FROM AAA -- October is Car Care Month and AAA is encouraging drivers to keep an eye on vehicles to help stay safe and on-the-go this winter. Double-checking simple things such as tire pressure and condition, fluid levels and battery life can keep motorists off the side of the road as temperatures drop.
“Spending less than an hour on simple car maintenance will help prepare vehicles for the winter weather that is just around the corner,” said Jim Hanni, executive vice president at AAA. “Everyone can follow a quick checklist to inspect batteries, tires, windshield wipers and fluid to help vehicles run smoothly.”
AAA recommends the following vehicle maintenance checklist to help drivers stay on-the-go:
* Stick to regular scheduled maintenance. Standard oil changes and manufacturer-recommended maintenance provides the opportunity for trained mechanics to identify and fix issues that could wind up costing consumers if left unchecked.
* Check tire pressure and tire tread. Proper inflation will make tires last longer, delay the need to buy new ones and avoid dangerous blow-outs while on the road. Tire treads should also be checked for wear to keep vehicles, and drivers, safe.
* Check fluid levels. Checking and refilling engine oil, radiator coolant and windshield washer fluid to the appropriate levels are easy, inexpensive and may head off expensive repair work.
* Inspect the vehicle’s battery. Dimming headlights, clicking noises or corrosion around battery terminals signal that it may be time to replace a battery. A certified mechanic or AAA’s Mobile Battery Service can test and replace batteries if needed. Drivers can call AAA Mobile Battery Service at 800-AAA-HELP (800-222-4357) to have batteries tested or replaced.
* Keep an eye on the little things. Windshield wipers, headlights and turn signals help drivers see and be seen during inclement weather and dark winter nights. Windshield wipers should be replaced every six months. Keep an eye on headlights and turn signals to ensure bulbs do not need to be replaced.
* Be prepared in case of an emergency. Carry emergency supplies, such as a car care kit with jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, flashlight, hazard signs, blanket, boots, snacks, water and a charged cell phone.