For Greene County News
DAYTON — The freezing temperatures that set in late last week may have caught some drivers off guard.
AAA came to the aid of 658 drivers since Friday with several hundred drivers requiring tows, an indication that drivers were dealing with more serious mechanical type vehicle issues.
“Staying on top of routine preventative vehicle maintenance is the key to preventing breakdowns that may leave you stranded” said Jason Brown, AAA Tire and Auto Store manager. “Before temperatures dip below freezing again drivers are encouraged to check tires, battery and coolant.”
For every 10 degrees the temperature drops, you lose one pound of tire pressure. Tire pressure on all tires should be checked monthly, including the spare tire. Proper pressure levels can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker most often located on the driver-side door jamb.
Batteries loose cranking power when temperatures drop below freezing. The average life of a battery is three to five years. AAA encourages motorists to get their battery tested if it’s older than three years old.
Be sure to have the proper amount of antifreeze in vehicles. Antifreeze works to prevent engine block freezing. Also, be sure to check the entire cooling system, including hoses, belts, and radiator to make sure it is functioning properly.
AAA also announced the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 10 consecutive days, reaching Monday’s price of $2.26 per gallon. Monday’s average is a low unseen since February 2015, and represents a savings of 55 cents per gallon compared to the 2015 peak price of $2.80 (June 15). Drivers are saving six cents per gallon week-over-week and four cents per gallon month-over-month.
Pump prices have fallen by double-digit increments in nine states over this same period and averages are down by a nickel or more per gallon in 17 states. The largest weekly savings are seen in the Midwestern states of Indiana (-19 cents), Ohio (-17 cents) and Michigan (-13 cents), compared to previous weeks where prices moved higher in a similar fashion. Miami Valley area drivers are paying slightly more than the national average at $2.29 per gallon, down 20 cents from a week ago and 77 cents from a year ago.