July 15, 2003
BCAA offers tips to avoid vehicle breakdowns
Burnaby, B.C. – BCAA’s Road Assist Service reports that call volumes during July and
August are equal to the volumes experienced during the winter. BCAA receives approximately 65,000 emergency roadside calls per month during its peak seasons. Most summer calls are related to overheated engines or battery problems.
“Many people don’t realize that it’s just as common to have problems with your vehicle in the summer as it is in the winter, and that’s why many people aren’t prepared for the stress summer’s heat can put on a car’s engine,” says Ken Cousin, Manager, BCAA’s Contact Centre Operations. “Many of the emergency calls that come to BCAA in the summer can be avoided with a spring or summer mechanical inspection and a safety check before heading out on a long drive.
This is especially true with recreational vehicles that may have been sitting for long periods.”
To help drivers ensure their cars are properly prepared and equipped for summer driving, BCAA offers the following maintenance tips:
- Invest in a summer tune-up – check tires, top up fluid levels, and
make sure cooling fans and hoses are in good working order. Don’t
wait until it’s really hot to find out your vehicle’s cooling system
is not up to the task.
- Maintaining good visibility is as important in the summer months as
it is in the wet, snowy, winter months. Check the condition of lights
and wiper blades, and make sure you have plenty of washer fluid. Dry
weather attracts dust and bugs to your windshield which you’ll need
to clean regularly. Also check for fresh chips in the windshield that
could easily get worse while driving long distances.
- Remove roof racks when not in use. Unnecessary additions to a vehicle
can change its centre of gravity, making it top-heavy and easier to
roll. They can also reduce the vehicle’s fuel economy and increase
the risk of overheating.
- If you require assistance, pull off the road and switch on your
vehicle’s four-way flashers. Get out of your vehicle if it has broken
down in an unsafe location. This will avoid a potentially dangerous
situation. If you have emergency roadside assistance, try and assess
your vehicle’s operating problem before calling your provider.