WARNING: Breakdown coming

2013-03-13 14:12

LONDON, England – Wouldn’t it be nice to know your car is going to break down BEFORE it actually does? An automotive services company in the UK has the right idea as launched a device that will warn drivers about faults in their car before it breaks down.

The Daily Mail reported that the matchbox-sized device, called the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) Advance, transmits data about the car before and after every journey by slotting into a car's computer system.


The automated system means drivers then receive a phone call, text or email telling them if there's a fault with their car. If the car breaks down or has an accident it will automatically alert the company’s breakdown team with the vehicle's location and details of the problem.

RAC technical director David Bizley said: “Offering peace of mind in a box, RAC Advance will revolutionise how we deal with our members. Some breakdowns can be avoided with a pre-emptive warning and intervention and this will significantly advance how we are able to deal with a breakdown or accident.

“With an accurate fault diagnosis and vehicle location, our patrols will be able to reach members more quickly and where possible, prepared with appropriate replacement parts.”

The device slots into a scart socket next to the steering column, where mechanics and technicians connect diagnostic equipment. This also means that vehicle owners can access data on their car using a cellphone, tablet or PC.


According to the Daily Mail the device can detect engine and gearbox problems, monitor imminent battery failure, battery drain and alternator problems. The device also checks for brake wear, throttle problems and whether the diesel filters have become clogged.

If an RAC team is contacted with a problem they can access the onboard diagnostic software remotely to identify the fault.

All of the company's 1700 patrol vehicles have already been fitted with first-generation devices and more than 35 000 fleet vehicles in the UK are using it.

The device will be available to RAC members during 2013 with its price added to subscription charges.