AAA Colorado offers useful tips for drivers after a hot summer

Simple Steps Drivers Can Take to Keep Their Vehicles Safe on the Road

Denver, October 8 – Summer is over for another year and the season’s heat has taken its toll on cars. October is Car Care Month and AAA Colorado is reminding drivers about the importance of properly maintaining their vehicles. Here are four simple things every driver can do to make sure their car is ready for the road.

Ensure Your Car Battery Survived the Summer
The extreme high temperatures experienced in Colorado this past summer break down car batteries internally and can accelerate the rate of corrosion on battery terminals. With the upcoming cold weather your battery may have insufficient electrical power to start your automobile and strand you without warning.

To assure that your battery is operating reliably, have a trained technician test the battery’s strength before winter starts. Most car batteries have a three to five year service life, depending on climate and vehicle usage patterns. Have your battery tested at a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop or by using AAA Colorado Mobile Battery Service to determine if it needs to be replaced. AAA Colorado Mobile Battery Service provides AAA members with battery testing, delivery and installation at home, work or other location of your choice and is available in most Front Range locations.

Check the Air and Wear of Your Tires
83% of Americans do not know how to properly inflate their tires, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association. The pressure on all tires—including the spare— should be checked monthly, with a quality gauge when the tires are cold. Proper pressure levels can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker most often located on the driver-side door jamb. Note that the pressure levels on some cars are different for the front and rear tires.

Check the tread depth on each tire by looking at “wear bars” that periodically run across the hollow of each tread. If the tread has been worn down to the same height as the wear bar, it’s time for new tires. Also, look for uneven tire wear when checking the tread. This can be an indication of suspension, wheel balance or alignment problems that need to be addressed.

Keep Those Wipers Working
Inspect the wiper blades monthly. Check to see if they are worn, cracked or rigid with age. Damaged wiper blades won’t adequately remove debris, compromising the driver’s vision and safety. The life of a rubber insert is typically six to 12 months depending on its exposure to heat, dirt, sunlight, acid rain, and ozone. Streaking and chattering are common clues that the rubber is breaking down and a replacement is needed.

The windshield washer fluid reservoir should be checked monthly. Also, test the washer spray nozzles for proper operation and aim.

Work with a Local Repair Shop You Trust
Every car requires routine maintenance and repair. The best time to find a mechanic or auto repair shop is before you need one. If you need a recommendation for a repair shop, visit www.aaa.com/repair to find nearby AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities. During October Car Care Month, most AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities offer free safety checks and service discounts to AAA Colorado members.

When having your car serviced, follow the factory recommended maintenance schedule to avoid under- or over-maintaining your vehicle. Oil changes, tire rotations, changing transmission fluid, and replacing an air filter are the types of routine maintenance recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. The maintenance schedule for these services and more can be found in the vehicle owner’s manual.

AAA Colorado has more than 560,000 members and is an advocate for safety and security for all travelers. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides nearly 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services, as well as member-exclusive savings. AAA can be visited on the Internet at www.AAA.com.