TOPEKA, Kan. – June 18, 2018 – As higher-than-average temperatures have impacted the Sunflower State over the past few weeks, AAA Kansas emergency roadside service crews have been busy with a steady flow of calls from stranded motorists, both regular commuters and vacation road-trippers.
“A heat wave like this always impacts car batteries and other vulnerable vehicle systems,” says Shawn Steward, spokesman for AAA Kansas. “And, in this heat, drivers and their passengers can be in danger as well, in case of a roadside breakdown, so it is critical that everyone prepare accordingly”.
AAA Kansas is reminding everyone to make sure they have a fully stocked summer emergency kit (see below) and a fully charged cellphone so they can call for help should they need it.
AAA Kansas offers these TIPS to avoid heat-related car troubles:
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. A battery on the brink of dying rarely warns a driver before it fails, but having a simple battery test will indicate whether the unit is good or needs replacement.
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 engine/radiator coolant, 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 Kansas 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 Kansas 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.
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.