AAA wants your car to be ready for summer road trips

Miami Valley News

File photo of cars (Getty Images).

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – As many Ohioan prepare to take their long awaited road trip this summer, AAA Car Care experts want you to know the truth about vehicle maintenance before you hit the road.

“Over the course of the summer, AAA anticipates responding to approximately 313,000 calls for roadside assistance in Ohio,” said Mark Dresselhaus, AAA Tire & Auto Manager, Beavercreek. “And while AAA will be at the ready to serve members, no one wants their road trip ruined by a breakdown that could have been avoided.”

Here are AAA’s Top 5 Vehicle Maintenance Myth Busters:

  1. Oil should be changed every 3,000 miles: Cars that are 15 years or newer typically need oil changes at intervals of 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Opting for synthetic oil can extend this even longer
  2. Car batteries last for 5 years: The life of a car battery varies & depends on the type of vehicle, driver habits and climate. A car battery can last anywhere from 3 – 5 years
  3. Car warranties are voided when work is done by anyone other than the dealer: The law prohibits manufacturers or dealers to void a warranty or deny coverage just because someone else did the work
  4. Brake fluid doesn’t need to be changed: Brake fluid should be changed at two- or three-year intervals, especially since it attracts & absorbs water, which can corrode internal brake system parts & lead to failure or other costly damage
  5. Tires should be replaced when the tread reaches 2/32-inch: AAA research found tire performance in wet weather deteriorates significantly at 4/32-inch & therefore, recommends consumers buy new tires when they reach this tread depth

“Dead batteries, flat tires, and lockouts will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble this summer,” Dresselhaus. “Also, check that engine oil, coolant and brake, transmission and power steering fluids are at the manufacturer specified levels.”
AAA Recommends:

  • Following manufacturer’s schedule – your owner’s manual and often offers variations based on driving habits. Make sure to stick to the one that most closely matches your individual situation
  • Listening to the experts – while you may be tempted to prolong maintenance to save money, by doing so you could end up with more costly repairs down the road
  • Having your battery tested – car batteries are a little trickier as they will give little warning when they are about to die. A simple battery test will provide all the information you need to decide if it’s time to replace
  • Documenting work – consumers can have the recommended maintenance services or repairs performed at any facility of their choice. Simply document the work that is done by someone other than the manufacturer or dealer to maintain the warranty

In an effort to ensure cars are road-ready, AAA Mid-Atlantic said it is now offering a free “Great American Road Trip Vehicle Health Inspection” to both members and non-members at any AAA Car Care Center through the end of July. This free inspection includes tire, brake, battery, exterior lights and fluid level safety checks. Appointments can be scheduled at In addition, AAA is offering free flat tire repair to members (just $9.99 for non-members) and $50 off any repair/service of $150 or more ($35 off any repair /service of $150 or more for non-members).

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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