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AAA: Motorists should prepare for triple-digit heat

By Vicky O. Misa | Vicky.misa@news-star.com | (405) 214-3962 | Twitter: @Vicky_NewsStar
The Shawnee News-Star

With triple-digit temperatures on the way, AAA Roadside Team is gearing up for increased call volumes. AAA Oklahoma is urging motorists to prepare their vehicles — and themselves — for anticipated 100-degree heat in an effort to avoid a true emergency.

“When temperatures soar, what should just be an inconvenience can quickly escalate to an emergency if motorists are not prepared,” Leslie Gamble, spokesperson for AAA Oklahoma, said. “Imagine being stranded roadside in the extreme heat, possibly with children or seniors. You must take every precaution to avoid it.”

Safety kit

Even with proper preventive maintenance, summer breakdowns can still occur, so AAA recommends every driver have a fully-charged cellphone, extra water and snacks, jumper cables and a flashlight, so they can call for help when needed and ensure everyone’s safety while they’re waiting for help to arrive.

AAA tips for extreme heat car prep

• Battery Check — have a trusted mechanic check your battery. Should the battery need replacement, the technician can usually replace it on location. Most batteries last 3-5 years and each day of extreme weather pushes a battery closer to its end.

• Tire Check — Driving on under-inflated tires can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout. This problem becomes even more of a concern when road temperatures are extremely high.

Tires should be checked when the car has not been driven recently, and they should be inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer — not the number molded into the tire sidewall.

Recommended tire pressures can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker normally located on the driver’s door jamb or the inside of the glove compartment door. Some vehicles use different pressures for the front and rear tires.

While checking the tire pressures — including the spare — drivers also should inspect the tire treads for adequate depth and any signs of uneven wear that might indicate a suspension or alignment problem.

• Check all fluids — When fluid levels are low, the possibility of overheating increases. Drivers should check all vehicle fluids including motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid to ensure they are filled to the appropriate levels.