As many Americans find themselves driving less due to the COVID-19 pandemic, research from Hankook Tire reveals that they are also neglecting vehicle maintenance and systems checks, which could have costly implications down the road.

Nearly half or 48% of Americans delayed or canceled a vehicle maintenance appointment, according to the latest Hankook Tire Gauge Index. Even more did not perform routine maintenance such as topping off fluids at 73% or checking tire pressures regularly at 70%.

While the data also indicated that many plan to perform their own vehicle maintenance moving forward, professional service wasn’t a priority for many drivers for several months. Nearly half or 48% of Americans surveyed delayed or canceled a regularly scheduled maintenance appointment during the pandemic, meaning that trained service personnel would not be able to identify any mechanical issues that might have been missed by the owner.

"It is understandable that with restrictions in place this spring, many did not take their vehicles in for professional maintenance," said Daniel Brown, senior technical services specialist with Hankook Tire America Corp. "However, as respondents said they focused less on maintaining their vehicles, this could lead to mechanical problems for many drivers down the road as research shows that Americans plan to drive more in the coming months. While some maintenance can be performed at home, a visit with a professional mechanic is often important to diagnose small issues before they turn into costly repairs."

New priorities for vehicles as travel resumes

With businesses reopening and travel volumes increasing, cars are resuming their roles as our primary means of travel. Most Americans or 80% expect their normal driving habits to resume no later than the end of 2020, and 60% of respondents plan on taking more car trips. And, with summer’s arrival, cars will be the primary vacation mode of travel for 57% of Americans as concerns linger with plane travel.

The data reinforces the importance of having cars run reliably, and at-home maintenance will play a role to ensure it. Nearly half or 48% of Americans plan on performing vehicle maintenance on their own, and a similar percentage or 49% are currently checking their own tire pressures rather than taking their vehicles to a mechanic or dealer.

Beyond vehicles, the importance of cleanliness and preparedness has been a major learning from the pandemic. More than two-thirds or 70% of Americans plan to keep more cleaning and paper supplies in the house.

The Hankook Tire Gauge Index is a survey of Americans' attitudes and opinions. The latest installment of the survey, conducted April 22-23, polled 1,094 randomly selected Americans 18 years old and older who have a valid U.S. driver's license.

Hankook Tire America Corp. is a growing leader in the U.S. tire market, leveraging investments in technology, manufacturing and marketing to deliver high-quality, reliable products that are safer for consumers and the environment. Headquartered in Nashville, Hankook America markets and distributes a complete line of high-performance and ultra-high-performance passenger tires, light truck and SUV tires, as well as medium truck and bus tires in the United States.

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