Jiffy Lube Goes Under the Hood in Biometric Study to Uncover the Emotional Impact That the State of Vehicles Has on Participants’ Well-Being

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Jennifer Friedmann

HOUSTON – Today, Jiffy Lube, a leader in vehicle maintenance for more than 40 years, unveils research from a first-of-its kind study in the industry that used neuroscience and quantitative research to understand how the state of drivers’ vehicles can affect how they feel about them. The study revealed that a well-cared for car, one free of damage, engine issues and dirt and debris, can be a sanctuary. However, vehicles that are dirty, disorganized or have dashboard warning lights elicit strong negative emotions, make people feel like they’re not in control or make them want to avoid their vehicles altogether. The study was conducted to understand the evolving relationships people have with their vehicles, particularly coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that vehicles do not become an additional source of stress in an already stressful world.

Using electroencephalogram (EEG) to evaluate positive and negative responses, participants outfitted with caps with electrodes were exposed to stimuli in four categories: dashboard warning lights, external car issues, dirty and disorganized vehicles, and heavy traffic.

Images of dirty cars and dashboard indicator lights led to the most negative biometric emotional responses of all the car scenarios.  When diving deeper into these negative emotional responses, participants reported feeling discomfort and disgust when exposed to images of dirty and disorganized cars, though most felt like remedying those situations was within their control.

Conversely, images of dashboard indicator lights not only led to negative emotions, but also led participants to feel like they had no control over their situation, like they were in some ways powerless to affect those scenarios. 
“The results of this study are pretty compelling, in that we better understand how to empower consumers to take control of their vehicle maintenance,” said Sara Smith, CMO of Jiffy Lube International, Inc. “Consumers have a lot to juggle on their priority lists today and the reality is that vehicle maintenance can sometimes take a back seat. However, understanding the negative emotional impact of delaying this type of maintenance on drivers’ wellbeing gives us insight into improving our service and experience.”

The study, which was conducted by HCD Research, eliminates many of the biases found in more traditional research methods like omnibus surveys or focus groups, by allowing researchers to uncover not only what makes people feel a certain way, but also why they feel a certain way.

“When we designed the study, we expected that there would be negative responses to the stimuli,” said Dr. Michelle Niedziela, PhD and VP of Research and Innovation at HCD Research. “What we did not expect was how much feeling in or out of control also contributed to negative emotions.”

Fortunately for drivers, proactive vehicle maintenance is more convenient than it’s ever been. Jiffy Lube has more than 2,000 service centers across the U.S. and offers an expanded suite of services, putting consumers in the driver’s seat of keeping their vehicles in working order and feeling like a sanctuary.

About Jiffy Lube

Founded over 40 years ago, Jiffy Lube serves approximately 20 million customers each year at more than 2,000 franchised service centers across North America. Jiffy Lube pioneered the fast oil change industry in 1979 by establishing the first drive-through service bay, providing customers with fast, professional service for their vehicles. The company continues to lead the industry with the evolution of its business model, Jiffy Lube Multicare, which offers oil changes, brakes, batteries, and tires as well as other services consumers want and need. Headquartered in Houston, Jiffy Lube is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Shell USA, Inc.   Visit www.JiffyLube.com to learn more about Jiffy Lube and vehicle care.