Each time someone drives around, the last thing on their mind is having to deal with a flat tire. Each time you have a flat tire is when you can remember that it would not have been a bad idea to have an AAA roadside assistance membership. However, will AAA patch the tire in case of a flat?
AAA will mostly inflate your tire or install your spare tire, but not patch the tire for you. In case you have a flat tire and no spare tire, then AAA will tow your vehicle to get the car to a nearby repair shop to get your tire fixed.
Roadside assistance is one of the best services someone can get today. In case you own a car, this is an AAA service to consider as it might come in handy.
What Will AAA Do for Someone With a Flat Tire?
You must have heard about the AAA roadside assistance plan. Whenever you are stranded on the road, this is the service you use to get to the nearest service center and get help.
When the AAA team gets to your location, they would first remove the flat tire and then install the spare tire.
One thing to keep in mind is that AAA will not bring a spare tire with them. They will be using the spare tire you already have in your car.
You may have noticed that newer vehicles do not always have spare tires but rather a tire repair kit.
For such a situation, the AAA team will inflate the flat tire to see if it can hold the air. If it is a slow leak, it should be enough to get you to the next service center and get the tire patched or replaced.
Sometimes the damage might not be as simple as a small leak, but rather the sidewall is damaged or the puncture is severe.
Whenever the tire can no longer hold air, the AAA team will simply tow the vehicle to a service center for repairs.
Will it be expensive for the towing service? It will largely depend on the road assistance plan you have. It will mostly be free for most plans that you get.
Here is a video on the facts to know about AAA roadside assistance plan
How to Join AAA
At this point, you see the importance of having AAA membership. So, how would you join the company and enjoy the services?
- Online registration
Sometimes a AAA office is not close to you, then the option is to join it online. Simply go to the official aaa.com website and start the process.
You can be asked to enter the zip code, more information about you, and pick the membership you like to get started.
Once you have picked the membership you want, the website redirects you to the payment page.
When the plan fee is processed, you should get a membership card. Expect a physical membership card also in the mail.
- Visit AAA offices
You can also join AAA via their offices where an agent takes you through the process. It does not take long, so you should be done with the registration process in just a few minutes.
You will also be issued a card once you pay for the registration and plan fee.
Using the AAA Roadside Assistance Plan
Some people might ask if it is possible to start using the AAA roadside assistance the same day when they get their membership.
AAA claims that all the benefits of basic membership are available as soon as you join. However, you may also be charged $75 depending on the service that you use the same day as you sign up for the service.
Take note that the Premier and the Plus Services will not take effect immediately. Give it seven days after the sign-up and the payment is processed to start using the services.
Here is a video showing you the need for getting roadside assistance from AAA
How to Get AAA Roadside Assistance
Now that you have the AAA membership, you are free to start using their services and get roadside assistance.
Before you request for this service, make sure you have this information with you;
- The membership number will be requested before the team is dispatched
- The current location of the vehicle
- The service you need from AAA
- Vehicle description
- Your phone number or who is with the car so that the technicians can reach you with ease.
Once this information is availed to the dispatch center, they can now send a team to help you with your flat tire.
There is still the option of using the AAA Digital Roadside Request tool. This allows you to get help straight from your phone. The online tool also asks you for some basic information about yourself before sending help your way.
The Cost of Patching a Tire
There is a lot that goes into getting the tire patched. We shall look at the most common charges you might have to go through before the tire is repaired.
In case of a tire puncture, towing might be necessary to get the car to a service center and have the tire patched.
Most independent companies charge $75 for the first 10 miles and then $5 for each additional mile.
If you have a AAA plan, the towing is free depending on how much distance the car has to be towed and the plan you have paid for.
- Sealant kit
The sealant kit can be crucial for the overall performance of how the patch is handled. Some people might have a kit or decide to buy it at the service center.
The sealant kit can be cheap in most cases. However, the expense is more if you also have to buy an electrical air compressor to inflate the tire once patching is done. For this part, it can cost up to $300.
- Patching and replacement fee
Once the car is delivered to the service center, there is the need to assess the damage on the tire and determine how much it will cost to repair the patch.
Small punctures will likely cost around $30. However, the price can go as high as $250 if you have to buy a new tire because the last one is completely damaged.
Just be prepared to get different bills depending on the damage you have on the tire.
Will the AAA roadside assistance team patch my tire?
No. The roadside team can only inflate tires with small leaks or tow you to a service center for the tire to be patched.
Does AAA come with a spare tire in case of a breakdown?
AAA does not bring a spare tire. The team will only use the spare tire that you have or tow you in case there is no spare tire.
How often can you use the AAA roadside assistance service?
You can only use it up to 4 times per year. That is within a 12-month period after signing up for a plan.