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BEAT THE HEAT: PREPARE YOUR VEHICLE FOR THE LONG, HOT SUMMER

 LOS ANGELES, July 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Summer in Southern California means baseball, the beach and, all too often, overheated engines. As the weather heats up and vacation travel increases, vehicles can run hot while tempers flare. But many breakdowns can be easily avoided with a little preparation. L.A. Cellular, the company that provides telephone service to the network of more than 7,000 motorist aid call boxes in the greater Los Angeles area, offers these tips to help beat the heat:
 -- Don't be a "hot head" -- Keep cool by checking the radiator before driving to make sure it's topped off with coolant.
 -- Gauge your progress -- While driving , keep an eye on the temperature gauge especially when climbing steep grades. Shut off the air conditioner if the engine heat creeps too high and use the heater (yes, this really works) to help cool a hot engine more quickly.
 -- Tighten all belts -- Before embarking on a long trip, carefully examine all belts and hoses for cracks or leaks, replacing anything you may have doubts about.
 -- Don't be "footloose" -- Never cross a freeway on foot. If you get caught in the center divider, it's better to wait in the car with the hood up for help to come than endanger yourself and other motorists. Although call boxes are located on both sides of the freeway, never cross a freeway to use one. Call boxes are usually no more than a mile away on local freeways. Try to stop near one; out of traffic lanes.
 -- Take charge -- Check the battery to make sure the cables are tight and it is filled to the proper level with distilled water.
 -- Keep things clear -- Don't forget to check that the windshield wipers are working properly and the washer fluid is full to ensure a clear view of every situation.
 -- Don't get caught flat -- Heat takes its toll on tires. Make sure the vehicle's tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread. A spare tire, jack and tire tools should be in the trunk. However, get off of the freeway to change a tire.
 -- Use cellular -- If the car does break down, one of the most convenient ways to call for help is with a cellular phone. New discounted rates for telephone service make cellular communications more affordable than ever.
 -- Find a call box -- If the car doesn't have a cellular phone, there is still access to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) via L.A. Cellular, which provides telephone service to motorist aid call boxes. Even if you don't know where you are, the new high-tech cellular call box system allows the CHP to pinpoint the location automatically and send help.
 "A cellular car phone is a great way to get help on the freeway in a hurry. Now everyone can take advantage of cellular service through the motorist aid call box system throughout the Southland," comments Michael D. Heil, president of L.A. Cellular. "And with a little extra preparation, many summer car problems can be avoided altogether."
 Call boxes are a motorist aid service provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in Los Angeles County, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) in Orange County, the Riverside County Transportation Commission in Riverside County (RCTC) and the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) in San Bernardino County. All call box calls are automatically routed to the CHP. Call boxes can only be used to call the CHP and report car trouble, an accident, medical problem or hazard. Personal telephone calls cannot be made from call boxes.
 L.A. Cellular is the premier provider of cellular service in Southern California and the exclusive provider of cellular telephone service to motorist aid call boxes in the greater Los Angeles area.
 -0- 7/13/93
 /CONTACT: Manuel Camargo or Gail Pomerantz of Rogers & Associates, 310-552-6922, for L.A. Cellular/


CO: L.A. Cellular ST: California IN: TLS AUT SU:

JB-BP -- LA015 -- 0892 07/13/93 12:37 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 13, 1993
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