It’s 8:15 a.m., and you’re late to work. You grab a poppy seed bagel, a cup of coffee and hustle to your car.
You turn the key to the ignition and … nothing.
If your vehicle isn’t starting, it could indicate any number of issues, including a dead battery or more significant – and costly – problems. So to avoid a headache and frantic Google searching, here are a few possible reasons your vehicle won’t start.
The battery is the heartbeat of your vehicle, and if it’s not fully charged your car may not start. Dead batteries can be caused by anything from leaving exterior or interior lights on to a faulty alternator.
If you battery has died, it can be “jumped” by using jumper cables and another vehicle. Be sure to apply the jumper cables securely to the property battery cables before attempting to turn over your engine.
Please note, after you start your car you should immediately consult a professional to check the condition of your battery.
Here a few things to avoid to keep your battery charged:
Your vehicle’s starter, or solenoid, is the spark that connects your battery to your engine. If you starter won’t turn over, your engine won’t run.
The most common sign of a faulty starter is a clicking noise when turning the ignition. However, please note that a dead battery and faulty starter will show similar symptoms.
A common test for battery strength is turning the vehicle’s headlights off and on. However, a battery may have enough juice to power the lights but not the engine. It’s best to consult a professional for a thorough inspection.
Possible signs of a faulty starter:
Another issue could be a defective ignition switch, which guides your starter to turn over the engine.
If you suspect your ignition switch is defective, perform the battery test above and consult a professional. A defective ignition switch could cost you significantly more than a battery or starter so it’s best to explore all possible problems first.
Empty gas tank
With all the previous options explored, ask yourself: Did I remember to fill up?
The simplest solution could be an extremely low gas tank. An empty tank could mean you forgot to fill up, and the engine doesn’t have enough gas to turn over. Also, it could mean you have a gas leak, which would be a far more significant problem.
To avoid possible embarrassment, consider keeping a gallon tank of gasoline in your vehicle. Remember, gasoline can emit fumes that can fill the exterior of a vehicle if not properly secured. Be sure not to smoke around a tank of gasoline in your vehicle.
Give us a call!
If you've already tried to diagnose your vehicle and you still can't figure out what's wrong, call our tow truck company today! Most of our drivers have been working with automobiles for many years and can help diagnose many of the issues requiring roadside assistance.
If we can't determine what's wrong and get your vehicle moving again, we'll gladly tow you to one of the auto mechanic shops we recommend in Fort Wayne.
When you get verification your tow truck is on the way to your vehicle, you may feel a bit of relief.
No more worrying about how you’re going to get your vehicle off the road. No more concern about whether you have to do it yourself.
But all of that relief may make you overlook your most expensive asset – yourself!
Don’t worry; with a few tricks you can stay safe while waiting on a tow truck.
Stay out of the way
If you are in an accident or break down, there are few immediate things you should do:
Once all those steps are taken and you have contacted a wrecker service, make sure you stay away from active traffic. This rule is especially true if you are on a busy street or thoroughfare. Accidents involving stationary vehicles are extremely common.
If you have to walk any distance from your car, make sure you keep your eye on oncoming traffic. Just because you are on the shoulder doesn’t mean an oncoming car won’t drift and hit you.
If you believe you’re in a particularly dangerous situation, contact the police.
Watch yourself, your belongings
If you find yourself waiting on a tow truck, do not accept rides from strangers. An emergency situation can often leave you in a preoccupied state and more likely to accept help.
Unfortunately, there are those out there willing to take advantage of you in those moments.
Also important, make sure you keep your valuables on your person while waiting. That can include:
Know which locations are safe
Not all waiting locations are made the same, so make sure you find a good spot.
Most importantly, stay in a location at least within eyesight of your vehicle. That will help a professional towing service locate you and get you out of danger as quickly as possible.
If on a freeway, make sure you either get off the shoulder or as far off as possible. Also, don’t stand so close to your vehicle that if it is truck you could be injured.
It’s best to find whatever high ground is available. Again, if you feel you are in particular danger, call the police and ask for assistance.
Keep your vehicle running to stay warm
In the cold temperatures of winter, your body can quickly decrease in temperature, causing hypothermia. Keep your vehicle running with the heat blasting to make sure you stay warm.
If you've ran out of gas, stay inside your vehicle and don' open the door. Leaving the door closed will keep any residual heat trapped in your car while you wait.
If you happened to lock yourself out of your vehicle, and its very cold, you can hunker down on the side of your vehicle out of the wind. Keeping your body close together will help preserve body heat. Use your vehicle as a wind block to get out of the wind!
In conclusion …
To stay out of danger while waiting on a tow truck, follow these tips:
We have some of the fastest tow trucks in Fort Wayne, so if you don't want to be waiting on the road for hours, call our office for emergency roadside services.
If you’re looking to move a vehicle that has been in an accident or broken down, you might be tempted to do it yourself.
You’ve got a truck, you’ve got a trailer. Why not give it a shot?
Well, unfortunately for the amateur towers out there, there are a number of hidden pitfalls in do-it-yourself towing that can be avoided by contracting with a professional.
Here are just a few reasons why you should hire a professional towing service versus trying it for yourself.
Risk to yourself and others
Despite what you may think, towing is a dangerous possession and untrained towers could be a danger to themselves and others.
If you are attempting to load and tow a vehicle on a busy street, not following the proper precautions could present a problem. Towing requires emergency lighting that you may not have on you to warn other drivers.
In addition, towing on major thoroughfares could put you in even greater danger.
Lack of proper equipment
If you’ve got a pickup and a flatbed, you might think you’re ready to tow. But don’t be fooled. Safe towing requires more than just what’s on hand.
Professional towing services not only have qualified vehicles that can quickly and safely load a vehicle. They also have connection accessories amateurs do not. That means better connections between a truck and bed.
If you don’t have those accessories, trying to tow a vehicle can damage your own vehicle.
Watch towing capacity
Most consumer vehicles aren’t rated to tow the amount of weight needed for heavier vehicles. That means you could be in a position of exceeding your maximum towing capacity and damaging your transmission.
Professional towing services offer vehicles that have high maximum towing capacities. They also sometimes have the benefit of multiple tow truck types to accommodate most weights.
Moreover, professional towing services can make the right determination on what tow truck to use so you don’t have to do the math. Obviously, knowing the exact weight of the vehicle you want to tow can be difficult if not outright impossible.
Perhaps the best quality a professional towing service provides is drivers familiar with towing.
For the amateur tow truck driver, you may not be familiar with the driving style necessary for towing.
Some of the differences include:
All of those examples should indicate that professional experience matters in towing.
In conclusion …
Just because you have some of the tools to tow a vehicle, it’s best to trust a professional.
Here are just a few reasons a professional towing service is the right choice:
For the best towing Fort Wayne has to offer, give us a call today!
Well, your worst nightmare has come true. Your car is broken down, and you’re in the position of hiring a professional towing company to get you out of a pickle.
With cell phone in hand, you might be asking: How is this going to go?
That’s why having a good sense of what to expect when hiring a professional towing service can give you piece of mind. What questions a towing service will ask you and how much you can expect to spend will help you be prepared for your towing experience.
Here’s a list of what to expect when hiring a towing service in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Have answers ready
When you call a local towing service after an accident or breakdown, you may be asked a list of questions, including:
All of these questions will provide the towing service with enough information to know whether they can offer the service to tow your vehicle.
If you vehicle has been severely damaged, the tow truck driver may need to provide a flat-bed tow truck to assist you. Otherwise, a wheel-lift tow truck could be the answer.
Insurance is also a significant consideration. Certain insurance plans will cover towing in the event of a breakdown, freeing you from fees.
The location of your vehicle is also important. Towing your vehicle on a quiet side street is a much different operation than pulling your car off a freeway. Make sure you tell the service where you are and what condition your vehicle is in.
Look for proper documentation
While towing services are plentiful in most locations, there are disreputable companies out there. That’s why it’s important in an emergency to look for signs of proper documentation on a responding tow truck.
The first thing to look for is an actual decal with the company’s name on it. Sometimes towing services will send out unmarked tow trucks. If in doubt, ask the driver for their identification so you don’t scammed.
Also, look a state department of transportation number on the vehicle and other relevant ID. The more documentation the driver is able to give you, the more likely he is to be trustworthy.
To head off emergencies, particularly in Fort Wayne, find a name and phone number of a reputable towing service ahead of time. Having a number ready to go at all times can make a headache of towing a little more tolerable.
But in an emergency, follow these precautions and avoid any unplanned problems:
When the mercury dips over the winter, the last thing a driver wants is end up stranded on the side of the road in the cold.
While you can’t control that inevitable cold front, you can take steps to prepare yourself for a car break down and keep your vehicle in top shape.
Here is your checklist to help keep your vehicle from breaking down in the cold.
Check your oil
Keeping your car in top condition means using engine oil that can withstand the heat. But did you know your oil also needs protection from the cold?
If you’re expecting a sudden drop in temperatures, be sure to get an oil change with winterized oil options. All winter-proof oils are designated with a “W,” such as 5W20.
The best options to aim for have lower viscosity levels, meaning cold temperature won’t gunk up your motor oil and help smooth your ride. Too viscous of an oil in winter could lead your engine to seize up when you need it the most.
Keep your gas tank full
One small step that could keep your engine from freezing up is keeping a full tank of gas.
If you don’t keep your tank full, the accumulated moisture could freeze in your gas lines. Once that happens, you will likely have to wait for the weather to slightly warm before starting your vehicle.
This tip becomes increasingly important if you are taking a road trip. Make sure before stopping for the day your tank is filled.
Avoid strains on your battery
In cold weather, your car’s battery is under unusual strain so you should aim to put as little pressure on it as possible.
If you have an option of parking your car inside, do so to avoid strong drops in temperature. Many drivers have complained about strong cold fronts completely draining the charge on their batteries.
Also, be sure to check your terminals frequently for any corrosion. A corroded battery is more susceptible to cold-induced breakdowns, meaning you need to keep a frequent watch.
Invest in winter tires
Like motor oil, there are multiple options for tires designed for summer or winter months.
According to experts, a summer tire loses around 1 pound of pressure for every 10 degrees of temperature dropped. That means you should be on top of keeping your tires pressurized.
Also, you may want to consider investing in a set of winter tires that have thicker rubber and are less susceptible to the cold. Look for tires that have thick rubber walls and are specifically designed for the cold.
In conclusion …
Here are few things to do to keep your vehicle from breaking down in the cold:
If you do happen to get stranded on the roadside and are in need of towing services, give us a call! We will get you fixed up and moving along in no time at all!