Drivers urged to perform car maintenance before winter hits
By AAA of Western and Central New York
October is Car Care Month at AAA Western and Central New York.
As the weather cools, AAA reminds motorists that completing a seasonal vehicle checkup can maintain safety and maximize efficiency throughout the fall and winter.
During Car Care Month, AAA encourages drivers to focus on essential vehicle elements to prepare for winter and to pack an emergency kit before the snow flies.
•Battery and charging system: An average car battery typically lasts three to five years. Drivers should have the battery and charging system tested prior to winter at a service facility or with AAA mobile battery service, included in membership.
•Traction: Replacing worn tires when tread depth begins to recede is critical to vehicle safety. Worn tires are much more likely to hydroplane on wet pavement or lose traction in the snow.
•Suspension and alignment: A poorly maintained suspension and alignment also will accelerate tire wear, reducing traction in adverse driving conditions.
•Braking: Old brake fluid or low fluid levels can lead to brake failure. Inspect brake fluid at every oil change. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend brake fluid be replaced every two years.
•Fluids: Leaking fluids are a sure sign of needed maintenance. They also can be a dangerous fire hazard. Have fluid leaks inspected and remedied as soon as they are detected.
•Vision: Check a vehicle's wiper blades at each oil change or whenever they fail to wipe the glass clean in a single swipe. The life of a rubber insert is typically six to 12 months. Check the washer fluid reservoir monthly. Make sure all lights are working properly.
•Emergency kit: AAA recommends keeping your emergency road kit stocked year round, but especially in the winter. The kit should include: cellphone charger, water, snacks, extra gloves/scarves, jumper cables, flashlight and a basic toolkit.
Motorists can identify reliable, high-quality repair shops with certified technicians by looking for the AAA Approved Auto Repair sign. These facilities must meet and maintain high professional standards for customer service, technician training, tools, equipment, warranties and cleanliness. Nearby shops can be located at AAA.com/repair.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 880,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.