HAMILTON, NJ (June 8, 2021) – The season’s first heat wave tested vehicles throughout New Jersey as AAA Mid-Atlantic roadside assistance crews responded to more than 4,600 member calls for assistance. Of those calls for roadside assistance, almost 40 percent were for dead car batteries and flat tires that had succumb to the heat. AAA urges motorists to have their car batteries and tires checked ahead of summer, which begins in two weeks, especially since the pandemic caused many motorists to put off routine vehicle maintenance last year.
“The effect this kind of weather can have on your car is cumulative,” says Tracy Noble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “While many vehicles may have survived the first heat wave of the season, motorists may not be so lucky as the summer rolls on, especially since many neglected routine vehicle maintenance last year due to the pandemic. AAA urges motorists to have car batteries and tires checked to ensure safety and prevent unexpected breakdowns.”
Of the more than 4,600 roadside assistance calls to AAA Mid-Atlantic in New Jersey from June 5 through June 7, more than 1,000 calls (22 percent) were for dead batteries and more than 700 calls (15 percent) were for flat tires.
AAA Mid-Atlantic New Jersey Heat Wave Roadside Assistance Recap
Saturday, June 5 through Monday, June 7:
- AAA Mid-Atlantic responded to more than 4,600 roadside assistance calls
- 51% of all calls were for tows (2,373 calls)– in many cases a result of vehicles overheating
- 37% of all calls were for dead car batteries and flat tires (1,709 calls)
- 22% of total calls were for dead car batteries (1,008 calls)
- 15% of total calls were for flat tires (701 calls)
Extreme heat exacts a toll on vehicles, especially over an extended period of time. AAA recommends motorists make sure their vehicles are prepared for the summer months. Here are some common heat-related car problems, and what motorists can do to help prevent them:
Preventive Summer Vehicle Maintenance Tips
- Batteries - Heat kills batteries. Make sure you have a strong battery that is up to the challenge by having your battery tested.
- Tires - Keep your tires at normal pressure. Soft tires generate heat, which can lead to a blowout.
- Fluids - Check all fluids including the coolant level in the overflow tank and top off as needed. If the engine is cool, check the level in the radiator as well. Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot, you can be seriously scalded.
- Coolant - Motorists should have the cooling system flushed and new coolant installed when recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Depending on the type of coolant used, this is typically necessary every two to five years.
AAA Mid-Atlantic offers free car battery and tire pressure checks to ensure motorists’ vehicles are road ready for the remainder of summer. While advanced appointments are preferred, walk-ins will be accepted based on availability.
AAA Mid-Atlantic Car Care Insurance & Travel Center Locations in New Jersey:
Brick – 718 Route 70, Brick, NJ
East Brunswick – 260 Route 18 North, East Brunswick, NJ
Eatontown – 251 State Route 35 N, Eatontown, NJ
Edison – 2222 Route 27 North, Edison, NJ
Freehold – 3478 U.S. 9, Freehold, NJ
Hamilton – 1260 Route 33 South, Hamilton, NJ
Lawrenceville – 2970 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ
Marlton - 1041 Route 73, N. Marlton, NJ
Middletown – 889 Route 35, Middletown, NJ
Mt. Laurel - 4010 Dearborn Circle, Mt. Laurel, NJ
North Plainfield – 1210 US Highway 22, North Plainfield, NJ
Toms River – 1199 Rt. 37 East, Toms River, NJ
As the summer travel season continues, albeit different that typical summers past in light of COVID-19, AAA Mid-Atlantic also reminds motorists to make sure their vehicle is stocked with an emergency road kit.
“Two out of five drivers forget to pack an emergency kit in the vehicle. It makes a lot of sense, but a AAA survey showed that more than 40 percent of motorists do not have one at their disposal,” said Noble. “No one ever plans to get stuck on the road. For safety’s sake, every driver should have a well-stocked emergency kit that includes a cell phone and car charger; a flashlight with extra batteries; a first-aid kit; drinking water; extra snacks/food for your travelers and any pets; battery booster cables; and emergency flares or reflectors. In addition, face masks, rubber gloves, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes should be kept in the vehicle to for protection and good hygiene while traveling in the age of COVID-19.”