Posts Tagged ‘Maintain Car Battery’

Mariam Ali Contact TileAmerican drivers are unprepared for emergency breakdown situations

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 11, 2017) – This summer, AAA expects to rescue 7 million American drivers, with the majority facing battery, lock and tire-related issues. This number could soar higher, with a AAA survey revealing that 4 out of 10 American drivers are unprepared for emergency breakdown situations. With three-quarters of family travelers planning to travel by car to their favorite vacation spot, AAA reminds drivers to take the necessary precautions to ensure they are well prepared for a safe road trip.  

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“Summer heat takes a toll on vehicles, causing overheating engines, tire blowouts and dead batteries,” said Cliff Ruud, AAA’s managing director of AAA Automotive. “Having a disabled vehicle is a stressful and dangerous situation, which is why AAA urges drivers to stock an emergency kit, have their battery tested and inspect tires to make certain their cars are in road-ready condition.”

Unfortunately, AAA has found that many drivers are unprepared for roadside emergencies. Survey data shows that two-thirds of American drivers have never proactively had their car battery tested, 1 in 5 do not know how to change a tire and 4 in 10 do not carry an emergency kit in their vehicle.

Other findings from AAA’s 2017 roadside assistance data show:

  • Dead batteries, flat tires and vehicle lockouts are top reasons that members call AAA during the summer.
  • While more than half of members’ problems are resolved at the roadside by AAA, more than 3 million drivers will experience significant vehicle issues this summer that require a tow to a repair facility.
  • With low-profile tires and the elimination of spare tires, many newer vehicles are especially susceptible to roadside trouble.

“Roadside breakdowns continue to rise each year and can be a safety hazard for everyone on the road,” continued Ruud. “AAA is ready to help when vehicle troubles leave you stranded, however, travelers can minimize their risk by planning ahead and preparing properly.”

AAA offers the following tips to help avoid common roadside problems:

  • Schedule a checkup. Take your vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown. AAA’s Mobile Battery Service offers free battery testing for AAA members.
  • Pack an emergency kit. Every vehicle should be equipped with a well-stocked emergency kit that includes a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit with tire pressure gauge and adjustable wrench, windshield washer solution, jumper cables and emergency flares or reflectors, drinking water, extra snacks and food for travelers and pets.
  • Prevent lockouts. Always take keys when exiting the car and bring a spare car key on every trip. Avoid exposing keyless-entry remote or smart keys to water and always replace the key or fob battery when recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

Additionally, AAA reminds drivers to take the following safety precautions on the road:

  • Drive distraction-free. Do not text or engage in distracting activities while driving, including interacting with a cell phone, talking with passengers or looking at other objects in the vehicle.
  • Comply with the Move Over Law. Observe the Move Over Law when law enforcement or emergency vehicles are on the side of the road. Change lanes or slow down to give sufficient clearance. This is the law in all 50 states.
  • Pull out of the traffic lanes if your car breaks down. If faced with a vehicle emergency, safely steer your car off the roadway. Turn on the emergency flashers to alert other drivers and exit the vehicle on the side facing away from traffic if possible. Once everyone is in a safe location, request assistance from a road service provider.

Before hitting the road, AAA recommends that drivers download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, Android and Apple Watch. Travelers can use the app to request AAA roadside assistance, route a trip, find the lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, book a hotel, and more. AAA members can also track the location of their assigned service vehicle in real time with Service Tracker. Learn more at AAA.com.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides 57 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.

ORLANDO, Fla., August 11, 2011

Nation’s largest motor club provides tips to keep motorists safe and help get them back on the go quickly after a breakdown

Christie HydeMany Americans rely on their cars for nearly every part of their life—to commute to work, to attend school, to run errands, to socialize with friends or to get away on vacation. AAA recognizes one of the most stressful things that can happen to a driver is to suddenly have their car not work.

“Whether sitting in your driveway or stranded on the roadside, having a car that won’t start is a nerve-racking experience. There are a few things to remember that can help keep you safe and possibly get you back on the go more quickly,” said John Nielsen, AAA National director of Auto Repair, Buying Services and Consumer Information.

What If It Suddenly Won’t Start?

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If a car previously was running well and suddenly will not start, it could be an issue with the vehicle’s battery. While in many cases it may have become discharged, in others it’s possible the cause of the problem is a poor connection that can easily be fixed.

Open the hood and inspect the battery. Make sure it is securely mounted in place, then check the cable clamps connected to the battery. If they are loose or covered in corrosive build up, that could be the source of the problem. Clean any corrosion from the battery terminals and cable clamps, and ensure the clamps are tight enough that they will not move.

If a poor battery connection does not seem to be the problem, check a few other basic items such as ensuring the vehicle (if an automatic transmission) is fully in park. Also, make sure there is fuel in the car.

If those items do not seem to be the source of the problem, then it’s time to call a road service provider, such as AAA, that has knowledgeable technicians to assist. As the nation’s largest motor club, AAA trains its roadside technicians to diagnose common vehicle problems onsite, as a result, they are able to get three out of five cars on the go, eliminating the need for a tow.

What If It Strands Me On A Roadway?

“If a vehicle begins to experience problems while being driven or suddenly can no longer be driven, safety should become the driver’s first priority,” said Nielsen.

If the car is clearly experiencing a problem but can still be driven a short distance, drive to a safe location such as a parking lot. If the vehicle stops running but still has coasting momentum, guide it to the far right shoulder, as far off the road as possible while remaining on level ground. Turn on the emergency flashers to alert other motorists.

If the car cannot get completely off the roadway, switch on the safety/emergency flashers and consider leaving the vehicle and moving to a safer location. Occupants should not remain in a vehicle if there is a possibility it may be struck from behind by other traffic. For the same reason, it is generally not a good idea to attempt to push the car off the road.

Drivers and passengers should exit a broken down car on the side away from traffic if at all possible. Use extreme caution and watch for oncoming vehicles, especially at night or in bad weather when visibility is limited. While waiting for help, never stand directly behind or in front of the disabled vehicle.

In addition to turning on a vehicle’s emergency flashers, drivers can signal other motorists that they have a problem by raising the car hood, tying a brightly colored handkerchief or scarf to the antenna or door handle, or setting out flares, warning triangles or emergency beacons. These signals can help other drivers recognize there is a problem and hopefully prompt them to slow down, allow more room and proceed with caution while passing.

Communicating Your Situation

Once the driver and passengers are in a safe location, request assistance from a road service provider such as AAA. Make note of surroundings, landmarks, buildings or road signs to help relay your location. AAA members may have their phone’s GPS location sent directly to AAA Roadside Assistance by using one of AAA’s mobile products such as the AAA Roadside, AAA Discounts or AAA TripTik Mobile apps for Android and iPhone users. AAA members with any GPS-enabled Sprint mobile phone can have their location transmitted via AAA FindMe—even if they do not have a smartphone. AAA members should sign up for the free AAA FindMe service in advance by registering their membership number and Sprint mobile phone number at AAA.com/AAAFindMe.

Safety experts agree that under most circumstances, provided the car is away from the flow of traffic, it is safest for the driver and passengers to remain in the vehicle while waiting for law enforcement or roadside assistance to arrive. If drivers feel they are in an unsafe situation, they should communicate that fact to the roadside assistance operator when calling for assistance.

To help drivers prepare for these unfortunate situations, AAA offers an in-depth guide called “What to Do When Your Vehicle Breaks Down: The AAA Guide to Personal Safety.” The guide can be downloaded for free at AAA.com/Public Affairs.

Where Do I Send My Car?

Once assistance arrives, if the technician is unable to remedy the problem at the roadside, the car will have to be towed somewhere for repair. Unless the driver is a savvy automotive do-it-yourselfer who wants the car towed home, the vehicle will most likely be towed directly to a repair facility.

When traveling away from home, or if the driver does not have a regular repair facility, AAA can provide the names and locations of a nearby AAA Approved Auto repair facilities. These shops have met stringent professional standards for training, equipment, cleanliness and customer service. AAA Approved Auto Repair is a free public service that can help any motorist identify trustworthy, quality auto repair facilities. Motorists can search for nearby facilities online at AAA.com/Repair. Approved Auto Repair facilities also can be quickly found with the AAA Roadside and AAA TripTik Mobile apps for Android and iPhone, or on other web-enabled mobile phones using AAA Mobile Web at AAA.mobi.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 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.


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