A report published by the American Automobile Association (AAA) in 2016 found that around 35% of Americans “skipped or delayed service or repairs that were recommended by a mechanic or specified by the factory maintenance schedule,” which consequently resulted in an increase in the number of roadside breakdowns that could have otherwise been prevented if everyone followed a vehicle maintenance schedule and listed to the advice of their mechanic.
What many people fail to realize is that avoiding vehicle maintenance and repairs can cost a significant sum later down the road.
Regular oil changes, tire rotation, timing belt replacement, brake inspection, PCV valve replacement, changing plugs, filters along with other routine repairs must be done by every vehicle owner in order to save money later on and increase the longevity of their vehicles.
Another report found that consumers who forget or ignore recommended maintenance are expected to pay more for repairs. Drivers can save an average of one hundred dollars per visit just by maintaining their car.
The same report found that vehicle maintenance costs around $1,000 per year if it is performed regularly while putting off maintenance can cost as much as $8,000 a year.
This shows that just skipping maintenance can have a significant impact on your finances. Eventually, you will have to get your vehicle repaired, so in order to avoid getting stuck with a pricey auto repair bill, you should perform regular tune-ups and replace PCV valves when necessary.
Is It Just an American Thing?
Compared to Europeans, Americans are more likely to neglect following the recommended maintenance schedule for their cars. It is natural for owners to take care of their cars during the first few months after purchase, but as the novelty wears off, drivers will start to skip out on routine maintenance.
This is not the case for everyone, however. Many people are vigilant about their vehicle maintenance and religiously check their cars even when it is not necessary. Sometimes, it is because a vehicle enthusiast hears a strange engine sound or maybe they even had a dream they had a breakdown on the highway. Good vehicle owners will always find a reason to take a look under the hood.
The auto repair industry is massive, not just in the United States, but across the globe. The number of auto mechanics is actually growing tremendously.
The auto repair industry is a $135 billion industry that is fueled by the advancing life of cars on the road. The industry is growing 3.2% each year, despite the majority of drivers thinking they are consistently being ripped off by their mechanics. In fact, a Consumer Reports survey in 2012 found that nearly 27% of vehicle owners reported issues with their mechanics.
Out of 29 million roadside assistance calls in 2014, 17 million were related to batteries, tires, and keys. AAA has some recommendations to help prevent roadside issues.
Car batteries usually last between three to five years, with hotter climates being known to cause reduced battery life. In order to prevent unexpected battery failure, AAA advises that drivers have their car’s batteries tested when it reaches three years of age and each year after that.
A recent survey found that around two-thirds of Americans have never had their vehicle battery tested before their vehicle failed to start. AAA offers a Mobile Service that provides free battery testing to AAA members.
Making sure that your tires are properly inflated and frequently checking tread depth is important for roadway safety. AAA found that around 60% of Americans fail to regularly check their tire pressure. Tire pressure, including the spare tire, should be checked at least once monthly, and when the tread is 4/32”, it is recommended that they are replaced.
Also, while locking lug nuts can be helpful in preventing tire theft, missing keys prevented roadside assistance technicians from changing around 21,000 tires in 2014 alone. According to findings from AAA, it is recommended that drivers store locking lug nut keys with the spare or in the glove box.
Despite the growing popularity of passive keyless entry systems, there has not been a significant reduction in the number of calls related to a driver being locked out of their car in the past decade, showing that it is hard to completely prevent this common error.
Americans are holding on to their vehicles longer, and the average time of vehicles on the road has reached 11.5 years. This means that skipping routine maintenance and repairs will eventually take a toll on a vehicle and its owner’s pocketbook. It can become a real issue. Drivers who have been neglecting their regular vehicle maintenance will have a difficult time selling their cars. The fact of the matter is that no one wants to be left with a car that he or she will be spending more time fixing than on the road.
Finding a Great Mechanic in San Diego
If finding a great mechanic you trust is your main concern, then it is time that you do something about it. Not all technicians are going to try to take advantage of you. There are great and reputable auto mechanics out there that will take care of your vehicle. They will not try to overcharge or upsell you, and they are out there. You just have to do your research and ask around to find them.
San Diego Automobile Repair Shops
Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated business that has been providing the best repair experiences. We will offer you hassle-free auto repairs starting with a precise damage assessment or estimate. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize for a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today to see how we can help.