A new survey of 2,000 U.S. vehicle owners by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. suggests that Americans know little about how their cars and trucks work, and often feel oppressed by their vehicles. Among the findings:
- Most respondents say they feel intimidated when they deal with a mechanic.
- Two-thirds say at least one thing is wrong with their vehicle.
- About half of respondents under age 35 can’t drive a stick shift.
- 2 of 5 respondents couldn’t identify a car engine when shown an image.
- More than one-third of respondents say they can’t fix a flat tire.
- One-fourth say they consider their vehicle a burden.
- Nearly one-fourth say they feel at risk when they drive because of the condition of their vehicle.
- 2 of 5 respondents under age 35 say their vehicle needs new tires.
- Nearly one-fifth say they don’t know how to use a tire pressure gauge.
- Fewer than one-fifth say they’re very confident they pay a fair price when they take their vehicle in for repair.
Source: Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
Not an afterthought
|The proportion of aftermarket parts used in collision repair, measured in dollars, has increased to more than 22% in the first 3 months of this year. The figures below represent the share of aftermarket parts recorded in collision appraisals, as a percentage of the dollar value of all parts used.|
|2015 Q3||14.81%||2017 Q1||21.39%|
|2016 Q1||18.65%||2017 Q3||20.74%|
|2016 Q3||19.33%||2018 Q1||22.39%|
|Source: Mitchell International|
|In 2017, for the third straight year, Michigan was the most affordable state for vehicle repairs arising from check-engine warning lights, according to an analysis of 10.7 million repair vehicles by the automotive diagnostic company CarMD. Service customers in Washington, D.C., paid the most combined for parts and labor for check-engine repairs. Costs vary by type and age of repair vehicles, type and difficulty of repairs, time needed to make repairs and hourly shop rates. The least expensive states, according to the study:|
|State||Avg. labor cost||Avg. parts cost||Avg. total repair cost|
|And the most expensive locales:|
|District of Columbia||$141.30||$261.60||$402.92|
New-vehicle dealerships trailed collision repair shops and auto parts retailers in their share of collision work in 2016, according to data from IMR Inc. cited in a 2018 report by the Auto Care Association. The report notes that owners of collision-damaged vehicles prefer franchised dealerships for body work on cars and trucks that are 1 year old or less. After year 3, owners are more likely to go to independent body shops for collision repair. Share of collision repair work, 2016:
- ■ Collision repair shops.
- ■ Auto parts retailers
- ■ New-vehicle dealers
- ■ Independent repair shops
- ■ Discount stores
- ■ Repair specialists
- ■ Auto parts wholesalers
- ■ Other
Source: Collision Repair Trends 2018, Auto Care Association
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