SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — During winter storms, many Texas drivers find themselves stranded and in need of emergency roadside service. Here are some Tips from AAA Texas on how to avoid the most common winter weather roadside emergencies.
According to AAA Texas, more than 800 Dallas/Fort Worth motorists contacted AAA Texas for emergency roadside service on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 (this number is lower than average but still avoidable). In addition to tows for drivers who spun out and got stuck on the slick roadways, flat tires and dead batteries caused problems for many drivers as well on Tuesday.
AAA data shows 60% of Americans do not regularly check their tire’s air pressure. When the temperature drops, so do the air pressure in our vehicle’s tires. AAA Texas reminds drivers that well-maintained tires are critical to traction on wet roads.
- A tire can lose 1 pound per square inch with every 10-degree Fahrenheit drop in temperature. This is in addition to the 1-2 psi tires typically lose each month.
- It is recommended that drivers check their car’s tire pressure at least once a month. However, during colder months, the frequency should double.
- Tip: To avoid a false air pressure reading, check your tires when they’re cold or after the vehicle has been idle. The air inside tires warms up during use and expands causing the pressure to increase temporarily.
Dead batteries are one of the top service calls AAA Texas has responded to during Winter Storm Mara. Car batteries lose a third of their power in freezing weather. As the air outside cools, the oil in your car thickens. Parts move slower and your battery must use more power to turn over and start the engine.
Make sure your battery and charging system are up to par, a fully charged battery in good condition is required to start an engine in cold weather.
- Park your car in a garage whenever possible. The less frigid the air is around your car, the better for your battery.
- Turn off your lights, wipers and heater before you turn off your engine at the end of a drive to prevent an unnecessary drain on the battery the next time you start your car.
- Unplug phone chargers and USB cables for devices like iPods as soon as you turn off your engine.
- Avoid using your car’s heater longer than you need to; heaters put extra strain on your battery.
- If you see corrosion on your battery, clean it or have it cleaned by a trained technician.
Keep a heavy blanket and warm clothing in your trunk as well as other supplies to stay warm during winter. If you ever break down and can’t use your heater in freezing weather, you’ll need those supplies to keep warm until help arrives.
CC AAA Texas