July 21, 2017 - With temperatures across South Dakota expected to remain in the 90’s for the weekend, AAA is reminding drivers that the risk of engines overheating, older batteries failing and tire troubles grows with each day of the extreme weather.
“The effect this kind of weather can have on your car is cumulative so we’ll be fielding lots of calls” says Marilyn Buskohl, spokesperson for AAA South Dakota.
AAA South Dakota responded to 900 calls so far this week.
Those calls included overheated engines, tire blowouts, dead batteries and tows.
To avoid a breakdown in this heat, AAA offers these reminders:
1. Test your battery and, if necessary, replace it BEFORE it dies.
Most batteries last 3-5 years and each day of extreme weather pushes a battery closer to its end.
AAA members can request a AAA Roadside Service technician to come to them and test their battery free of charge.
Should the battery need replacement, the technician can usually replace it on location.
For more information on the AAA Mobile Battery Service visit AAA.com/Battery.
2. Make Sure Tires Are Properly Inflated
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.
3. 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.
If any fluids need to be topped off, be sure to use the type of fluid specified in the owner’s manual.
4. Stock a Summer Emergency Kit
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 Emergency Kit should include water, non-perishable food items, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares or an emergency beacon, basic hand tools, and a first aid kit.
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.
AAA offers a free public service to assist motorists seeking a qualified auto repair facility that they can trust to work on their vehicle. AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities must meet stringent professional standards and maintain an ongoing customer satisfaction rating of 90 percent or better. To locate a nearby AAA approved repair shop visit AAA.com/Repair.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and nearly 97,000 members in South Dakota. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a 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 (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.