Drivers admit car servicing confusionAnd almost half know little about car maintenance

29 July 2008

Nearly one in 10 drivers don't carry out any basic maintenance and safety checks between car services, a new survey has found.

More than half of the 1,338 motorists polled also said they didn't know when their car's next service was due.

The research, carried out on behalf of the Automotive Technician Accreditation, revealed confusion about the numerous sophisticated systems built into today’s cars.

DIY servicing

When asked about various acronyms, nearly a third of motorists said they had no idea what the likes of EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution), VVT (variable valve timing) and TCS (traction control system) mean. 

This type of advanced technology is also making DIY servicing a thing of the past, with 45% of people surveyed admitting knowing next to nothing about maintaining their car.

The chief executive of the Institute of the Motor Industry, Sarah Sillars, said: ‘Motorists really need to get more service savvy now that cars have become so complex. This means making sure your car is well looked after at the right time.’

Oil checks

Meanwhile, a separate survey has found British motorists could be paying out up to £300m every year because they're failing to regularly check their oil.

The study from car care company Comma found that 75% of motorists don’t know what the oil light on the dashboard means, while 60% admitted they don’t check their dipstick regularly.

Low oil levels accounted for an estimated 215,000 engine seizures last year and resulted in average repair bills of more than £1,400.

Engine seizures

Which? Car editor Richard Headland said: 'With many cars now capable of going from one service to the next without needing significant work, it's no surprise so many drivers don't look under the bonnet.

'However, every motorists should still check their tyres and fluid levels - especially oil - regularly to keep their car running smoothly.

'It's not a tough job, even if you're not mechanically minded.'