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AAA: Don't let mild weather lead to automotive complacency


Fri, Dec 17th 2021 09:50 am

AAA advises motorists to proactively test batteries now

By AAA of Western and Central New York

More than 100 million travelers are planning to drive to their holiday destinations this month, and AAA expects to respond to as many as 1.3 million calls for help across the country. Lack of snow, and unseasonably warm weather in Western and Central New York, has resulted in driver complacency with winter car care and preventative maintenance.

AAA Western and Central New York reports that local battery service calls are down 20% in December, compared to November. Cold temperatures rapidly cause car batteries to lose their ability to start the engine. Therefore, AAA is urging motorists with car batteries over 3 years old to have their batteries tested now, before the mercury drops and winter temperatures undoubtedly arrive.

Motorists taking road trips for the holidays should have their vehicle checked over by a certified mechanic before the trip to avoid an unnecessary breakdown. Inspections should include testing the car battery, inspecting tire tread depth and wiper blades, among other components.

“This warm spell is a perfect opportunity for drivers to have their car batteries checked before harsh winter weather arrives,” said Steve Steinmetz, senior director of automotive services at AAA Western and Central New York. “AAA makes it easy with free battery testing, so you don’t find out the hard way that you need a new battery when your car won’t start on a cold morning.”

AAA Western and Central New York’s battery-related service calls spike during frigid temperatures. With people working from home and using their vehicles less, many cars are sitting in driveways and parking spaces for extended periods without being driven, which contributes to battery failure issues.

AAA’s technicians travel to motorists’ homes or workplaces to conduct battery testing. If needed, technicians carry an array of batteries on their trucks to conveniently replace worn batteries on the spot! AAA mobile battery service operates in most areas of Western and Central New York.

Motorists should be aware of signs that show a car's battery is nearing the end of its life:

√ Vehicle cranks slowly when trying to start;

√ Grinding, clicking or buzzing when the ignition is turned on;

√ Vehicle has stalled;

√ Headlights dim when idling, but brighten when the driver revs the engine; and

√ Battery is more than 3 years old.

Motorists should have their cars inspected by a trusted technician regularly and especially before any road trips this holiday season. Auto repair is an essential service, and motorists can find a AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) facility at this link. AAA’s Car Care Plus in Clarence is also an option for auto repair in Western New York.

AAA’s mobile battery service is available in most areas. Request service via the free AAA Mobile app (www.AAA.com/Mobile), at AAA.com, or by calling 1-800-836-CLUB.

As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 887,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

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