Why We Put Off Car Maintenance, Why We Put Off Car Maintenance (And How To Stop), KevweAuto

Why We Put Off Car Maintenance (And How To Stop)

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Oil changes. New brakes. Worn belts. We know these services need doing to keep our cars running safely. But still, we put them off time and time again.

Why do we continually delay essential car maintenance even when we know the risks? Understanding the psychology behind this common habit is the first step to fixing it.

Reasons We Avoid Car Maintenance

Certain tendencies lead most drivers to irrationally postpone needed auto repairs and service:

1. Ignorance of Consequences

Many don’t comprehend the cascade of damage possible from small issues like worn serpentine belts or loose wheel lugs. We assume cars can tolerate overlooked maintenance without consequences, and car users are definitely wrong about this belief. car should be prepared to undergo car maintenance, inasmuch as they drive their vehicle daily.

2. Financial Pain Avoidance

Paying hundreds for repairs can hurt, especially unexpected ones. So we delay facing the pain even when the costs compound. It’s the “ostrich effect” of avoiding unavoidable realities. The cost of spare parts often discourage car owners from allowing their go through maintenance.

3. Optimism Bias

This makes us overestimate the current health of our car and irrationally assume problems can’t happen to us. People believe their risk of breakdowns is lower than reality.

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4. Hyperbolic Discounting

We excessively favor short-term savings over long-term benefits. Paying now is painful; paybacks like safety or asset life feel abstract. Yet deferring maintenance costs more.

5. Loss Aversion

Losses feel disproportionately larger than equal gains. We avoid “losing” money to repairs despite logical value. It’s irrational but real in our minds.

6. Present Bias

Why We Put Off Car Maintenance, Why We Put Off Car Maintenance (And How To Stop), KevweAuto

We overweight the pleasure of keeping cash now versus the uncertain future. Even with good intent to service a car soon, present enjoyment wins.

7. Normalcy Bias

Since nothing bad has happened by postponing service so far, we assume it never will. Of course, this is false logic that prevents proactive maintenance.

How We Can Overcome Maintenance Procrastination

Knowing our biases is the first step. Now here are concrete ways to combat the tendency to put off car repairs:

1. Educate Yourself on Consequences

Study the cascading effects of avoiding small repairs. Understand how overlooked maintenance leads to secondary damage. This motivates action.

2. Adopt Long-Term Thinking

Consider total cost of ownership, not just short-term payment avoidance. Set goals to maximize your asset lifespan and value.

3. Embrace Loss Aversion

View maintenance costs as purchasing future safety, longevity, and performance. Reframe spending as gains, not losses. It’s an investment in your well-being.

4. Incentivize Action

Reward yourself for scheduling timely service – new music, a meal treat, etc. Build positive feedback loops to associate action with benefit.

5. Automate Finances

Set up a dedicated maintenance account with automatic deposits to save gradually. Remove temptation to direct cash elsewhere. Finance planning defeats present bias.

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6. Seek Accountability

Share maintenance commitments with others to create expectations and accountability. Use maintenance apps with reminders. Being answerable combats procrastination.

7. Schedule Diligently

On a calendar, actively book appointments for every service interval far in advance. Eliminate choice and mark it as a firm commitment.


Our minds sometimes work against us when we know things need doing. But with self-awareness and some behavioral changes, we can defeat maintenance procrastination.

Now pull out your maintenance guide and pick one overdue task – worn shocks, sticky brake calipers, axle boots – whatever comes first. Then phone your technician immediately to schedule the repair before habit retakes hold. You’ve got this!

Ejenakevwe Samuel

I'm Ejenakevwe Samuel, and my blog is all about sharing the love for cars. Through my blog, I pour my heart into educating fellow car enthusiasts in everything they need to know about their beloved rides. Whether it's driving tips, maintenance tricks, or the latest trends, I aim to empower others to make informed decisions and take care of their vehicles like a pro.

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