Posts Tagged ‘Car’

Michael Green Contact TileWASHINGTON (Nov. 19, 2014) — “AAA applauds the nomination of Mark Rosekind to be the next NHSTA administrator. Mr. Rosekind’s experience with and commitment to motorist safety will be a tremendous asset to an agency that faces important questions about breakdowns in the recall process and is tasked with overseeing the emergence of vehicle safety technologies. AAA urges Congress to act swiftly to approve this nomination and fill the administrator position that has been vacant for far too long.”

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, November 17, 2014) The national average price of gasoline has remained below $3.00 per gallon for 17 days, with more than three-quarters of U.S. gas stations now reporting prices below this benchmark. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.89 per gallon, which is the lowest mark since December 2, 2010. Today’s price represents a savings of four cents per gallon compared to one week ago, a savings of 24 cents compared to a month ago and 32 cents compared to one year ago.

 National Average Gas Price Comparison 2011 to 2014 November 17 2014

The price at the pump is closely tied to the wholesale price of crude oil, and falling global oil prices have been the primary contributing factor to the price at the pump declining for 53 consecutive days. This is the longest streak of declines since 2008. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil, the traditional U.S. benchmark, dropped to its lowest level in more than three years this past Thursday ($74.21 per barrel). Lower crude oil costs are the main reason why drivers are paying  an average of 81 cents per gallon less than the 2014 peak of $3.70 per gallon (April 28). The downward pressure on prices is expected to continue through the Thanksgiving holiday, meaning drivers are likely to be giving thanks for the cheapest seasonal prices since 2009 when the national average registered $2.63 on the holiday.

 AAA Top Ten Most Expensive Average Gas Prices November 17 2014

Across the country, state averages continue to tick downward with consumers in 48 states and Washington, D.C. experiencing week-over-week savings at the pump. Thirty-five states are reporting an average less than $3.00 per gallon and three states, including Montana, North Dakota and Pennsylvania, are just fractions of a cent from also falling below this benchmark. Drivers in South Carolina ($2.63), Mississippi ($2.66) and Tennessee ($2.66) are paying the nation’s lowest averages for retail gasoline. The nation’s three most expensive markets – Hawaii ($3.96), Alaska ($3.59) and New York ($3.24) – are among those reporting savings over this same period, and for the second consecutive week no state has an average that is above the $4.00 per gallon mark.

Month-over-month comparisons show that drivers in every state and Washington, D.C are paying less to refuel their vehicles. West Coast and Rocky Mountain states are registering the largest drops in prices at the pump, led by California (-37 cents), Oregon (-34 cents), Montana (-31 cents) and Arizona (-30 cents). Consumers in 20 states and Washington, D.C. are saving a quarter or more per gallon versus one month ago, and those in every state but Iowa are enjoying double-digit discounts at the pump. The monthly discount in Iowa falls just short of this threshold at 9.97 cents.

 AAA Top Ten Largest Yearly Savings in Gas Prices November 17 2014

The most dramatic discounts are evident when comparing year-over-year averages. Drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. are paying less, and those in 47 states and D.C. are saving a dime or more per gallon when they refuel their vehicles. Averages are down by a quarter or more in 33 states and Washington, D.C., and motorists in Delaware (-42 cents), South Carolina (-42 cents) and California (-42 cents) are saving the most per gallon over this period.

Global prices for crude oil continue to fall, touching lows not seen since 2010. Market analysts continue to speculate on what action the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will take during the upcoming meeting, scheduled for Nov 27. Should the cartel opt to cut production, the price at the pump for motorists could return higher. If OPEC instead chooses to maintain market share by leaving production unchanged, global oil prices could slide even further.  At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled $1.61 higher at $75.82 per barrel.

 

 

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, November 10, 2014) The national average price of gas has dropped for 46 days in a row (a cumulative decline of 42 cents), which is the longest consecutive decline since 2008. Today’s national average for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.93 per gallon, which is the lowest price since Dec. 4, 2010. Motorists are paying a nickel less than one week ago, 29 cents less than one month ago and 26 cents less than one year ago.

Avg Gas Prices 2011-2014

The price at the pump has dropped 77 cents from the 2014 peak of $3.70 (April 28), which represents an estimated savings of more than $250 million each day for American motorists. A decrease in retail gasoline prices is often likened to a tax cut because it can inject billions of dollars in non-gasoline spending into the economy. Absent any unanticipated market-moving events this winter, the retail price for gasoline is expected to remain relatively low. As gasoline stations continue to adjust to falling oil prices in the global market, consumers are likely to experience the lowest Thanksgiving prices since 2009.

The average price at the pump is below the $3.00 per gallon threshold in more than half (27) of the states with consumers in South Carolina ($2.67), Tennessee ($2.70) and Mississippi ($2.71) paying the nation’s lowest prices. Although Hawaii ($3.99) continues post the highest average for retail gasoline, the state average fell below $4.00 per gallon for the first time since Jan. 9, 2014 on Saturday. Hawaii is followed by Alaska ($3.64), New York ($3.29) and Connecticut ($3.23) as the nation’s most expensive markets.

10 Most Expensive Avg Gas Prices-11.10

Week-over-week the average price for gasoline is down in 47 states and Washington, D.C. Drivers in Oklahoma (-15 cents), Minnesota (-14 cents) and North Dakota (-12 cents) are experiencing the largest savings over this period with drivers in 29 states and Washington, D.C. saving a nickel or more per gallon. The only exceptions to this trend are in Michigan (+3 cents), Kentucky (+1 cent) and Indiana (fractions of a penny) where prices have increased over this same seven day period.

The average price for gasoline across the country reflects savings in both month-over-month and year-over year comparisons. Discounts are in the double-digits in every state and Washington, D.C. over the past 30 days, including 34 states and Washington, D.C. where prices are down by a quarter or more per gallon. The largest monthly savings at the pump are seen on the West Coast: Oregon (-47 cents), Washington (-44 cents) and California (-40 cents).

Top10 Monthly Savings-11-10

The year-over-year declines have been led by California (-40 cents), Maine (-39 cents), Delaware (-38 cents) and Alabama (-37 cents). The price at the pump is down by a dime or more in 43 states and D.C., and consumers in every state but Nebraska (-3 cents) are saving at least a nickel over this same period.

Fueling the welcome decline in gas prices has been the multi-month drop in crude oil costs with prices for West Texas Intermediate down to a multi-year low of $77.19 per barrel last Tuesday, which compares to a 2014-high of more than $107 per barrel on June 20. Adding momentum to falling prices last week was an unexpected move by Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, to lower the price per barrel for crude sold to the United States. Market watchers are now focused on the upcoming meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with analysts paying close attention to how the cartel will respond to falling global prices. At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI had recovered slightly to settle at $78.65 per barrel.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, November 3, 2014) After a streak of 1,409 consecutive days of a national average above $3 per gallon, the price for regular unleaded gasoline fell to $2.99 per gallon on Saturday, which marked the first time the AAA indicator had fallen below that mark since December 22, 2010. Today’s price is six cents less than one week ago,  33 cents less than one month ago, and 28 cents less than the price consumers paid one year ago. Today’s national average, $2.98, is the lowest price paid since December 14, 2010 ($2.979).

National pump prices usually drop during the autumn season due to decreasing demand and the cost savings associated with producing winter-blend gasoline. However global oil prices have declined more than anticipated, as supply has outpaced demand, contributing to even greater savings at the pump for drivers. Barring an unexpected market-moving development this winter, motorists can expect to pay retail prices that are relatively low, and could see the price continue to tick downward even a little further as gasoline stations adjust to falling oil prices in the global market. AAA predicts the national average could fall another 5-15 cents in the coming weeks, which could make for the cheapest Thanksgiving gas in half a decade.

Avg Gas Prices 2011-2014

Averages in nearly half (23 states) of the country are currently below the $3 per gallon threshold. The nation’s least expensive market for retail gasoline, South Carolina ($2.72), is registering an average unseen by motorists in the state since May 2010. Hawaii ($4.04) continues to lead the market registering the nation’s most expensive average, and remains the only state with an average price above $4 per gallon. Drivers in New York ($3.35), Connecticut ($3.30) and California ($3.30) have seen averages in their states fall by a nickel or more over the last seven days, but continue to pay the highest prices at the pump in the continental United States.

10 least Expensive Avg Gas Prices-11-03-14

Over the last seven days, the price has ticked downward in 47 states and Washington, D.C. Drivers in Indiana (-15 cents), Michigan (-13 cents), Oregon (-10 cents) and Montana (-10 cents) are saving the most in the nation; and the price at the pump is discounted by at least a nickel in a total of 33 states and Washington, D.C., during this period. Contrary to this trend, consumers are paying fractions of a penny more at the pump in North Dakota, South Dakota and Ohio.

Month-over-month the average price for retail gasoline reflects double-digit savings in every state and the District of Columbia. Over this same period, consumers in 39 states and Washington, D.C. are experiencing some substantial “sticker delight” with savings of a quarter or more per gallon led by: Oregon (-53 cents), Washington (-50 cents), Georgia (-45 cents) and Kentucky (-41 cents). Year-over-year comparisons reflect a similar picture with drivers in every state experiencing savings at the pump. The average price to refuel is discounted by a dime or more in 41 states and Washington, D.C., with consumers in Tennessee (-39 cents), Alabama   (-38 cents), California (-38 cents), South Carolina (-37 cents), and Georgia (-37 cents) saving the most per gallon over this same period.

Top10 Yearly Savings-11-03-14

Abundant global oil production — particularly the substantial increases to U.S. production — continues to outweigh any concerns of possible supply disruptions due to geopolitical instability. This assessment has been validated by the price of crude dropping by approximately 25 percent since June at the same time as violence in Iraq and tensions in Eastern Europe have continued to grab headlines. Market participants continue to speculate about how the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will respond to falling prices, and whether the cartel will agree to cut or sustain production. Iran and Kuwait recently indicated that a reduction in production was unlikely. However the world’s largest exporter of petroleum, Saudi Arabia, has yet to publicly comment on the subject. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed out last week down 58 cents to settle $80.54 per barrel at the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX. At last look, with no market-moving news over the weekend, WTI was trading slightly higher this morning.

Michael Green

Longest Consecutive Streak to End with Drivers Saving at Least $250 Million per Day on Gasoline

WASHINGTON (Oct. 31, 2014) – The national average price of gas tomorrow will drop below $3.00 per gallon for the first time since Dec. 22, 2010, ending its longest streak ever above that price, according to AAA. AAA estimates that lower gas prices are helping consumers save at least $250 million per day on gasoline compared to early summer when the national average reached $3.68 per gallon.

“Consumers are experiencing ‘sticker delight’ as gas prices unexpectedly drop below $3.00 in much of the country,” said Bob Darbelnet, CEO of AAA. “Lower gas prices are a boon to the economy just in time for holiday travel and shopping.”

The national average price of gas has remained more expensive than $3.00 per gallon for 1,409 consecutive days. During that 46-month period, gas prices averaged $3.52 per gallon and reached as high as $3.98 per gallon on May 5, 2011.

More than 60 percent of all U.S. stations are selling gas for less than $3.00 per gallon today. Consumers can find at least one station selling gas for less than $3.00 per gallon in nearly every state. The drop below $3.00 per gallon is significant because about 40 percent of American adults believe that gasoline is “too high” when the price reaches that level, according to a AAA survey conducted in March.

“The steep decline in gas prices has helped to make driving less expensive for the vast majority of Americans who use their car every day,” continued Darbelnet. “Many Americans are spending $10-$20 less to fill up the cars on every trip to the gas station compared to what they paid during the summer driving season.”

AAA anticipates gasoline prices may continue to drop in the near term, but it is possible that prices in many areas will begin to stabilize soon. Unless there are unexpected developments, gasoline should remain relatively inexpensive this winter due to lower demand and typical seasonal trends. By spring, higher gas prices may return due to refinery maintenance, increased demand and a return to summer-blend gasoline.

“Paying less than $3.00 for gas is a welcome holiday gift that may not last nearly as long as many would hope,” continued Darbelnet. “It is possible that lower gas prices will soon be a faded memory, so enjoy it while you can. The days of paying more than $3.00 per gallon for gas have regrettably not gone away.”

Gas prices typically decline in the autumn due to decreased driving and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline, but prices have fallen faster than many expected this year due to sharply lower crude oil prices. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil has dropped more than $20 per barrel since late June due to strong production and concerns about the global economy, particularly in Europe and Asia. There also are reports that some OPEC nations, such as Saudi Arabia, would be willing to let prices fall to maintain a competitive market share.

Crude oil is the main cost associated with gasoline and represents about two-thirds of the price of a gallon of gas. It is estimated that every ten dollar per barrel change in the price of crude oil results in a 25-cent change in the price of a gallon of gasoline.

The least expensive prices primarily are in the Southeast and Central United States, which are regions that generally have lower gas taxes and have access to major refineries processing cheaper domestic crude oil. The most expensive prices are generally on the West Coast and in the Northeastern United States, yet even these regions are experiencing lower prices than recent years. Average state prices can be found on AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Gasoline Closes in on $3 per Gallon

October 27th, 2014 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, October 27, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.04 per gallon, the lowest mark since December 27, 2010. Today’s price is six cents less than one week ago and twenty-five cents less than one year ago. The national average has now dropped for 32 consecutive days for a total of 30 cents per gallon.

Gas prices typically decline this time of year, but have fallen more swiftly than typical due to the sharply declining price of crude oil. The cost of crude oil accounts for approximately two-thirds of the price consumers pay for gasoline, which means, barring any other factors, gas prices continue to fall as long as crude oil prices decline. Today’s national average price of gas represents an 18 percent savings compared to the 2014 high of $3.70 per gallon, which was reached on April 28.

National Average Gas Price Comparison 2011-2014

Seventeen states currently register an average gas price below $3.00 per gallon with drivers in South Carolina ($2.79), Tennessee ($2.79) and Mississippi ($2.80) paying the nation’s lowest average prices at the pump. Hawaii remains the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline with an average above $4.00 per gallon ($4.05) followed by Alaska ($3.77), New York ($3.41) and California ($3.39).

Week-over-week, average prices are down in 40 states and Washington, D.C. with the steepest drops in the Pacific Northwest: Oregon (-15 cents) and Washington (-13 cents). The average price for retail gasoline has ticked upward in 10 states with the price up a nickel or more compared to one week ago in six states. Drivers in Minnesota (+16 cents) and Oklahoma (+12 cents) in particular have seen prices jump over the past week due to tighter supplies even as the national average has ticked lower. While retail gasoline in these states is less expensive than both a month and year ago, pump prices could continue to buck the national trend until additional gasoline reaches those markets in early November.

Top Ten Most Expensive Average Gas Prices

Drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. continue to enjoy month-over-month and year-over-year savings at the pump. Compared to this same date last month, state averages are down by a quarter or more in 35 states. Oregon (-48 cents), Washington  (-47 cents) and Delaware (-40 cents) are registering the largest discounts over this period, but drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. are saving more than a dime per gallon. Year-over-year, the average price at the pump is down by a dime or more in 46 states and Washington, D.C., led by Delaware (-39 cents), Tennessee (-36 cents) and Alabama (-36 cents). Eighteen states are reflecting prices discounted by a quarter or more in comparison to this same date last year.

Top Ten Largest Monthly Savings in Gas Prices

Continuing unrest in Iraq and geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe have taken a backseat to an emerging belief by many market watchers that global supply – including significantly higher oil production in the United States – is outpacing global demand growth. This assessment has helped sink West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices to near $80 per barrel for the first time since June 2012 and has fueled speculation of how the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will respond to the falling price of crude. OPEC is scheduled to convene on November 27 in Vienna to discuss global demand and the impact of increased production by non-OPEC countries. At the close of formal trading on Friday, WTI was down $1.08 at $81.01 per barrel on the NYMEX, and prices have fallen below $80 in morning trading today.

AAA urges motorists to Take Two for safety

October 27th, 2014 by admin

Heather HunterSimple tire checks can improve winter driving.

ORLANDO, Fla., (October 27, 2014) – Worn tires can send a car into dangerous skids and spins on wet and icy winter roads. Checking tire pressure and tread depth monthly can help motorists keep tires in optimal condition, according to AAA.

Additional Materials

“The two most important tire safety checks – a pressure reading and tread depth measurement – are very simple to do,” according to Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering. “If motorists spend about two minutes on each tire, they will keep their tires at peak performance.”

Monthly tire checks take two steps:

  • Measure tread depth with a quarter rather than a penny. When the top of Washington’s head is exposed, the tread depth is 4/32″ or less and it’s time to start shopping for new tires.
  • Use a quality gauge to check tire pressure. For proper results, make sure tires are cold. Look for the recommended air pressure in the vehicle’s owner’s manual the tire information decal located inside the driver’s side door or in the glove compartment. The number molded into the tire sidewall is not recommended for normal operating condition; this specification is for a tire that is carrying its maximum rated payload.

“Worn tires should be replaced immediately because they significantly impact safety,” says Brannon. “Testing has shown that tires with only half of their tread depth can take up 6 feet longer to stop from 40 miles-per-hour on a wet surface, even with the antilock braking system engaged.”

Additional information regarding AAA’s recommendations for proper vehicle maintenance is available on the AAA Newsroom and AAA’s YouTube channel. AAA’s network of more than 7,000 Approved Auto Repair providers is listed on AAA.com.  AAA members can receive a free maintenance inspection anytime they have work performed at any of these locations.

AAA continually conducts proprietary research to better understand consumer implications of automotive technology, design and functionality.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Price Of Gasoline Reaches New 44-Month Low

October 20th, 2014 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, October 20, 2014) With oil prices sharply lower over the last several weeks, the national average pump price has followed suit and has now dropped on 25 consecutive days. This tumble has sent the national average to a low not seen since early 2011 and increased the likelihood that the national price at the pump could test the $3.00 per gallon mark for the first time since 2010.

Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.10 per gallon, representing the lowest price since February 1, 2011. The national average has fallen by a dime since one week ago and is 25 cents less than both one month and one year ago. This year-over-year gap has reached its widest mark since March.

Drivers are savings an average of 60 cents per gallon compared to the 2014 high of $3.70 (April 28), and pump prices have tumbled 10 percent since Labor Day when the national average registered $3.44 per gallon. For every penny that the national average falls (were the lower price sustained over the course of a year) more than one billion dollars per year in additional consumer spending is estimated to be freed up.

Avg-Gas-Prices-2011-2014-01

Motorists in 17 states now pay an average price below $3.00 per gallon. The nation’s 10 most expensive markets are composed primarily of states on the West Coast and in the Northeast led by: Hawaii ($4.08), Alaska ($3.80), California ($3.50) and New York ($3.45). On the other end of the spectrum, consumers in Missouri are paying $2.77 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline, a low unseen in the state since 2010.

Compared to one week ago, the average price at the pump is down in 48 states and Washington, D.C. Motorists in 23 states and Washington, D.C. are saving a dime or more per gallon week-over-week with the largest discounts in Kentucky (-17 cents), Indiana (-16 cents) and Georgia (-14 cents). There are two states where the price has ticked upward over this same period: Ohio (+3 cents) and Michigan (fractions of a penny).

10-Least-Expensive-Avg-Gas-Prices-10-20-01

The average price paid by drivers to refuel their vehicles is down in every state and Washington, D.C. both month-over-month and year-over-year. In comparison to this same date last month, consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. are saving 15 cents per gallon or more at the pump, and of this total there are 24 states where the price has fallen by a quarter or more per gallon. The Western states of Washington and Oregon (both down 40 cents) are registering the largest discounts over this period, followed by Kentucky and Colorado (down 39 cents). Year-over-year, 47 states and Washington D.C. are saving a dime or more per gallon at the pump and 25 states are registering discounts of a quarter or more led by Kentucky (-42 cents), Indiana (-40 cents) and Delaware (-36 cents).

Top10-Weekly-Savings-10-20-01

Geopolitical tensions in Iraq continue to be viewed by market watchers as posing a minimal threat to the region’s oil production. Sentiment for crude oil prices has remained bearish and it is speculated that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will continue to protect its market share by sustaining current levels of production rather than cutting output to increase the global price of oil. OPEC member countries are responsible for 40 percent of the world’s oil production and are scheduled to convene on November 27 in Vienna to discuss whether to sustain or reduce production. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed out last week by settling up a nickel at $82.75 per barrel at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX. WTI was trading slightly lower to open the day today.

Heather HunterAAA suggests motorists mark November 2 for key winter car care checks

ORLANDO, Fla., (October 20, 2014) – Consumers have leveraged the changing of the clocks to remember important but infrequent tasks like replacing smoke alarm batteries. AAA suggests motorists also use this event as a reminder to check their vehicle for winter readiness.

Additional Materials

“The end of daylight savings time means that winter weather is on the way, which can be rough on your car,” says AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering, Greg Brannon. “This is a good time to have vehicle systems checked and perform important maintenance to ensure your car is in peak condition.”

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.
  • 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.

Additional information regarding AAA’s recommendations for proper vehicle maintenance is available on the AAA Newsroom and AAA’s YouTube channel. AAA’s network of more than 7,000 Approved Auto Repair providers is listed on AAA.com.  AAA members can receive a free maintenance inspection anytime they have work performed at any of these locations.

AAA continually conducts proprietary research to better understand consumer implications of automotive technology, design and functionality.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Heather Hunter

 

 

 

 

 

  • Service intervals for oil changes, brake, transmission and power steering fluids and coolant have increased with advances in technology.
  • Monthly safety checks are critical for detecting issues that could lead to a hazardous situation or major repair.

Additional Materials

ORLANDO, Fla., (October 14, 2014) – New fluid technologies and engine designs have combined to reduce the burden of properly maintaining today’s vehicles. Fewer trips to the repair facility, however, may put motorists at risk of missing clues that could head off safety issues or expensive repairs.

“Every vehicle has a unique maintenance schedule, but many automakers are extending service intervals for vehicle fluids,” says John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Less maintenance improves the cost of vehicle ownership, but fewer visits to the repair facility means the technician will have fewer opportunities to check your vehicle for signs of wear. It’s important for motorists to conduct monthly safety inspections to identify issues before they escalate.”

Examples of new fluid service intervals include:

  • Oil: Cars today are designed to travel at least 5,000 miles between oil changes, and many newer models can be driven up to 7,500 miles or more before an oil change is necessary. Some vehicles that use full-synthetic engine oils have service intervals approaching 15,000 miles.  Be sure to check your oil level, either under the hood or through the vehicle’s onboard computer system.
  • Coolant: Requirements for flushing the coolant can vary from every two years to more than 100,000 miles, depending on the coolant type used. However, be sure coolant levels are correct as leaks in the system could cause major issues.
  • Brake fluid:  Most vehicle manufacturers recommend that brake fluid be replaced periodically to flush moisture and contaminants from the system. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for specific recommendations. If not specified, AAA recommends flushing the brake system and replacing with new fluid every two years.
  • Transmission fluid: Modern automatic transmissions are increasingly being filled with “lifetime” fluids that do not need to be changed until the vehicle has traveled 100,000 miles or more. The owner’s manual or maintenance booklet is the definitive source for specific transmission fluid requirements.

A monthly, 10-minute vehicle inspection can highlight issues that need attention. Motorists should check the level of the engine oil, brake fluid, engine coolant, washer fluid and power steering fluid.  In addition, a check of the tire pressure and tread depth will help ensure safety on the road.

Additional information regarding AAA’s recommendations for proper vehicle maintenance is available on the AAA Newsroom and AAA’s YouTube channel. AAA’s network of more than 7,000 Approved Auto Repair providers is listed on AAA.com. AAA members can receive a free maintenance inspection anytime they have work performed at any of these locations.

AAA continually conducts proprietary research to better understand consumer implications of automotive technology, design and functionality.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Podcasts

B-Roll

YouTube Videos

AAA Senior Driver Expos

NewsRoom Video Gallery

Media: Find and Download AAA Videos and B Roll.