Drivers Keeping Cars Longer But May Not Be Adjusting Maintenance Habits

Noria news wires, Noria Corporation

Drivers intend to keep their vehicles longer than they originally intended, but may not be adjusting their maintenance habits to keep pace with their change in plans. This finding is the result of a recent auto maintenance survey* commissioned by ExxonMobil.

The survey, which polled men and women ages 18 and older who own and/or drive automobiles and participate in the decision-making about automotive maintenance, suggests that the attitude of drivers towards their cars has changed as a consequence to the uncertainty of today’s economy. Few of these drivers, however, are adjusting their maintenance habits to account for the extra miles they intend to log on their vehicles.

Key survey findings include:

  • Drivers intend to keep their vehicles for a long time. Just over 40 percent of survey participants want to keep their vehicles for 150,000 miles or more (and nearly a quarter of them – 23 percent – intend to go more than 200,000 miles).
  • Economic instability changed drivers’ plans. More than one-third (37 percent) of those surveyed say they now intend to keep their vehicles longer than they planned when they bought them; of those, nearly half (48 percent) cite economics as the reason.
  • Synthetic motor oil use is very low. Only 11 percent of survey participants are using synthetic motor oil in their engine. While more people want to keep their vehicles longer, very few are using the best possible motor oils in their engines.
  • Few follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance precisely. Only 21 percent of survey participants are following the directions and warnings of their vehicle’s manufacturer the way they should be to keep their car in the best condition.

“It’s admirable that so many drivers are looking to get more use out of their vehicles, especially in the current economy,” said Ray McDonald, global technical advisor for synthetic passenger vehicle lubricants at ExxonMobil. “It’s important for drivers to remember that the time to prepare their vehicles for all of those extra miles is now, and switching to a fully synthetic motor oil is a very effective way to do that. Synthetic motor oils can provide exceptional protection against engine wear, sludge and harmful deposits. In fact, our own synthetic motor oil, Mobil 1, can keep an engine in excellent condition, even out to 200,000 miles.”

Synthetic motor oils deliver outstanding protection for critical engine parts in all types of cars and across a wide range of operating conditions. Other significant performance advantages synthetics have over conventional motor oils include protection under extreme high-temperature and low-temperature conditions.

For more information on the value of synthetic motor oils, go to and click on the “Why Synthetics?” heading.

* The survey was conducted online by Impulse Research with a random sample of 1,058 men and women, 18 years or age and older who own/drive automobiles, participate in the decision-making about automotive maintenance and have personally taken their vehicle to a service station/mechanic or shop for repairs or maintenance in the past year -- all members of the Impulse Research proprietary online panel. The Impulse Research proprietary online panel has been carefully selected to closely match US population demographics and the respondents are representative of American men and women age 18 and older. Research was conducted in April 2009. The overall sampling error rate for this survey is +/-3 percent at the 95% level of confidence.

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