AAA: Newer cars breaking down more

(WISH Photo)

HARRISBURG, Penn. (WHTM) – Inside B&M Auto Mechanics, you’ll find employees fixing tires and changing batteries.

“I get more older cars than newer cars,” owner Benjamin Santiago said.

But a new report from AAA says it rescued a record-breaking 32 million drivers in 2015, with more battery, flat tire and key problems than ever before.

“People just don’t realize with all the technology, it takes a little more upkeep,” said Doni Lee Spiegel, public relations manager for AAA of Central Penn.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all because they use more power now than before,” Santiago said.

Cars and trucks less than five years old had more tire, battery, and key-related issues than older vehicles.

“The new smart keys and keyless entries are draining the battery systems quicker for people that are keeping the key close to the battery,” Spiegel said. “AAA recommends you don’t store your smart key or your key fob close to the battery. Take your key when you lock your car or when you leave.”

AAA said 40 percent of new cars don’t have spare tires.

“To increase fuel economy, vehicle manufacturers are eliminating the spare tire in exchange for the tire inflator kit. Unfortunately, the tire inflator kits don’t help all issues,” Spiegel said.

AAA recommends you check your tire pressure on a regular basis and test your battery once it reaches three years old.

“I’m not saying they shouldn’t buy new cars, but they should be smarter toward what they’re buying, have a list of what they want and what they don’t want, and request what they want,” Santiago said.

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