Roadside Assistance Calls Spike Because of Extreme Heat

HAMILTON - AAA Mid-Atlantic received more than 900 Roadside Assistance Service calls from New Jersey motorists just by noon, Monday, Aug. 15, with most breakdowns being a result of the extreme heat.  Likewise, more than 2800 calls were received over the weekend, Saturday, Aug. 13 and Sunday, Aug 14.  The majority of drivers called for help with dead batteries, flat tires, and cars needing a tow. 

“Exposure to extreme temperatures, hot or cold can have a negative effect on your car, says Sue Madden, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “With this excessive heat, you may find yourself stranded and in a dangerous situation. Careful preparation of your car is crucial to weathering summer’s hottest temperatures.”

The National Weather Service is calling for an “excessive heat warning” for the area until Tuesday afternoon.

Motorists will beat the summer heat by following AAA Mid-Atlantic’s advice on preparing a vehicle for extended, super-hot and humid days:

• Batteries more than two years old should be tested by a qualified technician to ensure they have the starting power to handle the stress of extreme temperatures.

• Motor oil plays an important role in keeping the engine cool: Check oil level and condition. Driving under extreme conditions, such as over mountains or towing a heavy trailer? Switch to a motor oil with higher viscosity. Check the owner’s manual for specific oil recommendations.

• Check air conditioning system performance. If needed, have it serviced by a qualified technician. Do not use non-approved substitute refrigerants.  Check the owner’s manual for approved types.

• Inspect antifreeze/coolant level and condition: Ensure the proper 50/50 mixture of water and coolant is present.

• If your car overheats, never attempt to remove the radiator cap until the engine has cooled. Coolant in the radiator is under pressure and can flash into steam, causing severe burns.

Other ‘under-the-hood’ components such as belts and hoses, often made of rubber parts, also become stressed by extreme heat and should be regularly inspected.  Be sure the vehicle engine is turned off before inspecting these items.

Because temperatures inside parked cars can quickly reach dangerous levels, AAA Mid-Atlantic offers the following additional advice:

• Never leave children or animals unattended in a car—not even for a short period of time. Outside air temperatures in the nineties can rise to 125 degrees inside the vehicle within 20 causing brain damage or death.

• When parked, use a sun shield to cover the windshield to minimize heat buildup and to help protect the car’s interior. Cover metal and plastic parts on seat belts and child safety seats to prevent burns.

• Open the vehicle’s doors and let the interior cool for a few minutes before entering.

• Even with proper preventive maintenance, summer breakdowns can still occur, so AAA recommends every driver have a well-stocked emergency kit in their vehicle. The kit should include water, non-perishable food items, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares or an emergency beacon, basic hand tools, and a first aid kit.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

One person was killed in a shooting on 1 At least 1 dead in Thursday night Newark shooting
Genesis Rincon was shot and killed by a 2 Man pleads guilty for death of 12-year-old girl
Kane In Your Corner continues its investigation into 3 KIYC: NJSPCA no-bid contracts questioned
VIDEO: Interview with former Suffolk County Executive Steve 4 VIDEO: Interview with former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy
News 12 speaks with residents about what they 5 Hudson Valley Talks Trump: Tax plan

advertisement | advertise on News 12


It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.