By: Ragina C. Ali, AAA Mid-Atlantic
TOWSON, MD (Wednesday, October 23, 2019) – October is Car Care Month and AAA is advising drivers to prepare their vehicle before winter weather makes an appearance. Vehicle maintenance is key and there are a few simple things every driver can do to make sure their car is road-ready for the winter ahead. According to AAA’s Your Driving Costs annual vehicle maintenance can cost an average of $1,341.00, being proactive can help keep that cost down.
“Learning how to handle common maintenance issues is beneficial to anyone who gets behind the wheel,” said Chris Storms, Car Care District Director, at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Proper maintenance can extend the life of your vehicle and help prevent costly repairs.”
In the past, vehicle maintenance needs were relatively simple and consistent across automakers. Today’s engineering advancements require less maintenance at less frequent intervals. Examples include oil-change intervals now recommended at 5,000 to 10,000 or more miles, transmission fluids designed to last 100,000 miles and sealed batteries that never need to have fluid added. Even with these advancements, vehicles still require routine services that are important to maintaining the performance and safety of the vehicle.
October is the perfect month to make sure your vehicle is winter-ready. The weather is mild, and there is plenty of time to deal with the potentially costly repairs before winter weather sets in. To celebrate October Car Care Month, AAA is offering special promotions at AAA Car Care Insurance and Travel Stores in Maryland including:
- FREE Vehicle Health Inspection
- Free Brake Inspection
- Free Battery Checks
- FREE Alignment Check
- FREE Tire Pressure Checks
- $100 Off on select sets of 4 General Tires
- $50 Off on the purchase of 4 Tires or Save $20 on 2 Tires
- $25 Off on all Brake Packages
*Restrictions apply. See Service Advisor for details.
|Abingdon3309 Emmorton RoadAbingdon, MD||Annapolis2054 Somerville RoadAnnapolis, MD||Brandywine16301 Crain HighwayBrandywine, MD||Columbia7065 Minstrel WayColumbia, MD|
|Crofton898 Route 3 SouthGambrills, MD||Frederick5620 Buckeystown PikeFrederick, MD||Gaithersburg16045 Shady Grove RoadGaithersburg, MD||Glen Burnie10 Holsum WayGlen Burnie, MD|
|Laurel8499 Cherry LaneLaurel, MD||Rockville718 Rockville PikeRockville, MD||Towson1019 York RoadTowson, MD||Timonium2223 York RoadTimonium, MD_____________________White Marsh5375 Campbell Blvd.Nottingham, MD|
AAA Tips for Winter Car Care
Harsh winter conditions make your vehicle work harder, particularly the charging and starting system, headlights, tires and windshield wipers.
AAA recommends that motorists:
- Clean any corrosion from battery posts and cable connections and wash all surfaces with battery terminal cleaner or a solution of baking soda and water. Have the battery checked by a professional to ensure it is strong enough to face cold weather. AAA members can request a visit from an AAA Mobile Battery Service technician who will test their battery and replace it on-site, if necessary. AAA Approved Auto Repair shops can also test and replace weak batteries.
- Have any engine drivability problems corrected at a good repair shop. Symptoms like hard starts, rough idling, stalling or diminished power could signal a problem that would be exacerbated by cold weather.
- Replace worn windshield-wiper blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase one-piece beam-type or rubber-clad “winter” blades to fight snow and ice build-up. Use cold-weather windshield washer solvent and carry an ice-scraper.
- Inspect all lights and bulbs and replace burned-out bulbs. Clean road grime or clouding from all lenses.
- Have your mechanic check the exhaust system for leaks and look for any holes in the trunk and floorboards.
- Examine tires for tread depth, uneven wearing, and cupping. Check tire pressures once a month when tires are cold, before driving for any distance. In extreme climates, a set of winter snow tires may be a wise investment.
- Carry an emergency kit equipped for winter weather. The kit should include:
- 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. Start by asking friends and family for recommendations of repair shops and mechanics. Visit AAA.com to find nearby AAA Car Care Centers and AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, take your vehicle to your top candidate shop for routine maintenance. While there, talk with the employees and take a look at the facility and consider the following questions:
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.