Around the Industry: According to AAA One-Third of Americans Ignore Vehicle Maintenance Needs

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A recent analysis of AAA roadside assistance data found 35 percent of Americans have skipped or delayed service or repairs recommended by a technician or specified by the factory maintenance schedule. AAA also reported among U.S. adults who drive, 65 percent admit to having never had their cars’ batteries tested prior to their vehicles failing to start. Sixty percent of adults said they do not check the air pressure in their tires at least once a month.

Meanwhile, 62 percent of AAA Approved Auto Repair and club-owned repair facilities reported more than half of the vehicles they service are behind schedule for routine maintenance services.

“According to a survey of AAA’s certified Approved Auto Repair shops, consumers that forget or ignore recommended maintenance ultimately pay higher repair costs,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of automotive engineering and repair. “These repair facilities estimate drivers can save an average of $100 per visit by properly maintaining their vehicle.”

In 2014, AAA responded to more than 29 million calls for roadside assistance, with the majority (17 million) related to battery failure, flat tires and keys locked inside the vehicle.

“While problems with batteries, tires and keys are the most common reasons members call AAA for help, there are more than 12 million calls each year related to engine trouble, fuel issues and other mechanical mishaps,” Nielsen said.

Other key findings from 2014 roadside assistance data include:
• AAA towed more than 2 million vehicles for engine-related issues and an additional 600,000 vehicles for transmission failure.
• More than 235,000 vehicles were towed because of brake system failures.
• AAA towed more than 13,000 vehicles to repair facilities because drivers incorrectly fueled their gasoline-powered vehicle with diesel fuel or vice-versa.


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