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AAA stresses vehicle maintenance as winter months loom

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 5:24 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Winter in the Upper Midwest is nothing new, but what is new is the need to get your vehicle its seasonal checkup sooner rather than later.

According to AAA, for several reasons related to COVID-19, drivers are keeping their vehicles longer than ever, which means there is an even greater need to invest in basic maintenance to keep them running.

“September was busy for us, and October, we’re halfway through the month and we’re seeing quite a few folks getting ready for winter,” Greg Anderson, the owner of Meineke Car Care Center on West 12th Street, said.

Anderson says supply chain issues should make you consider getting in as quickly as you can.

“If we could go back a few months ago, and say you might need some brake parts, it was pretty easy to find them, not as much today,” Anderson said. “Sometimes you have to wait a couple of days, sometimes we have to go a couple of places.”

Schulte Subaru is also working hard to prepare cars for the cold, ice, and snow.

“Things like your battery, you definitely don’t want to be sitting out in a parking lot and your car won’t start, making sure your tires pressure is up, you don’t want a flat tire, fluid levels are good. The last thing we want is someone to be stranded during the cold winter months,” Schulte Subaru Fixed Operations Director Travis Johnson said.

Servicing your car now can save you money in the long run. And, more importantly, keep you safe.

“Preventative maintenance is always cheaper than having a failure and expensive repair,” Johnson said.

In addition, the price of new and used cars continues to rise, so if you’re not in the market to buy, you want to make sure your current vehicle is ready to roll.

“A lot of people are making the choice to, I’ll say, spend money or invest in their existing vehicles to get them through this expensive time period,” Anderson said.

AAA research shows that vehicles ten years and older are twice as likely to end up stranded on the side of the road compared to new vehicles. And yet, more than a third of Americans forget or delay recommended maintenance.

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