Jim Rink (313) 336-1513
Michigan motorists can’t avoid winter – it’s right around the corner – but they can act now to help ease its effects on their vehicles with a free Winter Car Care maintenance inspection at participating AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) facilities statewide.
The inspections – which will run through the month of October – are part of the Auto Club’s 2007 Winter Car Care program, now in its 28th year. This is a free public service for all Michigan motorists; AAA membership is not required. Components inspected by the AAR facilities include battery load and terminals, anti-freeze, oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid and transmission fluids, belts, hoses, tires and wiper blades.
The most common deficiencies noted by AAR technicians include old or corroded batteries, worn or damaged wiper blades, clogged air filters, tire pressure and wear, low windshield washer fluid, dirty or low motor oil and low anti-freeze levels.
In Michigan, faulty batteries and/or faulty terminal connections cause more car starting problems than any other factor. Cold weather is brutal on a battery’s starting power. As the temperature drops, so does the battery’s cranking power.
“Older batteries are especially troublesome in winter,” said AAA Michigan Automotive Services Director Marcia Wright. “And a variety of high-tech devices ranging from DVD players to automatic, sliding car doors are placing even greater demands on a vehicle’s electronic system.”
As part of its Winter Car Care program, AAA Michigan is recommending motorists closely monitor the condition of their vehicle’s battery, especially batteries more than two years old. Although batteries can carry warranties of up to 7 years, a warranty is no guarantee an older battery will continue to perform in cold weather.
DON’T BE “FUELISH”
The free AAA Winter Car Care maintenance inspections not only help prepare vehicles for the rough winter ahead, they also help improve fuel economy. Among the automotive components tested by technicians is the air filter, tire pressure and tread depth. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, replacing a clogged air filter can improve fuel economy by as much as 10 percent (saving up to 32 cents per gallon). A new air filter also keeps impurities from damaging the inside of your engine. Properly inflated tires with good tread depth can add another 3 percent to the fuel savings tally – about 10 cents per gallon.
Michigan residents can obtain a Winter Car Care maintenance inspection at any of AAA Michigan’s Approved Auto Repair (AAR) facilities statewide. All of these facilities are regularly inspected by AAA to meet its stringent standards in terms of customer satisfaction, staff qualifications, and scope of services. AAA Michigan recommends its network of approved repair facilities to motorists for all of their automotive maintenance and repair needs. To find the AAR facility nearest you, call 1-800-AAA-MICH or visit AAA.com/carcaretips.
Winter Car Care brochure: www.aaa.com/aaa/047/PDF/CarCare.pdf
Winter Car Care ad slick (safety tips): www.aaa.com/aaa/047/PDF/WinterTips.pdf