Spring Tune-ups Could Prevent Summer Blow-outs

Two-thirds of U.S. travelers are planning a summer vacation; many aren’t road ready

BOISE – (April 11, 2019) – According to a new survey by AAA, two-thirds of U.S. travelers will set out on a summer vacation this year.  But millions of Americans will have neglected the basic maintenance and repairs that are needed to prevent a roadside mishap.

Nationwide, AAA plans to rescue nearly eight million motorists this summer, and more than 16,000 Idaho drivers will be among them.  Flat tires, dead batteries, and lockouts will be the main culprits.

“Vehicle maintenance is similar to a routine checkup or a cleaning at the dentist’s office – things that are necessary for our quality of life,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.  “Sometimes we let the maintenance problems pile up until it’s more like a trip to the emergency room.”

 

AAA says that drivers should be proactive when preparing for a road trip this summer:

  • Check the tires.  Make sure that your tires are inflated to the proper pressure, as found in the owner’s manual or on the driver-side doorjamb.  Also, inspect the condition of the tread using the quarter test – turn a quarter upside down, and place it in the tire tread.  If you can see the top of George Washington’s head, it’s time to think about changing your tires.
  • Check the brakes.  Look for fluid leaks, and listen for any signs of grinding or scraping when you apply the brakes.
  • Check the battery.  When your car battery is three years old or older, have it checked every six months or so (this can usually be done during a regular oil change).   Verify the remaining capacity, and make sure that the terminals are clean and free of corrosion.
  • Check fluid levels.  “Fluids are the lifeblood of your automobile,” Conde said.  “Look for leaks on your garage floor or driveway, and make sure everything is topped off before you leave town.”

 

Drivers should have their vehicles inspected by a trusted mechanic before they hit the road, such as one of AAA’s Approved Auto Repair facilities.  For more information, visit AAA.com/autorepair.

Many of this year’s top ten travel destinations are scattered across the globe, with Orlando, Florida leading the way.  While distant locations like London, Rome, Dublin, and Paris also made the list, some regional options will attract Idaho visitors, including Seattle, Washington, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Anchorage, Alaska.  In particular, Alaskan cruises are a top vacation choice this year.  Travelers should make arrangements with a trusted travel agent, like on of AAA’s consultants, to handle their needs.

“Idahoans are accustomed to traveling great distances in search of family fun, and this year will be no exception,” Conde said.  “We expect many travelers to take advantage of the many state and national parks that are within easy reach of the Gem State.”

In partnership with the Idaho Transportation Department, AAA Idaho launched #IdahoReady, a year-round safety campaign to help Idaho motorists and visitors stay safe on the road.  While the first videos focused on winter weather driving, additional content will soon be provided on a variety of spring and summer-related topics.  For more information, search on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #IdahoReady.