October is a month to enjoy the fall foliage and help young children choose their Halloween costumes. But it is also a good time to prepare your car for the harsh winter driving that lies ahead.
The nation’s largest auto club AAA observes October as Car Care Month, giving all drivers reason to check their automobiles for safety. If you are a AAA club member, this means you are eligible for a $1 visual inspection at a local AAA location. On Saturday, Oct. 16, members can visit the Franklin, Rockland or Newton AAA offices for an inspection. On Saturday, Oct. 23, visual inspections will be offered in Saugus. Click here for a $1 coupon.
AAA club members can also prepare for winter with a free car battery test. Click here for those locations.
If you do not belong to an auto club, winter is the time to consider joining one. Another sound practice is to carry a cell phone with you while driving in case you breakdown or have a car accident and have to call the police, an auto club or family member for help.
In a year of car recalls, you may also want to check whether your car has been involved in a safety recall. The manufacturer should have notified you of any recalls. But if you are concerned about a smaller recall that may have slipped your attention, contact your local car dealer or visit www.recalls.gov/.
Our last suggestion is to put together a car safety kit should you ever get stuck on the roadway or in a car accident. Here are some things to include:
- First aid kit
- 12-foot jumper cables
- Four 15-minute roadside flares
- Colored safety vest to wear in case of breakdown
- Extra fuses
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers and adjustable wrench
- Tire inflator (such as a Fix-A-Flat)
- Tire pressure gauge
- Roll of paper towels and duct tape
- Ice scraper
- Pen and paper
- Help sign
If you have an accident, remember to record all relevant information, including the name, address, license number of the other driver, the model and registration of any vehicles; and the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses.