Anybody have the AAA FREE Battery Replacement benefit?

Anybody have the AAA FREE Battery Replacement benefit?
0

#1

Ready to renew my Premier membership and for $8 more it says you get one free new battery a year if your old one tests bad on a service call. I probably buy 4-6 batteries a year (usually used from a junkyard) for all the cars I deal with) so this seems like a no brainer. Anyone else have this benefit and was there any catch?


#2

This is an automatically-generated Wiki post for this new topic. Any member can edit this post and use it as a summary of the topic’s highlights.


#3

At first this threw me because I was wondering why you’d want to pay $8 for a size AAA battery. But you mean American Automobile Association. Duh.

If you are replacing 4-6 batteries a year, then you must have two or three dozen automobiles. And all of those are covered by one AAA membership? You are indeed in a special situation here that none of us could advise on, I think.

Personally, I dropped AAA coverage a couple years ago after figuring out that many of their benefits are obsolete. I mean TripTik … that’s still a thing? And AARP gets you almost the same discounts for a lot less money (I pay $5/yr for AARP). By the way, AAA sends me a “once in a lifetime” renewal offer for $19/year about once a week.

But I digress … if you can cover all those cars with one membership, then yeah. No brainer.


#4

Membership covers the driver, not the car. You could be driving a friends car and they will tow it like it was your own. One 169 mile tow 2 years ago probably covered my membership fee for the next 3 years.


#5

I’m aware of that. You haven’t elaborated on what “all the cars I deal with” means, but I’d be cautious of an exclusion somewhere in their T&Cs.


#6

That’s why I’m asking here if anybody had any problem with getting a battery. Like they don’t carry that particular size.


#7

Can’t help with your specific question but I have been happy with battery replacements from AAA purchased batteries. Easy process.


#8

How much does 1 battery cost you? If it’s less than 96, it’s not a good deal. If it’s more than 96 and you’re sure you’re going to need a new battery during a roadside service call, then it’s a good deal. But no one can tell you whether it’s a good deal or not since it depends on your situation.


#9

Why 96? Even if a battery is $50, I’d still be $42 ahead.


#10

My fault, I read that as 8 dollars per month.


#11

Is it 1/membership card? we share our membership with in laws. I might have them add this since in AZ batteries fail more often. Paid AAA @$120 :frowning: to replace our highlander


#12

Just for myself. $146 with 5 service calls a year including one tow up to 200 miles, others up to 100 miles.


#13

Do you typically use those 5 service calls/tows each year? Because a dead battery call will leave you with only 4 tows. So at least in theory, paying for that 5th tow could cast more than you’re saving from the $8 battery benefit.

Of course only you know your typical usage of the service, and you may be able to “stage” a dead battery when you are using a service call anyways. But you may have to have it towed to a AAA facility to have the new battery installed.

I dont think there’s any kind of “catch” related to the free replacement itself, besides the fact that it isnt going to be as simple as running to the store to quickly grab a replacement battery to install; there will be some degree of a hassle factor involved.


#14

But you may have to have it towed to a AAA facility to have the new battery installed.

AAA has battery trucks that carry AAA brand batteries in the most popular sizes. All they do is replace batteries. If they don’t have your battery I assume they give you a jump but not sure what happens next. If they don’t make your size in the AAA brand do they pay you the cost of getting a battery from the dealer? Do they refund you the $8 fee?


#15

Did you read the fine print of the agreement?

Doesn’t seem anyone here is actually familiar with the servicce. so we’re just taking guesses about how it might work.

It may be a good deal for you. But not if theres any * about the service like “additional labor charges” then they spring a $89 installation charge for your “free” battery.

But it may just equate to a $8 battery /year for you. Most people don’t use AAA much and batteries don’t die that fequently such that they can’t be jumped. So for every 1 person who gets a new battery there may be 25 others who waste the $8/yr.


#16

I take it you’re an expert – what’s the proper way to clean off a mountain of soft white powder that built up around the terminals? I don’t want it to eat anything else if I just brush it off… :slight_smile:


#17

I guess a vacuum to get most of it off then a spray cleaner like


#18

This comment is relevant to the topic, but may or may not be relevant to the question posed by the OP.

For those of you with newer cars wondering if this is a good idea, here is something to keep in mind.
My 2015 Volvo has a Battery Monitoring Sensor (BMS). The car uses this sensor to charge the battery differently based on how old it is and how many times it has cycled. If I want a new battery to charge properly and the car to get the proper information from it, the car needs to be told I put a new battery in.* For my car, this HAS to be done with Volvo specific hardware and software that AAA and most mechanics will not have. If I were to get a free battery from AAA, I would still have to take my car to the Volvo dealer to have the BMS reset. I would bet that there are several other manufacturers that have a similar sensor that you need to reset when changing the battery these days. The remaining days of the shadetree mechanic continue to dwindle.

*My stop/start system doesn’t work because my car thinks my battery isn’t charged enough to operate it. Based on my research, this is common for my car. Once the battery will only hold a certain charge, it stops using stop/start. When I bought it, the car was 3 years old and had 70k miles. I haven’t put a new battery in. I’m not sure if the battery is original and it’s just too old to run the stop/start system, or if the previous owner replaced the battery and never reset the BMS. Eventually, when the whole car won’t start, I’ll have to take my car to Volvo and pay somewhere around $200 to have the battery replaced and the BMS reset. At least the engineers were nice enough to set it up so that it disables stop/start rather than run the battery down even faster.


#19

Most mid level scanners can reset BMS so I assume if the AAA guy has a battery tester he also would have that tool if it’s not already built in to the tester.


#20

Every manufacturer is different. I have a mid level scanner (does SRS faults). There is no way to do Volvo specific codes/functions with it. BMW is similar. I assume there are other manufacturers that make it hard as well. A mechanic that specializes in European cars might be able to tell you which cars are the worse offenders. I don’t have a list, but is it definitely more than just Volvo.