Excessive Heat Takes A Toll On Cars

AAA Mid-Atlantic says it’s responded to numerous calls for dead batteries.





Nottingham, Md (KM)   We often hear about cars with dead batteries in the winter, but it happens in the summer as well. AAA Mid-Atlantic says between Sunday and Tuesday of this week, it responded to nearly 5.100 calls for service mostly due to dead batteries. “Any extreme temperatures, be it heat or cold, really can drain a battery,” says Ragina Ali, Government and Public Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Some of the signs of a weak battery are the starter cranking the engine slowly, the battery warning lamp lights up on the dashboard and, in other vehilces, dim incandescent headlights when the car is idling.

If you’re planning one final summer road trip before the fall sets in, Ali says there’s several things you need to do. “One is obviously testing your battery and, if necessary, replace its before it dies. We’re seeing quite a few calls for battery service here at AAA,” she says.

Another suggestion is making sure your tires are properly inflated. :”Driving on underinflated tires can certainly cause your tires to overheat, and increase the likelihood of a blowout,” says Ali. “This problem becomes even more of a concern when road temperatures are extremely high like we’ve been seeing here in Maryland over the last couple of days.”

Ali also says have the fluids in your car topped off such as motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid.   AAA says low fluid levels increase the chances of your car overheating.

And if you break down on the roads. “Safely and quickly as you can, you want to get out of traffic,” she says. “It’s ideal if you can get into a parking lot or someplace off the side of the road.  If that’s not  possible, get as far off the road as possible.”

AAA also says call road service for help.

Also, keep a well stocked summer emergency kit in the car which should include a fully charged cell phone to call for help. The auto club also says keep an emergency kit which contains water, non-perishable food, jumper cables, a flashlight, extra batteries, road flares, an emergency beacon, basic hand tools and and a first-aid kit.

By Kevin McManus