How ready are your cars?


Believe it or not the photo above was taken just 5 weeks before the start of the 2013 Jukebox Rally to Barcelona!

Yes the RS Turbo Taxi did make it to the start line, all the way to Barcelona and all the way back…albeit a month later on the back of a breakdown truck:(

Last years rally to Lake Como set a new record for the number of breakdowns and cars that didn’t make it. The most common problems seem to be with cooling systems, radiators and hoses causing most issues. There were however some easily avoidable issues, bald tyres and lack of brake pads to name but two…I won’t name the individuals.

Hopefully by now everyone taking part will have been contacted by ARI Fleet who have kindly agreed to perform a ‘health check’ on everyone’s car. Whilst this is not condition of entry, I would encourage you to take up the offer. There is no fee and no obligation to have the work done at the garage carrying out the checks. 

Of course with older cars you just never know what might happen. We do have 2 support vans along with us with 4 very capable mechanics, however they are not miracle workers. It’s important that you have your own breakdown cover in place, cover that includes getting you and you car home if needed. Having tested this cover personally I can say that it works, we were flown back from Barcelona on a BA flight and the car delivered back some weeks later when it couldn’t be fixed locally (apparently replacing an oil pump on a ’87 Ford Escort is not a common job for the Ford dealership in Barcelona)

So, aside from the mechanical checks some other things I would make sure are present and/or working:

  • Chargers and charging points for phone, you can buy a double USB adaptor that will be both of you can charge your phone at the same time.
  • Check you radio/CD/tape player works, if you’re lucky enough to have an aux port don’t forget your lead. You might also want to check you can eject your CD’s…a team last year had queens greatest hits stuck on for 35 hours!
  • Spare fuses and bulbs,always a good idea.
  • Top up oil
  • A few basic tools (10&13mm spaners, pliers, screwdrivers, wheel brace and a jack)
  • Check your spare wheel…do you or your co-driver know how to change it?

I’m sure others will chip in with other suggestions.

Remember, if you do have a problem that you can’t fix yourself follow these steps:

  1. Let your team leader know and check if anyone else in you team can help. We have tried to make sure there is some mechanical know-how in each team.
  2. Contact one of the support vehicles, bear in mind these could be many miles away and may take a while to get to you. They will also be able to give advice over the phone.
  3. If all else fails call your breakdown provider.

Finally, if anyone knows the significance of ‘Hello Luther” in the photo, comment below.

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