As many Americans find themselves driving less due to the COVID-19 pandemic, research from Hankook Tire reveals that they are also neglecting vehicle maintenance and systems checks. Nearly half (48 percent) of Americans have delayed or canceled a vehicle maintenance appointment, according to the latest Hankook Tire Gauge Index. And, even more did not perform routine maintenance such as topping off fluids (73 percent) or checking tire pressures regularly (70 percent).
While the data also indicated that many plan to perform their own vehicle maintenance moving forward, professional service has not been a priority for many drivers for several months. Nearly half (48 percent) of Americans surveyed delayed or canceled a regularly scheduled maintenance appointment during the pandemic, meaning that trained service personnel would not have been able to identify any mechanical issues that might have been missed by the owner.
“It is understandable that with restrictions in place this spring, many did not take their vehicles in for professional maintenance,” said Daniel Brown, senior technical services specialist, Hankook Tire America Corp. “However, as respondents said they focused less on maintaining their vehicles, this could lead to mechanical problems for many drivers down the road as research shows that Americans plan to drive more in the coming months. While some maintenance can be performed at home, a visit with a professional mechanic is often important to diagnose small issues before they turn into costly repairs.”
With businesses reopening and travel volumes increasing, our cars are resuming their roles as our primary means of travel. Most Americans (80 percent) expect their normal driving habits to resume no later than the end of 2020, and 60 percent of respondents plan on taking more car trips. And, with summer upon us, cars will be the primary vacation mode of travel for 57 percent of Americans as concerns linger over plane travel.
This data reinforces the importance of having our cars run reliably, and at-home maintenance will play a role in ensuring this. Nearly half (48 percent) of Americans plan on performing vehicle maintenance on their own, and a similar percentage (49 percent) are now checking their own tire pressures rather than taking their vehicles to a mechanic or dealer.
The latest installment of the survey, conducted April 22-23, 2020, polled 1,094 randomly selected Americans age 18+ who have a valid U.S. driver’s license.