Drivers Fail on Basic Car Maintenance Tasks

Drivers Fail on Basic Car Maintenance Tasks

Study finds many drivers don’t know the basics of car maintenance.

There is no doubting that we are becoming increasingly disconnected from the mechanical elements of our cars and a new survey out of the U.K. seems to prove the point.

The survey of 1,000 motorists was commissioned by car retailers JCT600 for Car Safety Week 2016 and looked at car-owners’ car maintenance knowledge and habits.

Some of the basic car maintenance findings were extremely concerning.

Respondents were asked questions such as “do you think you know exactly how to check your car’s oil level?” and “how many times do you check, or have someone else, check the tyre pressure on your car per year, on average?”

Basic Car Maintenance Study Findings;

  • 63% of motorists don’t know what the brake warning light symbol means
  • 4.2% thought the brake warning light symbol meant “push the foot brake”
  • 6.5% said they thought it meant “restart the engine”
  • 17.4% said the brake warning light symbol meant “top up the oil”
  • 1.3% believed it simply means “continue your journey as normal”
  • 1 in 4 motorists (24.7%) aren’t sure how to check their car’s oil level.
  • Nearly half of motorists (45%) don’t know how to check their tyre tread depth.

Comparing responses based on age revealed that 18-24 year-olds are the least likely age group to know their recommended tyre pressure (30%).

They are also the least likely group to know exactly how to check their car’s oil (60%).

By contrast, those aged 55+ are the most likely to know their recommended tyre pressure (50.15%) and most likely to know how to check their oil (83.28%).

Comparing based on gender showed that men get their cars serviced more often than women on average (every 1.36 years’ vs every 1.47 years) but check their tyre pressure less often (every 5.14 years’ vs every 4.56 years).

Men are nearly twice as likely to know their recommended tyre pressure compared with women (58.97% vs 31.84%). Men are also more likely to know how to check their tyre tread (67.42% vs 43.3%) and more likely to know how to check their car’s oil level (87.63% vs 63.69%).

Andy Bateman is the Head of Operations at JCT600, he says he couldn’t believe some of the findings.

“Discovering that more than 6 in 10 motorists don’t know what their brake warning light means, and that a quarter don’t know how to check their oil level, was a surprise, to say the least.

The fact that nearly half don’t know how to check their tyre tread depth was perhaps a little less of a shock, but with access to better information, these are all simple tasks for anyone who owns a car.”

For the record, here’s what you should do if your car’s Brake Warning Light illuminates.




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