Nearly 960,000 Marylanders set to hit the road for Independence Day weekend – CBS Baltimore
NOTTINGHAM, Maryland (WJZ) – More than 47.7 million Americans are expected to travel for the July 4 vacation. At least 43.6 million are expected to drive, including 960,000 Marylanders.
“Over the holiday weekend, AAA plans to save nearly 8,500 stranded motorists in Maryland and more than 460,000 nationwide,” said Chris Storms, district manager of AAA Car Care. “And while AAA will be ready to serve members, no one wants their road trip marred by an outage that could have been avoided.”
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AAA would like to remind drivers to plan their routes in advance and to make sure their vehicle is ready for a road trip.
Here are AAA’s top 5 vehicle maintenance myths:
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- MYTH: The oil should be changed every 3,000 miles. FACT: Cars 15 years or older typically need oil changes at 5,000 to 7,500 mile intervals. Opting for a synthetic oil can extend even longer.
- MYTH: Car batteries last 5 years. FACT: The life of a car battery varies and depends on the type of vehicle, the driver’s habits and the climate. A car battery can last 3-5 years.
- MYTH: Auto warranties are void when the work is done by someone other than the dealership. FACT: Manufacturers or dealers are prohibited by law from voiding a warranty or denying coverage just because someone else did the job.
- MYTH: Brake fluid does not need to be changed. FACT: Brake fluid should be changed every two to three years, especially since it attracts and absorbs water, which can corrode internal parts of the brake system and lead to failure or other damage expensive.
- MYTH: Tires should be replaced when the tread reaches 2/32. FACT: AAA research has found that wet weather tire performance deteriorates dramatically at 4/32 “and therefore recommends consumers buy new tires when they reach that tread depth.
“Dead batteries, flat tires and blockages will be the main reasons AAA members experience car problems this summer,” said Ben Perricone, territory manager at AAA Approved Auto Repair. “In addition, be sure to verify that engine oil, coolant, and brake, transmission, and power steering fluids are at the levels specified by the manufacturer.”
Here are the AAA recommendations for drivers:
- Follow the manufacturer’s schedule – your owner’s manual and often offers variations based on driving habits. Make sure you stick with the one that best fits your individual situation.
- Listen to the experts – although you might be tempted to extend maintenance to save money, doing so could end up with more expensive repairs down the road.
- Get your battery tested – car batteries are a bit trickier as they will give little warning when they are about to die. A simple battery test will provide all the information you need to decide if it’s time to replace. Through its mobile battery program, AAA offers its members a free test of a vehicle’s battery and electrical system. The best part is, if you need to replace your battery, AAA can do it on the spot.
- Document the Work – Consumers can have recommended maintenance or repairs performed at any facility they choose. Simply document the work done by someone other than the manufacturer or dealer to maintain the warranty.
AAA Mid-Atlantic offers a free “Great American Road Trip Vehicle Health Inspection” to ensure cars are road-ready for members and non-members. This service will be offered at any AAA health center until the end of July. The inspection includes: tires, brakes, batteries, exterior lights and fluid level safety checks.
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Appointments can be made at AAA.com/CarCare.