AAA Mid-Atlantic Offers Motorists Tips to Not Get Stranded - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

AAA Mid-Atlantic Offers Motorists Tips to Not Get Stranded

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WILMINGTON, Del. – As frigid weather continues to blanket the region, AAA Mid-Atlantic is reminding drivers to take special care of their vehicles to avoid getting stranded.

The agency says extremely cold temperatures, especially for extended periods of time, puts added strain on a car and its battery. In the past four days alone, between Monday and Thursday, AAA says it has received 1,357 roadside assistance calls in Delaware and 34,495 in the entire mid-Atlantic region, which includes Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

“Batteries do not perform as well in extreme cold temperatures,” says Jim Lardear, Director of Public And Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “When cold weather hits, a weak battery may not have sufficient strength to start the vehicle. Also, as this week's roadside assistance numbers indicate, poor tire condition and reduced vision due to poorly performing wiper blades or headlights often contribute to unplanned off-road excursions and vehicle damage.”

AAA Mid-Atlantic recommends that motorists take the following steps when the temperature drops:

  • Clean any corrosion from battery posts and cable connections with battery terminal cleaner or a solution of baking soda and water.
  • Have the battery and charging system tested by a professional technician to ensure they are in good condition to handle cold weather.
  • Have any engine drivability problems corrected at a good repair shop. Symptoms like hard starts, rough idling, stalling or diminished power could signal a problem that will be exacerbated by cold weather.
  • Replace worn windshield-wiper blades. If driving in harsh climates, purchase one-piece beam-type or rubber-clad “winter” blades to fight snow and ice build-up. Use cold-weather windshield washer solvent that won't freeze, and carry an ice-scraper and snow brush.
  • Inspect all vehicle lighting, and replace any burned-out bulbs. Having clouded headlight lenses restored will greatly improve nighttime vision.
  • Have a mechanic check the exhaust system for leaks and look for any undercar openings that could allow poisonous exhaust gasses into the vehicle interior.
  • Examine tires for tread depth, uneven wearing and cupping. Check tire pressures once a month when tires are cold, and before driving for any distance. In extreme climates, a set of snow tires in some climates may be a wise investment for winter driving safety.

If you are in need of roadside assistance, service call 1-800-AAA-HELP or for a battery price quote visit https://midatlantic.aaa.com/Automotive/MobileBattery.

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