All Things Automotive: Know before you go

Gerald Dong

AAA is best known for its roadside assistance—in fact, we invented it—and it’s most likely the reason you joined and continue to renew your membership. But a lot has changed over the years, probably even since you first joined. So, before you hit the road this summer, we wanted to be sure you were aware of the roadside benefits available with your membership, and how to have a smooth trip.

Get your car ready

To be sure your vehicle is ready to hit the road, make an appointment at your local AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) facility for a pre-travel vehicle inspection. They’ll check your tires, wiper blades, brakes, lights, fluids, filters, hoses, and battery, starting/charging system—especially if your car has been sitting for longer than normal periods without being driven. Also take care of any deferred maintenance as recommended in your owner’s manual.

Plan your route

Stop by, or call, your local AAA store and visit with one of our AAA Travel Advisors who can assist you with full itinerary and trip planning. We’ll put together a road trip itinerary, including a customized TripTik, maps, and make hotel reservations along the way, as well as offer our expertise and personal travel experience to help you get the best deals. Plus, our expert trip planning is free for AAA members! Of course, our planning services are also available online at or through the AAA Mobile app.

Pack the essentials

Since we are still in a pandemic, be sure you have extra masks, gloves, cleaning wipes, and hand sanitizers at the ready. Consider packing a cooler with snacks and water to limit the number of stops you make along the way. In case of an emergency, have a first-aid kit, jumper cables, flashlight with extra batteries, flares, blankets, and portable power bank (to keep your cell phone charged) in your vehicle.

Stay healthy

The CDC recommends fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk but should still wear a mask and social distance. During your trip, minimize your touch points—check into your hotel from your cell phone, and pay at the gas pump with a credit card. Check state and local health requirements along your route, and where you are going. Prepare to be flexible as restrictions and policies may change during your travel.

On the road

As you travel, have the peace of mind that AAA is just a phone call or click away. If you do happen to experience a vehicle breakdown, AAA will certainly come to assist you—it’s what we’ve been doing for more than a century. The biggest advantage of having AAA is that membership is tied to you, not your car. Your roadside assistance benefits included with your membership cover you in any vehicle, whether you’re the driver or the passenger, up to four times per year. AAA also has the most comprehensive roadside service network in the U.S, and we’re proud to have the fastest response time (on average) in the industry. Oftentimes, we can get you back on the road without having to tow your vehicle. Here’s a  basic rundown of what roadside benefits are available with your membership:

Mechanical First Aid

Our drivers are trained to identify and address the most common mechanical problems. We’ll make minor adjustments to your vehicle that do not require any parts or supplies to get you back on the road and going again.



Mobile Battery Service

If your vehicle won’t start, we’ll attempt to jump-start it. If your battery is failing, we’ll test your starting and charging system. If the battery needs to be replaced, you can purchase one at a discounted rate, and we’ll install it right on the spot. Mobile Battery Service is not available in all areas.



Emergency Fuel Delivery

If you run out of gas, we’ll bring you enough to get you to the nearest gas station. If you need diesel fuel, request it when you call. Diesel may not be available in all locations. Depending on your AAA membership plan, you may need to purchase the gas we deliver.



Tire Service

Depending on the damage to your tire, we’ll either install your usable spare, re-inflate your tire, or tow your vehicle to a destination of your choice, based on the towing mileage in your AAA membership plan.



Locksmith Service

Locked your keys inside your car? We’ll send service to help you gain entry. If the attempt fails, we’ll tow your vehicle to a destination of your choice. Towing mileage and reimbursement for parts and labor vary based on your AAA membership plan.



Reliable Auto Repair

If your car needs to be repaired, using AAA’s nationwide network of more than 7,000 Approved Auto Repair facilities is a great way to find a trustworthy, reliable shop. Each shop goes through a rigorous screening process and meets high standards for reputation, appearance, qualifications, and customer service.




If we are not able to resolve your car’s issue on the roadside, then we’ll tow your vehicle to a destination of your choice. The amount of covered towing mileage varies based on your AAA membership plan.



If you need to place a request for roadside assistance, the fastest way is to use the AAA Mobile app, online at, or call 800-AAA-HELP (222-4357). For a complete list of covered services and restrictions, visit

Gerald Dong is the director of automotive repair programs for AAA Colorado.