Research from insurer GIO has found young drivers are falling behind their older counterparts when it comes to basic car maintenance.
Just 58 percent of drivers aged 18-24 believe they possess the knowledge to change a flat tyre, compared with 74 percent of drivers aged over 50.
While plenty of drivers said they could change a wheel, one third of all drivers said they weren’t confident in doing so, while one in five said they didn’t know how to change a wheel at all.
Other key findings included 44 percent of respondents saying they lacked the knowledge to perform simple car maintenance, while 24 percent did not know how to ‘jump start’ a car with a dead battery.
Surprisingly, only 15 percent admitted to a lack of knowledge when it came to checking and topping up engine oil.
In the ‘gender wars’, it may come as little surprise that 63 percent of Sydney men said they have sufficient knowledge to undertake basic maintenance, compared to 18 percent of women.
More than three out of every four men (85 percent) said they knew how to change a tyre, compared to 52 percent of women, and 78 percent of men said they could jump start a car with a dead battery, versus 48 percent of women.
GIO’s Stephen Bell said while most mechanical repairs should be left to professionals, it is still essential for drivers to have a basic understanding of their vehicles to carry out maintenance and identify issues before they become major problems.
“Well-maintained cars are more efficient, and most importantly, are safer to drive,” Mr Bell said.
“They can also save you money on unnecessary repairs that can be prevented through maintenance. Much like your health, prevention is better than the cure.”
Mr Bell reminded motorists that most car insurance policies call for drivers to take all reasonable precautions to prevent damage and keep vehicles in a roadworthy condition. This includes replacing worn tyres, brakes, defective lights and servicing your car as required by the manufacturer.
(Two images from 'Robert Couse-Baker' via everystockphoto.com)