Key Takeaways

  • AAA does change tires.
  • AAA does not fix flat tires, they just change out flat tires for spare tires.
  • AAA towing policies follow a few basic rules.
  • AAA offers many services including car lockout services.
  • If you want your tire repaired, you’ll need to take it to a shop.

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Purchasing AAA can be a smart purchase for any consumer. AAA offers many services to their customers, but does AAA change tires?

AAA will change a flat tire. AAA will send a technician to your location to remove your flat tire and replace it with a spare tire. Although AAA roadside assistance offers tire changing services, they do not offer a AAA flat tire service.

As an ASE certified mechanic, I’ve been dealing with AAA for years. Their roadside service has towed countless vehicles into my shop for many reasons. But AAA can sometimes save you a trip to the mechanic by changing your flat tire on the side of the road by changing it out with the spare tire.

Table of Contents

AAA Roadside Assistance

AAA stands for the American Automobile Association. AAA offers many different roadside assistance services to their customers. The following list outlines the roadside assistance services that AAA offers.

  1. Battery Service: If your car is dead or won’t start, AAA’s roadside assistance will come to your aid and jump start your vehicle. If your battery is dead, AAA’s roadside assistance will replace your battery with a new one.
  2. Fuel Delivery: If for any reason your car runs out of gas and you are unable to reach a gas station, AAA roadside assistance will deliver fuel to you and put it in your car.
  3. Tire Service: If your vehicle has a flat tire, AAA roadside assistance will inflate your tire, replace the flat tire with a spare, or take your vehicle to a shop where they can fix the flat tire.
  4. Lockout Service: If you lock your keys in your car, roadside assistance will attempt to unlock your car.
  5. Towing Service: AAA offers towing for up to so many miles. Free towing comes with most of the roadside assistance packages and you usually purchase plans that come with miles of free towing.
  6. Minor Troubleshooting: The roadside assistance package offers minor troubleshooting when it comes to your vehicle’s mechanical issues. They can let you know if, for example, you need to have your starter replaced or you need to replace a fuse.

These are the main services AAA offers to their customers. I renew my AAA every year since the roadside assistance that AAA offers is very reliable, and they come any time of day whether it be morning, noon, or night.

AAA Tire Services

AAA does offer tires service, but AAA flat tire service does not exist. The most AAA will do is replace a flat tire with a spare tire that your vehicle already comes with.

If your vehicle does not have a spare tire, AAA will attempt to inflate your flat tire. If inflating your flat tire doesn’t do the trick, AAA will tow your vehicle to a shop that performs a flat tire service.

Once you purchase a AAA membership, you are entitled to have a AAA technician come to your vehicle if it has a flat. When you call AAA, they will verify your AAA membership, then AAA will have a repairman come to your vehicle and perform the tire changing service.

They will remove the flat tire and replace it with a spare tire. And if your car doesn’t have a spare, they will tow the vehicle to a tire shop that can repair the flat tire. If your car doesn’t have a spare tire, AAA really comes in handy with a tow.

Because without AAA, you are going to have to pay the tow truck driver out of pocket to get your car towed to a shop, instead of buying a much cheaper roadside assistance package from AAA at the beginning of the year and getting essentially a free tow.

AAA tire services also come in handy if you are unable to change the spare yourself, or you lack the tools or know how to change the flat tire with the spare tire.

AAA roadside assistance tire services come in handy if your car gets a flat in dangerous situations as well, like on the side of a busy highway or stuck in a rut.

AAA roadside tire services do not fix flats, but they will replace your tire with a spare, they will tow your car, or they will attempt to inflate your tire. But they will not fix a flat.

AAA Memberships and Towing Limits

When you become a AAA member, you become entitled to free towing in case you and your vehicle become stranded for some reason. But there are a few basic rules that AAA follows when they tow your car.

AAA offers three different packages that come with different rules for towing. The lowest priced package offers only a few miles of free towing while the highest priced package offers up to 300 miles of free towing. Refer to AAA’s website for exact prices as they can change with time.

Each package comes with the full roadside assistance package of mobile battery service, fuel delivery, auto lockout service, and tire services.

So choose which package you need depending on your driving habits. For some 300 miles of towing might be too much. For me, 3 miles of towing is not enough. It all depends on your driving habits and the condition of your car.

Where Is Your Spare Tire?

The spare tire to your vehicle is usually located in the trunk, if it’s a car. If your vehicle is a truck or SUV, the spare may be underneath the rear of the vehicle.

It depends on the make and model, but the spare is usually in one of those two places. If the spare is in the trunk, you may have to lift the floor of the trunk off to reveal the spare tire. If the spare is underneath the rear of the vehicle, you may have to lower the spare with a special tool.

In case you don’t know where your spare is, your best bet is to take your vehicle’s year, make, and model and plug it into Google with the phrase “spare location” attached. You should see results guiding you in the best direction as to where to find your spare tire.

How Long Does It Take To Fix A Tire?

If AAA does tow your vehicle to a shop to fix your tire, you can expect to wait around 30 minutes to get your tire patched or plugged. 30 minutes is around the time it takes for check in, repair, pay, and checkout.

If there is a backup in the shop, or a long line of other customers ahead of you, the wait time varies. But a patch job pays around .10 of an hour to a mechanic and mechanics are usually quick about it so it only takes them about 10 minutes to do the actual job.

If you don’t feel like waiting and want to plug the tire yourself, purchasing a patch plug set and plugging the tire yourself is always an option.

A patch plug set requires you to locate the puncture wound to the tire. Remove the foreign object that’s in the tire. Ream the puncture wound with a special reaming tool, then plunge a plug into the puncture wound and seal the puncture.

But if you don’t have the tools or know how, it’s best to take the vehicle or tire to a mechanic.

Does AAA Change Tires?

About The Author

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks has been servicing vehicles since 2012. After completing the automotive studies program at Camden County College, he was awarded an Associates's Degree in Applied Science. His first job was a lube-tech at Jiffy Lube, and is currently an independent B-Technician servicing vehicles for the United States Postal Service. Christopher is ASE certified and loves rebuilding engines.

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