Traditional practices in Automobile Maintenance in Ghana: an analysis of Automatic Transmission Drives

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This study assesses the competence of automobile maintenance practitioners in the diagnosis and repair of automatic transmission vehicles. The study focuses on several relevant issues including the knowledge of personnel engaged in the servicing of automatic transmission vehicles, frequency of use of automatic transmission drives, and peculiar challenges associated with the use of automatic transmission vehicles. A combination of research methods comprising interviews, questionnaire and face-to-face dialogue were employed in collecting data, aiming at automatic transmission garages in both the formal and informal sectors. A total of 983 questionnaires were administered to four automobile stakeholders namely vehicle operators (536), wayside mechanics (202), used vehicle importers (232) and dealers (13) in four cities in Ghana specifically, Takoradi, Kumasi, Tema and Accra. The respondents were purposively sampled from the general population in the four cities. Analysis of variance, Chi-Square and basic charts were used to display and interpret trends in the data. The study revealed that 17.7 % of wayside mechanics were classified as poor by vehicle operators, 27.6% as average, 38.4% as good, 14.4 % as very good and 1.9 % as excellent. 0.9% of dealers were rated as poor by vehicle operators, 1.9%, as average, 1.5% as good, 36.2% as very good and 59.5% as excellent. 66% of respondents indicated that they patronize wayside mechanics because they are affordable in their services while only 3% of respondents indicated that the dealers were affordable to patronize. A cost effective automobile maintenance database has been designed and hosted on This will complement the effort of the wayside mechanic in solving automatic transmission drive problems and also enhance the knowledge of vehicle operators and dealers in servicing automatic transmission drives.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
Investigation, Traditional Practices, Automobile Maintenance, Automatic Transmission Drives, Knowledge of Personnel, Challenges, Ghana