Insurance.com surveyed 1,000 men and 1,000 women, all married homeowners with children, about basic car maintenance: changing tires, checking oil levels, jumping a dead battery and checking tire pressure. The results showed that men are more comfortable with vehicle care.
Women fared the worst when it came to tires. Only about half of women surveyed said they had ever changed a tire, and a third said they wouldn't know how if they had to. Men had much more experience: 88 percent responded that they had changed a tire in the past and only six percent of men admitted to not knowing how to do it. More than half of women admitted to calling a spouse when car troubles arose, and 27 percent said they'd call roadside service if they encountered a problem. Men called roadside assistance more often, at 38 percent, but only 31 percent said they would call their spouses.
Women were better with other basic checks, but men were still more hands-on when it came to their cars. A laudable 78 percent of women had checked the oil level in a vehicle, though that was still much less than men, who were at 93 percent. Only 13 percent of women and four percent of men said they didn't know how to check their oil. Twenty-six percent of women didn't know how to jumpstart a car, compared to only seven percent of men.
The gap in knowledge can be attributed more to technology than a competency gap. Younger drivers in general are getting less hands-on experience with minor break-downs. Only 60 percent of all drivers under 55 said they had changed a tire, whereas 80 percent of drivers over 55 had.
These days, more drivers may be comfortable simply relying on their cellphones to contact assistance when something goes awry.