26 million drivers neglect regular oil check-ups

July 18, 2008 | By | In Statistics

Millions of motorists risk wrecking their engines by skimping on under-bonnet tasks.

Three quarters of motorists in the UK rarely if ever check the oil level in their car engines. Research shows that 26 million of us (75% of Britain’s licence-holders) admit to relying on warning lights to show that the car needs topping up.

The trouble is that, on many cars, the light monitors oil pressure, not the amount of oil remaining. So the engine can run almost dry of oil before the warning is triggered. And, even when this happens, only one in four people would follow the car manufacturer’s recommendation and stop immediately, switching the engine off. A third would continue their journey until they found somewhere to buy oil. This would risk the engine seizing altogether.

The survey, by Comma Oil, also showed that young drivers are (17-24 years) are becoming increasingly less vigilant, with a quarter admitting to never checking oil.

Three in five drivers don’t check their oil levels every month as most manufacturers recommend. One in ten say they have never checked their oil levels.

While it’s true that some cars never seem to consume any oil, others – particularly high-performance models – are designed to use as much as a litre every 1000 miles. And with service intervals for modern cars commonly extended to as long as two years, there is a very real danger of engines running dry – even without thinking about leaks.

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