AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

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LaurieAnnaT
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AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by LaurieAnnaT » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:25 pm

New widow here. My husband was wonderful about keeping the car going and filled with gas. Wednesday was the first day I ever put gas in my 2012 vehicle. But as I was driving on the highway, I realized that, without my husband, I have no clue what to do if I have a flat or a breakdown or an accident. Is AAA still the thing to do? I guess that I'll change over from driving my 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe to driving my deceased husband's 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Besides being newer, it has all sorts of safety features like cameras and blind spot detection. I think it had an emergency service as a three month trial, or some such. Should I explore that?

Traveler
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by Traveler » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:46 pm

First off, I am sorry for your loss.
I am a single female and have had AAA for years. I use the service at least once a year, usually for a flat tire. You can get the premium version which gives you more towing mileage, but I just have the regular which costs $50-60/year because I typically don't drive long distances.

criticalmass
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by criticalmass » Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:23 pm

A new Hyundai typically has five years of free roadside assistance (for that car only). I would check the owners manual for the details and the phone number to call in an emergency. Keep the number handy. Call the dealer if you can't find the information, before you need it.

PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:05 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss.

Back in the late 70s and early 80s as my siblings and I earned our drivers licenses, our parents enrolled us in AAA. I’ve remained a member since then and have nearly always enjoyed good service when I’ve called for it in various situations and locales across the country.

Credit card companies, auto manufactures, insurance companies now offer equivalent services for free or much less than AAA, but I’ve never felt compelled to explore switching from AAA; as long as I continue to receive good service, I plan to maintain my AAA membership, which covers the situations you describe.

Andy.

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JoMoney
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by JoMoney » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:03 am

AAA offers other services for motorists, if you use those or have them for insurance, DMV services, or have incidents where you call for help regularly it may be worthwhile.
Personally, roadside issues have been rare for me, and I can call a tow truck company myself as easily as calling AAA. I've never used the service, but many Visa cards (I think all Visa 'signature' level cards) come with various extra services including dispatching roadside assistance for a flat-fee if you call their number (check your credit card terms and services, its a different visa # not the normal bank/card customer service).
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Dottie57
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:06 am

Traveler wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:46 pm
First off, I am sorry for your loss.
I am a single female and have had AAA for years. I use the service at least once a year, usually for a flat tire. You can get the premium version which gives you more towing mileage, but I just have the regular which costs $50-60/year because I typically don't drive long distances.
+1

denovo
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by denovo » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:47 am

LaurieAnnaT wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:25 pm
But as I was driving on the highway, I realized that, without my husband, I have no clue what to do if I have a flat or a breakdown or an accident. Is AAA still the thing to do?
AAA is an expensive and bad idea. 30 yrs ago they were the only game in time and people are stuck in old habits. Any auto insurance company worth its salt offers roadside assistance for a fraction of the cost of the AAA. In most regions, the basic membership for AAA is $55-70. Car insurance companies will give it to you for like $15 bucks a year.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

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BL
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by BL » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:10 am

LaurieAnnaT wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:25 pm
New widow here. My husband was wonderful about keeping the car going and filled with gas. Wednesday was the first day I ever put gas in my 2012 vehicle. But as I was driving on the highway, I realized that, without my husband, I have no clue what to do if I have a flat or a breakdown or an accident. Is AAA still the thing to do? I guess that I'll change over from driving my 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe to driving my deceased husband's 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Besides being newer, it has all sorts of safety features like cameras and blind spot detection. I think it had an emergency service as a three month trial, or some such. Should I explore that?
Sorry to hear of your loss.

Check into the trial emergency service. We had to call them when we needed it picked up to go to the dealer for battery replacement. So keep the number available and read what it covers when you can.

Sounds like a good idea to switch to using the newer car with safety features and it should avoid some of the problems of the 2012 car, which could be minor of course. You might sell that when you are ready if you have no need for it. AAA might be good to have, even for knowing who to call. You could try it for a year and then decide whether to continue. If money is tight and you are not on the road a lot, I would skip it.

Not sure if you are referring to On-star which we received as a trial on a GM vehicle. Give it a try and see what you think. If car has BlueTooth like mine, you can use that with your cell phone for calls and media without On-star. I haven't quite figured it all out yet. I didn't subscribe to either O-S or Sirius, but might change my mind some day. I really like the back-up camera, other safety features, and some luxuries I am enjoying for the first time.

Take your time about decisions during this stressful time and do mostly just what is absolutely required. Most things can wait for decisions until you are more ready. Some suggest waiting at least a year to make big decisions. Folks may push you to buy this insurance or investment, so beware about agreeing or signing anything. Coming to Bogleheads with questions may be the smartest decision you make. Most of us try to help to the best of our ability, and have no conflict of interest or benefit to gain from any of our suggestions.

AlohaJoe
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by AlohaJoe » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:33 am

There are also flat rate (as opposed to subscription) services like urgent.ly roadside assistance https://www.geturgently.com/urgently-ro ... e-services

ponyboy
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by ponyboy » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:43 am

denovo wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:47 am
LaurieAnnaT wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:25 pm
But as I was driving on the highway, I realized that, without my husband, I have no clue what to do if I have a flat or a breakdown or an accident. Is AAA still the thing to do?
AAA is an expensive and bad idea. 30 yrs ago they were the only game in time and people are stuck in old habits. Any auto insurance company worth its salt offers roadside assistance for a fraction of the cost of the AAA. In most regions, the basic membership for AAA is $55-70. Car insurance companies will give it to you for like $15 bucks a year.
I would read the fine print from your auto insurer. The biggest perk with AAA is the fact that they will tow up to 200 miles with the most expensive package. Not a big deal for some and doesnt apply to most...but my wife has to drive 150 miles one way to her job each week (required to be in office near DC 1 day a week.) If something ever happens to her vehicle I know it will get towed back to our house in PA. And yes...Ive heard the horror stores of AAA taking hours to show up on the scene. She can change her own tire though...although not sure I would want her changing a tire on the side of the beltway.

Thats the only reason we even have AAA...for her benefit...not mine. Not to mention our membership is paid for in 2 months with the discount she gets using AAA at hotels she stays in.

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by carolinaman » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:48 am

denovo wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:47 am
LaurieAnnaT wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:25 pm
But as I was driving on the highway, I realized that, without my husband, I have no clue what to do if I have a flat or a breakdown or an accident. Is AAA still the thing to do?
AAA is an expensive and bad idea. 30 yrs ago they were the only game in time and people are stuck in old habits. Any auto insurance company worth its salt offers roadside assistance for a fraction of the cost of the AAA. In most regions, the basic membership for AAA is $55-70. Car insurance companies will give it to you for like $15 bucks a year.
AAA may be more expensive, but $50 to $60 a year for the level of service they provide is well worth it IMO. We have had AAA for many years and have used it several times for towing, dead battery, flats, etc. I do not know how responsive these other options are but I do know that AAA is very responsive. Being stranded on the rough is a scary situation, so having someone who can help is of great value.

Please recognize this is a predominantly DIY crowd, so some will be resistant to paying for a service like this.

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msi
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by msi » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:19 am

Some carmakers include roadside assistance for free. Looks like Hyundai does for 5 years https://www.hyundaiusa.com/assurance/ro ... tance.aspx

As well, I'm sorry for your loss.

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imbogled
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by imbogled » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:44 am

criticalmass wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:23 pm
A new Hyundai typically has five years of free roadside assistance (for that car only). I would check the owners manual for the details and the phone number to call in an emergency. Keep the number handy. Call the dealer if you can't find the information, before you need it.
Correct! The 2017 vehicle is covered by Hyundai Assurance for 5 years from the date the vehicle was purchased, it is just like or even better than AAA. No need for you to purchase AAA until around 2022 or so. Here is the link in regards to information on the program.
https://www.hyundaiusa.com/assurance/ro ... tance.aspx There should be a sticker on a window with the emergency number that you need. Write it down also and carry it with you because those stickers sometimes wear out.
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kenoryan
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by kenoryan » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:04 am

So sorry for your loss. I do a lot of stuff around the house and also manage all our finances. I do not want my wife to be in a tough situation if I should drop dead with a heart attack. So I have been training her. About things that are done around the house in the spring and fall, about car maintenance, checking the bank and brokerage accounts etc. I have a spreadsheet with all passwords. Even stuff like our comcast account, and Wi-fi router and things like that. I maintain it current and she has access to it through her cell phone where I installed a dropbox app. I have a cash stash at home for emergencies. And she knows where it is. There will be issues but I think she will be prepared.

AAA is the best. There might be a limit on the number of times a year that you can call them for jump starts and gas. If you have never even put gas in your car, please be aware that you need to change oil and filter every 3-5 thousand miles. I tell my wife to get her oil changed at the dealer. They don't pressure you to buy a new air filter every time.

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:08 am

denovo wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:47 am
LaurieAnnaT wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:25 pm
But as I was driving on the highway, I realized that, without my husband, I have no clue what to do if I have a flat or a breakdown or an accident. Is AAA still the thing to do?
AAA is an expensive and bad idea. 30 yrs ago they were the only game in time and people are stuck in old habits. Any auto insurance company worth its salt offers roadside assistance for a fraction of the cost of the AAA. In most regions, the basic membership for AAA is $55-70. Car insurance companies will give it to you for like $15 bucks a year.
It Depends......

With AAA, I can get better discounts on hotels than with AARP sometimes. I can get a second day free at legoland and discounts at southwicks zoo. My car insurance (3 cars) is discounted by several hundred dollars. When I locked my keys IN the car at the airport, they came and got the keys out before my flight left. When I was out of work for a back injury and my wife's car had a flat in the driveway, they came and changed it. That one time I got completely stuck during a blizzard and no AAA trucks were available, I had another tow company get me out and submitted the Sunday double time cost of $240 and was re-embersed (and told this was a one time thing).

It's well worth it for me.
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JMacDonald
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by JMacDonald » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:22 am

I have had AAA for years and would not be without it. There is a reason AAA may cost more than what some insurance companies offer. AAA has alway given me excellent service when I needed it. I have Premier membership and was towed about 60 miles once. The membership is well worth the cost no matter what level of membership you chose.
Best Wishes, | Joe

cherijoh
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by cherijoh » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:16 am

denovo wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:47 am
LaurieAnnaT wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:25 pm
But as I was driving on the highway, I realized that, without my husband, I have no clue what to do if I have a flat or a breakdown or an accident. Is AAA still the thing to do?
AAA is an expensive and bad idea. 30 yrs ago they were the only game in time and people are stuck in old habits. Any auto insurance company worth its salt offers roadside assistance for a fraction of the cost of the AAA. In most regions, the basic membership for AAA is $55-70. Car insurance companies will give it to you for like $15 bucks a year.
The one thing AAA has going for it is it's nationwide coverage and the number of tow businesses with which it contracts. I tried using my insurance company's tow service since it provides 10 miles of tow service, but the nearest contracted tow service was 25 miles away and I live in a major metropolitan area. I sure wouldn't have wanted to rely on it somewhere out in the boonies. I will be sticking with AAA.

tibbitts
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by tibbitts » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:22 am

You don't say what kind of financial situation you're in and oddly enough just like the portfolio questions the answer to this depends on how much money you have. If you have plenty just get the premium level AAA and ignore whether it's the best possible deal out there. As a bonus sorting through the flood of junk mail they'll send you will give you something to do. But also I find the maps/books are nice to have.

palaheel
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by palaheel » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:27 am

We use Allstate Good Hands Rescue. It's a pay-per-use program, so it's free as long as we don't need help. We do not have Allstate insurance.

https://www.allstate.com/roadside-assis ... escue.aspx
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ResearchMed
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:31 am

cherijoh wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:16 am
denovo wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:47 am
LaurieAnnaT wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:25 pm
But as I was driving on the highway, I realized that, without my husband, I have no clue what to do if I have a flat or a breakdown or an accident. Is AAA still the thing to do?
AAA is an expensive and bad idea. 30 yrs ago they were the only game in time and people are stuck in old habits. Any auto insurance company worth its salt offers roadside assistance for a fraction of the cost of the AAA. In most regions, the basic membership for AAA is $55-70. Car insurance companies will give it to you for like $15 bucks a year.
The one thing AAA has going for it is it's nationwide coverage and the number of tow businesses with which it contracts. I tried using my insurance company's tow service since it provides 10 miles of tow service, but the nearest contracted tow service was 25 miles away and I live in a major metropolitan area. I sure wouldn't have wanted to rely on it somewhere out in the boonies. I will be sticking with AAA.
We've stopped even trying to reach our insurer's "roadside" (or driveway!) "help".

Some time ago, we tried calling then AND calling AAA to compare.
Several times, the insurer didn't even promise to send someone in a reasonable time (they were "all backed up").
Meanwhile, the AAA guy came faster than they said to expect, and also much faster than *we* had expected, each time.

There was only one time AAA was really slow, and there was deep snow everywhere.
We didn't mind, and maybe we even told them that "we" were not stuck in the middle of nowhere.
(We had a friend whose sports car got stuck in our driveway. We sent them home in our trusty Volvo XC90, had AAA come in the middle of the night, and had swapped with friend the next day.)

RM
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cherijoh
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by cherijoh » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:45 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:31 am
We've stopped even trying to reach our insurer's "roadside" (or driveway!) "help".
:happy I have had my battery die in my garage twice. One the first occasion, it was the weekend and i was on my way to the grocery store. So I went back in the house called AAA - they always ask if you are stranded on the side of the road and I assume prioritize those calls. I said "no, the car is in the garage" and was told it would be ~45 minutes. I was perfectly fine with that since I wasn't on schedule. I started a load of wash. They were there before the washer finished up, so a lot less that 45-minutes.

ResearchMed
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:47 am

cherijoh wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:45 am
ResearchMed wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:31 am
We've stopped even trying to reach our insurer's "roadside" (or driveway!) "help".
:happy I have had my battery die in my garage twice. One the first occasion, it was the weekend and i was on my way to the grocery store. So I went back in the house called AAA - they always ask if you are stranded on the side of the road and I assume prioritize those calls. I said "no, the car is in the garage" and was told it would be ~45 minutes. I was perfectly fine with that since I wasn't on schedule. I started a load of wash. They were there before the washer finished up, so a lot less that 45-minutes.
You sure you didn't have an "extra dirty" load, with both pre-wash and extra rinse?
:D

RM
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BogleFanGal
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by BogleFanGal » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:56 am

Any auto insurance company worth its salt offers roadside assistance for a fraction of the cost of the AAA.

The only "catch" some people may have to keep in mind - at least with my insurance company - is that comp & collision are required to buy roadside assistance. Until this year, we've driven older cars and had dropped C&C several years ago - so we had AAA. Now we have C&C on one car.

Debating myself whether to keep AAA or drop it. (It's probably not logical to keep it - I think we have some roadside protection through credit card, but it's just a comfort thing - had it for so many years. My parents had it. I really like the company. HORRIBLE website though - that's a topic for another post.)

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bertilak
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by bertilak » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:02 am

Traveler wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:46 pm
First off, I am sorry for your loss.
I am a single female and have had AAA for years. I use the service at least once a year, usually for a flat tire. You can get the premium version which gives you more towing mileage, but I just have the regular which costs $50-60/year because I typically don't drive long distances.
I upgraded my AAA to more mileage because in case of a breakdown, what matters is the mileage to a dealer who can fix things up. That's generally much further than it is to my home.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

quantAndHold
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:05 am

I dropped AAA years ago because of their political lobbying. Towing coverage added to my car insurance is $6 a year, and I can use it an unlimited number of times, unlike AAA, which is limited to 3 times per year. Since I have AARP and Costco, the AAA discounts aren’t worth much to me, certainly not as much as AAA costs.

About the comment about needing comp and collision. I don’t have collision, but I still have towing coverage. Even if I did, adding collision to my old car is half the price of AAA.

You can also just call a tow company and pay for it yourself with a credit card.

The last new car I bought had roadside assistance for the length of the warranty.

Beyond that, I think it really doesn’t matter. Modern cars, when properly maintained, are very reliable. I’ve had to call for help exactly twice for my fifteen year old, 116,000 mile car. Wife’s similarly old car has never needed roadside assistance.

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bertilak
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by bertilak » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:09 am

BogleFanGal wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:56 am
Any auto insurance company worth its salt offers roadside assistance for a fraction of the cost of the AAA.

The only "catch" some people may have to keep in mind - at least with my insurance company - is that comp & collision are required to buy roadside assistance. Until this year, we've driven older cars and had dropped C&C several years ago - so we had AAA. Now we have C&C on one car.

Debating myself whether to keep AAA or drop it. (It's probably not logical to keep it - I think we have some roadside protection through credit card, but it's just a comfort thing - had it for so many years. My parents had it. I really like the company. HORRIBLE website though - that's a topic for another post.)
I have THREE roadside assistance plans.
  • One came with the car. (free)
  • One comes with my auto insurance. (nominal charge)
  • The other is AAA. (costs)
In the past I have called all three and used the one that would get to me the fastest. It was AAA. They have a wider network of participating service providers than the others.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

squirm
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by squirm » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:10 am

I keep the cars going too. My wife calls me if she breaks down which thankfully isn't often. But I've told her to call the insurance if I can't come out to help her.

Last time she broke down was a dead battery in the Wally world parking lot. she called me and I came over and I jumped it and then replaced the battery.

The problem with some of the newer cars is they don't even come with a spare. Although I've plugged along side of the road before.

hudson
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by hudson » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:15 am

I keep AAA Plus; it works for me. I can change my own flats, but recently I had to call AAA because I couldn't get the wheel off. I've had AAA for over 20 years and have always been satisfied.

I would always have a working cell phone while driving.
Whenever possible, I would have a technician check on the status of the battery and the spare. If there is not a spare, I would become familiar with what to do for a flat. I might replace the battery early...maybe every 4 years. I would want the spare to have the correct air pressure and to be in perfect condition. I would want to know if the flat changing equipment was in the vehicle and if it would work. (I learned the hard way that the jack for one of my vehicles would not do the job on a level paved parking lot. I spent $42 to get one that would do the job.)

I would spend around $130 and pack the following:
Long jumper cables
a car battery powered air pump
warning triangles
a few flashing magnetic beacons
a fire extinguisher
Last edited by hudson on Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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bertilak
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by bertilak » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:21 am

hudson wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:15 am
I would spend around $130 and pack the following:
Long jumper cables
a car battery powered air pump
warning triangles
a few flashing magnetic beacons
a fire extinguisher
All of those things except the fire extinguisher came with my car. The kit was an extra cost item my dealer included with the car. Everything in the kit is of decent quality. It was not a freebie. It showed up on the sticker, but who pays sticker price?

Perhaps I should go find myself a fire extinguisher!

One thing concerns me. If there is a fire under the hood -- I suspect that's the most likely place -- is it safe to pop the hood or not?
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

tibbitts
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by tibbitts » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:32 am

squirm wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:10 am
I keep the cars going too. My wife calls me if she breaks down which thankfully isn't often. But I've told her to call the insurance if I can't come out to help her.

Last time she broke down was a dead battery in the Wally world parking lot. she called me and I came over and I jumped it and then replaced the battery.

The problem with some of the newer cars is they don't even come with a spare. Although I've plugged along side of the road before.
Plugging a tire from the outside is never a good idea except in a true emergency. I've done it a number of times and sometimes gotten away with it and sometimes not. It's easy to end up without a good seal between the inside of the tire and the belts. Inserting from the inside provides a much better seal that will prevent air from getting to the belt layers.

Cars without at least donut spares are clearly less desirable.

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by hudson » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:48 am

bertilak wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:21 am
One thing concerns me. If there is a fire under the hood -- I suspect that's the most likely place -- is it safe to pop the hood or not?
I would like to know the answer also...from a pro.
My off the cuff answer would be.... I would pull the hood release and evacuate the area...unless it was a very early in the fire.

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:52 am

If a car is on fire, any part of it. Get away to a safe location. Call 911.
The car can be replaced. Injury by fire or explosion cannot.
The fumes and smoke from a car fire are extremely toxic.

This from a close friend who is a retired fire captain.

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ResearchMed
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:57 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:52 am
If a car is on fire, any part of it. Get away to a safe location. Call 911.
The car can be replaced. Injury by fire or explosion cannot.
The fumes and smoke from a car fire are extremely toxic.

This from a close friend who is a retired fire captain.

aloha
j
This.

Last I checked, them thar cars got GASOLINE in 'em! :shock:

We'd get out and away fast.

And then call 911.

Just like in a home, if you smell gas... the directions typically are to *get outside* and *then* call 911.

RM
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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:01 am

Roadside assistance is pretty common in insurance policies. You might already have it. Check your policy. I've used mine in the past. With mine, it works similar to AAA, you call one number and they find and dispatch someone to your location.
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dm200
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by dm200 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:05 am

When my car did not start, I called AAA and they were able (at a very fair charge, in my opinion) to replace my old and dead battery with a new one on the spot. The truck carried a supply of various batteries such that one would fit most cars.

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by bertilak » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:09 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:52 am
If a car is on fire, any part of it. Get away to a safe location. Call 911.
The car can be replaced. Injury by fire or explosion cannot.
The fumes and smoke from a car fire are extremely toxic.

This from a close friend who is a retired fire captain.

aloha
j
Right. Thus my question, which basically meant "Should I really bother getting a fire extinguisher for my car?"
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whomever
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by whomever » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:18 am

If there is a fire under the hood -- I suspect that's the most likely place -- is it safe to pop the hood or not?
I'm not a pro, but I've seen a car fire.

The first indication of trouble was that the paint started blistering in the center of the hood. The owners opened the hood without any drama, to reveal a small fire. They didn't have an extinguisher, and closed the hood. The fire continued to grow. By the time the fire department arrived, maybe 5 minutes later, the fire had spread into the passenger compartment and flames were coming out around the edges of the slightly open hood. One fireman got the hose ready and another, in turnout gear and wearing one of their bottled air masks knelt down in front of the grill. When he opened the hood a lot of flame whooshed out (which stopped pronto when fireman #2 let loose with the hose).

So my sense is 'it depends'. Early on opening it didn't seem like a problem. Later on I'd sure want all the protective gear :-). I sure like having at least the possibility of stopping the fire when it's small.

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dm200
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by dm200 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:20 am

Over the years AAA roadside assistance is not as good or prompt as it once was. However, we still carry it because they (eventually) do show up and you never know if you can find assistance.

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:30 am

Roadside service is often available via auto insurance. Agree totally.

But, I like to believe there is value in having my wife receive the needed assistance via a AAA badged truck and technician.

Certainly there are some other fine companies providing great service, but not knowing who will be dispatched to assist my wife, I just never wanted Goober or Cletus from Big Al's Towing and Tackle Shop to show up. Won't happen with AAA, or, certainly I haven't experienced having a AAA service call and the driver seeming sketchy.

For a modest fee, IMHO, AAA wins my business hands down. I have tried to ensure my wife (and daughters, while under my roof) had safe encounters, as I couldn't help them with roadside issues.

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by CurlyDave » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:57 am

First, I am sorry to hear of your loss.

I have had AAA for decades. At maybe $50/year extra that is only $1/week and it is well worth the extra.

First, it does not cover only your car -- it covers you. Big, big difference. As you start to get out and do more things, you may very well end up riding with friends/relatives someplace. If their car breaks down you are still stranded, but your Hyundai road service won't help you out.

I have had AAA come get me in all sorts of places that I doubted they would, and more than once it has really saved my bacon. In years when I have used the service more than a certain number of times, I think it is seven, they have sent me a letter telling me that the service was not a substitute for proper maintenance, but that is a lot of use.

Best deal in driving.
Last edited by CurlyDave on Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by criticalmass » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:59 am

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:30 am
I just never wanted Goober or Cletus from Big Al's Towing and Tackle Shop to show up. Won't happen with AAA, or, certainly I haven't experienced having a AAA service call and the driver seeming sketchy.

Who responds depends on the area. AAA clubs are a federation of franchises. In some areas, roadside assistance is handled by the local club or AAA employees. In many areas, (or when the AAA locals are busy), roadside assistance is contracted out to independent local towing and service shops.

Cross Country Motor Club, which is behind many roadside assistance plans offered by auto manufacturers, insurance companies, and banks (e.g. USAA insurance) uses the independent service provider model that AAA often uses too.

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by CurlyDave » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:05 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:52 am
If a car is on fire, any part of it. Get away to a safe location. Call 911....
I always use the "firefighter's rule of thumb".

If you are witnessing any event which has the potential for bad consequences, get far enough away that you can cover the entire event with a thumb held at arm's length.

This is a lot farther away than most people think. With a car fire, the event is the entire car, not just the flames.

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by criticalmass » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:05 pm

kenoryan wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:04 am
So sorry for your loss. I do a lot of stuff around the house and also manage all our finances. I do not want my wife to be in a tough situation if I should drop dead with a heart attack. So I have been training her. About things that are done around the house in the spring and fall, about car maintenance, checking the bank and brokerage accounts etc. I have a spreadsheet with all passwords. Even stuff like our comcast account, and Wi-fi router and things like that. I maintain it current and she has access to it through her cell phone where I installed a dropbox app. I have a cash stash at home for emergencies. And she knows where it is. There will be issues but I think she will be prepared.

AAA is the best. There might be a limit on the number of times a year that you can call them for jump starts and gas. If you have never even put gas in your car, please be aware that you need to change oil and filter every 3-5 thousand miles. I tell my wife to get her oil changed at the dealer. They don't pressure you to buy a new air filter every time.
3,000 miles is severe overkill for most vehicles on the road today with normal (or even severe) service. Hyundai only recommends a short 5,000 mile interval between changes if there is a turbocharger. Otherwise 7,500+ miles is fine. The 3,000 mile recommendation is to boost profits of oil change providers at everyone's expense. In the old days, oils didn't have the quality of today, and neither did engines. But those days are decades ago. Changing your oil more than necessary isn't just a waste of money, it needlessly produces a lot of hazardous waste, oil filters, etc. Even when used oil is "recycled," typically it is burned (together with all of the combustion byproducts, heavy metals, etc) in the shop heater.

See https://www.edmunds.com/car-news/tips-a ... r-oil.html

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dm200
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by dm200 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:16 pm

3,000 miles is severe overkill for most vehicles on the road today with normal (or even severe) service. Hyundai only recommends a short 5,000 mile interval between changes if there is a turbocharger. Otherwise 7,500+ miles is fine. The 3,000 mile recommendation is to boost profits of oil change providers at everyone's expense. In the old days, oils didn't have the quality of today, and neither did engines. But those days are decades ago. Changing your oil more than necessary isn't just a waste of money, it needlessly produces a lot of hazardous waste, oil filters, etc. Even when used oil is "recycled," typically it is burned (together with all of the combustion byproducts, heavy metals, etc) in the shop heater.
What about miles OR number of months (if low mileage and city stop and go driving)?? have 15-20 model year old Camrys and DW thinks every 6 months for oil/filter changes?

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:39 pm

My oil change interval for my van is every six months, or 5,000 miles. We only put about 8,000 miles on the van every year, so I'm good with that. Can't remember ever getting to 5,000 miles in six months for last several years. The oil used is a synthetic blend. At our current use, the van will be in service at least 15 years before hitting even 100,000 miles. 100,000 miles on a truck is just not a lot of miles at all.

Being in a wheelchair, I am a bit paranoid (truthfully a LOT paranoid) about fires, so my vehicles always have a fire extinguisher on board. Never used it for us, but wife helped a motorist when their car was on fire. Fire extinguishers are a pretty cheap safety device.

Broken Man 1999
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kenoryan
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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by kenoryan » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:37 pm

criticalmass wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:05 pm
kenoryan wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:04 am
So sorry for your loss. I do a lot of stuff around the house and also manage all our finances. I do not want my wife to be in a tough situation if I should drop dead with a heart attack. So I have been training her. About things that are done around the house in the spring and fall, about car maintenance, checking the bank and brokerage accounts etc. I have a spreadsheet with all passwords. Even stuff like our comcast account, and Wi-fi router and things like that. I maintain it current and she has access to it through her cell phone where I installed a dropbox app. I have a cash stash at home for emergencies. And she knows where it is. There will be issues but I think she will be prepared.

AAA is the best. There might be a limit on the number of times a year that you can call them for jump starts and gas. If you have never even put gas in your car, please be aware that you need to change oil and filter every 3-5 thousand miles. I tell my wife to get her oil changed at the dealer. They don't pressure you to buy a new air filter every time.
3,000 miles is severe overkill for most vehicles on the road today with normal (or even severe) service. Hyundai only recommends a short 5,000 mile interval between changes if there is a turbocharger. Otherwise 7,500+ miles is fine. The 3,000 mile recommendation is to boost profits of oil change providers at everyone's expense. In the old days, oils didn't have the quality of today, and neither did engines. But those days are decades ago. Changing your oil more than necessary isn't just a waste of money, it needlessly produces a lot of hazardous waste, oil filters, etc. Even when used oil is "recycled," typically it is burned (together with all of the combustion byproducts, heavy metals, etc) in the shop heater.

See https://www.edmunds.com/car-news/tips-a ... r-oil.html
Thanks! That’s useful information.

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by Beehave » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:02 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:48 am
denovo wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:47 am
LaurieAnnaT wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:25 pm
But as I was driving on the highway, I realized that, without my husband, I have no clue what to do if I have a flat or a breakdown or an accident. Is AAA still the thing to do?
AAA is an expensive and bad idea. 30 yrs ago they were the only game in time and people are stuck in old habits. Any auto insurance company worth its salt offers roadside assistance for a fraction of the cost of the AAA. In most regions, the basic membership for AAA is $55-70. Car insurance companies will give it to you for like $15 bucks a year.
AAA may be more expensive, but $50 to $60 a year for the level of service they provide is well worth it IMO. We have had AAA for many years and have used it several times for towing, dead battery, flats, etc. I do not know how responsive these other options are but I do know that AAA is very responsive. Being stranded on the rough is a scary situation, so having someone who can help is of great value.

Please recognize this is a predominantly DIY crowd, so some will be resistant to paying for a service like this.
+1
AAA nearly always provides excellent service. They do not restrict to your vehicle. If you are out with friends your AAA membership will get towing, lockout, jumpstart, tire change, etc. (At least that used to hold - - I've only used rarely in last couple of years and only for own vehicles). Been a member for many years and renew without hesitation because when you need them they are there and, in my experience, go above and beyond to help. Also, their travel books and maps are a big help.

Best wishes to you!

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by rgs92 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:51 pm

I would consider run-flat tires. I know Bridgestone makes them, among other brands.

I think AAA is the best. I once tried to use the Mercedes emergency service when a belt broke on my car and I was stranded. MB didn't show up for hours. AAA seems to come right away. I've always had AAA for decades and they always show up like clockwork, even in bad weather or late at night.
I even have AAA plus, but this may be overkill.

I plan on keeping my AAA coverage for good, just for peace of mind.

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by jlawrence01 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:38 am

^^

I agree. I have been able to get AAA service within an hour all over the country, even in remote rural areas. And usually, the service gets there in an hour.

My insurance company will reimburse for towing costs BUT I have to find a towing service to come out. That is a hassle when you are in areas you are not familiar with. And in too many cases, auto insurance carriers are adding towing insurance claims to your CLUU reports which will result in higher insurance rates.

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Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Post by bombcar » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:57 am

As a side note, here's the "car makes weird noise while driving/stops running" checklist:

If the car isn't running anymore (engine quit), immediately get to the far right lane and coast off the road as far as you can go. Turn on your hazard flashers. If you are in heavy traffic or couldn't clear off the road REMAIN IN THE VEHICLE, CALL 911. It's better to be safe than sorry, and if it's a busy freeway Highway Patrol will be there quickly, and they can usually push or tow your vehicle to somewhere safe. If you DO get out of the vehicle, stand as far off the road as you can. If you live in an area where it gets cold, keep a blanket/jacket in the car.

Once you are safely off the road, you can try restarting it, check to see if you have gas, etc. But never NEVER get on the traffic side of a car parked right on the road. The chance of being hit is too high, especially if you don't know what you're doing.

If you're safely off the road, then call AAA. Pro-tip - you can call AAA and sign up for a membership right then if you don't have one, they'll let you use a 7 mile tow immediately. But I highly recommend just having at least the basic service. AAA will also bring you gas if you run out.

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