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Vehicles Checked Show Consumer Neglect - Is this You?

Published Oct 1st 2007, 3:58pm by Patty Streeter in Featured Articles

Carcareguide02Results of vehicle check-up events during Car Care Aware Fairs across the country in April and October 2006 revealed that nearly nine out of 10 vehicles need service or parts, underscoring the huge untapped DIY and DIFM sales opportunities for the automotive aftermarket, the Car Care Council reported today. The unsatisfactory condition of vehicles also reinforces the continued need for consumer education about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair.

An analysis of nearly 1,000 vehicle inspection forms, submitted from event coordinators in 16 states, show that 88 percent of the vehicles checked during National Car Care Month in April and Fall Car Care Month in October needed parts replacement, service or fluids. The top problem areas were motor oil, Windshield wipers, air filters, belts and hoses and lights.

“Vehicle check-up events are typically the focus of Car Care Aware Fairs sponsored by repair shops, parts stores, distributors in cooperation with local vocational schools, media, civic groups and others,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “While these events are free to consumers and serve as community-relations builders, most aftermarket businesses who participate experience an increase in sales and customers as a result.”

When checking lubricants and fluids, the three top failure rates were: low, overfull or dirty motor oil at 30 percent, inadequate washer fluid levels at 28 percent, and low, leaky or dirty coolant at 28 percent. Transmission, brake, power steering and clutch fluids were also checked and had failure rates of 26 percent and below.

Approximately 15 percent of vehicles had front windshield wiper failures and 9 percent needed service to rear wipers.

At least one belt was reported as unsatisfactory in 22 percent of the vehicles inspected and 14 percent required at least one new hose. New air filters were needed in 25 percent of the vehicles, while 8 percent needed new PVC filters. The “check engine” light was on in 8 percent of the vehicles.

Battery cables, clamps and terminals needed maintenance in 17 percent of the vehicles inspected, while 9 percent of the batteries were not properly held down. Eleven percent had either a green, dark or clear/yellow charge indicator light.

Improperly inflated tires were found on 20 percent of the cars and 11 percent had worn tread and were in need of replacement.

The leading failure rates for vehicle lights/vision were: license plate lights at 18 percent, brake lights at 10 percent and side markers at 8 percent.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For more information, visit www.carcare.org.

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Car Care Council
7101 Wisconsin Ave.
Suite 1300
Bethesda, MD
Tel: 301-654-6664
Fax: 301-654-3299
www.carcare.org

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