Prevent Costly Roadside Emergencies with Proper Car Care

Save money on car maintenance and avoid the high costs associated with car emergencies by following these helpful tips and tricks.

by Anne Middleton, on September 7th, 2016

For the most part, every driver understands the need for regular car maintenance to avoid emergencies on the road. The best way to prepare for a roadside emergency is to prevent it from happening altogether.  But the fact is that anything from a flat tire to stalled car can happen when you're behind the wheel. The secret is to be ready at all times. There are a few simple things everyone should do to prepare their vehicle to assure it is ready for the road.


• Tires: Even if you know how to change a tire, it can still be a frustrating experience if you get a flat on the road in bad weather. Everyone will experience a flat tire, but there are steps you can take to limit the chance of it occurring. Examining your tires for wear and tear, along with checking tire pressure and alignment, are essential to ensuring your vehicle’s safety on the road. This will also improve gas mileage and performance.  According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), 83% of Americans do not know how to properly inflate their tires. The correct pressure levels can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker most often located inside the driver-side door jamb. Also, check the tread depth on each tire by placing a quarter upside down in the tread grooves. If the top of Washington’s head is exposed at any point, it’s time to start shopping for new tires.


• Oil: Motor oil is an engine’s lifeblood. The health of your oil is directly related to the health of your car. Ignoring the need to change the oil can lead to costly repairs. Regular oil changes keep an engine clean, remove contaminants and regulate engine temperature to prevent overheating. Neglecting to check and change your vehicle’s oil can lead to expensive repairs, including engine failure. Read your car or truck manual if you decide to do an oil change on your own to determine the exact type to purchase. Advance Auto Parts provides on-line and in-store experts to answer any questions or concerns you may have on your car care maintenance.


• Battery: Every year, 17 million roadside assistance calls are due to battery failure, flat tires and keys locked inside the vehicle, says AAA.  Nothing is more frustrating than when your car won’t start.  It is important to maintain the life of your battery with basic vehicle maintenance. To avoid an unexpected battery failure, AAA recommends that drivers have their vehicle’s battery tested when it reaches three years of age and on an annual basis thereafter. 


• Wipers: Windshield wipers that are damaged or do not work are a serious danger to you and others on the road. As we move into the cooler rainy months, check to see if they are worn or cracked. Inspect the wiper blades monthly to determine that they can still adequately remove debris for proper vision.


• Brakes: Knowing the key warning signs that brakes require maintenance will go a long way toward keeping you and others safe on the road. If there is screeching, vibration or if you must apply extreme pressure to the brake pedal before your car will stop, it is time to have the brakes checked out.  Even if these symptoms are not apparent, practice good car care and get them checked out annually. This will also help prevent expensive towing to a local mechanic and a pricey brake repair.


• Emergency Kit: Put that car trunk of yours to good use and make sure you have a comprehensive roadside emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. Better yet, purchase a pre-assembled kit from Advanced Auto Parts. This all-in-one case contains the necessary components to assist in most roadside emergencies or breakdowns including everything from a flashlight to a rain poncho. offers even deeper discounts to make all your purchases more affordable with an Advance Auto Parts coupon or promo code.


Basic vehicle maintenance is an easy, inexpensive way to prolong the life of vehicles and avoid high-priced emergencies on the road. Get in the habit of consistent car maintenance to help you and your car avoid high-priced emergency repairs.