Two-Thirds of U.S. Vehicle Owners Find Auto Mechanics Trustworthy

Two-Thirds of U.S. Vehicle Owners Find Auto Mechanics Trustworthy

A recent survey conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CarMD.com Corporation from April 21-23, 2010, has found that almost two-thirds (65%) of U.S. adults who have ever owned/leased a vehicle feel that auto mechanic/repair facilities are trustworthy.

A recent survey conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CarMD.com Corporation from April 21-23, 2010, has found that almost two-thirds (65%) of U.S. adults who have ever owned/leased a vehicle feel that auto mechanic/repair facilities are trustworthy. The survey also found that forty-three percent of those who have ever used an auto mechanic/repair facility have a local mechanic they’ve trusted for years.  Conversely, of those U.S. adults who have ever put off automotive maintenance/repairs, 11 percent did so because they didn’t have a mechanic/repair facility they trust.    

“We are pleasantly surprised with these survey results, having long believed that increased awareness, education and improved technology have helped drivers become more in tune with their vehicles and those who repair them,” said Art Jacobsen, director of business development for CarMD.com Corp. “We have released this survey to commend the automotive repair industry on its progress and to educate consumers and about how CarMD’s products and information will lead to even more trust. Our data is really a living knowledgebase that is continuously learning and improving based on the best practices input of these professionals.”
 
CarMD.com Corp. distributes the award-winning CarMD Vehicle Health System, which gives drivers a quick and easy way to analyze their vehicle’s health from home and detect hidden problems. When a problem is found, CarMD lets them know what the problem is, what they need to do to fix it and how much they should expect to pay for repairs. Most CarMD customers opt to have repairs made for them by a professional mechanics.  CarMD encourages its customers to have repairs made by a mechanic they trust, and recommends drivers look for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Blue Seal logo.  The company will debut its repair shop referral program later this year.   
 
While the survey found that most adults find auto repair facilities/mechanics to be trustworthy, the industry can always make improvements. Nearly one-third (30%) of adults who have ever owned/leased a vehicle felt auto mechanic/repair facilities are somewhat untrustworthy and six percent felt they are very untrustworthy. 

Other survey findings:
• Those aged 55+ who have ever owned/leased a vehicle (73%) are most likely to feel that auto mechanic/repair facilities are very/somewhat trustworthy compared to 56% of those aged 18-34, and 63% of those aged 35-54;   
• Nearly half (48%) of those who have ever used an auto mechanic/repair facility find mechanics/repair facilities through word of mouth from friends and family;
• One-quarter (26%) of those who have ever used an auto mechanic/repair facility report they always go to the dealership for maintenance and repairs; and
• More than four in ten of those who have ever used an auto mechanic/repair facility (43%) have a local mechanic/repair facility that they’ve trusted for years.   
 
“We believe these scores can be improved by sharing tools and information with consumers so they can know what’s going on with their vehicle.  It’s great to see so many drivers have mechanics they can trust, but if you’ve just moved to a new city or find yourself far from home with car problems, you may not have that positive relationship established yet,” says Jacobsen. “In these instances, CarMD provides peace of mind and more detailed information. The CarMD handheld device even lists a toll-free number on the back of the tool so customers can plug the tool into their car and talk with an ASE Certified technician to determine the severity of the problem.”
 
CarMD customers have used CarMD’s information to forge stronger relationships with their mechanics, and even find new mechanics they can trust.  Mark A., 50 years old, from Huntsville, AL, says “My trusted mechanic retired. Oh No!  It’s the panic of not knowing if you will be ripped off when you take your car to a new mechanic. The engine light came on in my car. I hooked up CarMD. It told me what was wrong with my Mazda 626. It told me how much to expect to fix it. I took my car to a new mechanic. I was up front about using the CarMD. He gave me a speech about how he had seen these little computers before and that they were always worthless. He laughed at me.  I’m thinking, here we go again. He called me the next day. ‘Come pick up your car’. On the drive there I was full of apprehension as to what the bill would be. I was expecting the worst. I walk in the door. ‘What was the name of that tool you used?’ he said. He then told me that it was dead on. He stated he compared it to his computer that he uses in his shop. ‘Exact match,’ he said. He is very impressed with CarMD. No more laughing. The price was right for the job. I found a new mechanic that I can trust because I used the CarMD.”
 
Survey and Sample Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CarMD.com Corporation from April 21 – 23, 2010 via its QuickQuerySM online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,449 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older, 2,340 of which have ever owned/leased a vehicle and 2,242 currently have a vehicle.  Results were weighted as needed for region, age within gender, education, household income and race/ethnicity. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.  
 
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with non-response, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100 percent response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
 
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
 
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, visit www.harrisinteractive.com.
 
About CarMD.com Corp.
The mission of Fountain Valley, Calif.-based CarMD.com Corp., is to empower consumers and the vehicle market by providing the tools and information needed to make better-educated decisions about their vehicles’ health and maintenance.  Distributed by CarMD.com Corp., CarMD is priced at $98.99 and is available in the U.S. direct to consumers at www.CarMD.com. The product is supported Monday – Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Pacific Time) by live Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified technicians based in the U.S.A.    

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