AAA prepares for heat: Urges motorists to do same

aaaWhen the mercury in the thermometer goes up, so does the call volume for AAA Roadside Service so AAA is urging motorists to prepare their vehicles – and themselves – for the heat in an effort to avoid a true emergency.

“When temperatures soar, what should just be an inconvenience can quickly escalate to an emergency if motorists are not prepared,” said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA. “Imagine being stranded roadside in the extreme heat, possibly with children or seniors, take every precaution to avoid it and, AAA recommends preparing an ’emergency kit’ just in case.”

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 Summer Emergency Kit should include:

  • Fully charged cellphone
  • Jumper cables
  • Road flares, bright triangle or emergency beacon – critical to be seen at night
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Extra water and non-perishable food/snacks
  • Extra medications

AAA Tips for Preparing your Vehicle for the Heat

  • Battery Check – have a trusted mechanic check your battery. Or, AAA members can request a AAA Roadside Service technician to come to them and test their battery free of charge at any time. Should the battery need replacement, the technician can usually replace it on location.  Most batteries last 3-5 years and each day of extreme weather pushes a battery closer to its end.
  • Tire Check – 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.
  • 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.

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