How confident are you that your car is roadworthy?

SOMEWHAT 80% of Americans believe they know best when it comes to car maintenance.

However, a recent survey by OnePoll on behalf of SimpleTire says otherwise.

Car maintenance can be more unpredictable than you think


Car maintenance can be more unpredictable than you thinkPhoto credit: Source Getty Images

That survey included 2,000 car owners, with three in five saying someone else will be the first to point out when their vehicle needs an inspection.

You might think a mechanic or vehicle inspector would be the first to notify a car owner, but the survey found that this was only true for 29% of respondents.

A partner or parent was more likely to indicate that the car needed some attention, scoring 55% and 47% of ratings, respectively.

The whole point of the survey was to better understand how the challenges faced by drivers and vehicle maintenance differ by region.

Regardless of where drivers lived, 55% said snow storms were the worst weather conditions to drive, and 53% said potholes were the most common rear end pain.

When driving in difficult road conditions, 45% of people worry about their tires, 41% about their brakes and 38% about their car’s battery.

The survey results identified significant differences in maintenance habits and driving preferences across regions.

In the Midwest, drivers are the most likely to forget to replace their wipers (35%). Drivers in the Northeast don’t always change their brakes (38%) and Southeast drivers miss a battery performance test (36%).

Twenty-seven percent chose spring as the best time to drive, followed by summer (23%). Midwestern drivers also preferred summer far more than those from the Southwest (29% vs. 14%).

On average, seasonal auto repairs cost $1,772 per year for American car owners.

Forgetting to fix problems after winter (28%) and preparing cars for the fall season (34%) can contribute to these costs. Worn tires also contribute to these costs, with 31% of drivers admitting they overlook their timely replacement.

Common spring and summer problems reported include worn windshield wipers (33%), a broken air conditioner (32%) and a broken drive belt (32%).

“Both routine and seasonal maintenance are important to keep your vehicle running safely,” said Josh Chalofsky, co-founder and chief operations officer at SimpleTire.

“Test your battery before the spring months to make sure it hasn’t lost power, and inspect your entire vehicle, including wipers, brakes and tires, for damage after the winter.”

Tires are some of the most important factors when driving in a snowstorm.


Tires are some of the most important factors when driving in a snowstorm.Photo credit: Source Getty Images

45% said their routine vehicle maintenance is typically performed by a local provider, while 40% rely on their own expertise.

Most drivers (74%) place a high value on vehicle maintenance, with 71% doing it to prolong the life of their vehicle and 70% to ensure road safety for themselves and their families.

Those who don’t put car maintenance high on their to-do list (more than 500 car owners) said it was too expensive and that they would rather spend their money on other things (35%).

“To save money on vehicle repairs, it can be as simple as making sure your tires are properly inflated, which can add 4,700 miles to their average lifespan,” added Chalofsky.

“Making sure your tires are rotated, balanced and aligned also helps prevent potential accidents.”

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Chris Barrese

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