Fleet News

Phone-fix answer to 12,000 breakdowns

What do they mean?

  • Answers below

    At least 12,000 breakdowns a year could be fixed over the phone, saving fleets time and money, if drivers had a better understanding of their vehicle’s warning lights.

    With increasing amounts of electronics in modern vehicles, the AA says faults are as likely to be software-based as they are mechanical.

    The breakdown service has launched a new technical support centre to help motorists facing unfamiliar warning lights on their dashboards.

    During the month of April, it received 7,500 warning light-related enquiries, of which 1,000 were dealt with over the phone, freeing up patrols to deal with more complex or emergency calls.

    Advice from the technical support centre comes from specially-trained AA patrols that spend three months off the road offering diagnostic advice in call centres on a rotating basis.

    “We ask what colour the light is, whether it’s flashing and what the icon looks like,” says Donald MacSporran, the AA’s technical performance and training manager. We then cross reference the fault with our electronic vehicle database, which contains the technical details of every vehicle on the road, so we can give accurate advice there and then.

    “If, for example, the light is red, we would virtually always dispatch a patrol as it is likely to have safety-related implications.

    “If amber, it is likely to be less of an emergency and we can ask further, in-depth questions to ascertain the cause of the warning fault in order to provide definitive advice as to how to treat it.”

    The AA says the service will also have environmental benefits, reducing its patrol mileage and carbon footprint.

  • What they mean:

    1. ABS alert
    2. Oil pressure warning
    3. Battery charge warning
    4. Brake system warning
    5. Engine warning
    6. Fuel filter water trap

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