Don’t get left out in the cold this winter ::


As the cold, wintery months approach, AAA is preparing for an increase in roadside assistance calls for dead batteries.

According to data from last winter, AAA East Central contractors responded to 259,423 calls related to battery and replaced 57,051.To avoid potential failures, especially during colder months, vehicle owners should consider having their batteries tested as soon as possible.

“Our number one service call during the winter is to help members with dead batteries,” says Mike Hoshaw, vice president of automotive services, AAA East Central. “In addition to meeting a car’s fall and winter maintenance needs, we advise motorists to focus on their battery health today, not when it’s too late.”

October is AAA Car Care Month, and it’s the perfect time for vehicle owners to make sure their batteries are winter-ready. Batteries often operate in extreme temperatures and withstand constant shock and vibration. Intense summer heat can cause corrosion and evaporation of fluids, leaving a vehicle’s battery more vulnerable to harsh winter weather. Even the small amount of power needed to maintain clocks, alarm systems, and computer memories will gradually drain a battery over time.

AAA East Central advises motorists to visit an AAA Authorized Auto Repair Center to have their entire charging system and battery tested, particularly if the battery is more than three years old. AAA members may request on-site battery service as part of their membership. This includes testing the battery and, if necessary, replacing it with a competitively priced AAA battery. Service can be requested by calling 800-AAA-HELP.

Other items on the AAA’s Car Care Month Checklist include:

  • Tire type and tread: In areas with harsh winter weather, switching to snow tires on all four wheels will provide the best winter traction. Testing tire tread is easy: insert a quarter into a tread groove with the top of George Washington’s head down. If you can see the top of Washington’s head, it’s time to start buying new tires.
  • Tire pressure: Typically, tire pressure drops 1 PSI for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit the temperature drops, putting owners at risk of a flat tire. Proper tire pressure levels can be found on a sticker located on the driver’s side door jamb. (Don’t forget to check the spare!)
  • Windscreen wipers : Replace blades that leave streaks or miss spots. Consider installing winter wiper blades that wrap the blade in a rubber boot to prevent ice and snow buildup.
  • Windshield washer fluid: Fill the washer fluid reservoir with a cleaning solution containing antifreeze components.
  • Coolant levels: If your engine coolant level is low, add the recommended coolant to maintain the necessary antifreeze capacity.

Complete AAA winter car maintenance checklist is available here.

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