Neglecting a vehicle’s routine maintenance and possibly creating an unsafe driving situation is a chance too many American drivers seem willing to take, according to a recent Consumer Reports survey.
The study revealed that 40 percent of drivers are postponing car maintenance or repairs on their primary vehicle, with drivers age 18 to 34 years most likely to delay work on safety-critical wear items, such as brake pads or tires.
Although many consumers, especially teenagers, are trying to save money where possible, cutting corners on proper car care not only puts all drivers at risk for accidents or injury, delaying maintenance can actually cost more in the long run. When inclement weather can wreak havoc on even the simplest commute to school or work, it’s crucial that vehicles are in good working condition so that motorists arrive safely at their destination.
As part of Bendix Brakes for Teen Safety, a digital social media campaign aimed to educate parents and teens of the importance of proper car care, Honeywell Friction Materials is reminding all drivers that ill-maintained vehicles can cause accidents, and offers the following safety tips for technicians to share with their customers:
• Squealing brakes are a sign that brake pads need replacing, while grinding noises are the sign of a much more serious problem. Both should be checked out by a certified technician immediately to prevent more damage and higher repair costs.
• Washington is the new Lincoln. Consumers can forgo the traditional penny and do a tire tread test with a quarter. If a motorist can see the top of the general’s head, it’s time for new rubber. Proper tread is essential because it is pivotal for maintaining contact with wet or icy pavement.
• Antifreeze is an essential part of a vehicle’s cooling system and should contain a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. Motorists should have a certified technician check the levels and recommend when a flush is needed.
• Visibility is critical. Wiper blades should be changed whenever the oil is changed, with fluid reservoirs checked once a month during the winter driving season.
• Schedule routine vehicle inspections with a licensed technician to ensure proper vehicle function and safety.
“Driving is hard enough with a properly maintained vehicle,” said Shannon Lara, Senior Manager, Marketing Communications for Honeywell Friction Materials. “Add in bad weather and neglected safety features, and a driver is putting their safety and others on the road as risk. By arming drivers with proper car care tips and advice, we are hoping to promote safe driving habits that start before they even turn the key.”