ST. PAUL, MN – ¾High fuel prices – and fuel shortages in many areas – combined with housing and stock market concerns, are driving many Americans to park their cars and cut their auto-related costs.
According to the 3M Car Care "Gas 'n Go" survey conducted among more than 100 car owners in the hard-hit Detroit area, Motor City drivers are taking over maintenance of their own vehicles, reducing their daily driving and eliminating entertainment activities and extraneous expenses.
Key findings of 3M Car Care's "Gas 'N Go" include:
· Having someone at home wash the car tops the list with 24 percent of drivers as a way to save money. Other tasks car owners are tackling include repairing or replacing windshield wipers or headlights (18 percent), using fuel additives to improve fuel efficiency (12 percent), using at-home tune-up kits instead of paying for tune-ups (15 percent) and making repairs to their car's exterior (9 percent).
· Detroitdrivers also say they are driving less to deal with today's higher fuel prices, with 27 percent spending less time on the road. Some 5 percent are carpooling, but only 1 percent are taking public transportation, likely due to the limited transportation options in the Detroit metro area.
· Car owners are paying more attention to getting more from their car, with 37 percent keeping their cars well-tuned to improve fuel efficiency and nearly 7 percent using fuel additives. Nearly 10 percent of car owners are looking for a new car that gets better fuel mileage.
· As it relates to new car sales, more than three-fourths of Detroit car owners (33 percent) plan to hang on to their current vehicles — with 32 percent planning to drive their cars until the wheels fall off. Only 7 percent of car owners say they are going to buy another car regardless of the economy while 12 percent are prepared to buy another car as soon as they can afford it.
· High gas prices are not only impacting Detroit residents' wallets, they're keeping them from enjoying their favorite leisure activities:
· 30 percent said they are eating out less frequently or are spending less on restaurant meals to reduce household spending
· 17 percent of respondents have cut back on shopping for clothes and household items, while 13 percent are eliminating going to movies, sporting events or social outings
· 15 percent are clipping coupons for grocery items
· 12 percent have cut incidentals like trips to Starbucks or manicures
To help car owners maintain and improve the look and performance of their car, 3M Car Care has introduced an entire line of consumer car care products, all based on its high-performance professional products. It also offers easy to use kits such as the 3M Do-It-Yourself Tune Up Kit and the 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System with all of the products needed for the job in one package. There also are a number of new products that make the projects easier, such as 3M Performance Finish which lasts for up to 50 washes with no white residue, 3M Scratch Remover to restore vehicle finish and 3M Complete Fuel System Cleaner to improve mileage.
This 3M Car Care "Gas 'N Go" survey was conducted in Livonia, MI by Victory Management Group on behalf of 3M Car Care on August 12, 2008 among 100 U.S. adults (aged 18 years and older). Survey results are not considered statistically relevant due to sample size, rather they are a representation of public opinion on the presented topics.