“Neglected vehicle care almost always means much higher costs down the line in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value. These results show that the majority of vehicle owners could save money by being proactive in the maintenance of their second-largest investment,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
When checking lubricants and fluids, the three top failure rates were: low washer fluid at 27 percent; low or dirty motor oil at 25 percent; and low, leaky or dirty coolant at 17 percent. Power steering, brake and transmission fluids were also checked, and had failure rates of 13 percent and below.
When checking under the hood, nearly one in five vehicles (18 percent) needed a new air filter and 13 percent had the “Check Engine” light on. At least one belt was reported as unsatisfactory in 17 percent of the vehicles inspected and 8 percent required at least one new hose. Battery cables, clamps and terminals needed maintenance in 14 percent of the vehicles inspected, while 9 percent of the batteries were not properly held down.
Approximately 16 percent of vehicles had front windshield wiper failures, and at least 11 percent of vehicles needed lights replaced, including headlights, brake lights and license plate lights. Improperly inflated tires were found on 10 percent of the cars, and 14 percent had worn tread and were in need of replacement.
“April is the perfect time to focus on your vehicle’s maintenance needs to make sure it is ready for the upcoming spring and summer travel season,” said White. “Following a routine maintenance program can help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions.”