Broken down carEnlarge Photo
Still, for four million motorists in Great Britain, dabbling in a little mechanical upkeep is the least of their problems - as they can't even open the hood. It's just one of the staggering statistics that British drivers really shouldn't be proud of in a new survey by oil company Castrol.
Even if that 17 percent of female and 6 percent of male drivers could open the 'bonnet', they probably wouldn't know what to do when they got under there.
Nor care - 67 percent are more concerned that their car looks good, compared to the 13 percent who want to make sure it runs well. Only one in eight drivers are capable of checking their tires, topping up fluid levels or changing bulbs. Many cars don't make the latter task easy, but since one in seven drivers say they're prepared to drive whether they have functioning lights or not anyway, it probably doesn't make much difference.
A distressing 2.6 million have never even had their car serviced, which probably vindicates the annual M.O.T. roadworthiness test that's mandatory for cars over three years old in the U.K. Still, when two thirds are more concerned about how their car looks, who needs basic servicing?...
U.K. motoring expert and TV presenter Quentin Willson says ignoring basic maintenance is a false economy: "A new engine can be an expensive proposition but basic and easy maintenance tasks can ensure this does not happen... you won't look very cool if your car breaks down on the motorway with all your friends in it."
It's not just servicing either. Diesels are becoming increasingly popular in the U.K, and many drivers are making the move from gasoline to the more fuel efficient vehicles. It's causing headaches for some though. With brains disengaged, almost 2 million have paid the price for filling their car up with the wrong substance at the pumps. Men are three times as likely to misfuel as women. Given the price of a tank of gas in the U.K, you think they'd be a little more concerned about what they're paying for!
We don't know what the figures are for American drivers, but if they're worse than those in the U.K. then heads should be hung in shame...