what do you think about roadside assistance?

 

of course the big one is AAA, and there are others.

Our cars are 2006, 2007, 2011, and 1998. None are new.

So back in 2014, my buddy invited me to a Redskins game, and I decided to drive the 1998. We didn't have the 2006 at the time and the 2007 and 2011 both had roadside assistance a la extended warranties.

So I got AAA Plus for the trip. I never used it nor did I ever cancel it. I have used it for hotel discounts, and I believe it requires the membership number to be entered. But that's about it, never a tow, etc.

I should have never gotten it but think, it's year 6!!

Then, I added my wife on a free promotion, forgot about it, and got a charge of well over $200! lol

Sometimes, I can't explain why we behave the way we do. They say it's because human beings are risk averse.

On a different subject

Do you have long term care insurance?

I could have used it once in 61 years of driving

Even that need was optional since it was solely for a flat tire and I changed it myself. My wife, perhaps not!

Keep in mind that you can get roadside assistance through your insurance company and it often is very inexpensive compared to AAA>

--
John from PA

I’ve had AAA for 45 years

Always save money because of all of the discounts. Motels, hotels, (10-20% off), car part discounts, etc. I usually save more money than I pay for the membership. Had to have my truck towed due to a non-start issue. Right there, I saved more than my membership fee.

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

have

to admit they are always nice--that's probably why people don't cancel. It's like Costco--they make a lot if not all from the membership fees, so they don't need to upsell anything afterwards.

Until we got Concur where we book our own corporate travel, I noticed that the company's travel desk would always book us at the AAA rate, yet nobody ever asked to see proof. Maybe the corp is a member. But when I book myself? 50% of the time the desk asks to see the membership.

I definitely lost at ~ $720 for 6 years. But the cars keep getting older so I am hesitant to cancel and then need it. That's the fallacy of my logic. The cars don't suddendly break because AAA was canceled lol

.

johnnatash4 wrote:

~snip~

I definitely lost at ~ $720 for 6 years. But the cars keep getting older so I am hesitant to cancel and then need it. That's the fallacy of my logic. The cars don't suddendly break because AAA was canceled lol

It's one of many things that are better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

--
. 2 Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, Nuvi 2689, 2 Nuvi 2460, Zumo 550, Zumo 450, Uniden R3 radar detector with GPS built in, includes RLC info. Uconnect 430N Garmin based, built into my Jeep. .

Auto Insurance and Roadside Assistance

Most auto insurance policies provide some sort of roadside assistance. Check with your insurer to see.

Used AAA Once in 20 Years

I've had AAA roadside assistance now for twenty or more years (I just read my membership card and it reads "member since 2000").

During that time I've used it once, about 18 months ago. I have an old 1994 Ford F-150 pickup truck (112K miles)that I drive only about 200 miles/year, mostly to pick up items from Home Depot or take a load to the county dump. Otherwise it mostly just sits in the garage.

Taking a small load to the dump was when I used my AAA for the first time. It was a very hot day and the line of vehicles going into the dump was long. I had been waiting in line for about 45 minutes when I finally pulled up on the scale to weigh my load. After paying and pulling off the scale I was about 5th in line waiting to back into the area to dump.

Suddenly there came a knock on my window. The guy behind me said I believe you have transmission fluid leaking out of your truck. I got out and looked underneath and the transmission fluid was flooding out. I pulled my truck out of line and parked at the closest place out of the line of traffic.

That day I forgot and left my cell phone at home on the kitchen table so I walked back to the weigh station and asked it they had a phone inside that I could use.

I called AAA and a truck showed up in about an hour that hauled my truck to the mechanic shop that I use for service. It turns out this shop doesn't do transmission work so I called AAA again the next morning and my truck was hauled to a transmission shop about a mile away.

Due to the mileage the AAA truck accrued exceeded the no-cost mileage allotment, I had to pay about $80 for the haul from the county dump. The 2nd haul the next morning about a mile away was free except for the hauler tip.

The transmission shop explained the seals had dried out and blew due to the truck sitting in the garage and not running much. The shop explained that the truck needs frequent driving in order to allow the seals to stay swelled.

The repair cost was about $1100 for new seals and transmission fluid. For about $55/year for basic AAA membership it helps to lessen the nuisance factor in case trouble develops. Peace of mind for about $1/week.

the other way

that I try to play the unnecessary expense game....during normal times pre-pandemic....if my wife decides let's go out to lunch, unplanned. that's $50-$60 out of nowhere. One can argue, you're the head of the household, in reality, that's a normal thing.

So two of those? Is an annual Costco membership. It's an annual AAA Plus membership. It's an amazon prime membership. I do think it's ok, as those are for a year.

What is questionable...is when it's for a month...like say cable TV and internet....

It's all good. Again, the fact that AAA folks are generally nice? It makes it fine to part with the money....now if they were rude like Allstate which I tried for free and got billed and couldn't cancel (I kept the mailer that said I could but I got nowhwere on the phone around and around so never ever again), that's a whole other story....

Wife and I have used it equally

For me, it was things related to the age of my car and relatively close to the house. For her, it was when she was nowhere near where i was and she's not mechanically inclined.

Once she was with mother-in-law in M-i_L's car and i was living out of state. That got major brownie points for me.

AAA or CAA

The hotel discounts you get because you are a member are nothing since you get the same as a seniors discount anyway. Check a hotel chains discount offerings, they offer several options.

In the years I carried it I only needed it once somewhere in to wilds of Arkansas to get my car towed to Memphis to a dealer

When I bought my 2015 I dropped it.

--
Nuvi 350 long gone, Nuvi 855LMT, Nuvi 2797LMT, DriveSmart 50 LMT-HD, 3790LMT now my daughters. Using Windows 10. DashCam A108C with GPS.

NAPA Auto Gives 10% AAA Discount

AAA membership will get you a 10% discount at NAPA Auto. I often use this discount for my two vehicles.

I found this odd

Melaqueman wrote:

The hotel discounts you get because you are a member are nothing since you get the same as a seniors discount anyway. Check a hotel chains discount offerings, they offer several options.

In the years I carried it I only needed it once somewhere in to wilds of Arkansas to get my car towed to Memphis to a dealer

When I bought my 2015 I dropped it.

I ran into a consultant while on the road and since he is in business for himself (making at least in 2019 a gazillion dollars while we make 1/3 working for a corporation but having stability and benefits) he said he simply uses all the big co's discount codes and chooses whatever's cheaper. I mean it's not rocket surgery that 3M is MMM. So I tried it and said holy **** this is kind of ridiculous but it's just like anything else. The seller could care less whether you are entitled to that discount or not, they've marked up the hotel so much already. I don't do that because I travel for business so I would not put my co. at risk for trying to get a discount belonging to another co. Just pointing out there's no verification, so AAA is kind of worthless at least on a corporate level for hotels.

I'm not bashing AAA they have an old business model and part of that is being considerate it seems so that's good.

I tend

mcginkleschmidt wrote:

AAA membership will get you a 10% discount at NAPA Auto. I often use this discount for my two vehicles.

to use rock auto or amazon. Rock does not have free shipping so what I do is to load up my cart with other parts until the shipping goes up, then back off, i.e. find the break point.

Meaning say I get what I need and shipping is $12.95. I keep adding to my cart until the shipping goes to $16.95, then I take the item out so it goes back to $12.95. I try to spread the shipping across various items.

Right at the start of the pandemic I got a brake rotor that was clearly installed and removed, not used, but it was installed because there was anti seize and a hand print.

rock is great--arrange a return online, drop it off at FedEx, and as soon as the return shows in the FedEx system? They release a new part. Now I get that amazon would release it immediately, but no big deal.

also for core exchanges you use rock's FedEx which is cheap...like $6 for a starter....I hope they survive because although I own amazon stock, the co. is way too big now for its britches...

USAA

I've got a pretty small adder on our USAA auto insurance that offers roadside assistance. As we no longer used the maps and discounts, we did not see AAA as competitive for the assistance alone and dropped it many years ago.

--
personal GPS user since 1992

I have been an AAA member for 51 years

My personal situation is that, financially speaking, the membership has more than paid for itself. That is talking only about the roadside assistance and does not include any of the other services available, which we have also used on occasion.

In terms of convenience I think that we are far, far ahead of the cost. The benefit for us started showing up our second year of membership. We had a single car and my wife had a flat in a heavy rainstorm in a sparsely traveled canyon 60 miles away. Fortunately, one of the few cars that came along was driven by a disabled man who had a radio-telephone in his car (decades before the first cell phones). He called AAA, who came and changed the tire, which would have been physically challenging for my wife, even if the pouring rain had not been there to make it a miserable experience.

We have used their roadside assistance multiple times in the years since, including a long-distance tow one time when a head gasket blew on the highway between Phoenix and Los Angeles. By chance, my next-door neighbor had a similar experience on a different highway and paid $1100 for a somewhat shorter tow. In addition, we have used the AAA services over the decades for relatively minor issues like simple flat tires, as a back injury some years ago has made that task a very painful experience for me these days.

Obviously, my experience has been that of a single individual, and there are probably many others who have not seen much benefit, if any. On the other hand, I consider this to be like my auto insurance - I hope that I never need it, but IF it is needed, the potential benefit can be major and the RELATIVE cost is minor.

- Tom -

--
XXL540, GO LIVE 1535, GO 620

one thing

that is apparent is that AAA members are loyal. That's something in this day and age.

It's really imho why Costco is so successful (yes I am a shareholder in addition to being a member). Their business model is such that they make their money on the membership fees, and as such the products have a very limited profit margin. Where we saw this during the pandemic? MEAT. As prices soared, they stated their margins remain the same, as supplier pricing has soared. When supplier pricing goes back to normal, so will the retail prices which will be passed on to you, our customers, as you will see a price drop. They kept their promise--grocery stores did not. Look at what is on sale nowadays at a grocery store, almost nothing.

Maybe with roadside assistance, we don't fit the profile, where even though none of our cars are newer than 9 y.o., they're all reliable (pwerhaps this is because I maintain them myself).

CAA

I wouldn't go without it. One call for a tow would far surpass the price of membership. I have the Premier membership, and worth every cent.

--
nüvi 3790T | nüvi 775T | Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable ~ JFK

I use AAA

We've had AAA for more than 30 years and if memory serves I've needed a tow maybe three times and their battery service three times (all in the last two years because of a flaky battery). And we always use the AAA discount at hotels when we're on the road. For us, just having the insurance gives us peace of mind.

Phil

--
Phil in Mentor, Ohio -- Garmin Nuvi 1450

AAA For 20+ Years

In that time, I've never had to use it but it's hard to put a price on your peace of mind.

Another reason I keep AAA is because I'm a bicyclist and it covers bicycle related problems in many states.

in our area

we have AAA run auto repair. I used to use it for when I bought tires online. Had a bad experience with a Goodyear franchise (of course it's long out of business). 4 brand new tires and 4 brand new rims, all 4 rims visibly damaged/scratched after they were done (to fix this scenario the online eTailer shipped 3 new tires and rims mounted/balanced and 1 I lived with and they took $50 off, long story why the Goodyear had to dismount and remount, point being they didn't even deny they gouged the rims, which would have been more typical in the car business). Here's what I was told: "You try mounting those tires yourself, the sidewalls are super stiff." They were 235/40-18, not a huge deal.

WHAT??!!!! I don't even want scratches on the rims of my 2007 car, let alone if they were brand new out of a box!! I mean gouge marks.

Anyway, shopping around.....dealer wanted $80/wheel to mount balance (not even Hunter Road Force that's more), Firestone $35, it was hovering around $30. AAA was $17 then another 5% off. Not bad.

But that was my pre-Costco days, now I'd pretty much trust Costco for tires and no longer order online....(been a customer of that online etailer was since I was a kid and for my parents, it was by phone back in the 80's)

Downgrade renewal

Due to limited travel I let my membership lapse. As usual all the promo offers were ignored but a call from the local office offered a basic renewal at $39 for a year. Seemed like the right value.
My biggest gripe is the paper map quality has gone way down in the last 5 years. Most regional maps are gone. Probably shouldn't be an issue but still like to have a paper map for adventure ideas in unfamiliar territory.

--
2017 VW CC w Discover Media, nüvi 3597LTMHD x 2, 1450, 205w retired, iQue first and possibly the best

hehe

cassel wrote:

Due to limited travel I let my membership lapse. As usual all the promo offers were ignored but a call from the local office offered a basic renewal at $39 for a year. Seemed like the right value.
My biggest gripe is the paper map quality has gone way down in the last 5 years. Most regional maps are gone. Probably shouldn't be an issue but still like to have a paper map for adventure ideas in unfamiliar territory.

I removed my wife who cost like $80/yr. Then I emailed to find out when a refund would be issued since the period begins 10/1/20 and it got paid autorenewal. They replied we don't usually issue refunds (I was suspicious when I followed a link to the refund policy and there wasn't any info, it's like the Hotel California). I checked out but I'm not allowed to leave....what's that all about lol hahahahahahahahahaahahahahaha

You were smart not to fall for the promo. I did. Live and learn.

.

FWIW, had conversation with tow truck company owner. He said AAA watches response times very closely. He also said AAA is very serious about following up on customer complaints about anything (waiting time, price gouging, work quality, etc.). He said if AAA not happy, AAA does not hesitate to drop the business from AAA.

Cheap?

johnnatash4 wrote:

I removed my wife who cost like $80/yr.

Cheapest divorce I've ever hear of, LOL!
Or is that her upkeep for a year?

--
Nuvi 350 long gone, Nuvi 855LMT, Nuvi 2797LMT, DriveSmart 50 LMT-HD, 3790LMT now my daughters. Using Windows 10. DashCam A108C with GPS.

my

Melaqueman wrote:
johnnatash4 wrote:

I removed my wife who cost like $80/yr.

Cheapest divorce I've ever hear of, LOL!
Or is that her upkeep for a year?

btw AAA did refund me $78.50, just bizarre that if I didn't ask, there's no intention of doing so lol

buddy just went through this and it cost 5 figures for the attorney. His attorney told him each month you delay, it will cost you about $5k because your spouse is depleting the settlement assets on purpose.

Hard to believe I was shocked when he called me stating he is officially divorced. They were high school sweethearts and I've known them since high school. People change. Just 2016 his wife had a destination b-day party for him and I estimate that cost her 30k. I told him that--it changed that much in < 4 years? Humans....

A long time member here too...

-et- wrote:

My personal situation is that, financially speaking, the membership has more than paid for itself. That is talking only about the roadside assistance and does not include any of the other services available, which we have also used on occasion.

Perhaps it is as some have said that my continued membership is just out of habit, but habits are hard to break and for that reason alone I continue to re-up my AAA premier membership (the added distance towing is the key reason).

Interestingly, just last week my wife and I were delivering her son's car from PA to AZ and the car just stopped in the tollbooth in Stroud OK. A quick call to the PA AAA transferred us to the local AAA services and within 30 minutes our car was on the back of a flatbed on its way to a AAA shop overnight. Thinking about it now, the AAA recommended repair shops is another reason for my reassurance in AAA; that I would have leverage with the shop if I had any issues.

By the next afternoon we were on our way again. I suppose I could check the USAA version but again, AAA is "the devil I know" vs the one I don't.

--
NEOhioGuy - Garmin 2639, MIO Knight Rider

Your CAA membership reminds me...

Juggernaut wrote:

I wouldn't go without it. One call for a tow would far surpass the price of membership. I have the Premier membership, and worth every cent.

that years ago even as a US AAA member I needed help in Canada and the transition to service there was as seamless as if I had been stuck in my hometown. Membership definitely paid for itself in a single occasion.

--
NEOhioGuy - Garmin 2639, MIO Knight Rider

speaking of the devil

my friend's mom's Honda CR-V left her stranded yesterday, and AAA to the rescue. Flatbed to dealership. Very odd, a 2019 Honda? It's certainly a strange world we live in today.

Now my wife's car needed new AC and a power steering rack at 24k miles, but that was mfg. in Michigan. lol What I learned on that one is it's just not true that parts are inexpensive for American cars. Some cost more than their German counterparts, so it becomes necessary to DIY on American cars as well today (like dealer charges of $1000 for an alternator [it's even made by Denso for the OE part] or $800 for a water pump lol).

I'm stuck in the past

johnnatash4 wrote:

$800 for a water pump lol).

I'm so old that I think of those as good for about 80,000 miles and costing about $80. I guess I need an update.

--
personal GPS user since 1992

That's what they were way back then. I remember also.

archae86 wrote:
johnnatash4 wrote:

$800 for a water pump lol).

I'm so old that I think of those as good for about 80,000 miles and costing about $80. I guess I need an update.

--
Nuvi 2460LMT.

again

archae86 wrote:
johnnatash4 wrote:

$800 for a water pump lol).

I'm so old that I think of those as good for about 80,000 miles and costing about $80. I guess I need an update.

I guess AAA Plus is also gonna be a backup plan if DIY were to go sideways????

American car (well SUV). This is what kills me--known defect. So cars from years 2008 to 2010, extended special warranty 10 years / 120k. My wife's is, guess what, a 2011 lol It failed at 8 years 85k.

But I tell you those folks on YouTube who want to help others are really fantastic. I watched 2 videos, 1 was a auto parts eTailer, the other just a guy like you and me, both showed the entire job. The guy like you and me said you do not have to remove motor mounts or jack up the engine to get the pump out, believe me, and he showed it. I even got away with not removing the fender liner, I peeled it back.

So I bought the OE part on amazon because it has the torque to yield bolts which I bet you some shops will cheat because they are like $4 each so that's $24. And I got a great tip on amazon--use RTV to stick the pump in place believe me you don't want to do the job 2X like me....there was one bolt I could not see so I had to go by feel, that's always a little uncomfortable for me.

p.s. I haven't done my other car. The water pump is electric and the thermostat is electronic and the dealer gets like $1400 for that one...

AAA

Had AAA for the last 15 years or so. Mainly got it for my wife and then my daughter started driving. She used it a lot. Kids are gone now and daughter lives in the big city with no car. Still keep it out of habit and for wife. We are really getting older now and I no longer have any urge to change a tire or whatever so will keep it. Have used the towing service 3 times and it was very helpful.

--
Dudlee

when my wife's car

wouldn't start on Friday, it was blocking all 3 other cars.

I thought that if it were something mechanical, AAA Plus was gonna be my get out of jail free card....for some reason my jump to the posts under the hood didn't work, so I ran the cables directly to the battery, which is under the rear right passenger's feet....

p.s. not really sure how far a flatbed can get up our tiny driveways, but I suppose that's their problem. Knock on wood still hope I never need the roadside assist/towing...

Would Not be without it

My situation is a little different than those mentioned. I have Roadside Assistance through Good Sam for my truck and trailer hat even covers my cars.

When you have a 36 foot RV being towed with a Freightliner M2 it is great peace of mind. A couple of years ago, I had a fuel issue on the truck. Called the Roadside folks and 30 minutes later they had come out, dropped the trucks drive shaft and hooked up to both truck and trailer. The “Big” over the road wreckers cost a couple hundred dollars to just start up! So having a truck that could come out and tow my entire rig in one shot, was well worth the money!!

cheap

Cars are so reliable, that it generally is not necessary. Especially if one does not travel on long road trips very often. Given that, roadside assistance is also very inexpensive. It can be gotten from many different places: AAA, car insurance, car warranty, and even credit card perk.

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___________________ Garmin 2455, 855, Oregon 550t