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Kathleen Zinszer
Sr. Public Aff. Specialist, CT/DE/NJ/PA
O: (302) 299-4168
C: (610) 291-7312

PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 25, 2021) As millions of motorists prepare to hit the road for the Fourth of July holiday and make plans to take their long awaited Great American Road Trip this summer, AAA Car Care experts want you to know the truth about vehicle maintenance before you travel.

“One of the reasons that car travel is bouncing back more quickly than other modes of transportation is because, as COVID concerns linger, it is the safest and most convenient way to go - but not if you’re stuck on the side of the road,” says Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Basic car care was neglected during the pandemic as vehicles sat idle for long periods of time, so it is reassuring to see drivers paying attention to their vehicles again and doing what they can to ensure their safety and the safety of their passengers.”

In general, drivers are prioritizing safety and savings, as evidenced by an almost 30% spike in new AAA Members over last year and the need to increase staffing at AAA Car Care locations to meet unprecedented demand.

AAA Top 5 Vehicle Maintenance Myth Busters




#1 – Oil should be changed every 3,000 miles

Cars that are 15 years or newer typically need oil changes at intervals of 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Opting for synthetic oil can extend this even longer.

#2 – Car batteries last for 5 years

The life of a car battery varies & depends on the type of vehicle, driver habits and climate. A car battery can last anywhere from 3 – 5 years.

#3 – Car warranties are voided when work is done by anyone other than the dealer

The law prohibits manufacturers or dealers to void a warranty or deny coverage just because someone else did the work.


#4 – Brake fluid doesn’t need to be changed

Brake fluid should be changed at two- or three-year intervals, especially since it attracts & absorbs water, which can corrode internal brake system parts & lead to failure or other costly damage.

#5 – Tires should be replaced when the tread reaches 2/32”

AAA research found tire performance in wet weather deteriorates significantly at 4/32” & therefore, recommends consumers buy new tires when they reach this tread depth.


“Over the course of the summer, AAA anticipates responding to approximately 325,000 calls for roadside assistance in the Philadelphia 5-county region,” said Barry Cooperman, Car Care Manager at AAA South Philadelphia Car Care Center. “And while AAA will be at the ready to serve members, no one wants their road trip ruined by a breakdown that could have been avoided.”


Vehicle maintenance may have fallen by the wayside during the pandemic, however as vehicles that have not been driven as often or for great distances return to the road this summer vehicle maintenance is critical.


“Dead batteries, flat tires, and lockouts will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble this summer,” said Cooperman. “Also, check that engine oil, coolant and brake, transmission and power steering fluids are at the manufacturer specified levels.”


AAA Recommends:

  • Following manufacturer’s schedule - your owner’s manual and often offers variations based on driving habits. Make sure to stick to the one that most closely matches your individual situation.
  • Listening to the experts - while you may be tempted to prolong maintenance to save money, by doing so you could end up with more costly repairs down the road.
  • Having your battery tested - car batteries are a little trickier as they will give little warning when they are about to die. A simple battery test will provide all the information you need to decide if it’s time to replace. Through its mobile battery program, AAA offers its members free testing of a vehicle’s battery and electrical system. The best part is that if you need your battery replaced, AAA can do so right on the spot.
  • Documenting work - consumers can have the recommended maintenance services or repairs performed at any facility of their choice. Simply document the work that is done by someone other than the manufacturer or dealer to maintain the warranty.

Free “Great American Road Trip Vehicle Health Inspection”

In an effort to ensure cars are road-ready, AAA Mid-Atlantic is now offering a free “Great American Road Trip Vehicle Health Inspection” to both members and non-members at any AAA Car Care Center through the end of July. This free inspection includes tire, brake, battery, exterior lights and fluid level safety checks. Appointments can be scheduled at In addition, AAA is offering free flat tire repair to members (just $9.99 for non-members) and $50 off any repair/service of $150 or more ($35 off any repair /service of $150 or more for non-members).

Regardless of how you plan to get to your destination, AAA advises travelers to consult with a knowledgeable travel advisor to help plan their trips this Memorial Day. To get started and to learn more, visit

We’ve also compiled our favorite trip-planning resources, backed by more than 100 years of road-tested experience and expertise. is a free resource to help travelers find inspiration, explore destinations, plan the perfect route and get their vehicle road trip ready.

Record Return to Road Travel Driving up Car Care and Membership

In the first five months of the year, the AAA club that includes the Philadelphia 5-county area saw the dramatic increase in Memberships compared to last year. Since last year, Memberships are up locally (40%) as travelers take precautions against potential roadside issues and take advantage of AAA Member discounts at hotels and theme parks.

Also evidence of the strong return to road travel, business is booming at AAA Car Care Centers. At AAA Car Care Centers throughout the 5 county area, business is up by about 25% over 2019 and many locations are actively recruiting qualified technicians to meet the increase in demand.

AAA Car Care Center Locations:

  • WARMINSTER – 602 York Road (Bucks County)
  • LANGHORNE – 516 N Oxford Valley Road (Bucks County)
  • DOWNINGTOWN – 105 Quarry Road (Chester County)
  • WEST CHESTER – 707 E. Gay Street (Chester County)
  • CLIFTON HEIGHTS – 5233 West Baltimore Road (Delaware County)
  • WAYNE – 849 Lancaster Avenue (Delaware County)
  • KING OF PRUSSIA - 197 E. Dekalb Pike, Suite 350 (Montgomery County)
  • WILLOW GROVE – 2506 W. Moreland Road (Montgomery County)
  • SOUTH PHILADELPHIA – 1601 South Columbus Boulevard (Philadelphia County)

AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to more than 62 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  AAA is a non-stock, membership corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can map a route, access a COVID travel restriction map, find local gas prices and electric vehicle charging stations, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app ( for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information on joining or renewing a Membership, visit


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