October is Car Care Month

October is Car Care Month

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Elizabeth Carey

Did you know that October is Car Care Month? There's good reason for it it pays to get your vehicle ready for winter in advance, while temperatures are still mild. By taking a few extra steps now, you can avoid hassles later when winter weather is more likely to hit.

The only thing worse than a breakdown is a breakdown in the midst of a winter storm, said Steve Steinmetz, director of automotive services at AAA Western and Central New York. A proactive approach will ensure your safety and could eliminate the need for unexpected repairs over the winter.

During Car Care Month, AAA encourages drivers to focus on six essential elements of their car to improve safety and maximize efficiency.

Battery and charging system 

Starting issues are the No. 1 service call that AAA receives, especially when temperatures drop. An average car battery typically lasts three to five years. Get your battery and charging system tested prior to winter at your service facility or right in your driveway as part of AAA Mobile Battery Service, included with your membership and available in most areas.

Traction

Worn tires with little tread are much more likely to hydroplane on wet pavement or lose traction in the snow, resulting in a loss of braking power and steering control. Replacing worn tires when tread depth begins to recede is critical to vehicle safety.

Suspension & Alignment

Neglecting to maintain components such as struts and shock absorbers, which wear out with mileage, can lead to unsafe driving conditions. A poorly maintained suspension and alignment also will accelerate tire wear, reducing traction in adverse driving conditions.

Braking

Make sure that your brakes are in tip-top shape, and check all components including the fluid. Old brake fluid or low fluid levels can lead to brake failure. Inspect brake fluid at every oil change. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend that 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 of your lights are working properly.

AAA knows that obtaining automotive service is often a stressful experience for many vehicle owners. To help improve that experience, AAA offers many different resources to address auto repair concerns. 

If you're looking for a trustworthy mechanic near you, look no further than AAA's Approved Auto Repair (AAR) a network of thousands of facilities that have passed a rigorous inspection process for customer service, technician training, tools, equipment, warranties and cleanliness.

AAA has the largest independently inspected and approved network of repair facilities in North America, Steinmetz said. AAA Approved Auto Repair offers consumers peace of mind along with member discounts and a two-year or 24,000-mile guarantee on repair work.


Go to AAA.com/AutoRepair, where you will find an easy-to-use repair cost estimator, informational articles and a complete list of AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities.