There are times when a vehicle, though still drivable, should be towed. Many times a consumer will drive their vehicle to a repair facility to save money on a tow bill. Isn’t spending $75 to $100 on a tow bill much less expensive than a bill for several hundred dollars for additional repairs? As the driver, rely on your knowledge of your vehicle’s usual performance. Unfamiliar smells, unusual smoke, fluids leaking under the car, or any new and loud sounds, can be a good indicator of whether a vehicle needs a tow. It’s good to know what symptoms to look for that indicate your vehicle is in need of towing and should not be driven.
Call a tow truck if your vehicle shows any of the following signs:
- Overheating or sudden drop on the temperature gauge.
- Oil Level or Oil Pressure light is illuminated.
- A burning smell or smoke from under the hood or the tailpipe.
- The smell of fuel at any time.
- Brakes that make a very loud grinding noise while driving or applied.
- Rotational noise that gets louder with increased rpms or road speed.
- Loud noise under the hood like knocking, whirring or screeching.
- Running poorly, misfiring, backfiring, stalling at stops, no power when accelerating.
- Sudden loss of coolant, oil, power steering or brake fluids.
Any time that you have one of these conditions, you have a potential problem that could cause your vehicle to be unsafe to drive and could potentially break down. Driving during any of these conditions could be unsafe and cause more damage. Instead, have your vehicle towed to your trusted repair facility and have the vehicle looked at by before you continue to drive it.
Choosing to tow a vehicle with any of the above symptoms is a wise decision that could save you money, keep you safe, help to minimize damage, and maximize the value of your vehicle. So pay attention to your vehicle and use the senses you are equipped with. When in doubt, have your vehicle towed. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Karen Johnston, AUTO REPAIR INSIDER
All About Automotive
139 NW 2nd Street
Gresham, OR 97030
Steve and Karen Johnston are owners of All About Automotive, providing auto repair and auto maintenance in Historic Downtown Gresham. If you have questions or comments, call them at 503-465-2926 or email them at [email protected].