Cheap Towing Techniques That Will Save You Money
Towing services can be expensive, and if you find yourself in the middle of nowhere without one, it can seem like there’s no other way to get yourself out of trouble other than calling roadside assistance or waiting on a friend or family member to come to rescue you. However, with some DIY tactics, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars by towing your car back home instead of using a tow truck service, saving money that could go toward fixing your car (or whatever else you need it for). Check out these seven cheap towing techniques that will save you money in the future if you ever find yourself stranded again!
7 Towing Techniques
It’s easy to think of towing as an expensive service, but there are ways to save money if you do get stuck with a flat tire or battery failure. Here are 7 cheap towing techniques that will save you money!
1) Towing in Neutral
When your car stalls on an incline, rather than rolling back into traffic or down a hill, try putting your vehicle in neutral. This will prevent you from damaging your engine as it’s pulled from its spot. Also, make sure there is plenty of room on either side of your car before applying the hand brake to prevent others from getting involved in a potential accident if they’re pulling up behind you. If possible, put up hazard lights before letting go of the steering wheel and setting the emergency brake. Be prepared for your tow truck driver to give you a few extra jolts after shifting out of neutral that way he/she can be sure your car doesn’t roll away when leaving. Keep calm, remain seated with hands on top of the wheel (if you let go during initial tugging forward), and hold steady until completely clear.
2) Wipers on Low
When driving through a storm, be sure to turn on your windshield wipers. When possible, drive in low gear and accelerate slowly while using your wipers on low. With lower speeds and slower acceleration, your engine won’t need to work as hard which means less gas consumption. Also, because of lower speeds, your car is more likely to avoid skidding or sliding off-road. Finally, if you do slide off-road or into a ditch (or even just get stuck), turning on your emergency lights can help alert other drivers who may be able to help out with their trucks and tow straps (if they aren’t busy fighting their own battles).
3) Use a Tow Strap
This could be a lifesaver if your car won’t start but is still driveable. Simply attach a tow strap between your two cars and drive off. Make sure you don’t get too far away from it, though this method isn’t meant for distances greater than 20 feet or so. You also have to make sure that your car has a way of connecting to another vehicle: either tow hooks, steel cables (which must be purchased), chains, or U-bolts. If you can’t find these parts on your car, call around to auto shops and see what they offer. Also, keep in mind that some states require safety equipment like flares before using a tow strap. Be careful when doing any type of towing, and always wear seatbelts when driving. For more information about cheap towing near Scottsdale AZ contact All Valley Towing.
4) Brake Lights On
Brake lights burn out, too. When they do, your brake lights won’t work and you could be pulled over. Make sure your brake lights are working by turning off your engine and holding down on each foot brake pedal. If one or both of your brake lights don’t light up, try replacing them with LEDs; they last longer than other kinds of bulbs, so they’re cheaper in the long run. That tip can save you big bucks if your truck breaks down. A set of LED brake lights costs around $20. Also make sure to check your fuses before heading into a tow yard fuses can cause burned-out brake lights, as well as many other problems with a vehicle. It’s always worth taking a few minutes to diagnose a problem yourself before going to a shop for repairs or buying parts. You might just save some cash along the way.
5) Slow Down
Speeding is probably one of the main reasons people end up in accidents when they tow. If you’re going less than 10 miles per hour, then it doesn’t take much to hit something. When driving slowly behind a caravan or trailer, make sure there is nothing within 100 feet of your vehicle, so that if something were to happen suddenly like hitting a big pothole or debris on the road you wouldn’t have time to react and stop. Azteca Towing recommends slowing down even further when approaching any curves or hills because these situations require more space between your car and whatever is in front of you. Also, be aware of traffic around you as well; don’t be distracted by talking with passengers in your car or fiddling with any electronics while driving.
6) Check Your Gas Tank
Before you call a tow truck, it’s always a good idea to check your gas tank. If your vehicle is out of gas there’s no point in hauling it somewhere, and it might be cheaper than paying for an emergency tow. So if your car is running slowly or dying every time you stop, pull over and give your gas tank a look-see. It’s probably empty. It doesn’t take much fuel to get a car moving, so even if you only have five miles left in your tank, it should be enough to get you where you need to go.
7) Parking Brake Off
Remove your parking brake and leave it off, or tape down the release pedal. If you’re parked on a steep hill, gravity will help keep your car from rolling away. Just don’t forget about it and drive off without releasing it which could lead to some unpleasant surprises at your destination (or on a freeway exit ramp). This method is also useful if your battery is dead and you need to push start your vehicle. For it to work, however, make sure there are no obstructions behind your vehicle; otherwise, you may get stuck before reaching an incline large enough for a good rollback.