New DriverSide Study Finds American Owners Are Too Lax With Vehicle Maintenance

When fuel prices soared into the stratosphere last summer, Americans learned the importance of fuel economy the hard way. This experience opened the eyes of the American public, with many consumers downsizing into smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles, and the recent Cash for Clunkers legislation has had a significant impact on sales as well.

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But it seems Americans have not yet grasped the concept of preventative maintenance, a concept that is tantamount to long-term minimization of repair costs.

A new DriverSide study, administered by Kelton Research, has revealed that while nine-in-ten American car owners believe they do everything they should to properly maintain their vehicle, in reality less than one half (41 percent) of these owners actually follow their manufacturer’s scheduled service recommendations. Men are more likely to do so, however, with a response rate of 46 percent versus the female response rate of 37 percent.

On top of this, only 28 percent of owners service their vehicles at dealerships, while just 23 percent make sure to use only authentic manufacturer parts.

Unsurprisingly, the study also reports that less than one in four (23 percent) are willing to work with mechanics to develop a maintenance plan for their cars.

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