Canadian drivers get down and dirty with D-I-Y to offset rising fuel costs

TORONTO, April 25 /CNW/ - Despite predictions that gas prices could climb to $1.40 per litre this summer, Canadians have no intention of cutting back on time behind the wheel according to a national survey released today conducted by Vision Critical for Canadian Tire. In fact, one-in-three drivers (36 per cent) revealed that they would rather give up vacation time than give up driving and more than half (56 per cent) said they will take on the role of do-it-yourself mechanic to save on car-related costs.

Canadians take a shine to D-I-Y

Survey results show that drivers plan to roll up their sleeves this spring to take on ambitious tasks that they might have otherwise paid for if not for the hike in gas prices, including:

  • 44 per cent said they would check and replace air filters themselves
  • 33 per cent would attempt to change their own tires
  • 73 per cent think they could take on monitoring and topping up their vehicle's fluids
  • 58 per cent will inspect and replace vehicle light bulbs

The top do-it-yourself job Canadians will take on this summer is cleaning the car, as 90 per cent indicated that they don't think it's worth the money to have it professionally done. And some are even looking forward to rolling up their sleeves; 18 per cent of men said that cleaning the car is their favourite household chore.

"After a long winter, Canadians look forward to getting out on the open road with family and friends and they're telling us that they're not going to give that up despite the rising cost of gas," says Andrew Davies, vice-president, automotive for Canadian Tire. "With a little bit of elbow grease and the right products from Canadian Tire, Canadians can have a car that runs well and looks good year-round without breaking the bank."

While Canadian drivers are willing to take on more, the survey shows they draw the line at performing other automotive work such as brake repairs with 81 per cent indicating they would prefer to leave it to the professionals.

Whether performed by a service professional or at home by do-it-yourself drivers, Canadian Tire experts recommend the following spring maintenance tips to help drivers with fuel efficiency and to avoid more costly repairs in future:

  • Get rid of winter: Remove winter tires and wash away winter grime and salt build-up
  • Roll on: Check tire tread and ensure proper tire inflation at least once a month
  • Check under the hood: Replenish all essential fluids (automatic transmission fluid,  brake fluid and coolant) and get regular oil changes
  • See clearly: Replace worn or damaged wiper blades and burned out light bulbs to maintain good visibility and safety

Other survey findings:

  • 26 per cent of Quebec drivers said they would change their own oil to save money
  • 73 per cent of Ontario drivers said they would rather drive to work than take public transit
  • 97 per cent of BC drivers agree that checking and adjusting tire pressure will help to improve their fuel economy; 59 per cent said they would take on more do-it-yourself car maintenance to offset high gas prices
  • 62 per cent of Alberta car owners said that although it's not their favourite thing to do, they would prefer to wash their own car to save money
  • 56 per cent of drivers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan said they would detail the interior of their car to help save money

About Canadian Tire
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX:CTC.a) (TSX:CTC) is one of Canada's most-shopped general retailers, offering everyday products and services to Canadians through more than 1,200 retail and gasoline outlets from coast-to-coast. Our primary retail business categories - Automotive, Living, Fixing, Playing and Apparel - are supported and strengthened by our Financial Services division, which offers such products and services as credit cards, in-store financing, product warranties, and insurance. Nearly 57,000 people are employed across the Canadian Tire enterprise, which was founded in 1922 and remains one of Canada's most recognized and trusted brands.

About the survey
From April 6th to April 8th 2011, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among a randomly selected, representative sample of 1,012 Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panel members and drive a car three or more times per week. The full dataset has been statistically weighted according to the most current gender, age, region, education (and in Quebec, language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. The margin of error is ±3.0%, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

SOURCE Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited

For further information:

Kent Carter, High Road Communications, 416-644-2288,
David Gollom, Canadian Tire, 416-480-8450,

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Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited

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