A survey of 1,000 Irish motorists carried out by Ford has shown that a high proportion of drivers, in the context of the current cost of living crisis, are seeking to save money on their motoring in a number of ways.
One in three motorists are either delaying or totally skipping their car’s annual service in an effort to save money.
In the same vein, some 57 per cent of drivers (nearly two thirds) have cut back on the mileage they do in their cars in order to save money, with women drivers (62%) more likely to curtail their mileage versus men (52%).
John Manning, market lead for Henry Ford & Son Ltd., commented: “Like many manufacturers, Ford is well advanced in our journey towards an electric motoring future, one benefit of which will be an overall lower cost of motoring for car owners.
“But for a number of years yet, internal combustion engines will be the most common form of engine on our roads and that comes with specific costs.”
He added: “Our survey has shown that many motorists are doing their best to ease that cost burden in the current tough economic climate. While we can understand drivers looking to reduce their mileage with the aim of saving on fuel expenditure, given the volatile nature of fuel costs over the past year, we would ask the 30 per cent of car owners who said they would either skip or delay a service action to think again.
“By skipping or delaying a service, a motorist may well be saving money in the short term but they could be storing up longer term problems that will cost even more money in the long run.”
“During a normal service, your Ford dealer will always change the oil which is a critical part of maintaining the proper functioning of your car’s engine. Missing an oil change can cause sludge to build up in the engine. This sludge can lead to increased engine wear, reduced engine performance and consequently, reduced fuel economy.
“In extreme cases, sludge build up can negatively impact on your car’s emissions which could lead to a car failing the NCT. In addition to causing increased emissions and reduced fuel economy, sludge can cause long-term damage to an engine that could be very costly to put right.”
Manning added that the survey found some 38 per cent of Irish motorists do not realise that not adhering to a correct service schedule could also void the manufacturer’s warranty on the car.
“Manufacturers recommend an annual service as it can help to flag up issues with the car before they become serious – it is for that reason that some manufacturers consider a car’s warranty to be null and void if a car has missed more than one service action,” he said.
In addition to fuel and servicing costs, motorists are also seeking to save money by not renewing their car as often as they would want.
A fifth of drivers said they will ‘make do’ with their current car because it is too costly to buy a new car. Instead of buying a new car, 22 per cent said they have renewed their car by opting for a second-hand car within the past year.
Manning concluded: “Above all, motorists must not allow their desire to save money impact on safety. Following the correct service schedule for a vehicle will ensure your car is in the best condition to protect you and your family.
“In addition to changing the oil, a reputable technician will also carry out a check on critical items such as:
· Corrosion and paintwork
· Lights and alignment
· Brakes / brake fluid moisture content
· Tyres and tread depth
· Pollen and cabin filter
“All of which will keep a car running at its most fuel efficient and will ensure that safety is also at optimum levels.”