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Study: Vehicle Owners Lie To Themselves About Maintenance

A new study shows that one in four vehicle owners has not had their vehicle serviced in over a year. Interestingly, that is not the most surprising fact uncovered about how folks mistreat their vehicles.
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Ask any shopper for a list of the most important factors they consider when buying a vehicle and they will very likely include "reliability" near the top of their list. However, a new poll shows that many vehicle owners want reliability without putting in basic maintenance. Fully one-quarter of vehicle owners admitted that they have not had their vehicle serviced in over a year.

Related Story: Value Leader - Hyundai Adds 3 Years Of Included Maintenance On All New Models

The survey was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Hyundai. It asked vehicle owners questions regarding the routine care that they provide to their vehicles. Some of the surprises from the poll include:
- One out of every three drivers polled admitted to driving with the check engine light on.
- The average person will drive for nine days with the warning light on before taking the car in for service.
- The average interval for oil changes was 7,460 miles, despite the typical change interval being 5,000 miles or every six months.
- 26% Admit they drive their car knowing the tire pressure is too low.

Despite admitting to not taking proper care of their vehicles in the individual questions, 80% of those polled also say that "They take good care of their vehicles."

Related Story: Mazda Offers U.S. Healthcare Workers A Free Oil Change And Car Cleaning - You Won't Believe the Fine Print

Hyundai was trying to uncover why vehicle owners don't properly service their vehicles. Some of the reasons those polled included:
- Half say that they find vehicle maintenance "Intimidating."
- 45% say that the cost of maintenance kept them from performing proper preventive maintenance.
- 30% said that technician's attitudes kept them from bringing their car in for service
- 33% said "a lack of knowledge: kept them from servicing their vehicle properly
- A quarter said they did not have time to deal with vehicle maintenance.

Related Story: Surprise - Tesla's Model Y Has A Twice-Annual Service Requirement

Like many manufacturers, Hyundai knows that if owners service their vehicles properly, the reliability scores for their brand will rise. It is one reason that Hyundai has moved to an included maintenance program on all of its new vehicles. The first three years of required service are included in the purchase price. Jeep also includes three years. Toyota includes two years. Jaguar includes five years. Please check out our comprehensive list of which automakers include maintenance.

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin


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