AAA has resources for all of your automotive needs. From advice on how to care for your car to making a service appointment to have AAA repair your vehicle, the information you need is right at your fingertips! To begin your search go to "Find Us, Auto Repair" and you're on your way.
For more information about AAA's automotive services, call our toll free customer support number at 1-800-922-8228 Monday through Friday from 7 am to 9 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 7 am to 7 pm PDT.
There are several ways you can do this:
|•||Contact the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, or call their DOT Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.|
|•||Contact the dealer or manufacturer of your car.|
When you call any of these places, be sure to have the year, make, model and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of your car available.
Not all AAA offices offer DMV services. Those offices that do, can help with:
|DMV Services Available at AAA||CA||NV||UT|
|Copies of Driver History Records||X|
|Driver’s License Renewal*||X|
|Duplicate Driver’s License*||X|
|Duplicate Identification Card||X|
|Duplicate Instruction Permit||X|
|Order Duplicate Registration/Title/Sticker||X|
|Order Replacement License Plates or Request Personalized License Plates||X|
|Pay Insurance Reinstatement Fees||X|
|Vehicle Registration Renewal 1||X||X||X|
|Cash and Check 2||X|
|Credit Card and Debit Card Accepted||X||X|
Locate the AAA branch nearest you offering DMV services. Most AAA branches offer select DMV services. If you live in the Bay Area, you can also visit any of our five convenient AAA Express locations inside Lucky grocery stores. Get your groceries and renew your vehicle registration all in one place.
For the fastest service, please bring your valid driver’s license, AAA Membership card, and completed DMV forms for the task you wish to perform.
To download forms, and for more services, visit your state’s DMV website:
*To renew a noncommercial driver's license, the license cannot be suspended, revoked, or expired. The photo must have been taken within the past four years. If the customer needs to change their address or any vital information including their name, then a visit to the local DMV is in order.
1. Certain restrictions apply depending on where your car was purchased. Please call your local AAA branch for more information. AAA branches in Nevada provide DMV services via DMV kiosks. Registration up to 18 months late may be processed on the kiosks. Late fees will be calculated and added to the registration fees.
2. When paying by check in California, checks should be made payable to the “California Department of Motor Vehicles”. Your name should appear on the AAA Membership card, driver license/DMV ID card and California vehicle title/registration.
Please contact DMV for these services:
|•||CA Drivers License Transactions and Printouts|
|•||Vehicles/Vessels Origination from a Dealer|
|•||Out of State Registration Renewals/Transfers|
|•||Vehicles/Vessels with Unavailable Records|
|•||Off Highway Registration Renewals/Transfers|
|•||Disabled Parking Placards|
Contact the DMV directly:
|*||DMV Self-Service 1-800-777-0133|
|*||To Pay by Credit Card: 1-800-921-1117|
When the "Check Engine" light comes on, your car is telling you to have the computer system checked out at the earliest possible opportunity. Unlike, for example, an oil pressure light that means "STOP NOW!", a "Check Engine" light means that your car's computer system has recognized a fault in one of its circuits.
If an open or shorted condition in a circuit is indicated, the "Check Engine" light will come on and a trouble code will be stored in the computer's memory. The trouble code indicates which circuit is affected. The technician working on the car can then retrieve the trouble code and determine the exact problem.
Trouble codes can result from a mechanical problem that "fools" a sensor as well as a true electrical fault, so be sure to get a thorough diagnosis done on the problem.
There's a great deal of debate over this. People who regularly use synthetic oils swear by synthetic oils, and people who regularly use conventional oils swear by conventional oils. For most driving conditions, your engine will be properly protected by conventional oil.
However, if your vehicle is subject to extreme conditions, such as sustained high speeds, high loads, extremely dusty conditions, racing, towing, or use of a turbocharger, conventional oil may not adequately protect your engine. The key is to change your oil at the proper intervals.
Synthetic oils claim to allow a longer interval between changes. This claim is countered by those who point out that regardless of the condition of the oil, contamination from outside sources such as blow-by and moisture cannot be removed by filtering, and regardless of the lubricating properties of the oil, when contamination reaches unacceptable conditions, the oil and filter should be changed.
The main attractions of synthetic oil are its improved lubricating properties and extended oil change intervals. The trade-off is cost. Synthetic oils can cost as much as four to five times more than conventional oils. This cost increase can cancel out the savings you gain by increased change intervals.
Another factor to consider is overall maintenance. If you're going to a repair facility for your conventional oil changes every 3,000 miles, this means that a trained technician is regularly inspecting your car for potential problems. Your mechanic will check things like fluid levels, belts, hoses, tire wear patterns, under-car oil or transmission fluid leaks and other items that can help prevent breakdowns or expensive repairs. For example, replacing a weak coolant hose can prevent having that hose burst in traffic, with resultant overheating and engine damage. This type of preventive maintenance can greatly extend the life of your car. If you use a synthetic oil and only change it every 10,000 miles or more, then you're not getting your car inspected by that mechanic anywhere near as frequently, and problems may be more likely to develop between inspections.
If you're doing your own oil changes, you need to be aware of these types of inspections and perform them yourself. If you do these inspections regularly every 3,000 miles, you can possibly extend your oil change intervals by using synthetic oil; however, don't forget about problems such as moisture and blow-by contamination.
Synthetic oils do lubricate better. However, given the high quality of today's conventional oils, the high cost of synthetic oils, and the other factors involved in determining oil change intervals (and therefore cost-per-mile), there may not be an advantage in using synthetic oils for normal operation. If you're putting a lot of stress on your oil, you might consider a change to synthetic oil and staying with a short change interval. This provides the protection of synthetic oil, although your costs will increase. Those costs should be balanced against the possible cost of premature engine repairs due to excessive wear from harsh operating conditions.
There's no easy answer to the question of conventional versus synthetic oils. The answer depends on your driving, your maintenance, and your personal preferences. Generally, if your vehicle is subject to extreme conditions, synthetic oils may well be worth considering.
There's always something you can do to save on gas. Here are some tips:
Improve Your Mileage
|•||Plan your driving routes so that you can travel at constant speeds. Try to avoid rush hours; travel when traffic is light.|
|•||Newer cars start differently than older ones. If you have to start a newer car by pumping the accelerator pedal, something is wrong. Have it checked.|
|•||Don't warm up your engine with extended idling. Instead, accelerate gently and try to avoid highway driving for the first mile or so.|
|•||Don’t let your car idle for more than a minute. Idling consumes a half-gallon to a gallon of gas per hour, and wastes more gas than restarting the engine.|
|•||Don’t rev the engine and quickly turn off the ignition (an old, but unwise, practice). This wastes fuel and dumps raw gasoline on the cylinder walls, where it can wash away a protective oil film, increasing engine wear.|
|•||Brake gradually. The more you can anticipate traffic conditions, the more you can reduce your need to brake.|
|•||Build up speed early when you approach a hill. If your car has a manual transmission, shift to a lower gear when the accelerator pedal is three-quarters of the way to the floor.|
|•||Use air conditioning sparingly.|
|•||Don’t fill your gas tank completely when the weather is hot. Fuel expansion can cause the tank to overflow.|
Consider Your Options
When buying a new car, it’s always wise to consider fuel economy:
|•||An automatic transmission generally uses more gas than a manual transmission.|
|•||Radial tires reduce rolling resistance, usually at a fuel savings of five to 10 percent.|
|•||Cruise control may save you gas if you drive a lot on the open road.|
|•||Tune Up Your Car|
An out-of-tune car can use three to eight percent more fuel. Service your car’s engine at least once a year, and keep the following points in mind:
|•||Spark plugs must be in good condition.|
|•||The ignition timing should be properly adjusted.|
|•||Have the engine’s idling speed set to specification.|
|•||The automatic choke should not stick—this wastes gas.|
|•||Your carburetor's air-fuel mixture should be properly adjusted.|
|•||Check the air filter twice a year.|
|•||Inflate tires to the pressures recommended by the manufacturer.|
|•||If you like, our Auto Diagnostic Clinics can check many of the above items for you. This way, you'll take the guesswork out of getting your car into top shape.|