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Americans lag in basic maintenance of their vehicles, survey finds

Wed, 26 Aug 2009

Think you're a good car owner? Think again.

A recent survey shows that 90 percent of Americans think they do everything they can to keep their cars in top-notch shape, but far fewer actually take some of the basics steps of proactive maintenance.

A survey conducted in July by Research found only 41 percent of respondents followed the scheduled maintenance plan from the manufacturer, 31 percent wax regularly and just 16 percent repair dents and scratches in a timely fashion.

Other bumps and bruises such as windshield cracks and warning lights can lead to much larger problems but are often ignored by drivers. All of this results in diminished values and a decrease in the quality of ownership, DriverSide CEO Jad Dunning said.

“A lot of folks don't even know to look up an estimate,” he said.

With this in mind, the Web site has added a diagnostic tool that can inform consumers as to what may be causing the problem with their car. It starts by querying about the symptoms of the problem, and then asks more questions to determine what could be wrong.

The site also recommends local service options or offers advice, including how-to videos, to resolve the issue. There's also a feature that lets the user ask a mechanic questions.

The diagnostic tool launched this week and is free.

By Greg Migliore