Every April is designated by the Care Care Council as National Car Care Month. OK you say, but it's June! Well every month should be Car Care Month! If you neglect the upkeep of your car it is much more likely to let you down. And probably at the most inconvenient time - taking the kids to soccer practice; going to pick up your spouse at the airport, or driving home from work.... and what are the odds it will be raining, or snowing? The better solution is to keep your vehicle regularly maintained. Then you are less likely to break down on that trip to the airport, in the rain!
Many car owners do not realize that regular preventative maintenance is less costly than a major auto repair. Small problems get bigger when they are neglected. As a result, you, (the motorist), faces towing charges, larger repair bills and poor performance from their vehicles.
More importantly, motor vehicle accidents are the number one killer of people aged 1-44. Over 2,600 deaths occur each year because of car neglect, and nearly 100,000 disabling injuries happen every year. This means that eleven people are injured every hour and one person dies every three hours due to accidents which could have been prevented.
In terms of money, the cost is over 2 billion dollars each year due to neglect (not performing preventive maintenance). Over 650 million dollars are lost each year in wages. Medical expenses because of these accidents run another 200 million dollars. Insurance administration costs are almost $500 million a year. The cost of motor vehicle property damage amount to nearly 750 million dollars every year. Of all motor vehicle accidents, 5.2% are caused by car neglect. This waste of life is preventable with proper preventive maintenance. If a disease existed which took that many lives and crippled that many people, there would be researchers trying to find a cure for car neglect. If motorists took care of their cars, this disease would be stopped.
Don't become part of the statistics. Make sure that your car is safe, and save money!
Now, lets talk about Car Care Month and it's findings. Car Care Month is a nationwide effort by businesses, civic groups, the government and the media to focus motorists attention on the need to maintain and repair their cars. Its purpose is to improve highway safety, air quality, and fuel conservation. Throughout the country, government, businesses and civic groups sponsor free safety and emissions checks. During these checks it was found that 85% of all vehicles needed some repair or maintenance. Here are some of the statistics taken from National Car Care Month a few years ago.
Here are some percentages of the reasons why some vehicles failed the inspections!
LUBRICANTS AND FLUIDS - (Low levels, dirty, or other reasons)
- Engine Oil 30%
- Transmission Fluid 26%
- Brake Fluid 23%
- Power Steering Fluid 21%
- Coolant (Flush) 20%
- Washer Fluid 18%
- oolant (Low Surge Tank) 16%
- Coolant (Low Radiator) 11%
- Coolant (Leaks) 8%
Low fluid levels can affect the safe driving performance of the vehicle and damage internal parts if not properly maintained.
PARTS (Dirty, damaged, cracked and needing replacement)
- Air Filter 24%
- Belts 19%
- Hoses 17%
- PCV Filter 13%
Car breakdowns can be avoided by periodically checking vehicle belts and hoses and replacing them when worn. At least one belt was reported as unsatisfactory in nearly one-fifth of the vehicles inspected (19 percent) and 17 percent of the vehicles required at least one new hose.
- Tire Pressure 21%
- Tire Depth 16%
- Tire Condition (Damage) 11%
Low tire pressure decreases gas mileage and tire life. At today's gas prices we all want to get as many miles to the gallon as we can, as well as wanting to drive a safe vehicle! Drive a vehicle with worn tire tread and you are at greater risk of losing traction on wet or snowy roads.
Visit www.carecare.org to see the complete statistics. And, make sure you have your car checked regularly for safety as part of your cars preventive maintenance, and to reduce the chance of breaking down in the rain!