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 Post subject: Re: Car Tool Kits and Spare Tires
PostPosted: Feb Mon 12, 2018 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sun 11, 2007 6:55 am
Posts: 11010
Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
An AAA card and/or manufacturer's roadside assistance plan are also rather handy. The AAA card is basically free if you just use it a few times to obtain hotel discounts.

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 Post subject: Re: Car Tool Kits and Spare Tires
PostPosted: Feb Mon 12, 2018 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 8516
Location: Litchfield Minnesota USA
AAA is a nice thing to have. My wife and I do have AAA and have used it. Latest use of it was to transport her deer stricken car from our garage to my chosen body shop. previous to that we had it towed from the strike site to our garage to keep it safe until we knew what we were going to do with it.
Once, my wife was in the Cities visiting her sister. Having just started out from her sisters, she was driving west on I-694 when she noticed that the gas gauge was visibly dropping toward empty. She called me on her cell phone. I told her to get off the highway at the very next exit and stop at the first safe place to stop and shut the car off.
She did as I asked, for once. She opened the hood and the entire engine compartment was covered in gasoline.
I'm here, she's there. If I were there I would have had it fixed in a New York minute. But I wasn't there. She called AAA and they brought it to my shop in Litchfield where I fixed it and all was well.

For her, all the tools in the world wouldn't have done her any good. She is VERY good with a hammer, and a butchers knife. That's about it.

Mark D.


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 Post subject: Re: Car Tool Kits and Spare Tires
PostPosted: Feb Mon 12, 2018 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Feb Wed 07, 2018 6:52 pm
Posts: 516
Location: Stone Mountain, GA
I had AAA for while. Used it twice and it was useless. Not worth the money for me.

Only needed one tow in the last 20 years. Was expensive but cheaper than AAA's overpriced service.

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 Post subject: Re: Car Tool Kits and Spare Tires
PostPosted: Feb Mon 12, 2018 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 32885
Location: SoCal, 91387
Mark D wrote:
She is VERY good with a hammer, and a butchers knife. That's about it.

As long as you're not her target, Mark old boy... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Car Tool Kits and Spare Tires
PostPosted: Feb Mon 12, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Apr Mon 04, 2011 4:23 am
Posts: 695
Location: SW PA
Mark D wrote:
AAA is a nice thing to have. My wife and I do have AAA and have used it. Latest use of it was to transport her deer stricken car from our garage to my chosen body shop. previous to that we had it towed from the strike site to our garage to keep it safe until we knew what we were going to do with it.
Once, my wife was in the Cities visiting her sister. Having just started out from her sisters, she was driving west on I-694 when she noticed that the gas gauge was visibly dropping toward empty. She called me on her cell phone. I told her to get off the highway at the very next exit and stop at the first safe place to stop and shut the car off.
She did as I asked, for once. She opened the hood and the entire engine compartment was covered in gasoline.
I'm here, she's there. If I were there I would have had it fixed in a New York minute. But I wasn't there. She called AAA and they brought it to my shop in Litchfield where I fixed it and all was well.

For her, all the tools in the world wouldn't have done her any good. She is VERY good with a hammer, and a butchers knife. That's about it.

Mark D.

My good friend had a fuel line start leaking badly in his Isuzu Trooper. He called AAA, and once he told them it was leaking gas, they told him that they wouldn't come get it without getting the fire department involved. :shock: He told them never mind, :roll: and called me to come with a tow strap since he wasn't that far from home.


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 Post subject: Re: Car Tool Kits and Spare Tires
PostPosted: Feb Mon 12, 2018 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Apr Thu 21, 2011 2:00 am
Posts: 4192
Location: Georgia, 30236
I live in the Atlanta area. I'll stick with the cell and AAA card. There is not enough room alongside the arterial interstates to perform any repairs that would warrant a tool kit. Each morning there are reports about folks getting hit, sometimes even without getting on the road. When My vehicle failed, there was just enough room to clear the roadway by about maybe a foot with vehicles passing at 70 mph. If I lived in a rural area, I would prepare for that. People have different circumstances to deal with. This worked best for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Car Tool Kits and Spare Tires
PostPosted: Feb Mon 12, 2018 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 8516
Location: Litchfield Minnesota USA
SHenion wrote:
I had AAA for while. Used it twice and it was useless. Not worth the money for me.

Only needed one tow in the last 20 years. Was expensive but cheaper than AAA's overpriced service.

Over the long haul we've saved money by having AAA do the towing. They don't charge for the towing, just the membership, as you know but others might not. They do sort of screw the towing companies and many of them leave AAA in their rear view mirror after a while. I tend to tip the wrecker driver. Most years our membership fee is just gone, but it keeps the wife happy.
19&41 wrote:

I live in the Atlanta area. I'll stick with the cell and AAA card. There is not enough room alongside the arterial interstates to perform any repairs that would warrant a tool kit. Each morning there are reports about folks getting hit, sometimes even without getting on the road. When My vehicle failed, there was just enough room to clear the roadway by about maybe a foot with vehicles passing at 70 mph. If I lived in a rural area, I would prepare for that. People have different circumstances to deal with. This worked best for me.


That's why my wife pulled off the freeway.

If you can't pull off the freeway, like the old girl doesn't go anymore, best to coast way off the road as far away from traffic as possible and stay in the car until eight hours, or days, later when a cop happens to spot you there. Of course, with a cell phone you can call for a tow... that's when AAA is nice to have. Actually, I don't use them for anything else.

My wife was the instigator for buying our first Cadillac. Just after we bought the car, she decided to drive down to the larger town from us, Hutchinson, with a friend to see a chick flick and dinner. She called me up when the car wouldn't start. We didn't have AAA...yet. Some guy came along and offered to get AAA out there with his card. An AAA sponsored wrecker showed up minutes later and towed the car to my shop. I spent about a half hour trying to figure out why the starter would not spin to start the engine. Finally I found a hidden switch that a previous owner must have installed. It was hidden in plain sight.

Under the steering column and in a place where a careless foot can accidentally switch it to OFF. Hence, it wouldn't start.
That got my wife interested in AAA and she won't go without it anymore. She's 'scairt' of getting stranded somewhere.

Mark D.


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 Post subject: Re: Car Tool Kits and Spare Tires
PostPosted: Feb Mon 12, 2018 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Feb Wed 07, 2018 6:52 pm
Posts: 516
Location: Stone Mountain, GA
Mark D wrote:
Over the long haul we've saved money by having AAA do the towing. They don't charge for the towing, just the membership, as you know but others might not. They do sort of screw the towing companies and many of them leave AAA in their rear view mirror after a while. I tend to tip the wrecker driver. Most years our membership fee is just gone, but it keeps the wife happy.
Mark D.


My 1st cal to AAA tow truck only gave $25 discount for AAA, second call, AAA gave towing co wrong address and refused to pay for second call.

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 Post subject: Re: Car Tool Kits and Spare Tires
PostPosted: Feb Mon 12, 2018 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Apr Mon 04, 2011 4:23 am
Posts: 695
Location: SW PA
It probably depends on the plan you have. If I remember correctly, the plan my friend had gave 3 tows up to 100 miles each per year. I think he said it was around $110 per year. That is less than the cost of one short tow. At the shop I used to work at, my boss usually wouldn't even fire up the roll back for less than $150.

I really need to stop putting it off, and get AAA. Our insurance company has roadside assistance and towing for the two newer cars on our policy, but not the others.


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 Post subject: Re: Car Tool Kits and Spare Tires
PostPosted: Feb Mon 12, 2018 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Apr Thu 21, 2011 2:00 am
Posts: 4192
Location: Georgia, 30236
About 10 years ago, I was driving home from work in a 2WD BroncoII. It had the double cardan driveshaft with spring loade splines at each end. the front splines wore out and no torque. A co worker was behind me and set up a call to AAA. I joined then. This most recent failure was the worm on the hose clamp disintegrating and the upper radiator hose came off at 65mph on the interstate. I had to immediately pull over where I was. It got me home for $25 above the regular tow. Home, where i could get a new pair of hoses, clamps and coolant.

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 Post subject: Re: Car Tool Kits and Spare Tires
PostPosted: Feb Tue 13, 2018 12:47 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 32885
Location: SoCal, 91387
19&41 wrote:
People have different circumstances to deal with.

This may be the broadest, but the best answer. There are simply too many different scenarios for a "one size fit's all" answer.

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 Post subject: Re: Car Tool Kits and Spare Tires
PostPosted: Feb Tue 13, 2018 12:58 am 
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Joined: Nov Sat 26, 2011 4:09 am
Posts: 9575
Location: Texas. USA
Mark D wrote:
Flipperhome wrote:
Nowadays you need an 'electronics kit' to 'fix' almost anything in a modern car.

Not really. When you're driving down the highway and you have a basic failure of a part of the car you will pretty well know what to look for. If you hear a bang from under the hood and then lots of rattling and behind you a lot of smoke you could guess that you don't have the tools with you to fix a blown engine.
But if you notice an overheating condition you can stop and take care of the problem, if only a temporary fix.
If you notice your alternator isn't charging anymore you can find a safe place to get off the highway, figure out why it's not alternating anymore and at worst limp along on the battery until you can find an auto parts store and change out the alternator. Water pumps, belts, the common failures basically, are what stop most cars on the highways. Ingenuity plays a big part in making your car go again with minimal resources. Of course there are limits to what can be done.
Mark D.
I'm talking about things that take a little more snap than looking under the hood and noticing a fan belt is missing/shredded. Virtually everything nowadays is sensors, switches, solenoids, and computers. It's great when everything works. Not so great when it doesn't.

I'll give you an example. In that Lotus I posted a pic of, one day the throttle cable jammed (being a mid engine they used a motorcycles style cable for the throttle linkage). I was able to disconnect it, adjust the choke for 'maximum idle advance', and limp home using the manual choke as an alternate throttle. Nowadays that would be impossible because the failure would be embedded in a maze of sensors, switches, solenoids, or computers.


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 Post subject: Re: Car Tool Kits and Spare Tires
PostPosted: Feb Tue 13, 2018 3:50 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 8516
Location: Litchfield Minnesota USA
I don't really want to belabor this too much. I am well acquainted with all the electronic crap they stick into cars these days. Fortunately, it is extremely reliable. Also, while the car might not run quite right, a lot of the electronic stuff can fail and what happens it doesn't run well and it burns a lot of gas. Critical items are sometimes backed up with a second device, such as cam sensors and crank sensors.
Generally speaking, from both my experience and observations is that what stops a car from moving any farther is a simple thing. Like a hose came off, or loss of coolant or a flat tire - they are these days, but it does still happen.
You can be on a long trip and the alternator gives it up. You can run a short distance on the battery and hope to find a auto parts store and get another alternator.
You really can have a belt go. From recent experience I can tell you it's nice to have a spare tensioner in the trunk. Or, better yet replace it when you hear it making unnatural noises. Carrying a spare belt isn't out of order. They're cheap and they do cause problems at the whims of Mr. Murphy.
But I also carry tools because just as often as not I will need them when I get to whatever my destination is.

Mark D.


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 Post subject: Re: Car Tool Kits and Spare Tires
PostPosted: Feb Wed 14, 2018 2:58 am 
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Joined: Nov Fri 04, 2011 3:12 am
Posts: 1009
Location: New York
I just got an AAA card as a gift. Never had one before.

I recently drove 200 miles to visit another ARF member. Stayed at a nationwide chain motel in Brattleboro, VT. And some fine upstanding fellow citizen of Bernie Sander's knifed a tire through the sidewall that had 230 miles on it. Had it installed at home brand new the day before.

Fortunately, I had just bought a spare two weeks prior. So it didn't stop me, just needed to put on the spare. Helped warm me up, it was around 14 degrees when I came out of the motel to find it.

Don't know who did it or why. But my son then gifted me with the card so I can deal with whatever whenever. I think more to give HIM peace of mind than me. :)
John S.


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