Preventative Maintenance Necessary to Avoid Breakdowns
Hamilton, N. J. – New Jersey is getting its first taste of a mini heat-wave with several 90 degree-plus days predicted and AAA Mid-Atlantic is warning drivers to prepare their vehicles for the perils of high heat.
“Heat is a real car killer that take a toll on batteries and all things rubber— hoses, belts, tires— which makes vehicles very vulnerable to breakdowns,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “A small amount of preventative maintenance early can help avoid unexpected, dangerous and costly breakdowns as we head into high heat of summer months.”
“And NEVER leave children or pets in the car, not even for short periods of time, since temperatures can quickly soar to over 200 degrees and become deadly,” said Noble. “We need to be mindful of summer’s high heat and the damage it can do, and prepare accordingly.”
Extreme heat, especially when it lasts for extended periods, can actually take a greater toll on your vehicle than the cold of winter, cautions AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Approved Auto Repair, and offers the followings tips:
Before hitting the road:
- Make sure your vehicle is in top operating condition before leaving home.
- Install AAA’s free apps to plan your trip and members can request roadside assistance.
- Check all fluids including the coolant level.
- Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot, you can be seriously scalded.
- Inspect your brakes, battery, shocks, filters and pump.
- Service the cooling system as recommended by the manufacturer. This is typically necessary every two to five years.
- Keep your tires at normal pressure. Soft tires generate heat, which can lead to a blowout.
Once on the road:
- Keep an eye on your gas, oil and engine temperature gauges.
- Should the vehicle overheat, pull off the road, shut the engine off immediately and allow the vehicle to cool.
- Carry an emergency kit: mobile phone and charger; a flashlight with extra batteries; a first-aid kit; drinking water; extra snacks for your travelers and any pets; battery booster cables; and emergency flares or reflectors.
AAA offers the Approved Auto Repair program as a free public service. Repair facilities approved by AAA meet and maintain stringent standards for training, equipment, cleanliness and customer service. Motorists can look for the Approved Auto Repair sign at local shops or search online. Additionally, AAA Mid-Atlantic now offers several repair facilities throughout our region that can assist motorists in assuring that their vehicles are ready for the challenges of summer driving.