Millions of drivers struggle with basic car care

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MILLIONS OF DRIVERS STRUGGLE WITH BASIC CAR CARE
UNSURE: Do you know your spark plug from your boot? Photo credit: Wikimedia

AS CARS become more technologically advanced fewer drivers are capable of maintaining and servicing their own vehicles.

But a shocking new survey has found that many drivers can’t do some of the simplest tasks, with almost 1.3 million motorists unsure of how to open the bonnet of their own car.

AA Garage Guide surveyed more than 18,000 drivers about a range of vehicle safety checks – some of which are now included in a question and answer section in the driving test.

The results show that there are many drivers out there with a car manual stays firmly in the glovebox.

Some four per cent of the motorists polled by the AA’s garage-finding service said they were unsure how to unlatch the bonnet to gain access the engine bay of their motor. With 31.7 million drivers on the road in Britain today, that equates to 1.27 million car owners.

When asked if they knew how to check if there was a legal amount of depth on their car tyres, 22 per cent – which accounts for almost 7 million drivers – said they didn’t know how to do it.

More than a quarter (26 per cent) also didn’t know how to top up their vehicle’s cooling system with antifreeze – a worrying statistic when you consider these 8.2 million drivers have been faced with the recent cold snap with snow and ice covering the ground.

With the new ‘show me, tell me’ questions regarding safety checks being added to the new driving test that began at the start of this month, the results showed that many experienced motorists simply wouldn’t know the answer to many queries prompted by a driving examiner.

Olli Astley, director at AA Garage Guide, said confidence has dropped among drivers to carry out their own basic checks, but also said that many “don’t want to get their hands dirty”.

“It is worth learning some simple maintenance tasks to make sure you’re not constantly popping in and out of the garage for problems you could fix at home – watching a YouTube video, asking a friend or swotting up next time you’re at the garage is a great way to start,” Astley said.

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