About AAA . . .

For more than 100 years, AAA has dedicated itself to meeting the growing needs of its members. In 1902, AAA started with a modest 1,500 drivers. Today, AAA celebrates an amazing 50 million members. This achievement makes AAA the largest paid membership association in North America.

For more information on the many benefits AAA provides, please contact your local AAA office.

The Top 50 . . .
Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Car
1. Work the Web. A wealth of research about vehicle ownership and enjoyment can be found. AAA.com or CAA.ca are good places to start.

2. Preventative car care can help protect both your safety and the investment made in your vehicle. To locate a quality service facility, visit AAA.com and use the AAR Shop Locator to find a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.

3. Regularly wash and wax your vehicle so bugs and grime don’t prematurely age the paint.

4. At least once a month, use a tire pressure gauge to check your tires when they are cool.

5. Make sure your tires have adequate tread depth; it’s critical for optimal traction and maneuverability.

6. Locate the recommended tire pressures either in your owner’s manual or on the placard on the doorjamb.

7. When replacing tires, it’s best to replace all four at once. If you only replace two at a time, make sure to put the new tires on the rear of the vehicle.

8. Monitor and change your engine’s oil and oil filter at the specified intervals, and be sure to follow the more frequent “severe service” recommendations if your driving habits meet any of the conditions described in the owner’s manual.

9. Always use motor oils that meet the service classification and viscosity grade requirements established by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

10. At least once a month, do a walk-around inspection of your vehicle’s lighting systems. In addition to the basic running lights and side markers, make sure the headlights work on both low- and high-beam, and check for proper operation of the brake lights and turn signals.

11. Check your car’s wiper blades periodically and clean them every few weeks with a soft cloth or paper towel dampened with windshield washer fluid. If they’re worn, cracked, or rigid, the wipers will not adequately remove rain, grime, and other debris.

12. Keep the washer fluid reservoir full. Check the washer fluid monthly and top it off with a washer solution formulated to aid in the removal of insects and other debris.

13. During winter months, be sure to use a wiper washer solution with antifreeze protection.

14. Check the coolant level at every oil change. With a cold engine, the radiator should be completely full and the coolant level in the remote reservoir should be at or above the “cold” level marking. Always top off the system with a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water to avoid altering the antifreeze level.

15. Have the radiator system flushed and refilled with fresh coolant at the interval specified in the vehicle owner’s manual.

16. Inspect the brake fluid level at every oil change. If the level has fallen below the “low” mark on the fluid reservoir, it usually indicates major brake wear or a leak somewhere in the system; have the brakes inspected as soon as possible.

17. If you hear any change at all in the sound of your vehicle’s exhaust, have the system inspected immediately for leaks. Engine exhaust contains carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

18. Save money by using the grade of fuel (regular, mid-grade, premium) recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Premium fuel does not contain more energy, nor is it somehow better for your engine.

19. If your battery is more than a couple of years old, have its condition tested annually. Most AAA/CAA clubs offer a mobile battery service.

20. If your vehicle continues to bounce up and down more than a couple of times after hitting a bump, have the shock absorbers inspected for wear and leakage.

21. Don’t waste your money on ֻfuel-saving” additives or devices. The Environmental Protection Agency has tested hundreds of devices and has not identified even one that offers a cost-effective benefit.

22. With the exception of adding a quality fuel-injection cleaner to your tank every few thousand miles, avoid the use of fuel and oil additives. No vehicle manufacturer recommends the use of such products.

23. Stop in for a pre-trip consult with a AAA Travel professional. These road-trip-planning experts receive specialized training in geography, popular destinations, and technology. They can provide specialized AAA TripTik® maps and TourBook® guides for your trip.

24. When planning a road trip, consider your vehicle’s condition, number of travelers, luggage capacity, and comfort and safety. Check with your local club about Approved Repair facilities that offer member discounts on inspections and service.

25. Consider renting a vehicle, which can provide the capacity you need and also eliminate wear and tear on your own vehicle or excess miles on a leased vehicle. Log onto AAA.com for more information on vehicle rentals.

26. Never load or obscure vision points in your vehicle.

27. Always wear your seat belts and ensure that every child is seated in an appropriate child safety seat. Ask your AAA club about guidelines in safety seat sizes and proper installation.

28. When traveling with children, involve them in the trip planning and provide them with activity books, puzzles, games, and maps in the car. Many AAA clubs sell activity books that can keep kids busy for miles.

29. Address accessibility issues in advance if you have a traveler with disabilities. AAA TourBook guides list accessibility features such as wheelchair access and equipment for the hearing impaired for all lodgings and restaurants. AAA’s Barrier-Free Travel guides give more detailed information about theme parks, shopping, and other points of interest.

30. Before you hit the highway, weigh the pros and cons of taking your pet with you. The AAA PetBook® guide reviews travel options and lists more than 10,000 AAA-rated, pet-friendly lodgings.

31. Keep your gas tank full, doors locked, windows up, safety belts buckled, and your children properly installed in safety seats.

32. Travel with a cell phone and keep it with you at all times. Pre-program AAA’s roadside assistance number (800-AAA-HELP) into your phone, as well as 911.

33. Keep an onboard emergency kit that contains a flashlight, first-aid kit, jumper cables, water, warning devices such as flares or reflective triangles, and a fire extinguisher.

34. Keep your AAA membership up to date and always have your card with you on the road.

35. Provide new drivers with a gift membership when they receive their driver’s license. Consider a parent-teen driving contract that dictates responsibilities and expectations.

36. Purchase a vehicle with your future needs in mind.

37. Prior to purchasing a used vehicle, obtain a vehicle history report on AAA.com and CAA.ca, where members receive a discount.

38. To determine what car fits your needs, visit the AAA/CAA AutoMaker on AAA.com and CAA.ca. This unique vehicle configurator helps determine which vehicles meet your specific needs.

39. When you are ready to purchase a vehicle, check with your local AAA club. They may have a vehicle-purchasing department that has pre-negotiated prices for vehicles at local dealerships.

40. Buying vs. leasing? Visit AAA.com and CAA.ca to review the pros and cons of each.

41. For AAA’s opinion on a specific vehicle, visit AAA/CAA AutoMaker to read AAA’s review of that vehicle.

42. Maximize the life of your vehicle’s components; purchase quality NAPA parts. Show your AAA membership card and save 7 percent on a wide range of automotive parts and accessories at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS Store.

43. Protect your vehicle, savings, and household budget with mechanical breakdown protection. The AAA Repair Assurance Plan ensures your peace of mind with comprehensive coverage, convenient finance options, and reduced deductibles.

44. Stretching your budget with do-it-yourself vehicle repairs? Get the help you need with step-by-step instructions and wiring diagrams from eAutoRepair, the online repair manual for the do-it-yourselfer.

45. Before you enter your vehicle, perform a “walk-around.” Check behind and underneath your vehicle for obstructions and examine your tires as well.

46. Secure all loose items with the vehicle. In a crash situation, loose items can become deadly projectiles. Think of your pets, too, and consider safety harnesses.

47. Be careful to choose a certified driving school that meets the needs of you and your family. Check to see if the school is approved by AAA, and ask if this class qualifies you for an insurance discount.

48. Be sure to grip the wheel with both hands, using a symmetrical grip. Sit upright, with your chest at least 10-12 inches from the steering wheel. Make sure you maintain a bend in the elbows.

49. Be sure to maintain a following distance of at least 3-4 seconds.

50. Always adjust your speed to match road conditions.
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