NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nearly half of U.S. vehicle owners appear to be neglecting maintenance and system checks during the pandemic, according to the latest Hankook Tire Gauge Index.
About 48% of vehicle owners surveyed by Hankook Tire America Corp. said they have delayed or canceled a vehicle maintenance appointment.
About 73% admitted to not performing routine maintenance, such as topping off fluids, and 70% said they were not checking tire pressures regularly.
While the data indicated that many plan to perform their own vehicle maintenance moving forward, professional service has not been a priority for many drivers for several months, Hankook said.
With nearly half of vehicle owners surveyed postponing regularly scheduled maintenance appointments during the pandemic, trained service personnel would not have been able to identify any mechanical issues that might have been missed by the owner, Hankook said.
"It is understandable that with restrictions in place this spring, many did not take their vehicles in for professional maintenance," Daniel Brown, Hankook Tire America's senior technical services specialist, said.
"However, as respondents said they focused less on maintaining their vehicles, this could lead to mechanical problems for many drivers down the road as research shows that Americans plan to drive more in the coming months. While some maintenance can be performed at home, a visit with a professional mechanic is often important to diagnose small issues before they turn into costly repairs."
The survey determined that 80% of Americans expect their normal driving habits to resume no later than the end of 2020, and 60% of respondents plan on taking more car trips.
Cars are expected to be the primary mode of vacation travel for 57% of Americans as health concerns linger over airplane travel.
According to the survey, 48% of respondents plan on performing vehicle maintenance on their own and 49% are now checking their own tire pressures rather than taking their vehicles to a mechanic.
The Hankook Tire Gauge Index is a survey of Americans' attitudes and opinions. The latest installment of the survey, conducted April 22-23, polled 1,094 randomly selected Americans age 18 and older who have a valid U.S. driver's license.