AAA: Winter car care checklist

Oct. 14, 2010

October 14, 2010—AAA announced their winter car care checklist on Thursday.

The organization recommends a simple checklist for car winter preparation, and a quick inspection of the car should only take about an hour, according to a AAA press release_notes.

The checklist includes:
• Battery. A fully charged battery should start in cold weather. AAA members can request a visit from an AAA Mobile Battery Service technician who will test their battery and replace it on-site.
• Drive belts. Belts should not be cracked or frayed.
• Engine hoses. Visually inspect the cooling system hoses for leaks, cracks or loose clamps. Also, squeeze the hoses to check for any that may be brittle or excessively spongy and in need of replacement.
• Tire type and tread. Changing to snow tires on all four wheels will provide the best winter traction. If any tire has less than 3/32-inches of tread, it should be replaced. Uneven wear on the tires can indicate alignment, suspension or wheel balance problems that should be addressed to prevent further damage to the tires.
• Tire pressure. Check tire pressure more frequently during winter months. Don’t forget to check the spare also.
• Air filter. Check the engine's air filter by holding it up to a 60-watt light bulb. If light can be seen through much of the filter, it is still clean enough to work effectively. However, if the light is blocked by most of the filter, replace it.
• Emergency road kit. Update the car's emergency kit for winter weather with salt, shovel, brush, flashlight, ice scraper, jumper cables, blankets, warning devices (flares), first-aid kit and mobile phone car charger.

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