DO IT FOR ME - When it comes to routine vehicle maintenance and light and heavy repairs, most consumers choose not to do things themselves. That's according to the 'U.S. Consumer Survey on Vehicle Mainten-ance and Repairs,' a study conducted by Frost & Sulli-van, a marketing consulting company based in Mountain View, Calif., that monitors the automotive industry.
Of the 401 vehicle owners surveyed, 48 percent perform tasks such as washing and waxing their vehicles, 3 percent do heavy work such as major engine repair, and 23 percent do no maintenance at all. Independent garages are the preferred choice for out-of-warranty maintenance. However, the more serious the problem, the more likely consumers are to go to a dealership for service.
Quality of service is the main concern of consumers; price is cited infrequently as a factor in choosing a service facility.
GM WEB SHOPPING - General Motors dealers and their service managers now can order GM-approved service equipment over the Internet at GM's Dealer Equipment Web site, www.gmde.com.
The site gives shoppers a running total of the items in their 'shopping cart.' Shop-pers also have access to service and equipment news and information about assistance in the design and layout of new service facilities.
The Web site is open to anyone, but only people who have a dealer code can make purchases, said Tom Fitzgerald, GM Dealer Equipment promotions manager. Service professionals also can obtain information by calling (800) GM TOOLS.
WIPED OUT - Motorists are going longer between windshield-wiper blade replacements, according to 'Replacement Rates of U.S. Automotive Parts,' an analysis of automotive maintenance categories published by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association in Research Triangle Park, N.C. In 1993, wiper blades were replaced at a rate of every 2.9 years; by 1997, the rate had risen to 3.8 years.
NEW HONDA CENTER - Dealer Thomas O'Donnell, owner of O'Donnell Honda of Ellicott City, Md., opened Honda's eighth dealer-owned satellite service center, in Catonsville, Md., on Nov. 3. Located about five miles east of O'Donnell's main store, the 5,000-square-foot center features Honda's Express Change oil and filter replacement. It also performs routine maintenance, light repairs and Honda warranty repairs. The center also has a collision center, a rental car agency and an administration office building.