Got stuck today on a ride from San Fernando to Venture.
Blowing fuses for the fuel pump.
Called AAA at 12:30 pm from Main Street in Ventura. You have to have a flatbed truck to tow, ok, you have to wait till 4pm. What the F***.
Send a regular truck, sorry it will damage the car. It hasn’t happened in the past when I’ve had it towed.
5pm on the phone with a supervisor, we don’t have the equipment, tow company said nobody wants to drive 50 miles to LA from Ventura.
They found a driver but doesn’t take passengers! That’s ok with you right? FU!
We can have someone there at 8am Sunday morning!
WTF never had an issue like this after 13 years a member, will not be a member for 14.
I counted on them being there, crawled under there car, found the problem, fixed in 10 minutes, Saturday night insurance jobs are to important to miss out on.
Quit years ago when I lived in Houston area. They only towed for 3 miles, after that the rest of the trip was on you, worthless to me.
I don't have AAA. I have never been a member. I have a truck and a trailer. If the 914 breaks, we get the trailer and bring it home.
I do the same for all my friends with 914s too.
Now if the tow vehicle breaks down, I have to call a tow service.
For us, it’s paid off many times. Wife locked her keys in the car - more than once.
Dead batteries- more than once.
Daughter got a flat tire.
Even used it twice on my 914 when fuel pump quit and master cylinder took a dump.
When my kids were 500 miles away, a phone call to aaa was a lot easier than a truck and trailer.
I’m not selling it to anyone, it just works for us.
I’m sure areas like LA are a completely different issue for service.
I feel your pain. I had a coil die (right? when has that ever happened?) on Highway 5, about 9 miles south of Harris Ranch (MMMMMmm!) in 108 degree heat at 11:30 am. I have AAA 200 mile tow service. My home was 190 miles away- so should be good.
Call AAA and give them my exact location, mile marker, between exit XXX and exit YYY on northbound Highway 5 just south of junction XXX by 10 miles. I get a text message 2.5 hours later that the AAA truck is up in Redding CA (Northern CA) trying to find us. I call in and they apologize and say they made a mistake. Now they tell me they may have a truck to us in 6 hours. I tell her my brother and I are both senior citizens (Q-tips) and it is 108 degrees with no shade. We are slowly being baked. They find a truck and tell me 1 hour. I confirm it is a flatbed for low vehicles. They say that is all they use.
Truck arrives and it is a flatbed. The kid that jumps out looks like he just robbed a convenience store in Compton.... OK, maybe he knows his job. He immediately backs up to front of my car and starts to lower his deck. I stop him and walk him around the car, just fully restored, not a scratch or ding on it. He says "No problem". As he gets the deck lower and closer I tell him it appears it will hit the valance. I ask if he has any 2x6 scraps of wood or anything we can roll the car up on to ease the transition to the deck. He says, "Nope". Proceeds the slam the deck right into the valance- damaging it pretty good. Then he stops and says he will go get his low-haul truck. He never returns. I call his office from the number on the truck and a guy answers and says he refuses to haul my car as it is highly modified. I tell him it is a stock car, lowered 1"- nothing more. He refuses to return.
We ended up calling a friend of my brothers who owns a tow company and he immediately got in his truck and drove 2 hours to come get us. Loaded the car without touching it in 5 minutes and drove us home.
AAA ended up covering the $900 tow bill and approximately $3,000 for the damage to my valance.
The private hauler we used said he used to work for AAA but they have reduced their rates to the point it was not worth driving a truck. That is why you can not get a tow truck when you need one, according to him. I believe him. Based upon that experience, I have now added tow strap tie downs on my car in the event we need to tow it again, to try to minimize the damage potential. What else can you do? We drive my car and it is not uncommon to take it on 200+ mile trips from home.
Even though I’m sure aaa advertises they can service any car, they are probably not a good fit for our 914’s or anything out of the ordinary. No issues with my daughters 2009 Honda crv. There’s too many dents and dings to even tell… but my 912-6 will have fiberglass bumpers and an aluminum hood. I wouldn’t let them touch that car.
Still, I get it. You buy into a service and count on them to deliver.
This is interesting (sad) and probably symptomatic of life and the industry today.
I have seen in many other threads that people mention AAA as the first thing needed for a long trip. Maybe not so much anymore.
But what are the alternatives? Stay close to home? Own and truck and trailer or have a friend that does? Roll the dice? YMMV
Well, fortunately for us, my brother had loaded about 8 bottles of water into the car before we embarked on our trip. Additionally, while we were stranded, a nice CHP officer stopped to check on us. He then went up to the next gas station, about 5 miles up the road and brought us back 2 ice cold 1/2 gallon jugs of water. I paid him and thanked him.
I made sure to write to the CHP Commissioner to let her know what a great officer she had and I was officially thanking him for his service. She acknowledged my letter with one of her own.
I'd love to see a graph of location to satisfaction. I've used AAA a fair bit to move project cars and a couple times to get my E9 when it had issues. I got fabulous service in under the quoted wait time, every time. But as mentioned, I'm in a populated area, close to the tow service bases.
Hope I never have to test them in a remote location.
And worst case, I do have a trailer/tow vehicle. Problem would be, I'd have to get home to get it!
I use AAA at least once a year and it works great. They don’t have proprietary towing companies so it’s only as good as the towing companies in the area where you use it. I’m pretty sure the same thing would have happened to the original poster whether he had AAA or not. I had my 914 towed to the paint shop using AAA when it was 1/2 apart for painting and then back home. AAA Plus has 100 miles of no additional charge towing available for a little more. The standard membership with 3 miles isn’t enough for me.
been a Member for 25 years, never a problem. Flat-Towed plenty of 914s.
Sorry for your issues
This guy showed up in time and didn't damage the car.
They are calling this morning that they are on the way to provide service.
Also had AAA for many many years, paid off every year, never had any issues.
I think your problems are L.A. problems, not AAA problems hahaha
Another funny AAA story.... back in 2010, after I bought my Six, I wanted to get the entire undercarriage steam cleaned as it was heavy coated in oil and crud- like 1/4" thick. I called AAA to use my 200 mile tow to take it from Alamo to San Jose to a truck steam cleaner that had lifts outside for this purpose.
The AAA truck shows up and I swear to God, the driver gets out and he appears to be in his 70's and has a black (pirate) patch over 1 eye....
My driveway was a very large circular exposed aggregate driveway with a flower bed in the center. My driveway also had an incline as you enter and probably rose about 8' above street level.
I had my Six in the driveway, nose facing the street for an easy pick up. I asked the driver if he would prefer I roll it out into the street for a very easy pick up. He looked at me with his 1 good eye, and said, "I am an expert tow truck operator, been doing this for over 40 years. I can grab that car right were it sits." OK....
He then backs his tow truck into the driveway and promptly right into the flower bed and sinks the whole back of the truck to the axles.... no joke.
It took 2 other tow rigs almost 2 hours to pull him out. I did not say a word to this guy. When the 2 other truck arrived, they laughed the butts off and took a ton of pictures to use at some future date, I am sure.
I felt so bad for the old driver I never said a word to AAA. I was afraid they would just fire the guy. I repaired the destroyed sprinkler lines and replaced the damaged plants on my dime.
Yeah, I have had great luck with AAA..... Still what else can you do?
AAA has saved my bum a few times. But the service level I got was wholly dependent on the locals within the network that responded.
Many/most classic car insurance offers recovery services as part of the policy (they certainly don't want you abandoning your car on a highway). But I'd imagine the local response teams are similar if not identical. - GA
EDIT: plus, I get 5-15% discount on NAPA parts with a AAA card...and they do on-site CT driver's license renewals...that pays for the membership all by itself.
Little known fact: The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) provides roadside assistance for its members. When I was still racing and was towing my 914 in a 20 foot enclosed trailer, I needed coverage to include my tow vehicle and my trailer. AAA offered this coverage for a premium but since I was already a member of AMA and discovered that their roadside (towing) coverage included 5 vehicles - motorcycles, cars trucks trailers and RV's I just went with them. The annual membership fee is a lot less than buying AAA optional coverage.
This is a cut and paste from their site:
Protecting AMA Members On The Open Road
Whether AMA members opt for the no-cost standard roadside assistance program or purchase the upgraded Roadside Assistance Plus coverage, they can ride and drive worry free knowing that the AMA and its partner providers have their back.
All AMA members in good standing are eligible for the Roadside Assistance program.* But coverage is not automatic. You must take some simple steps to be covered.
There are two levels of roadside assistance coverage available through the AMA:
Standard Roadside Assistance
Roadside Assistance Plus
For details, see additional terms below, but in general here are how the programs differ.
Standard Roadside Assistance includes unlimited service calls a year for covered motorcycles. Up to three service calls a year may be placed for covered non-motorcycle vehicles in your household. Coverage is limited to a total of five vehicles, including motorcycles. Covered vehicles include motorcycles, cars, trucks, trailers and RVs. It does not cover commercial vehicles or commercial trailers.
Roadside Assistance Plus includes unlimited service calls a year for all vehicles registered to your household. It includes motorcycles, cars, trucks, trailers and RVs. It does not cover commercial vehicles or commercial trailers.
Don’t confuse LA with Ventura. Ventura is north of LA. I live in so cal and have used AAA plenty of times for my daughter and her boy friend in LA / North Hollywood and my family in south Orange County and everywhere in between. It’s when you get into remote areas that the tow truck drivers don’t want to deal with additional travel. Except for waiting a couple of hours for them to show up, I have been pretty lucky so far.
I used to swear by AAA. They've helped me and my 911 and 914 a few times. But a little over a year ago the alternator failed in my Golf and a tire went flat simultaneously and it was winter so I said "screw this" and called them. I gave up waiting after 2 hours and found somebody else. AAA called 2 hours after that and said somebody was on the way. I assume it's a pandemic related job market issue and I hope it sorts itself out soon.
I've used AAA for decades but recently ran into a problem and found out some info that quickly explained it. The problem was I was in Mass, not NY where I live. I wanted my truck towed back to NY, where my mechanic is. It was within the 100 miles of AAA+. The Mass AAA people said it would be three days until they would have someone who could do that. They told me to call "MY" AAA. I said, AAA is AAA, right?
It isn't. Apparently AAA offices are franchises so while they agree to work with other AAA offices they don't have to work that hard. I ended up calling "MY" AAA in NY, who sent a truck empty to pick me up. But it took a whole day to make this happen. Had to spend for another day in the hotel, I guess I could have waited in my truck, but it was 10 degrees outside.
So while I used to hold AAA to a high standard, no more, they will leave you hanging.
What was once, is no longer
I spent 5 hours on I-95 on my way home from the Rolex 24 in February. Loose radiator hose clamp allowed the hose to blow off the intake manifold. AAA membership was canceled shortly after.
Lousy service but great 30 minute commercials every Saturday
I've used AAA many times over the years, though I have not had to call them since 2020. In my area they have always been prompt and good.
There have been many times they showed, broken throttle cable towed from Topanga, broken roll pin in the transmission from Hollywood, broken a arm at the ball joint from Downtown LA, waited and they showed up.
This time 18 hours 50 miles from home, there is a terrible disconnect here.
What if my wife was alone?
Slightly off topic but in the three plus decades that I have owned my 914, I have only had to be towed twice. I have always had Hagerty and they have been great. They also insure my motorcycle.
I've had AAA for over 15 years and have had good dealings with them. Had many flatbed tows with various vehicles - guess I've been fortunate
I remember one time when I need to have my 911 transported from a private garage that I rented to the shop my brother & I started leasing in 2010. The AAA driver showed up, but told me that he wasn't supposed to transport any vehicles that didn't have a motor.
I reasoned with him and he agreed to do it. He even helped push it out of the garage and down a 90° driveway that his flatbed couldn't navigate through.
I spotted him a $20. for being a good sport
Had to have the BB towed from Kent's place to my shop when the hydraulic clutch modification didn't work out as planned
... and when the shift cable end became dislodged on the Cayman one evening.
Up on the lift and 10 minutes later, fixed the problem
I once got a nasty letter from AAA. They said I was abusing the AAA system. My brother and I were in college, flipping watercooled VW's to pay for it all. We used to go to the auctions, buy a wrecked one, have the forklift take it outside the gate, and then call AAA. They eventually said they wouldn't tow a car without current tags, but years ago they didn't care. My record was 9 tows in one year!
To add insult to injury a tow truck passed by to take a look, saw the 914, I thought he was going to stop, it was one of the tow companies I was waiting on, had the AAA logo on the side, sized up the car not going to get a big enough tip.
We have had AAA a long time, not even sure when we started. We have great luck with them but lately not so much. They still get there but not near as fast. We have a trailer also but there are times when it is more convenient to use AAA. I have Haggerty on my 81SC, I wasn't aware of their roadside I guess. Only had them for two years now. I will check that out.
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