Archive for the ‘aaa michigan’ Tag

Winter Driving Tips

AAA recommends the following winter driving tips:

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

Tips for long-distance winter trips:

  • Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  • Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
  • Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
  • Pack a cellular telephone with your local AAA’s telephone number, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
  • If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
  • Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
  • Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
  • If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.

Tips for driving in the snow:

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

Visit AAA’s YouTube page for more videos on winter driving tips.

Read more at: https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/winter-driving-tips/?sf96221020=1#.XA_iNuJG2Ul

Advertisements

Worn Tires Increase Wet-Road Stopping Distances

Rain showers and storms can make for treacherous travel due to an unlikely suspect — tires. The only thing keeping a vehicle on the road are four patches of rubber, each about the size of a smartphone, but many drivers fail to replace worn tires when it’s time. The less tread your tires have, the higher the probability they could hydroplane and completely lose contact with the road in wet conditions.

(AAA Image)

AAA and the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center tested new all-season tires and all-season tires worn to 4/32” in wet conditions. Compared to new ones, the worn tires increased stopping distances an average of 87 feet for a passenger car and 86 feet for a light truck – longer than a semi-trailer truck.

“Tires keep cars connected to the road,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Even the most advanced safety systems rely on a tire’s basic ability to maintain traction, and AAA’s testing shows that wear has a significant impact on how quickly a vehicle can come to a stop in wet conditions to avoid a crash.”

How do you know if your tires are worn to the point of needing replacement? The answer may be in your pocket. “Slip a quarter into the tire tread grooves with Washington’s head facing down — if you can see the top of his head, it’s time to start shopping for new tires,” Nielsen said.

To help navigate slick conditions, AAA recommends that drivers:

• Do not use cruise control, slow down and avoid hard braking and sharp turns.
• Stay alert and be prepared to respond quickly if the tires lose traction with the road.
• If possible, follow in the tire tracks of other cars where water has been partially cleared away.
• Increase following distances to provide extra room should a sudden stop become necessary.


If the car begins to hydroplane, ease off the accelerator to slow down. Don’t jam on the brakes because this could cause a skid and loss of vehicle control. If the rear of the car begins to slide sideways, steer smoothly in the direction the vehicle should be going until traction is regained.

For more information please read the full report AAA Tire Research Report

Read more at: https://www.aaa.com/autorepair/articles/worn-tires-increase-wet-road-stopping-distances?sf95884646=1

The change in "Spare Tire" standards…

Getting a flat tire is always an unexpected challenge, but if a current trend continues you may face another surprise the next time a flat tire strands you at the roadside. AAA research found that over the last dozen years automakers have been eliminating spare tires from their vehicles. Today, approximately 30 percent of new cars come without a spare (up from just 5 percent in 2006) and it is estimated there are more than 30 million cars on the road that lack a spare tire.

The main reason manufacturers are removing spare tires is tough new government fuel economy standards. A spare tire, vehicle jack and related tools can weigh 30 pounds or more. While this might not seem like much, getting rid of the weight provides a small but measurable increase in fuel economy … an increase automakers like because it saves them money in the process. Removing the spare can also free up space for cargo and passengers. Additionally, automakers say the tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) on newer cars reduce the likelihood of being stranded by the roadside with a flat tire – although AAA road service numbers do not bear this out.

What Should You Do?

First, determine whether your car has a spare tire. Most cars without them are equipped with either run-flat tires or a tire sealant/inflator kit. See your owner’s manual for more information. Run-flat tires can be driven at reduced speeds for limited distances without air pressure. Tire sealant/inflator kits can temporarily repair small punctures, but are ineffective for larger leaks or tire sidewall damage.

If a run-flat tire loses air pressure, or a conventional flat tire is fixed with sealant/inflator kit, immediately take the car to a quality tire repair facility, such as a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop, as soon as possible for a permanent tire repair. If you used a sealant/inflator kit, you should also replace that, which can cost up to $300 for certain vehicles. Some sealants have expiration dates and require replacement every four to eight years whether they are used or not.

Spare tires are optional on many cars, and AAA recommends the additional investment when buying a new vehicle. The cost of a spare tire may be less than that of replacing a sealant/inflator kit, and it will help ensure your mobility regardless of the reason for a flat. If your current car lacks a spare, auto dealers and aftermarket tire retailers sell spare tires and the related tools for vehicles that originally came with a sealant/inflator kit. The cost typically ranges from $300 to $600 depending on the vehicle.

Whatever you do, do not get caught with a flat tire, no spare, no run-flat tires, no sealant/inflator kit and no plan for what to do next. To minimize roadside frustration and delays, review the flat tire procedures for your car today. If you are among those drivers who would rather let someone else deal with a flat, make sure you have your AAA membership card with you at all times.

Good car maintenance can help reduce the likelihood of getting a flat. Keep your tires properly inflated and have them periodically rotated by an auto repair shop to equalize wear and extend tire life. Replace your tires promptly when they become worn; the less tread a tire has the more vulnerable it is to suffering a puncture.

Read more at: https://www.aaa.com/autorepair/articles/the-amazing-disappearing-spare-tire?sf94059362=1

Gas prices below $2 a gallon for 1st time since ’09

Gasoline just keeps getting cheaper in Michigan, where the average pump price dropped Thursday to $1.97 a gallon — the lowest since March 2009.

Prices on New Year’s Day 2015 were down 13 cents in the past seven days, AAA Michigan said. Gas was 42% cheaper than it was one year ago, when the average price per gallon was $3.37.

“Gas prices continue to drop due to a significant decline in crude oil costs,” auto club spokeswoman Susan Hiltz said. “Crude oil represents about two-thirds of the cost of gasoline and is directly correlated with changes in gas prices.”

Dearborn-based AAA Michigan surveys fuel costs at 2,800 Michigan gas stations daily.

The latest price report marks a dramatic turnaround in gas prices. The statewide average peaked at $3.96 a gallon on June 16 before beginning a steady decline, according to the auto club. The national average also hit its 2014 high in June, reaching about $3.66 a gallon.

Nationwide, the average gas price was $2.24 a gallon Thursday, AAA said. It said drivers in the Midwest were paying the least for gas, while the most expensive prices in the contiguous 48 states were in the Northeast. Only Alaska at $3.09 and Hawaii at $3.53 a gallon averaged more than $3 this week.

If Michigan’s sub-$2 prices seem too good to last, they probably are, senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy told the Detroit Free Press. But even as prices make their expected rise, they probably will remain under $3 a gallon through 2015, he said.

“This may be getting as close to as good as it gets,” said DeHaan.

As read on: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/01/02/gas-prices-michigan/21178567/

AAA Tips for Picking and Paying for the ‘Right’ New Car

Buying a new vehicle takes time, research and eventually money.  So when the occasion comes to purchase a new car, it’s not a choice that should be made lightly. To help consumers, AAA offers a checklist of factors to consider when looking for the ‘right’ new car.

“Today’s consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to picking a new vehicle, but that also means the selection process can be much more difficult,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s Director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “There are numerous factors to consider, many of which take place long before a buyer ever hits a car lot.”

When shopping for a new vehicle, AAA recommends the following:

  • Determine What Is Affordable. Before considering any specific makes or models, sit down with the household budget and determine what is affordable before visiting a car lot. AAA’s financial services experts advise that no more than 15 percent to 20 percent of your total monthly budget should go to all car-related expenses. Consider the value of your trade-in and how much cash you want to put towards the vehicle purchase. Consult with an insurance agent to get a rough estimate of premiums on the type of vehicle being considered. AAA insurance agents can be located at AAA.com.
  • Evaluate Driving Habits. Take a realistic look at how the vehicle will be used. What types of trips will it be used for most frequently? How many passengers will the vehicle need to carry? How long of a commute will it need to accommodate? Will the vehicle be driven on the highway? Will you need extra cargo space?
  • List Needed Features (Current and Future). Make a list of all required features the new vehicle should include, being careful to separate ‘wants’ from ‘needs.’ How much seating? How much cargo? Minimum fuel economy? When making the list, think about needs today and those several years down the road. Could children be in the future? Could the commute lengthen?
  • Consider Depreciation Costs. The biggest yearly expense to new cars is depreciation. Research how much the models being considered depreciate within the first few years and consider a model that has a track record of holding its value longer. The new AAA Auto Buying Tools App can assist consumers shopping for a new vehicle by providing all of the information they need to make an educated decision by visiting AAA.com/AutoBuying or by downloading the AAA Auto Buying Tools app from the iTunes App Store. The app can build the car you want, including options and available incentives, while viewing pricing information, crash safety ratings, AAA reviews, images and more.
  • New or New to You. Look at pricing options for both new vehicles, as well as models that are one to two years old. There are benefits to both new and slightly used models. New vehicles typically come with longer warranties, buying incentives from the automaker, the latest features and are widely available. Slightly used vehicles might offer a price break, but it can be more difficult to find the ‘perfect’ vehicle with the exact features a buyer is seeking and does not have buying incentives from the manufacturer.
  • Review Warranty and Maintenance Costs. Review the length of the warranty of vehicles being considered and exactly what it covers. Investigate the maintenance costs associated with the car by reviewing its recommended maintenance schedule and calculating new costs of regularly needed maintenance items. If the buyer consistently uses the same repair shop, ask how the cost of maintaining the new vehicle will compare with the current vehicle.  AAA Approved Auto Repair shops are located across North America and are excellent sources of trusted maintenance information.  The nearest shop can be located by visiting AAA.com/repair.
  • Investigate Safety Ratings and Features. Check the safety ratings of all models under consideration from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Evaluate the safety features available on each model. If using a car seat for a child, check the accessibility to the vehicle’s LATCH system and the ease of installing a child passenger safety seat.
  • Seek Recommendations and Reviews. Ask friends, family and colleagues for feedback on their vehicles. Read professional reviews provided by AAA’s Auto Buying experts at AAA.com/AutoBuying, and feedback from current owners of the models being considered. These can often be found on web forums.
  • Don’t Limit Choice to One Vehicle. Narrow the choices to two or three vehicles that meet all the criteria, but do not narrow it down to only one. By allowing flexibility, buyers have more negotiating room and a better chance of finding the best possible price.
  • Financing is Key. AAA financial services experts advise that consumers gain a distinct advantage in the car buying process by arriving at the dealership with financing in hand.  Carefully and thoroughly shop loan options and available interest rates in advance. Inching down a loan’s interest rate even a percentage point or two can save hundreds of dollars over the life of the car loan.  Match the length of the loan to the length of ownership.  Select your loan term based on how long you plan to own the vehicle and make sure your loan has no prepayment penalty.

AAA can help consumers save for major purchases like buying a new vehicle.  Building a sound savings strategy is the best way to prepare for the future and different savings options offer different benefits to help you reach your goals.  AAA members can learn more at AAA.com/deposits.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

As read on: http://newsroom.aaa.com/2012/03/aaa-offers-tips-for-picking-and-paying-for-the-right-new-car/?sf17594182=1