OCTOBER is Car Care Month
Show You Care
In advance of busy holiday/family travel season...
AAA Reminds Motorists that Most Breakdowns Can Be Prevented
HARTFORD, CT (October 15, 2019) – With the busy holiday/family travel season fast approaching, AAA is reminding drivers that most breakdowns are preventable, encouraging everyone to make time for basic car care now… rather than risk being stranded roadside, possibly with friends or vulnerable family members, during the darker colder months ahead.
According to a previous AAA survey, drivers who ignore or forget recommended maintenance ultimately pay higher repair costs plus, for some, the cost of a tow.
“There’s a reason AAA Car Care is offering free vehicle check-ups and tire discounts this month,” says Eileen Chesney, Manager of the AAA Car Care in Southington, “Our goal is to provide the services you need now, so you won't need AAA's Emergency Roadside Service when travelling with loved ones when the weather takes a turn for the worse”.
AAA recommends motorists use a simple checklist to determine their vehicle’s fall and winter maintenance needs. Many of the items on the list can be completed by a car owner in less than an hour, but others should be performed by a certified technician.
Motorists can identify reliable, high-quality repair shops with certified technicians by looking for the AAA Approved Auto Repair sign or by visiting the new AAA Car Care Insurance & Travel Center in Southington.
Tens of Thousands of Emergency Roadside Calls Expected this Winter
This past summer, AAA responded to more 80,000 Emergency Roadside calls – just in the Greater Hartford area alone and almost half of those calls required a tow. Battery and tire issues are the most common calls and both are more likely to fail in extreme weather conditions.
AAA Tips for Winter Car Care
Harsh winter conditions make your vehicle work harder, particularly the charging and starting system, headlights, tires and windshield wipers.
AAA recommends that motorists:
- Clean any corrosion from battery posts and cable connections and wash all surfaces with battery terminal cleaner or a solution of baking soda and water. Have the battery checked by a professional to ensure it is strong enough to face cold weather. AAA members can request a visit from a AAA Mobile Battery Service technician who will test their battery and replace it on-site, if necessary. AAA Approved Auto Repair shops can also test and replace weak batteries.
- Have any engine drivability problems corrected at a good repair shop. Symptoms like hard starts, rough idling, stalling or diminished power could signal a problem that would be exacerbated by cold weather.
- Replace worn windshield-wiper blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase one-piece beam-type or rubber-clad “winter” blades to fight snow and ice build-up. Use cold-weather windshield washer solvent and carry an ice-scraper.
- Inspect all lights and bulbs and replace burned out bulbs. Clean road grime or clouding from all lenses.
- Have your mechanic check the exhaust system for leaks and look for any holes in the trunk and floorboards.
- Examine tires for tread depth, uneven wearing and cupping. Check tire pressures once a month when tires are cold, before driving for any distance. In extreme climates, a set of winter snow tires may be a wise investment.
- Carry an emergency kit equipped for winter weather. The kit should include:
- Mobile phone pre-programmed with AAA rescue app and important phone numbers including family and emergency services, and car charger
- Drinking water
- First-aid kit
- Non-perishable snacks
- Bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter) or traction mats
- Snow shovel
- Extra warm clothing (gloves, hats, scarves)
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Window washer solvent
- Ice scraper with brush
- Cloth or roll of paper towels
- Jumper cables
- Warning devices (flares or triangles)
- Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)
To encourage Car Care this month, the new AAA Car Care in Southington is offering (for members and non-members):
- Free bumper to bumper ‘vehicle health inspection'
- Free brake inspection
- Free alignment check
- Free battery and tire testing
Android and iPhone users can download AAA Mobile, AAA’s mobile smartphone app that provides AAA services for all motorists, such as mapping and gas price comparison, as well as member-exclusive benefits including roadside assistance and discounts. AAA Membership is not required to download and use AAA apps, but is necessary to take advantage of unique member benefits such as roadside assistance.
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