Despite recent advances in vehicle technology, AAA set a new record last year, rescuing more than 32 million drivers. More folks had problems with flat tires and keys than ever before, despite the new maintenance reminders and other dashboard alerts designed to mitigate roadside troubles.
Keys Keyless ignition systems are pretty slick, but they can zap the battery life right out of your car. It’s true. If you store your key fob too close to your car, in some instances the two can remain in constant communication, draining the car battery. AAA also suggests that you change your key fob batteries at regular intervals when recommended by the manufacturer and store them in a secure location—beyond the transmittal range. Always keep your key fob away from water because they can’t swim and really don’t like getting wet, and never leave your key fob in the car for thieves to use.
Tires As mentioned in our Sept/Oct issue, the fact that spare tires are no longer considered original equipment (OE) in many vehicles is part of the reason why roadside assistance is on the rise. The inflation kits that many manufactures include in new vehicles can’t solve all flat tire problems. Couple that with the fact that a higher proportion of car manufacturers are offering the option of low-profile tires and you have a recipe for tire-related roadside events. Low-profile tires do not respond as well to potholes and other impacts as their counterparts.
Fuel Finally, there are still a large number of folks who run out of gas. Nearly all newer vehicles have low fuel warning lights and tell drivers how many miles the car will go before the gas is gone. This is great, but it appears a higher proportion of drivers are using these systems to push the limits between fill-ups. Reduce your stress by treating a quarter tank as empty. That way you’ll have enough fuel to get you through a surprise detour or traffic jam and it will reduce your anxieties while driving. Let’s just go ahead and remove running out of fuel from the list of future problems.
It is almost inevitable that at some point you’ll have trouble with your vehicle, but hopefully these tips will cut down on some of them. Vehicle problems are always an inconvenience, and sometimes they can even put you in harm’s way. As a AAA Member you have peace of mind knowing that roadside assistance is just a phone call away.
— Dusty Holcomb, President of AAA Car Care
AAA Members save 10 percent on labor and receive a 2-year 24,000-mile warranty on repairs at AAA Car Care locations (see page 7). For automobile articles and money-saving coupons, visit AAA.com/CarCare.