By Aleksandra Vayntraub // SWNS
NEWS COPY w/ VIDEO + INFOGRAPHIC
How sure are you that your car is safe to drive?
Eight in 10 Americans feel confident in their ability to assess when their vehicle needs maintenance — but the majority (61%) admit that others notice their car issues before they do.
In a recent survey of 2,000 car owners, three in five said someone else will be the first to point out their vehicle needs upkeep.
The first one to notice their car needs a little TLC? A partner (55%) or a parent (47%), more so than a mechanic or vehicle inspector (29%).
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of SimpleTire ahead of National Car Care Month in April, research findings sought to understand the ways in which driving challenges and vehicle maintenance needs vary by region.
Regardless of location, most (55%) agreed that snowstorms are the worst weather to drive in, and potholes were found to be the most common road obstacle for all drivers (53%).
When driving in challenging road conditions, people tend to worry about their tires (45%), brakes (41%) and battery (38%).
Survey results identified key differences in the car maintenance habits and driving preferences across each region.
In the Midwest, drivers are most likely to forget to replace their windshield wipers (35%). Drivers in the Northeast don’t always change their brakes (38%), and Southeasterners were found to overlook a battery performance check (36%).
Twenty-seven percent voted spring as the best season for driving, with summer as the runner-up (23%). Midwestern drivers also favored the summer much more so than those in the Southwest (29 vs. 14%).
On average, seasonal car repairs rack up $1,772 per year for American car owners.
Forgetting to fix post-winter issues (28%) and prepare cars for the fall season (34%) may contribute to this cost. Worn-out tires also contribute to these expenses, as 31% of drivers admit to overlooking their timely replacement.
As for the spring and summer, commonly reported problems include worn windshield wipers (33%), a broken A/C unit (32%) and a broken drive belt (32%).
“Both routine and seasonal maintenance are important in keeping your vehicle functioning safely,” said Josh Chalofsky, Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer at SimpleTire. “Ahead of the spring months, test your battery to make sure it hasn’t lost any power, and inspect your entire vehicle, including windshield wipers, brakes and tires, for any post-winter damage.”
Forty-five percent said their routine vehicle maintenance is usually done by a local provider, while 40% rely on their own expertise.
Most drivers (74%) highly prioritize car maintenance, with 71% doing so to extend the lifetime of their vehicle and 70% to ensure their and their family’s road safety. Those who don’t place car maintenance at the top of their to-do list (more than 500 car owners) said it’s too expensive, and that they’d rather spend their money on other things (35%).
“Saving money on vehicle repairs can be as simple as making sure your tires are properly inflated, which can extend their average life by 4,700 miles,” Chalofsky added. “Making sure your tires are rotated, balanced and aligned can also help prevent potential accidents.”
TOP TEN MOST OVERLOOKED CAR MAINTENANCE TASKS
Check battery performance (34%)
Replace windshield wipers (34%)
Brakes replacement (33%)
Check coolant levels (32%)
Tire replacement (31%)
Tire rotation (28%)
Check transmission fluid (27%)
Change oil and oil filter (26%)
Inspect shocks and struts (21%)
Inspect turn signals and parking lights (14%)