10 Summer Road Trip Tips from AAMCO

Taking a summer road trip? Make the most of your quality time on the road with family or friends with these 10 tips from AAMCO to help your trip be even more enjoyable.

1. Give your vehicle some love.
First things first. For safety’s sake, before you leave town do some basic preventative maintenance checks. Be sure all fluids are topped off, your tires are properly inflated, your windshield wipers are working, you’re travelling with jumper cables and a full spare tire in your vehicle, etc. If your check engine light is coming on, your brakes are acting up or your vehicle is making strange noises, stop into any one of over 650 AAMCO locations across the country for a check before you go or while you’re out on the road.

2. Decide on the sites you really want to visit.
Don’t cram too many hours of driving into your days. Allow for time for spontaneous exploration & lingering without feeling rushed. Stay one step ahead by doing some research beforehand on where you can sleep for the night near your destination.

3. Tell someone where you’re going.
Sending a message to a friend of family member at home on where you plan to end up each day is always a good idea as accidents, bad weather and breakdowns can happen anywhere.

4. Bring an extra key to your car.
There are few things worse than being stranded or locked out of your vehicle. Don’t let it happen to you!

5. Make it about the journey.
Play car games, make a road trip music playlist, be creative… your trip is all about fun! Not to mention, it certainly helps to keep the “Are we there yet?” whines to a minimum.

6. Discover a city’s hidden gems by talking to locals.
They’ll often point out some local color or a restaurant that might be missing from your “city attractions” brochures. Whenever possible, stop and see that slice of Americana or roadside oddity for awesome photos that will make your road trip that much more memorable.

7. Avoid time killing traffic spots.
Don’t be in the wrong place at the wrong time. For example, anticipate rush hour when driving near a major city and avoid heading out to a popular vacation destination on the Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend. It’s also smart to have some cash on hand for toll roads in case you have to take an unexpected detour.

8. Leave room to bring something back with you.
Sometimes it’s a framed painting or it could be 4 bushels of fresh peaches. You never know what you’ll find, but when you do, make sure you have enough room in your vehicle to get that souvenir home with you. Also, strive for a trash free vehicle for the duration of the trip as it will help to save space too.

9. Pack some snacks & a small cooler.
Being prepared and avoid a car full of cranky people. You may often be driving for an hour or more without seeing a convenience store. Pack a small cooler with bottled water or your favorite beverages and bring snacks in resealable bags to hold you over until you reach the next town.

10. Bring a map.
Many of us rely on GPS or apps like WAZE to get us from Point A to Point B. But things can happen and devices fail. Don’t set out into the great unknown without a hard copy map or road atlas as backup.

Any time of the year is great for a road trip but sometimes even the best laid plans can encounter a few hiccups. Our goal at AAMCO is always to keep you safe while out on the road, no matter your destination. Should your vehicle experience any issues, call
(800) GO-AAMCO
to get in touch with an AAMCO Total Car Care center close to your location.

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AAMCO Franchise Continues to Evolve as a Best-Bet Investment

After more than half a century as one of America's most iconic franchise systems, AAMCO continues to drive towards a bright future. Led by an executive team that is entirely focused on improving the business model for its growing network of franchisees, the AAMCO of today is a forward-looking, tech-savvy powerhouse that is rapidly expanding across the country. time-tested business model. This dedication makes AAMCO franchises easier to run and easier to scale than ever before.
Under the leadership of President and CEO Brett Ponton, AAMCO has invested in a state-of-the-art initial and ongoing training platform called AAMCO University, which not only has made AAMCO accessible and welcoming to entrepreneurs without experience in the auto industry, but has given technicians and employees at AAMCO franchise centers the ability to move upward in their careers. This has allowed AAMCO to retain its hard-won expertise in the auto repair industry and has made it easier for franchisees to hire and retain the best talent.

The brand also successfully launched Total Car Care. AAMCO has leveraged it’s 50 year history of fixing the most complex part of the car, the transmission, into a full-service offering that includes brakes, oil changes, heat and A/C, brakes, and in 2018, the brand will add tires. This level of service and consumer trust— combined with an ongoing initiative to “win the internet” through a series of marketing efforts, a new financing program for consumers, and a new POS system — has delivered to the AAMCO franchisee multiple revenue streams and the ability to out compete auto repair chains in their markets.“We’re so proud to be a part of the wonderful AAMCO brand and are privileged to help make our business model more competitive and more profitable for our franchise owners,” Brett says. “By working side-by-side with our franchisees to create initiatives that drive sales to their centers, we have made AAMCO not only more competitive in the 21st-century economy, but also more attractive to entrepreneurs who are looking for a business opportunity with a proven track record of success and even brighter future. We’re working hard to ensure that our next 50 years in business is even better than the last.”

The industry agrees. In 2017, Entrepreneur magazine included AAMCO on their prestigious “Franchise 500” list, and ranked AAMCO as the No. 1 brand in their category for the third consecutive year. Based on network size, growth rate and financial strength, the brand also earned a spot on Entrepreneur’s “Best of the Best” list. Additionally, AAMCO has been ranked on the Franchise Times Top 200+ for the past two years.

Existing AAMCO franchisees agree. The investments that AAMCO has made to improve its business model allows existing franchisees to open new centers in record numbers. If the measure of success in a franchise system is its franchisees answering this fundamental question in the affirmative: “If you could go back in time, would you make the investment again?” — then AAMCO has knocked the ball out of the park.

“The fact that we have so many deposits for new centers from existing franchise owners is proof that all of our hard work and investments are paying off,” says Kim Robinson, Director of Franchise Development at AAMCO. “When an entrepreneur is interested in opening a new center, they always ask about the existing franchise network. The fact that I can tell them our existing owners are opening new centers in record numbers speaks volumes about how healthy the AAMCO franchise system really is, and is a signal to potential franchisees that AAMCO is a wise investment.”

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Summer Vehicle Maintenance Tips From AAMCO

Summer is finally here and with it comes road-trip season! The expert technicians at AAMCO want to help ensure that you and your family will get to wherever you are going safely.

At AAMCO, we have you covered. We can provide all of the services essential to summer car maintenance, because we know the last thing you want to remember about your road trip is the day your car broke down and ruined the vacation. By bringing your vehicle to AAMCO for summer car care services, you’ll leave happy knowing that you and your family will be better able to enjoy your time on the road this summer. 

AAMCO’s Summer Vehicle Maintenance Tips

  • High summer temperatures can affect both interior and exterior components of your car, truck or SUV. For instance, windshield wipers can dry out and crack from the severe heat. They’ve also become much less effective from working hard through snow and rain earlier in the year and may simply be worn out. A fresh set of wiper blades is an easy and cost effective fix to help enhance visibility while driving through strong and unpredictable summer rainstorms.
  • Extreme summer heat can also degrade and potentially harm the belts and hoses in your vehicle. Getting your belts and hoses checked out and serviced at your local AAMCO center can help to prevent overheating and more troublesome problems that may go on to impair your vehicle’s transmission or engine performance.
  • Helping your vehicle to run as efficiently as possible is fundamental to us at AAMCO. We also suggest having your tires checked biannually, the same way you would test the batteries in a smoke detector in your home routinely every 6 months. We’ll put your car, truck or SUV up on a lift to examine your tires for wear and damage. It is also important to be sure your tires are properly inflated, not only as a matter of protection, but overall it can help to improve your vehicle’s gas mileage.
  • Our techs will also check to see if you have low or tainted levels of fluid and coolant, as this can directly affect your radiator and other related systems and cause them to overheat. High temperatures can also deteriorate old fluid more rapidly, which can cause a decrease in efficiency and therefore impact the ability to keep critical systems, like your engine and transmission, from experiencing any damage due to running hot.

Summer Car Care & Maintenance Services at AAMCO

  1. Servicing your battery’s electrical connections
  2. Checking and servicing your air conditioning system
  3. Servicing the radiator/cooling system
  4. Checking the condition of your windshield wipers
  5. Testing and replacing your car battery, if needed or if it’s older than five years
  6. Checking your vehicle’s belts & hoses for deterioration
  7. Checking tires for pressure, wear and proper inflation
  8. A transmission fluid exchange (overheating is the biggest threat to transmissions)
  9. Checking that the all essential fluids in your vehicle are clean and full
  10. Inspecting and possibly replacing the oxygen sensor, if there has been a noticeable drop-off in fuel mileage.
  11. Changing your engine oil. During suggested oil change intervals and by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of oil, mileage can increase by up to 2%

Especially during the hot summer months, by following the recommended time intervals for routine scheduled maintenance (as stated in your vehicle’s owner manual) you can help to extend the life of your car, truck or SUV.  AAMCO can help you to avoid breakdowns this summer by performing all of the services your vehicle needs to perform at its best in order to keep you comfortable and safe on the road for many miles to come


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AAMCO Springfield Business Owner to Retire After 50 Years

William Harrison is retiring from his Springfield transmission shop after a fire, some bat poop and forty years of repairing cars for customers in Clark County.

Harrison, an early franchisee for the AAMCO transmission chain, grew up on a farm in southern Illinois but moved to Columbus while working as an engineer in the oil and gas industry. What he really loved was working on cars though, so he used his savings and a loan to buy one of the few AAMCO franchises on North High Street in the city in in 1967. The chain had just started working with franchisees three years earlier.

Rob Adams & William Harrison of AAMCO Springfield, OH

He ran that business for a decade until he was asked to look into a Springfield business when the previous owner became ill. One of his employees at the time asked about buying the Columbus store, and Harrison never looked back.

“I quoted him a price and the next thing I knew, he had a partner and bought it,” Harrison said. “I bought a boat.”

Although it’s part of a national chain, Harrison said the business has been successful partly because he was active in his church and numerous community events. And he said his employees have been able to adapt well to changes in the industry, particularly as vehicles have become more complex. Now, employees have to be both computer technicians and mechanics, he said.

When possible, he tried to buy as many parts as possible from local companies.

AAMCO Springfield, OH

“People still see us in the community and the money is not being pumped into a huge corporation,” Harrison said.

The business has faced some struggles, including a fire that burnt the transmission shop to the ground in the 1970s. It took four months for Harrison to rebuild his business, and in the meantime his staff worked in a warehouse on Cliff Street that was used to store freight cars. But that wasn’t what Harrison remembers the most.

“We had to watch where we parked our cars because the bats would poop on them,” he joked.

Now, Harrison is passing along the business to Rob Adams, his stepson. Both the national chain and the Springfield business with its nine employees are in good hands moving forward, Harrison said.

It will be difficult to leave, but he said he plans to let Adams run the business his own way to allow it to move forward. Still, his hands-on approach was one part of what made the business survive four decades.

“I’m a workaholic,” Harrison said. “It took a long time to realize that.”

In the meantime, the business is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a daily trivia game and 50 days of prizes on its Facebook page, and an open house on July for customers.

“Anybody that’s owned a business for this long has got stories,” Harrison said.*

If you go:
What: AAMCO Springfield Open House
Where: 1512 W. Columbia St., Springfield
When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 1, 2017

*Article from Springfield News-Sun

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AAMCO Franchise Ranked "Best Of The Best" By Entrepreneur Magazine

AAMCO announced today it has been recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as a 2017 “Best of the Best,” ranking at the top of its industry category for the third consecutive year. Collectively, AAMCO has been ranked number one in category on the “Best of the Best” listing for more than three decades.

“We’re honored to once again be named among the ‘Best of the Best’ franchises,” said Brett Ponton, CEO and president of American Driveline and AAMCO Transmission, Inc. “We take pride in the work we do and being acknowledged as the leader in our industry category truly speaks volumes about the processes and systems we have established as part of our overall growth strategy. We look forward to riding this momentum into the second half of the year, and will remain focused on providing top-notch service and expertise to our customers.” 

Entrepreneur’s “Best of the Best” companies are selected from the Franchise 500® list based on ranking within their industry. The companies are evaluated based on Entrepreneur‘s objective, quantifiable criteria, including system size, growth rate and financial strength and stability. The results qualify the top ranked company in each industry category to be named on the “Best of the Best” list.

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AAMCO Franchisee Opens Second Location In Medford, Oregon

AAMCO announced today it has expanded in Oregon with the opening of its first location in Medford. The new auto repair shop is located at 3112 Crater Lake Avenue and features eight full service repair bays, transmission, auto repair and fleet services. The location is owned and operated by longtime AAMCO franchisee Kyle Reber, who has owned AAMCO of Roseburg since April 2005.

AAMCO of Medford, OR

“For the past 12 years, AAMCO has provided me with ongoing support and resources that are second to none,” said Reber. “Automotive repair is a lucrative industry, and given the success I have experienced in Roseburg, I saw an opportunity to expand my business to Medford. I look forward to serving the community for many years.”

AAMCO of Medford, OR

Reber will continue to operate the Roseburg service center, and with the help of his family, will also run the new location in Medford. The entrepreneur’s business philosophy is based on customer service, which he plans to instill in the new employees hired for the shop.

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AAMCO Franchise Named One of 2017's LearningElite For Its Training Program

AAMCO has been named a 2017 LearningElite award winner by Chief Learning Officer magazine. This robust, peer-reviewed ranking and benchmarking program honors organizations for exemplary workforce development strategies that deliver significant business results. Named among more than 60 other national organizations across various industries, AAMCO was recognized for the second consecutive year for its state-of-the-art training curriculum and facility, AAMCO University, which includes over 300 comprehensive training courses designed for its franchise owners, customer service managers and technicians.

AAMCO University located in Newnan, GA

“Dedication to ongoing learning and development for our franchise owners and their employees plays a critical role in AAMCO’s success, and we are honored to be recognized for our best-in-class performance in that area,” said Brett Ponton, CEO and president of American Driveline and AAMCO Transmission, Inc. “As the automotive repair industry continues to evolve and become more complex, it is our commitment to both professional development and technical mastery that gives AAMCO the edge in employee and customer satisfaction.”

Developed under the guidance of a group of chief learning officers and senior learning and development practitioners, the LearningElite program ranks the best organizations based upon their impact, size and industries served. A comprehensive evaluation of learning and development, the LearningElite list also recognizes individual companies for their efforts in functional areas, including leadership development, use of technology, executive buy-in, and content development and delivery, among others.

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