FUN 107 morning host Michael Rock shared on air that Mike from the MAPFRE-sponsored DOT Highway Assistance Patrol was his “angel” when he ran out of gas on 128. Responding to over 60,000 incidents on highways in metro Boston, Worcester, Springfield and Cape Cod each year, tire and fuel assistance are the top causes of disabled vehicles. These tips can help you prevent travel issues.
- Schedule an oil change if it’s been close to 5,000 miles since your last oil change.
- Tires should be replaced every 6 years or so. Check tire tread depth wear using the penny test.
- Summer heat can accelerate a tire explosion due to under-inflation. Air pumps at gas stations include a pressure gauge to check air pressure. Find the recommended pressure labeled as PSI (usually 30-35) on the sticker inside the driver-side door.
- Carefully avoid potholes and road debris that may damage tires.
- Replace old wipers (every 6 months) and fill your windshield wiper fluid.
- Top off coolant/anti-freeze to prevent overheating. Make sure your engine has been off for a few hours.
- Keep your gas tank at least one-quarter full. Use apps to locate gas stations on your route.
- Store an emergency kit, including an inflated spare tire, jumper cables, flashlight, duct tape, reflective triangles/flares, reflective vest, first aid kit, water and an energy bar, and for winter, these extra items.
- Always bring a cord or charger to ensure your phone is available in an emergency.
- If using GPS, mount your phone to your dashboard to comply with the Massachusetts distracted driving law.
If you experience car trouble on a major Massachusetts highway, pull to the shoulder, make a note of the nearest mile marker and call 911 for MAPFRE-sponsored DOT Highway Assistance Patrol.