AAA: Roadside assistance surpassed last year

R-H Staff

DAYTON — For most of the year, AAA has seen an increase in the number of car batteries that needed to be replaced, according to a press release.

In a press release last week, AAA said it saw the same over the Christmas holiday weekend when cold weather took a greater toll. With that in mind, AAA urges drivers, especially those whose batteries may be a few years old, to get them checked now rather than risk becoming stranded roadside in adverse conditions.

“We saw this past weekend what the cold, snow and ice can do to driving conditions and to vehicles,” says Shawn Cobble, AAA Fleet Supervisor. “We encourage drivers to also be proactive in their car care.”

Over the Christmas holiday weekend, AAA responded to more than 6,415 calls for service in Ohio’s AAA Club Alliance — which includes the Cincinnati, Miami Valley and Northwest Ohio markets. Battery calls were among the top two reasons for calls.

Record number of older cars on the road – More people are keeping their cars longer because of supply chain issues that have limited availability and dramatically increased the price of new vehicles. In fact, according to S&P Global Mobility, the average age of an American vehicle is a record 12 years and 2 months.

Vehicles sitting longer – With more people still working from home, vehicles may be sitting idle longer, shortening battery life.

Disruption of basic vehicle maintenance – During COVID, basic vehicle maintenance routines that include battery and tire checks were disrupted, and the impact of that disruption may linger.

Battery warning signs

The starter motor cranks the engine slowly.

Battery/Charging warning lamp illuminates on the dashboard.

In older models, dim incandescent headlights, particularly when the car is idling, indicates a weak battery.

Not every failing battery reveals itself through obvious symptoms, so basic vehicle maintenance is always encouraged.

AAA tips for battery care and service

Start your engines — Even if you are not driving to work or going out every day, make sure you start your vehicle once every few days to ensure the battery has a strong charge.

Keep your battery clean – Periodically pop the hood and look for corrosion on the battery terminals. If you see any, clean it off with a small, stiff brush and a solution of baking soda and water. After removing the corrosion, rinse the battery with water.

Check to make sure the terminal connections aren’t loose — If they are, tighten with a wrench.

Get a battery checkup — The average battery lasts 3-5 years. Before hitting the road, basic vehicle maintenance should include a battery check. ere.

R-H Staff