It’s never a good day when your vehicle breaks down.
When it’s 100-plus degrees, however, the inconvenience becomes a possible danger.
As an automotive resource, AAA encourages motorists to stow a breakdown kit in their vehicles and have a breakdown plan so they’re prepared for many things that might go wrong.
“Think of it as your own preventive maintenance,” said John Walter, director of automotive repair and fleet operations. “Arizona’s extreme summer temperatures put cars to the test, making it imperative for motorists to prepare their vehicle and to have a breakdown plan in place.”
The oppressive heat during the summer months can wreak havoc on car batteries, belts and hoses, and result in cooling systems overheating.
In the event that you experience a roadside failure, AAA’s Roadside Assistance experts recommend drivers adhere to AAA’s Breakdown Plan:
Turn on four-way flashers and pull completely off the roadway, freeway or highway, if possible. If you are unable to do so, pull the vehicle to the far right side of the roadway, on the right side of the solid, white line. Do not pull into, or stop in, the gore area, which divides the exit from the roadway.
If you cannot exit the roadway, remain buckled in your vehicle. Call AAA or your emergency roadside provider. Downloading the AAA Roadside app (http://bitly.com/aaa-roadside-app) onto your smartphone enables AAA members who require roadside assistance to send their vehicle description, location and breakdown details directly to AAA.
If you feel that you are in danger, let the dispatcher know immediately. Or, if your vehicle is stopped on the travel portion of the roadway, call 911.
Know your location in order to speed up help. Pay attention to the last exit on a freeway, mile markers or signs, and your direction of travel.
Stay with your vehicle at all times, as long as it is safe to do so.
Know your roadside coverage. AAA, for example, offers mobile battery service and replacement with a 72-month warranty with no mileage limit, while other carriers do not. Some providers charge for full or partial service and require payment up front, before service is rendered. However, this is not the case with AAA, as roadside assistance service is included with membership. Being in the know with details can help you avoid situations that cost time and can break the bank.
Utilize available resources. If you do not have an emergency roadside provider and are traveling on a freeway in the Phoenix-Metro area, call the Department of Public Safety’s Freeway Service Patrol (http://bitly.com/freeway_service), a AAA-sponsored service where officers help motorists in need.
Have an emergency car care kit on hand. The kit, which should be stowed in your vehicle at all times, should include basic repair tools, jumper cables, flashlight, batteries, duct tape, safety vest, first-aid tools, drinking water and non-perishable food items. Drivers also should travel with a cell phone and charger to call for help.
AAA is a go-to source for automotive information. Go to aaa.com/auto.