AAMCO's Expert Technicians Offer Six Tips to Ensure Safe Driving This Winter Season

As the national weather forecast starts to include the words ‘frost’, ‘freeze’ and ‘snow’ to describe the current weather conditions, the experts at AAMCO, the world’s largest chain of transmission specialists and leader in total car care, are offering the top six tips to help consumers prepare their vehicles for the harsh winter season ahead.

“The best way to keep a car or truck running safely and reliably is through routine preventative maintenance,” said AAMCO VP of Technical Support Bruce Chidsey. “We encourage drivers to take the cold winter months seriously and prepare their vehicles in advance to ensure that their car or truck is ready for winter weather. Taking a few simple, preventative steps can make all the difference between getting home safe and sound and being stranded on the side of a snowy road.”

The following are the top six ways to care for everything inside, outside and under the hood of your car or truck this winter:

1. Keep the Gas Tank at Least Half Full – Keeping a gas tank at least half full at all times will prevent moisture build up, which can freeze in the gas lines.

2. Check the Battery – Throughout the season, check the batter for dirt and grime. If it is dirty, disconnect the cables and scrub the battery with a mix of baking soda and water. When reconnecting, tighten the wires so they cannot wiggle. A vehicle’s battery begins to lose power in cold temperatures, so it is important to test the battery monthly or replace it if it has not been changed within the last two to three years.

3. Antifreeze is Your Friend – Check the fluid levels under the hood and top off as necessary. Antifreeze is a mix of 50-50 coolant to water. Do not use 100 percent coolant because when it freezes, it expands and could damage the engine block.

4. Check Tire Tread and Pressure – It is helpful to switch to snow tires during the winter for better traction on the roads. If this is not an option, then check the tire tread to see if the vehicle’s current tires need to be replaced. It is also especially important to check tire pressure because cold air lowers air pressure, making your drive less optimal, drains the fuel, and causes uneven tread wear.

5. Wash and Wax Frequently – A lot of grime and dirt collects on the ground during winter and gets kicked up onto your car and the undercarriage. Wash and wax your car frequently during this season to prevent salt from sticking to and rusting it.

6. Have an Emergency Car Kit – Stay prepared for anything that could happen by keeping an emergency car kit. An emergency car kit should consist of the following at a minimum:
• Ice scraper
• First-aid kit
• Blanket
• Extra clothes, including a hat, gloves and jacket
• Sand
• Shovel
• Jumper cables/Portable car charger
• Flares
• Medication
• Snacks
• Water
• Phone charger


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AAMCO of Pottsville, PA Helps Put the Brakes on Cancer

During the month of October, AAMCO of Pottsville Total Car Care & Repair participated in raising funds for a breast cancer vaccine as part of the "Brakes for Breasts" fundraiser.

Brakes for Breasts guys holding banner front and back of t shirts (2)On October 8th, local radio station MAGIC WMGH 105.5 delivered a live broadcast from the Pottsville, PA AAMCO center. ​Tom and Sheree Bashinsky, the center owners, were on hand for this important event.

Brakes for Breasts Live Broadcast Road Sign

As part of the “Brakes for Breasts” fundraiser, the participating auto repair facilities gave away FREE (quality) brake pads or shoes, compliments of AutoZone. The customer simply paid the labor and any other ancillary parts necessary to complete the brake job and the shops then donated 10% of the brake job directly to Dr. Vincent Tuohy & the Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Vaccine Research Fund. According to the press release, Dr. Tuohy at the Cleveland Clinic has created a vaccine that has proved effective in laboratory animals in actually preventing breast cancer.
Brakes for Breasts 2015 all guys eating hot dogs (1)It was a great event for a very worthwhile cause. AAMCO of Pottsville welcomed the opportunity to help raise awareness and lend their support.  Owners Tom and Sheree and their entire team are dedicated to premier total car care, customer education and giving back to the community they serve.

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HORSHAM, Pa.-AAMCO, the world’s largest chain of transmission specialists and leader in total car care, was proud to support Charity Vision in their goal to beat blindness which was highlighted Friday night in an epic fight night gala on May 15, 2015 in Salt Lake City. The headline bout between political heavyweight, Mitt Romney and five-time world heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield, helped raise over a million dollars to give the gift of sight back to thousands of children and adults across the world.

For nearly 30 years Charity Vision has been working to reverse the global epidemic of blindness. One hundred percent of donations to Charity Vision go directly to fighting blindness. Charity Vision partners with local doctors in developing countries to find solutions to worldwide blindness.

AAMCO and our network of franchisees continue to give back to the communities in which we operate, supporting worthy causes like Charity Vision that affect our customers’ lives. Staying connected to the causes that are important to our customers has been part of the AAMCO mission for over 50 years,” said Brett Ponton, CEO of AAMCO.  “We were honored to support Charity Vision in this important fight for sight.” Mike Ganjei, President of the National AAMCO Dealers Association added, “on behalf of all the AAMCO dealers across the country, we are proud to support this cause and encourage all our dealers to continue to support Charity Vision.”

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Trust Through Transparency at AAMCO Garden City Park, NY

One recent AAMCO convert is Steve Epstein of Long Island. Steve’s daughter had the transmission go out in her ’91 Taurus and Steve called a number of transmission shops for advice. “I did not feel comfortable with the first 2 shops I called”, reports Steve, “the managers were either cold, rude or callous. Then I called AAMCO and Ken Berry introduced himself as the owner of the business. Ken was the only gentleman that allowed me to explain my situation and ask questions. He offered me options and even asked me to take time to consider my options and call him back when I made my decision. I called Ken the next day and told him to order the AAMCO Factory Certified Transmission.”

Ken attests to the fact that. “It is much easier to build trust with transparency.” Ken suggests. “So we provide a firm price quote on every transmission that requires rebuilding along with our teardown quote. Our customers know up front how much a factory certified unit will cost and also understand that they have the option of having our techs rebuild their unit here for less. It’s a winning combination. Not only are our customers comfortable with us, but they also perceive us as the true professionals that we know we can be.”

Steve Epstein agrees. “Here is how I would describe Ken Berry,” writes Mr. Epstein, “He is dedicated, intelligent, compassionate, sincere, knowledgeable, warm, friendly , honest and a professional in every sense of the word. In this day and age, people are basically lazy and are concerned with themselves. People such as Ken are rare indeed. He goes the extra mile to please his customer and should be a role model for all new owners of AAMCO centers.”

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AAMCO Partners with Evander Holyfield and Mitt Romney to Help Knock Out Blindness

AAMCO, the world's largest chain of transmission specialists and leader in total car care, is pleased to announce its support for the upcoming Charity Vision Fight Night fundraiser in Salt Lake City, Utah, which will bring together heavyweights of boxing and politics to raise needed funds to fight blindness. Since 1986 Charity Vision has been working to reverse the global epidemic of blindness. Across the globe nearly 39 million people live in total blindness; ninety percent of those are in developing countries.

“AAMCO and our franchise owners are proud to be supporting Charity Vision in their fight to find sustainable ways to cure the blindness problem in our communities at home and across the globe,” said AAMCO President and Chief Executive Officer, Brett Ponton.

Charity Vision Fight Night is a world-class boxing event scheduled for May, 15, 2015 at the Rail Events Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Five-time world heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield, will face political heavyweight Mitt Romney in the featured bout.

“I’ve been fighting for most of my life- starting as a kid. I’m the Real Deal. And now I’m fighting, alongside AAMCO, to wipe out blindness because a real fighter can’t turn down a challenge- especially one I know we can win,” said Evander Holyfield.

One hundred percent of donations to Charity Vision go directly to fighting blindness. Charity Vision partners with local doctors in developing countries to find solutions to worldwide blindness. Money raised at this year’s Charity Vision Fight Night will help further this mission.

For over 50 years AAMCO and its network of dealers have given back to the communities in which they operate, supporting worthy causes that impact customers’ lives. Most recently to celebrate its golden anniversary AAMCO partnered with the Military Order of the Purple Heart to honor and support wounded veterans and their families in all fifty states.

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AAMCO’s Top 10 “Must Do” items to prepare your Car for the Spring Season

According to AAMCO, the best way to keep a car or truck running safely is through routine preventative maintenance. As the seasons transition from winter into spring, AAMCO offers the following tips to help car owners ease their vehicles into the warmer weather months:

1. Factory Maintenance Requirements. Check for required Factory Maintenance in your Owner’s Manual. AAMCO’s professional Technicians will perform those services for you.

2. Tires and Air Pressure: Check your tires for wear, damage, and correct air pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3% for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires*. Tires that are in good condition and properly inflated are safer, especially on wet and slick roads, and will last longer.

3. Battery: Have your battery, cables and engine drive belts inspected. Tip: If your battery is over 5 years old, you may want to consider replacing it before it gives you problems.

4. Engine Oil, Fluids and Filters: Spring is a good time for an engine oil and filter change. Fuel mileage can be affected by up to 1% – 2% by using improper grade of oil*. Check your manufacturer’ recommendation for frequency of other fluids too, auto manufacturer’s often recommend a radiator coolant change every 2 years or 24,000 miles and a transmission fluid change every three years or 36,000 miles based on usage.

5. Brakes: Check your front and rear brake pads, rotors, sensors and the related hydraulic brake parts for wear or damage and to prepare your car for safe summer driving.

6. Air Conditioning: It may be time for that Air Conditioning Tune up. Have your A/C system checked prior to the summer season so you’re not stuck in the summer heat. Also, the cabin air filter is an important filter to change regularly to protect you and your A/C System from harmful dust, pollen and other airborne dirt and debris.

7. Engine Tune-up: A vehicle that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can affect gas mileage by an average of 4% according to U.S Department of Energy*. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40%*.

In addition to these important maintenance and safety tips, also check your wiper blades (#8) and lights and lamps (#9). Don’t wait for the old blades to scratch the windshield or that first spring thunderstorm to discover your blades are streaking or smearing the windshield. A good spring cleaning inside and out (#10) to remove all of the salts and winter gunk is also a good measure for protecting your paint and interior.

There you have it. The Top 10 “Must Do” items to do in order to get ready for the Spring and into the Summer. Trust the experts at AAMCO to care for everything in, on and under your car.

You’ve trusted the expert technicians at AAMCO for over 50 years to service the most complicated system in your car, the transmission, so you know you can trust us for all your car care needs – from oil changes to tune-ups to services that will keep your car in warranty and everything in, on or under your car. Go to www.aamco.com to find your neighborhood AAMCO dealer near you.

*Source: U.S Department of Energy  (www.fueleconomy.gov)


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AAMCO Opens AAMCO University Training Center to positive reviews from its franchise community

On Saturday, February 21, 2015 AAMCO, the world’s largest chain of transmission specialists and leader in total car care, celebrated the opening of AAMCO University, their state-of-the-art training facility in Newnan, Georgia with a ribbon cutting ceremony and an all-day open house.

AAMCO University Exterior

AAMCO University Exterior

The event, attended by several local dignitaries and over 150 AAMCO franchisees, marked a 6-month endeavor that began in August 2014 at a groundbreaking ceremony and culminated in an emotional moment when Lt.Col. (Ret) Robert Ledee, accompanied by U.S. Marine Veteran and AAMCO franchisee, Frank Filacchione raised the American Flag, the Georgia State flag, and the AAMCO flag to commemorate the official opening of the facility.

AAMCO University Flag Raising

AAMCO University Flag Raising

AAMCO franchisees and invited guests were taken on guided, interactive tours of AAMCO University where they experienced real-time examples of the training activities available for AAMCO technicians, managers, as well as prospective, new and current franchisees.

In addition to courses at the world-class Newnan headquarters and training complex, AAMCO University currently offers over 300 interactive courses via its online learning management system with many more in development.

AAMCO University Ribbon Cutting

AAMCO University Ribbon Cutting

The franchisees watched demonstrations of both the lecture and hands-on technical instruction in the state of the art theater-style classroom and the on-site, full-service AAMCO center.  They were thoroughly impressed with the technology laden facility’s ability to provide “distance learning” via webcasts and its ability to record detailed, hands on “how to” videos for the thousands of employees that may not be able to attend a class at any given time.

AAMCO University theater-style classroom

AAMCO University theater-style classroom

Not only does AAMCO University offer extensive, specialized training, it also helps “students” define and identify career goals and chart their long-term career path.  The curriculum elevates a career in the after-market automotive repair field to a professional level, based on recognized standards in the industry.  It also gives the attendees new tools to ‘sharpen the saw’ in their daily work environment and ongoing opportunities for career development.

As the demand for a workforce with highly technical skills continues to grow, the high level training curriculum offered by AAMCO University provides students with an ongoing mechanism to enhance their skills and knowledge, which leads to mastering their jobs and added professional development; with the ultimate result being better production in the workplace.

AAMCO University on-site full service center

AAMCO University on-site full service center

“The automotive repair industry is increasingly more complex as the car industry continues to evolve, and it’s essential that our AAMCO owners, managers, and technicians continue to offer best in class service. We are committed to ensuring that our technicians have the training and expertise that our customers expect from our brand,” said AAMCO President and Chief Executive Officer, Brett Ponton.

“The new training facility and enhanced curriculum at AAMCO University speaks to our commitment to provide industry leading service throughout the AAMCO chain, offering a superb customer experience to everyone who walks through our doors.”

AAMCO University will continue to uphold the tradition of personal attention and service excellence the brand has enjoyed for over 50 years.  The University’s inaugural class – consisting of new franchise owners – have already embarked upon their journey through the School of Franchise Ownership and are expected to graduate at the end of March.

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