New research carried out by Kwik-Fit has revealed that over 1.5 million UK motorists unwittingly risk damaging their catalytic converters by push starting them.
The survey found that 1,546,920 motorists admitted to push starting cars manufactured after 1992 (the date when catalytic converters were fitted as standard on all UK cars).
Kwik-Fit believes many motorists are totally oblivious to the damage push starting a car can have on a catalytic converter.
Alan Wilson, national training manager at Kwik-Fit, says, “Push starting a car forces unburned petrol into the combustion chamber, but because the battery is flat the spark plugs don't ignite the fuel. The unburned fuel enters the exhaust system and next time the car is started it can ignite inside the catalytic converter. This can result in a partial or complete melt down of the catalyst, causing costly and often irreparable damage.”
Recent research from Kwik-Fit also revealed that flat batteries are the most common cause of car breakdowns in the UK. Kwik-Fit is urging motorists to regularly book a free battery health check - available at its centers.
Kwik-Fit also advises motorists to carry jump leads in the car at all times, to avoid push starting.