct cover starts from as little as £15 a month. All policies protect against wear & tear, failures caused by uninsured parts and failures found during a service or MOT.
For more information on the reliability of your vehicle, visit, or for a quote on cover