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Car Talk with PJ

Safe Holiday Travel with AAA

Safe Holiday Travel With AAA

Okay, so you did all the required maintenance, have a AAA membership and are ready for that long holiday trip to Grandma’s house. You are half way into a trip of hundreds of miles when……..well, as Robert Burns so aptly stated in his poem To a Mouse, “the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley“. No matter how well prepared you are, something can go wrong. While AAA is a great organization, I find their website kind of cluttered and confusing. You can feel confident, however, that the shops they recommend will more than likely give you dependable service at a fair price. But it’s always good to have a plan B in case plan A doesn’t work out. Two other organizations that most people don’t know about are the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP). Member shops are found on their websites by punching in your location. I would imagine finding one of them on a smart phone would be a piece of cake although it depends on whether you have cell service or not.  Shops belonging to these organizations have good reputations and some may also be AAA authorized repair centers. So, if you are traveling over the holidays far from your local shop, keep these organizations in your toolbox. The shop finder at AASP is located at http://aasp-pa.org/. Then click on Shopfinder at the top of the page. Find the Shopfinder on the homepage of ASA at http://asashop.org/. Both sites will show a map with shop locations. Clicking on them will bring up address and phone information. No machine is 100% reliable. With hundreds of moving parts and hundreds of electrical devices, anything can go wrong at any time. Also, remember to pack a flashlight in the glove box, preferably one of those windup ones. Then you never need to worry about dead or leaking batteries. Cover yourself by having a plan before you leave home.

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