AAA’s April ‘Care For Your Car’ services put environment first - find auto bulbs
Old leaking batteries, dangerous mercury light bulbs and rough running vehicles are the target of AAA Idaho’s month-long effort to clean up the environment and to get cars running properly before the summer travel season arrives.
As part of its free three-point ‘care for your car’ strategy, AAA Idaho’s Approved Auto Repair shops will provide maintenance and safety inspections, replace dangerous mercury switches, and collect old lead acid batteries through April 30.
“Here’s a way all of us can do something good for our vehicles with an eye on protecting our environment,” said AAA Approved Auto Repair Coordinator Earl Baker.
Free 30-Point Maintenance Check
During April, participating Approved Auto Repair (AAR) shops in Idaho will provide free car care inspections, a $40 value, to AAA members and the general public. This complimentary 30-point free maintenance and safety inspection covers fluids, wipers, tires, hoses and belts – everything except brakes.
“For motorists planning to push their vehicles to the limits during the busy summer vacation season, learning what needs to be replaced or repaired and deciding where you want to have the work done is invaluable,” Baker said. There’s no obligation to the motorist to have work completed by the AAR facility in order to receive the completed checklist.
AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities provide written estimates, warranties on the work they perform, and they return old parts on request. In addition, these shops agree to allow AAA to investigate any dispute and resolve the issue in an arbitration process.
Free Battery Collection and Disposal
AAA’s annual Great Battery Roundup aims at collecting and safely disposing or more than five million stray batteries that were not returned to industry recycling plants last year. Batteries may be dropped off without at AAA Approved Auto Repair shops through April 30.
“Many of these batteries are illegally thrown in dumps and water sources, but many more simply sit in forgotten corners of someone’s property where they could contaminate soil and grown water,” said AAA Idaho spokesman Dave Carlson.
Carlson offers several safety tips for handling batteries: wear gloves and safety glasses, keep batteries upright and place them in a cardboard box or plastic container when transporting them. If the battery case is cracked or leaking, use a leak-proof container and be sure the batteries do not tip over during transport.
Free Mercury Switch Replacement
Located in the hood and trunk lights of most cars on the road today, small mercury lighting switches the size of a pea can become dangerous environmental hazards. When a car is recycled or wrecked, mercury – a neurotoxin that causes serious brain and nervous system damage in humans and wildlife – can be released in the environment.
The amount of mercury in just one switch can contaminate a 20-acre lake, persisting in the environment for years without breaking down. It also tends to accumulate in higher concentrations as it moves up the food chain.
“The process of removing the mercury switch and replacing it with a safe ball-bearing switch takes less than five minutes,” Baker says. “Our participating AAA Approved Auto Repair shops replace the bulbs without charge and then safely dispose of them.”
Generally, American-made cars manufactured before 2001 or foreign cars made before 1992 likely contain switches and should be checked out, according to Baker.
“The mercury switch-out process is free and just takes a few minutes, thanks to a collaborative effort between the Northwest Automotive Trades Association, AAA Idaho and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.
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Mark Harris contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.discount-light-bulbs.com.
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