Trail’s Ron Nutini is a licensed automotive technician and graduate of mechanical engineering from UBC. E-mail: nutechauto@telus.net.

For those who didn’t end up with a brand new vehicle

Nutini writes, “Fortunately the hysteria of the acid spills in Trail has started to wane.”

Fortunately the hysteria of the acid spills in Trail has started to wane. The lineup in front of ICBC is designated to specific weeks not everyday. So what am I going to write about? More acid spill talk indubitably.

A lot of people made claims with their insurance providers because they may or may not have driven through the spilled acid. They were afraid of the ramifications of driving through acid (catastrophic failure et al). They were afraid no one would ever take their vehicle as a trade in when it was time to purchase a different vehicle. Some maybe even jumped at the chance of having the best excuse to buy that new F150 with heated seats and a heated steering wheel that their partner would not let them buy.

On the other hand many did not make any claim at all even if they knew they probably drove through the darn stuff. They just could not afford to replace their vehicle. They liked their vehicle. They knew if anything was the result of acid it could probably be fixed at a far more reasonable cost than the price of a replacement vehicle.

This article is addressed to all who did not end up with a brand new vehicle. This is probably most of us.

If you did make a claim and were given the all clear on the acid front do not delude yourself that your vehicle passed any kind of comprehensive safety inspection in the process of that claim. Understand that when you made that claim you were telling your insurer that you were going to make them liable for any problems that happened with your vehicle over the next two years that could be the result of driving through acid. Your insurer had to look at your vehicle with that in mind. They weren’t looking at your torn motor mounts or the oil leak from your valve cover gasket.

It is still not clear to me how the insurance adjusters, inspectors or estimators processed all the vehicles and what exactly they were looking for. What I do know is they did not perform the comprehensive inspection that your professional mechanic does to keep your vehicle roadworthy.

An all clear from your insurer was not a wheels off complete brake inspection, steering and suspension check, wheels, tires and bearings check, tune up, lube oil and filter and road test.

The complete process of caring for your vehicle was not taken care of by an insurance adjuster.

Winter is coming and winter driving requires that your vehicle be in top shape. Lights, wipers, heater, battery, starter, brakes, shocks, tires, ignition system, fuel system, steering, body and frame. The list is long. Keeping all these systems up and running and/or in good condition is your or your mechanic’s responsibility, not your insurer.

Trail’s Ron Nutini is a licensed automotive technician and graduate of mechanical engineering from UBC. E-mail: nutechauto@telus.net

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