Transportation

During Stay-At-Home Order, AAA Reports Increase In Battery Problems


Credit: Tom Sofield/NewtownPANow.com

A double-digit increase in calls for battery service have been seen in the region during the stay-at-home order.

According to roadside service provider AAA, calls for service for battery issues have increased by more than 20 percent, while most other vehicle issue calls have decreased.

AAA attributes the increase in battery calls due to many vehicles staying parked for long periods of time while most places of business and commerce are closed.

Calls for service for battery issues were 9,368 in April 2019 and 11,215 this past April, according to AAA data.

The biggest decrease in requests for service were for fuel calls, which fell 60 percent year over year.

File photo

“Even though your car isn’t running, the electronic systems still tap the battery, which can affect its performance when you try to start it,” said Jose Gonzalez, a AAA car care manager. “Your tires are the only part of your car that contacts the road and they don’t always hold pressure well, so be sure to check tire pressure. You can give them a good visual inspection for damage or even flat spots, which would indicate low pressure, especially if your car hasn’t moved in a while.”

AAA released the following tip for keeping your vehicle on the road:

  • Take Charge – drive your vehicle(s) once a week to ensure the battery stays properly charged, even if that is just around the corner. If you won’t be driving your car much, consider buying a battery tender. It’ll ensure your battery maintains its charge at proper storage voltage when not in use.
  • Gas Goes a Long Way – keep your gas tank level at three-fourths or full. Full tanks provide less space for air and help minimize the possibility of condensation.
  • Fluid Situation – check oil, brake fluid, automatic transmission fluid, power steering fluid and windshield washer fluid. Replace or re-fill as needed by consulting your owner’s manual.
  • Under Pressure – check the tire pressure and fill, as needed, to the proper inflation amount located inside the driver’s door.
  • Road Trip Ready – as an added precaution, consider taking your vehicle to your trusted repair shop for service. Make sure to call first for shop hours and procedures for bringing in a car for service.
  • Keep it Clean — Keeping a vehicle clean is a great way to protect your investment and maximize your car’s resale value. Now, however, vehicle cleanliness has become even more important due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For a list of cleaning products that will destroy the COVID-19 virus on often used surfaces inside your car, visit https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2. Choose carefully because some cleaning products may damage or discolor your upholstery or dash.

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