Consumer Reports Says 40 Percent of Drivers Delay Automotive Maintenance – UnderhoodService

Consumer Reports Says 40 Percent of Drivers Delay Automotive Maintenance

According to a recent Consumer Reports poll, 40 percent of respondents involved in repair decisions stated they are postponing car maintenance or repairs on their primary vehicle.

Article courtesy of Tire Review.

According to a recent Consumer Reports poll, 40 percent of respondents involved in repair decisions stated they are postponing car maintenance or repairs on their primary vehicle.

Cash-strapped consumers are delaying automotive maintenance at the potential cost of their safety. According to a recent Consumer Reports poll, 40 percent of respondents who are involved in repair decisions stated they are postponing car maintenance or repairs on their primary vehicle.

Forty-four percent of those who deferred work in the past year also admitted they felt the value, safety or reliability of the vehicle would suffer, with some saying the car was becoming an embarrassment.

Those in lower-income households were more likely to delay necessary work, and the youngest drivers, age 18 to 34 years, were more likely to delay work on wear items, such as brake pads or tires. Twenty-one percent of this age group admitted to not attending to a wear item in a timely fashion, compared to 14 percent of those aged 55 or older.

Compounding the issue is the fact that drivers are holding onto their vehicles longer – the average age of vehicles on the road today is nine years old. Many of the respondents bought their cars used, and have owned them for five years with the intent to hold on to that vehicle for another five. Survey results showed that older drivers, residents of western states and lower-income owners go the longest before replacing their vehicles.

"The family car is the second largest purchase a consumer can make. It’s also often one of the most abused," said Jeff Bartlett, deputy online automotive editor, Consumer Reports. "We expect our car to work even in the harshest conditions. So protecting that investment should be a priority, especially when it becomes a safety issue."

Among those surveyed, the types of non-warranty work most commonly postponed were led by minor manufacturer-recommended scheduled service (22 percent); wear items (17 percent); and body or other exterior damage (15 percent).

The report found that 83 percent of those involved in repair decisions said they were confident they would get the right maintenance and repair work done for the right price. In addition, more than half said they completely trust their shop. According to the survey, independent repair shops were used more often (37 percent) than dealers (30 percent) or repair chains (11 percent).

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