Auto Service World
News   November 25, 2002   by Auto Service World

U.S. Report Says One-Third of Vehicles Overdue for Maintenance


A report out of the U.S. says that as much as one-third of all vehicle are overdue for maintenance.
The report, from the American Automobile Association (AAA), is projecting more than 4.5 million U.S. motorists will experience a vehicle breakdown during November and December.
AAA said its emergency road service forecast for the holiday travel months of November and December is based on requests for emergency road service received during the same period one year ago.
In November and December of 2001, AAA-affiliated service personnel towed 1.94 million cars and trucks; boosted 870,000 batteries; unlocked 780,000 doors; changed 600,000 flat tires; provided fuel to 56,000 motorists that had run out of gas; and extricated 42,000 stuck vehicles. Another 200,000 motorists required miscellaneous roadside assistance from AAA.
During recently concluded AAA Car Care Month inspections — performed free by AAA in various U.S. cities during October — the 45-million-member auto and travel club found nearly one-third of all vehicles tested required some form of basic maintenance.
The most frequently encountered problem was improper tire pressure, found on 30 percent of all vehicles inspected. The next most common maintenance issue was low or dirty motor oil, antifreeze, or other automotive fluids in 27 percent of cars checked by AAA Approved Auto Repair technicians.
Insufficient tire tread depth was a concern on 16 percent of vehicles, with at least one tire needing to be replaced. Another 11 percent of vehicles had faulty headlights with failed bulbs, switches or misdirected beams. Battery problems, including low charge or loose or corroded connections, were found on 10 percent of vehicles.
Vehicle hoses were blistered, cracked or glazed on 8 percent of vehicles, indicating they were likely to fail in the near future and should be replaced.
“AAA’s Car Care Month inspections confirm that motorists generally under-maintain their vehicles and this is a primary reason for the millions of roadside breakdowns that occur each year,” said Marshall L. Doney, vice president of AAA Automotive.


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