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AAA Prepares for Heat, Urges Motorists to do Same
Expecting Thousands of Calls for Emergency Roadside Service
When the mercury in the thermometer goes up, so does the call volume for AAA Roadside Service so AAA is urging motorists to prepare their vehicles - and themselves - for the heat in an effort to avoid a true emergency.
“When temperatures soar, what should just be an inconvenience can quickly escalate to an emergency if motorists are not prepared,” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “Imagine being stranded roadside in the extreme heat, possibly with children or seniors, take every precaution to avoid it and, AAA recommends preparing an 'emergency kit' just in case.”
Even with proper preventive maintenance, summer breakdowns can still occur, so AAA recommends every driver have a fully charged cellphone on hand so they can call for help when needed and also keep a well-stocked emergency kit in their vehicle to ensure everyone’s safety while they’re waiting for help to arrive.
AAA says the Summer Emergency Kit should include:
- Fully charged cellphone
- Jumper cables
- Road flares, bright triangle or emergency beacon – critical to be seen at night
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Extra water and non-perishable food/snacks
- Extra medications
In anticipation of the heat, AAA is offering a membership discount for motorists in the Greater Hartford area to ensure everyone’s safety. The promo code is SAFETY for anyone renewing a membership or SAFETYNEW for new members.
AAA Tips for Preparing your Vehicle for the Heat
- Battery Check – have a trusted mechanic check your battery. Or, AAA members can request a AAA Roadside Service technician to come to them and test their battery free of charge at any time. Should the battery need replacement, the technician can usually replace it on location.
Most batteries last 3-5 years and each day of extreme weather pushes a battery closer to its end.
- Tire Check - Driving on under-inflated tires can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout. This problem becomes even more of a concern when road temperatures are extremely high.
Tires should be checked when the car has not been driven recently, and they should be inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer – not the number molded into the tire sidewall.
Recommended tire pressures can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker normally located on the driver’s door jamb or the inside of the glove compartment door. Some vehicles use different pressures for the front and rear tires.
While checking the tire pressures - including the spare - drivers also should inspect the tire treads for adequate depth and any signs of uneven wear that might indicate a suspension or alignment problem.
- Check all fluids - When fluid levels are low, the possibility of overheating increases. Drivers should check all vehicle fluids including motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid to ensure they are filled to the appropriate levels.
- Stock a Summer Emergency Kit (photo attached)
Find a trusted mechanic
While many of the maintenance tasks to prepare a car for extreme summer heat are relatively simple and can be performed by the average driver, some are best left to a trained automotive technician.
The new AAA Car Care in Southington (755 Queen St.) is offering free battery and tire testing for anyone – not just AAA members. The goal is to ensure everyone’s safety.
Or, to locate a nearby AAA Approved Repair shop visit AAA.com/Repair.
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CT Mailing Address:
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West Hartford, CT 06119
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.