Car Cough Clinic

AA launches new online guide

As the cold winter sets in, it's not just you who's coming down with coughs and splutters – the chances are your car is too. Cold mornings, hard motoring and short daylight hours are already creating a winter of motoring malaise.

To help motorists through their winter worries, the AA has teamed up with motoring expert and sound engineer Tim Shallcross to provide Britain's drivers with online 'self diagnosis' for some of the most common motoring mishaps – flat batteries, slipping fan belts, flooded engines and faulty fuel lines. Tim, an AA patrol for nearly 30 years, is an expert in diagnosing a car's faults simply by listening to the sound of the engine – and his expertise is now available to all through the AA's website.

The online Car Cough Clinic has been launched to provide motorists with self-help tips and advice, drawing on the AA's 100 years of motoring expertise, to help get your car back on the road. The site features a selection of sounds, which act as a reference point for anxious motorists seeking likely diagnosis of a funny noise coming from under the bonnet.

Motorists can use the online sounds to compare with their own car's cough or splutter. Once you've matched the online sound against the noise coming from your car, the Clinic offers a guide to what's likely causing the problem, and what you can possibly do to fix it – or whether to seek professional help.

With up to 2.7 million cars expected to suffer problems over the winter period, the AA is advising motorists to keep a look out for the more common faults. From a flat battery or flooded engine, to a faulty starter or a slipping alternator drive belt, the AA Car Cough Clinic can offer hints and tips for a quick diagnosis and simple solution.

Motoring expert Tim Shallcross explains: "As the cold weather approaches, driving conditions get more difficult and motorists may find that their car starts to develop some winter problems. Most of these are quick and easy to treat, as long as you know what to listen out for – this guide will help AA members to diagnose and possibly treat their car by simply listening to the noises."

Commenting on the online clinic, Steve Dewey, AA Road Services Operations Director, says: "We have 100 years of motoring expertise and we are keen to share even more of it with our members – so if your car's not hitting the high notes this winter, check out our website to find out why it may not be, and what to do about it. With almost twice as many patrols on the road than any other breakdown provider, we'll be helping thousands of our members at the roadside this winter – but now you don't even need to give us a call to get access to advice and tips from our experts."

Car Cough Clinic

Breakdown advice


16 January 2006