Quarter of drivers can’t identify what’s under a car’s bonnet – survey

Jack Evans, PA Motoring Reporter

Thu, 19 January 2023 at 11:39 am GMT

More than a quarter of drivers aren’t able to identify what is under their car’s bonnet, a new survey has revealed.

The findings also discovered that over a third of drivers aren’t able to top up their vehicle’s screenwash, while one in five can’t identify the dipstick used to check oil levels.

Breakdown assistance provider Green Flag spoke to 2,000 motorists, who were shown photographs of common engine parts. However, because of an inability to correctly identify these key areas, 31 per cent of respondents leave all maintenance checks to a trained professional during the annual service. This does, however, come with additional cost, as simple procedures such as topping up the engine oil can easily be done at home without requiring professional help.

Katie Lomas, head of Green Flag Breakdown, said: “It’s essential to carry out regular car maintenance checks to ensure your car is safe to drive, but many drivers wouldn’t know where to start.

“Without regular checks cars can quickly develop faults that can be dangerous and expensive to repair. Although these checks are quick and easy, a significant number of drivers end-up with unnecessary expenses because they would rather pay a mechanic to conduct this work.”

The research has also highlighted that only 50 per cent of drivers can correctly identify a car’s tyre pressure warning light. In addition, a further 43 per cent can’t spot a brake system warning light. More than a third cannot correctly tell when the check engine warning light has been illuminated, too.

Lomas added: “In an environment where UK drivers are already under significant financial pressure, drivers can educate themselves when it comes to identifying warning lights and carrying out basic vehicle maintenance, to improve road safety and save money.”

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