PHILADELPHIA, PA (July 7, 2020) – The season’s first heat wave, spanning five days including the Independence Day holiday, saw temperatures and calls to AAA Mid-Atlantic soar. AAA Mid-Atlantic roadside assistance crews responded to more than 5,500 member calls for assistance in the Philadelphia 5-county area. Of those calls for roadside assistance, more than 40 percent were for dead car batteries and flat tires that had succumb to the extreme heat. AAA urges motorists to have their car batteries and tires checked ahead of what is expected to be the third heat wave of the season this coming weekend.
“The effect this kind of weather can have on your car is cumulative,” says Jana L. Tidwell, 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. AAA urges motorists to have car batteries and tires checked to ensure safety and prevent unexpected breakdowns.”
Of the more than 5,500 roadside assistance calls to AAA Mid-Atlantic in the Philadelphia 5-county area from July 2 through July 6, more than 1,500 calls (28 percent) were for dead batteries and more than 800 calls (15 percent) were for flat tires.
In addition, AAA roadside assistance calls for dead car batteries on Monday, July 6 set a one-day mark not seen in more than five months (January 21, 2020).
AAA Mid-Atlantic Philadelphia 5-County Heat Wave Roadside Assistance Recap
Thursday, July 2 through Monday, July 6:
- AAA Mid-Atlantic responded to more than 5,500 roadside assistance calls
- Battery and tire calls account for more than 40 percent of all calls (2,300 calls)
- 28 percent of total calls were for dead car batteries (1,500 calls)
- 15 percent of total calls were for flat tires (800 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 Car Care Insurance & Travel Center Locations in the Philadelphia Area:
South Philadelphia - 1601 South Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA
Clifton Heights - 5233 West Baltimore Avenue, Clifton Heights, PA
Downingtown - 105 Quarry Road, Downingtown, PA
Langhorne – 516 N Oxford Valley Road, Langhorne, PA
Wayne - 849 West Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, PA
Warminster - 602 York Road, Warminster, PA
West Chester - 707 East Gay Street, West Chester, PA
Willow Grove - 2506 West Moreland Road, Willow Grove, PA
Marlton - 1041 Route 73, N. Marlton, NJ
Mt. Laurel - 4010 Dearborn Circle, Mt. Laurel, 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 Tidwell. “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.”
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and more than 3.2 million members in Pennsylvania. 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 appss for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.