Auto Club: Fall Vehicle Check Up Offered During AAA Car Care Month

(LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12, 2006) – Did you know that the Automobile Club of Southern California receives 1.3 million calls annually just for battery-related problems? Or that a clean air filter can improve your vehicle’s gas mileage by as much as 10 percent?

Auto Club members can avoid breakdowns and save money and gasoline beginning this fall by adopting a vehicle maintenance schedule for their car or truck, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

The Auto Club promotes an annual fall check up for vehicles prior to the cooler months and rainy season. The seasonal check-up also can serve as a baseline for future car maintenance.

“Well-maintained cars are more reliable, and, in the long-term, save money on fuel and other repairs,” said Approved Auto Repair Program Development Manager Dave Skaien.

To help Auto Club members with their vehicle maintenance, the Club’s Approved Auto Repair facilities are offering a oil and filter change, 38-point vehicle maintenance inspection, tire rotation, battery test and brake inspection for $29.99 during AAA Car Care Month in October and also during November at participating AAA-Approved Auto Repair facilities. To find a repair facility, call (800) 713-0003 or visit

Skaien says motorists who follow a car maintenance schedule, or who take their vehicle to a trustworthy mechanic, will keep the vehicle reliable. “These tips are especially important for retirees, telecommuters and students who are ‘short trip’ drivers. These types of drivers’ vehicle engines rarely get up to a temperature that makes the vehicle operate as efficiently as possible.”

  • Tire pressure. Check tires (including spare) monthly when tires are cold. Always follow the inflation pressure recommendations for the original tires in your owner’s manual, or those on the tire information label in the glove box, or door jamb, or on the fuel filler door. For replacement tires, consult the tire manufacturer pressure recommendations for your vehicle. Over-inflated tires ride roughly and suffer premature wear at the tread’s center. Under-inflated tires suffer premature wear at the tread’s edges, decrease fuel economy, cause imprecise handling and can overheat and fail at highway speeds. Tires typically can lose one pound of pressure per month through normal seepage. As seasons change, tires lose or gain another pound of inflation pressure with every 10 degree change in outside temperature.

  • Air Filter. Check air filter every six months, or 7,500 miles. Typically, repair shops will inspect the filter at each oil change.

  • Battery. More than 3 year old batteries should be tested regularly for proper operation. Battery cables, clamps and connections should be inspected with every oil change. If there’s corrosion, or indications of electrical problems such as slow engine cranking or dimming headlights at idle, have your repair shop test the charging and starting system and clean and tighten the battery connections.

  • Engine Oil. Oil is the lifeblood of your engine. Change your engine’s oil and oil filter at the specified intervals. Always use the weight of oil recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer for the existing temperature conditions.

  • Windshield Washer Fluid. Rain, insects and other debris clinging to your windshield will compromise your vision if they can’t be removed by your windshield wipers. A supply of the proper washer fluid will help the wipers remove these contaminants effectively. Water is not effective in cleaning oils, and dirt from windows and it leaves water spots on vehicle paint. During fall and winter use a windshield washer solution with anti-freeze protection. Finally, test the washer spray nozzles for proper operation and aim.

The Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest member of the AAA federation of motor clubs, has served members since 1900. Today, the Auto Club’s members benefit by the organization’s roadside service, insurance services, travel agency, financial products, automotive pricing and car buying programs, automotive testing and analysis, trip planning services, and transportation safety programs. Information about these products and services is available on the Auto Club’s Web site at