Prepare Your Car for Winter

Shell Fuel

AAA Shell Fuel Rewards Program 

Get automatic Gold Status and save 30¢/gal on your first fill-up at Shell when you join the Fuel Rewards® program by 12/31/23 and make your first transaction within 30/days of joining.  After that, save 5¢/gal every day on each individual fill-up of up to 20 gallons from participating Shell stations. 


John Paul, AAA Car Doctor

The Car Doctor’s Top Car Care Tips

Whether you’re a “do-it-yourselfer” or leave all your car care to the professionals, there are a few things you should ALWAYS keep an eye on, according to AAA’s Car Doctor, John Paul.

Review the vehicle owner’s manual. While this is likely one of the least-read books ever written, it provides all the info you need maintain your vehicle, both to keep it running properly and to maintain the warranty.
Build a relationship with a trusted repair facility. Some customers want their car to be perfect all the time, while others are willing to let non-safety items wait. Whichever group you’re in, you need to trust your technician, so you know what to expect for service and charges and you feel comfortable with how they treat your vehicle. Over the long haul, a reputable repair shop will save you time and money.  (AAA members can find a local Approved Auto Repair facility at and save 10% on labor charges!)
Fluids are the life’s blood of your vehicle. If they’re allowed to become contaminated or run low, fluids – such as oil, transmission, and coolant – can cause catastrophic damage to the components they are designed to protect.
Although designed to last much longer than in years’ past, drive belts and hoses will still fail. If a radiator or heater hose leaks, the coolant will run low and the engine will overheat, possibly destroying the engine. If a drive belt breaks, the battery could become discharged, and the engine could overheat
Some engines still use rubber timing belts that connect the camshaft and crankshaft inside the engine. Depending on the type of engine, a broken timing belt can cause a wide range of damage. If a timing belt breaks on an interference engine, the engine valves and piston will collide and destroy the engine. On a non-interference engine, the engine won’t sustain damage but will stop running at the most inopportune time, resulting in a tow. Replace the timing belt as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
Brake wear is one of the few issues almost totally determined by the driver. In general, most car brakes can last 40,000 miles or more, although aggressive drivers or very cautious drivers can accelerate brake wear. Many vehicles have a warning sensor that creates a high-pitched squeal when the brake linings are almost worn out. Brake condition should be checked periodically by a qualified technician.
Tires are critical to the safe operation of a vehicle. A car with new brakes and worn tires will not stop properly. Tires that are worn below 4/32nds of an inch of tread depth can take a dangerously long time to stop in wet weather. Worn tires will affect the overall ride and handling, and reduce gas mileage as well.
There is a variety of battery types in today’s vehicles: conventional FLA (flooded lead-acid batteries); EFB (enhanced flooded battery); AGM (glass-mat batteries); even hybrid traction batteries.  AGM and EFB batteries are typically used in newer vehicles with stop-start technology. All of these batteries have a recommended lifespan.  Make sure you test your car’s battery and replace it with the proper type when necessary.  

AAA Approved Auto Repair

With days getting shorter and temperatures falling, it’s time to get your vehicle ready for the winter months that are just around the corner. Members have the advantage of the AAA Approved Auto Repair program, which certifies and vets every facility, and members save 10% on labor at every visit.

Emergency Kit Contents

Car Care Month is a great time for an annual check of your vehicle’s emergency kit. If you don’t have one, AAA recommends you put one together. Roadside emergencies happen without warning - when you least expect it.  An emergency kit can make the wait for AAA roadside assistance safer, especially if you break down in winter.

  • Mobile phone pre-programmed with rescue apps and important phone numbers including family and emergency services
  • Mobile phone car charger
  • Drinking water or sports drinks
  • First-aid kit – including any necessary medication
  • Non-perishable food for humans and pets
  • Traction aids (sand, salt, non-clumping cat litter)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Cloth or roll of paper towels
  • Jumper cables
  • Warning devices (flares or triangles)
  • Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)
  • Snow shovel
  • Blankets
  • Extra warm clothing (gloves, boots, hats, scarves)
  • Extra window washer solvent
  • Ice scraper with brush

AAA has a brochure to guide you through the steps should you break down on the side of the road.  Click the image to download and keep a copy in your vehicle.

Roadside Assistance Truck