Summer car care tips
How to keep your car running smoothly even if summer runs hot
Summer is road trip season in America: Three-quarters of American families plan to travel by car to a vacation spot this summer. Add in the extra heat and that means summer is a busy season for AAA, which expects to help 7 million drivers. Most summer road trip breakdowns aren’t inevitable, though, and there’s plenty that motorists can do to reduce their risk of having to call for help.  

AAA’s most common issues in summer

  • Dead batteries

  • Flat tires

  • Lockouts

  • Combined, these three issues accounted for

    more than 3.6 million

    calls for Roadside Assistance in summer 2016

Think of “summer car breakdown” and your mind might jump to the image of steam spilling out from under a hood. While engine overheating is a real concern in hot weather, the majority of the issues AAA sees in summer are the same ones it sees year-round. In the summer of 2016, AAA received 1.6 million calls to jump or replace batteries, 1 million for flat tires, and 1 million for lockouts.

Many drivers don’t do enough to avoid a problem

  • 1 in 5

    don't know how
    to change a tire

  • 2 in 5

    don't have an emergency
    kit in their car

  • 2 in 3

    have never tested their
    battery before it died

  • 3 in 5

    don't check their tire pressure
    at least once a month

What you can do to prepare for summer driving

  • Test your battery

    Batteries typically last three to five years. Once they enter that range, it’s a good idea to assess their health regularly. Learn how AAA Battery Service can take the hassle out of battery testing and replacement.
  • Get a checkup

    Scheduled maintenance can uncover potential problems with your car's cooling system and air conditioning before they break down. Not sure where to go for service?  Consider a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
  • Keep a spare key handy

    Despite the wide adoption of wireless “smart” keys, AAA hasn't seen a significant reduction in lockout calls. Having a backup key can’t prevent a lockout, but can make it much easier to resolve.

  • Check your tires monthly

    Underinflated or unevenly worn tires can lead to sudden blowouts, especially in the summer heat. Simply monitoring tire pressure can go a long way toward preventing such interruptions.
  • Pack an emergency kit

    Every vehicle should have a kit with a phone charger, flashlight, first-aid kit, tire pressure gauge, adjustable wrench, windshield washer solution, jumper cables, emergency flares or reflectors, drinking water, and snacks.
  • Get the Auto Club App

    Whether you’re looking to map a route, find low gas prices, request Roadside Assistance, or find an Approved Auto Repair facility, the Auto Club App makes it simple. Learn more about the Auto Club App.