Drivers not checking their vehicle oil

One in five vehicle owners never check the oil in their vehicle, according to new research by Kwik Fit. Around 8% of drivers admit to not knowing how to check oil levels, while 11% say they simply don’t do it.

The research was commissioned as part of an agreement between the garage chain and Mobil Oil, which will see the company’s products offered as part of Kwik Fit service packages in its 600-plus UK locations. 

However, it also brings home a startling statistic. The checking of oil levels is just one of a number of ‘tell me’ questions asked at the driving test. It is therefore likely that those who do not know how to check the lubricants are older drivers, meaning a number of vehicles on UK roads may have incorrect oil, or dangerously low sumps.

Ideally, drivers should check their engine oil every week, as recommended by most car manufacturers yet the Kwik Fit study found that even if that interval is doubled to once a fortnight, just 8% of owners meet the recommendation. Over three fifths of drivers (62%) say that at least three months go by between their oil checks, while shockingly 8% let at least a year pass before checking their dipstick again.

The research found a clear difference between the sexes. 2% of male car owners said they did not know how to check their oil, but this figure rose to one in seven (14%) among female owners. There was also a difference between younger and older drivers – 6% of drivers aged over 55 are unsure how to check their oil level on their vehicle, compared to 10% of those aged 18-34.

“Good quality oil is vital for maintaining a smooth running car and regularly checking the oil level is a very easy way of monitoring an engine’s health,” comments Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit. “If the oil level drops from the highest to lowest mark on the dipstick in under 1,000 miles, we would recommend getting the engine checked over.”

Mobil agreement

Kwik Fits’s deal with Mobil Oil will see the required specifications offered as part of all servicing carried out by the garage brand.

“One of the most important things owners can do to keep their car running in the best condition possible is to regularly change their vehicle’s engine oil and filter which is why it is vital to keep to the manufacturer specified service intervals,” adds Griggs. “We are delighted to have signed an agreement to offer Mobil oil in all our services and oil changes. Mobil is a sector leading brand with immense heritage in innovation and the development of lubricants and will provide our customers with proven levels of protection to help keep their engines running smoothy and extend their life.”

RoseMarie Egglesfield, consumer manager – Europe, at ExxonMobil, said: “Mobil is excited that its premium Mobil Super engine oils are being offered at Kwik Fit service centres. Mobil Super engine oils provide proven protection to help extend engine life and are formulated to fight sludge, protect against wear and keep drivers on the road for longer.”

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