AAA: Time to Check Tires, Battery, More for Season Ahead

COLUMBUS, Ohio (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – It’s just a matter of time before the weather turns much cooler.

Now AAA is out with a six-point checklist so you’re prepared.

As the weather cools down in the next few weeks, that “low tire pressure” indicator could be coming on.

So it’s a good idea to check the tires on the next cool day.

Also, if your battery is three years old or more, you want to get it tested.

Of the 300,000 calls to AAA from Ohioans last December through March, 25-percent involved issues with the battery.

October is Car Care Month.

Here are the six checkpoints from AAA on Fall and Winter Driving:

Check the Battery: Nearly a quarter of AAA’s winter calls for roadside assistance in Ohio are battery-related. Starting an engine in cold weather requires a fully charged battery in good condition, yet two-thirds of drivers never check their battery before it dies. If your battery is at least 3 years old, have a technician test it before winter hits.

Change the Oil: One of the most important things you can do for your car is to change your oil regularly. The proper interval will be listed in the vehicle owner’s manual. Often, it depends on the climate and how much you drive. Between changes, check oil and fluid levels monthly. Always make sure to use the right oil for your car. Reputable repair shops can help with this.

Inspect the Tires and Wheel Alignment: Tires are the main point of contact with the road and are vital to road safety. Cooler weather decreases tire pressure, which makes tires more susceptible to uneven wear and damage. Proper tire pressure levels can be found on a sticker located on the driver’s side door jamb. Alignment issues can also cause tires to wear unevenly. To avoid issues, have your alignment checked annually.

Change Filters: Air filters clean the engine and cabin filters clean the air in the vehicle’s cabin. All vehicles have air filters, but not all have cabin filters. To determine whether or not your car has a cabin filter, check the vehicle owner’s manual, or ask your technician. Both filters should be changed annually.

Ensure Good Visibility (Wiper Blades, Headlights and Washer Fluid): Wiper blades should completely clear the glass with each swipe. Automotive experts recommend changing wiper blades every six months and when they leave streaks or miss spots. Headlights should be clear and in working order. If they appear yellow or cloudy, replace the lens or have them restored. (Learn more about headlights on Make sure the windshield washer fluid reservoir is filled with a washer fluid rated to at least -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Get Familiar with Vehicle Technology: Familiarize yourself with any Advanced Driver Assistance Systems on your vehicle. Know their capabilities, limitations and where sensors and cameras are located. Rain, snow or slush can cloud camera lenses, delivering blurry imagery. Gently wiping the camera can help, but never rely solely on back-up cameras or other driver assistance systems. There is currently no substitute for an engaged driver.