AAA reported in a statement that the agency has seen an increase in battery service calls in the Blue Grass, as Kentuckians stayed healthy at home and vehicles remained parked.

During the month of April, AAA Blue Grass saw a greater than 10 percent increase in the number of calls for battery service compared to April of 2019, making up nearly 29 percent of AAA service calls and resulting in nearly 2,000 responses. Overall, calls for roadside assistance are down more than 30 percent as there are fewer vehicles on the roadways.

If your car hasn’t hit the road in a while, AAA encourages you to take some simple steps to keep you and your vehicle safe:

• Take charge: Drive your vehicle(s) at least once a week to ensure the battery stays properly charged, even if just around the block. If you still won’t be driving your car much, consider buying a battery tender. It’ll ensure your battery maintains its charge at proper storage voltage when not in use.

• Gas goes a long way: Keep your gas tank level at three-fourths or full. Full tanks provide less space for air and help minimize the possibility of condensation.

• Fluid situation: Check oil, brake fluid, automatic transmission fluid, power steering fluid and windshield washer fluid. Replace or re-fill as needed by consulting your owner’s manual.

• Under pressure: Check the tire pressure and fill, as needed, to the proper inflation amount located inside the driver’s door.

• Road trip ready: as an added precaution, consider taking your vehicle to your trusted repair shop, such as an AAA Approved Auto Repair facility, for service. Make sure to call first for shop hours and procedures for bringing in a car for service.

• Keep it clean: Keeping a vehicle clean is a great way to protect your investment and maximize your car’s resale value. Now, however, vehicle cleanliness has become even more important due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For a list of cleaning products that will destroy the COVID-19 virus on often used surfaces inside your car, visit Choose carefully because some cleaning products may damage or discolor your upholstery or dash.

“Even when your car isn’t running, the electronic systems still tap the battery, which can affect its performance when you try to start it,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, public and government affairs manager, AAA Blue Grass. “Your tires are the only part of your car that contacts the road and they don’t always hold pressure well, so be sure to check tire pressure as well. You can give them a good visual inspection for damage, or even flat spots, which would indicate low pressure, especially if your car hasn’t moved in a while.”

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