Denver, June 24 – Whether planning a road trip or continuing a regular commute to work, the first days of summer are a good reminder to take care of your vehicle’s hot weather needs. AAA Colorado recommends that motorists check their battery, air conditioning, tires and windshield washers and wipers to avoid summertime problems.

Heat is hard on batteries
Summer heat breaks down car batteries internally and accelerates the rate of corrosion on the terminals. Both conditions can lead to insufficient electrical power being available and leave a motorist stranded without warning. Depending on local climate and vehicle usage patterns, most car batteries have a three to five year service life. If your battery is more than three years old, have it tested at a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility or by AAA Mobile Battery Service to determine if it is time for a replacement. AAA Mobile Battery Service is available in many areas to test AAA members’ vehicle batteries and provide on-site replacement, if needed.

Check cooling capacity
A vehicle without air conditioning can be a hot and uncomfortable environment for travelers during the summer months. Automotive air conditioning systems do not require routine maintenance, but a system that is operating marginally is more likely to fail in hot weather. If you have noticed a decrease in cooling capability, have your air conditioning system examined by a qualified technician before setting out on a trip.

Save money with properly inflated tires
Properly inflated tires increase safety and fuel economy, which will reduce fuel costs. The Department of Energy reports that correctly inflating all four tires can improve fuel economy by up to three percent. Begin every tire inspection with a pressure check when the tires are cold and the car has not been driven recently. Use a quality gauge to make sure all tires, including the spare, are inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer-this can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker usually attached to the driver’s door jamb, or sometimes inside the gas cap door. Finally, inspect the tread depth and overall condition of the tires. Worn tires in need of replacement are much more likely to suffer punctures and other problems.

Improve your view
Rain, insects, grime and other debris on a windshield will compromise the driver’s vision and safety. The life of a rubber wiper insert is typically six to 12 months depending on its exposure to heat, dirt, sunlight and snow or rain. If your wipers leave streaks or cannot clear the windshield in one swipe they should be replaced. Also, check the windshield washer fluid level and top it off with a solution formulated to aid in the removal of insects and other debris. Be sure to test the washer spray nozzles for proper operation and aim.

AAA Colorado membership includes 24/7 roadside assistance that follows the member in any car, as a driver or passenger. And now on a bike too! Membership offers special benefits and discounts using AAA Colorado’s full service travel and insurance agencies as well as discounts at thousands of retailers nationwide. AAA Colorado has more than 600,000 members and is an advocate for safety and security for all travelers.

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