You get to your vehicle with your children, a couple of bags of groceries, and your mouth drops open. You don't have your keys. Did you drop them in the grocery store? Then you see them. You have locked your keys in your car. What do you do now?
While there is never, ever a great time to lock yourself out of your car, it always seems to occur at the worst possible time. It's easy to faint at a time like this, but it's crucial to stay calm and not make it worse.
Don't Break Your Windows
If you are in a hurry, you might be tempted to break into your car. Don't give in to the temptation. Doing so will be costly and extensively damage your vehicle.
Check all the doors
Before having a panic attack, check to see if all the doors are locked, including the hatch or rear door. You might be able to save yourself some trouble if you discover a way into your car.
Call someone for assistance
You might have a few options for who to contact in this situation. If you have a partner, roommate, relative, or spouse, call them and see if they can bring you a spare key. However, if you're far from home and there isn't anyone available to bring you a key, you might need to enlist the help of a towing service.
Tow truck companies will always have an auto locksmith available to respond ASAP, which also makes it the quickest option for getting help. Once the towing technician arrives, they will use professional tools to open your car without damaging it.
Calling 911 is also a solid choice. However, you should call the police only if you're in imminent danger. When cops respond to these sort of calls, it is typically to offer protection while a tow truck is on its way.
Wait for help in a safe place
You might be tempted to wait next to your vehicle, but a busy parking lot can be hazardous, particularly if you're with children. The safest place to wait for assistance is in a well-lit area, far from traffic. Try to find a well-known business close by where you can with people.
Many people have had their car stuck in mud or snow at some point. Stuck cars can also be an issue for individuals who live in a snowy climate and can get stuck in snow or mud.
These occurrences can be frustrating, particularly if you don't know how to get your car unstuck. Read these tips for getting your vehicle unstuck and knowing when it's time to get help from a towing company.
Tips for Getting Your Car Unstuck
Don't stop. If you feel your car sliding into mud or snow, keep the car moving if you can. Any forward movement is better than coming to a full stop.
Don't spin the wheels. Once you're stuck, don't stamp down on the gas pedal and spin the wheels. You'll make it worse. This will lessen your chance of getting out.
Rock your vehicle backward and forwards. Gently roll the car backwards in reverse then move it forward. Doing this over and over again can give you enough momentum to get you unstuck.
Use traction. Put traction under your tires in the way you want to move. Small branches, rubber mats, and sand are all excellent ways to add traction. If you live in a location where getting stuck is a frequent occurrence, keep kitty litter or sand in your vehicle for this reason.
Stay straight. Be sure your tires are pointed straight. Turning the tires will put additional stress on your tires, making it difficult to get out.
Dig. If everything else fails, start digging. If you don't have a shovel with you, look for anything such as a plastic cup, board, or stick to get the snow and mud from under your car. Be sure to dig a long path that can get your car onto solid ground.
If you've been stuck before, you know that there might come a time in which no amount of shoveling, rocking, or traction will set you free. This is when it's time to wave the white flag and call a tow truck service.
It is always good as a motorist to keep the number of a Syracuse towing company in your cell.
Usually, a car overheats during the summer months, primarily if you reside in a hot climate. If it’s going to happen, it will typically happen when the vehicle is in stop-and-go traffic, or there are steep grades the car must traverse. Although the late model automobiles don’t have overheating problems, it can still occur.
The best way to not have an overheated vehicle and the expenses that go along with it is to stop it from happening in the first place. This can be accomplished with regular maintenance. If you’re planning on going on a long trip, you will also need to make sure you’re ready if your car overheats.
Preventive Measures for Everyday Car Care
Replace coolant. It doesn’t matter how clear and healthy your coolant appears. It will need to be replaced based on the manufacturer recommendations. Usually, the advice is every two to five years.
Get routine maintenance. If you get regular maintenance on your vehicle, the shop must also take care of the coolant. This is part of the checklist, so be sure to adhere to your regular maintenance schedule to halt overheating.
Preventive Measures on a Trip
Sometimes even after a complete inspection of your vehicle, it can still overheat or have an issue. Broken radiators, defective devices, and random acts that harm an engine can produce overheating. Overheating is usually created due to:
Thermostat failure – The thermostat functions to cool the engine, keeping heat away from it. A thermostat malfunction can make the coolant to keep circulating and letting the engine temperature to keep increasing.
Blocked airflow – Air is consistently forced through a radiator, which helps to have it cool. If the airflow is obstructed, the engine could overheat.
Leaky water pump – Coolant in a car can decline, creating buildup. This buildup will destroy the seals, creating leaky pumps.
The above reasons for a car overheating can be stopped with proper maintenance. When you want to take a long trip, have your radiator and thermostat properly inspected to stop overheating. It also helps you from getting stranded on the side of the road and having to call a tow truck.
You are driving down the highway when all of a sudden you have car trouble. Law enforcement created the suggestions below when you have to make an emergency stop on the road.
There are times, regardless of how much maintenance you put into your car, the unexpected happens. And, few places create more anxiety than the highway. Road hazards can puncture a vital system in your vehicle or produce a flat tire.
Even adverse weather can make driving hazardous or give your vehicle some issues. If you have to pull over on the highway, you have to make sure that you're as safe as possible. Here are some tips that can keep you out of harm's way.
At the first sign of trouble, smoothly and gently take your foot off the accelerator. Don't suddenly brake. Carefully gear your car toward the side of the road or the breakdown lane. If you are on a highway, try to get to an exit. Put on your blinkers for the other drivers to know your vehicle is disabled. If it is necessary to get into another lane, watch the traffic around you carefully.
Turn on your hazard lights immediately. It is very critical to stay calm. In the best-case scenario, get off the highway. Since automobiles are going quite fast, staying on the road isn't the safest option.
If circumstances don't allow you to get off the highway, get on the right shoulder if possible. If you can't make it there, get to the left one. The right shoulder is the safer choice since it typically lets you stop the furthest away from the traffic flow.
If you are traveling and having vehicle issues in adverse weather, it is best to exit the highway and get to a service station or a place with shelter. It is best to remain buckled up and call a towing company from your cellphone.
Remember, the highway has high winds from passing cars, fast traffic hazards, and uneven surfaces that make working on a vehicle highly dangerous. Even something as easy as changing a tire can cost you your life.
If your battery dies, don't panic! Typically, something simple has created the problem. Lights that were left on, hot weather conditions, or a lousy alternator are common but very fixable problems that cause batteries to die. In the meantime, you most likely want to get your car up and running until you can get the issue resolved. Here are some tips to jump start your car safely.
Get a set of jumper cables.
They are a real necessity that needs to be in the trunk of your vehicle or a storage bin in your truck.
Be sure both vehicles share similar voltage and are parked close to one other. It is safer to have both cars off before connecting the jumper cables.
Connect the red clip to the positive terminal of the battery. Then connect one of the black clips to the negative terminal of the other battery.
The other black clip is attached to a non-painted metal that should be far away from the battery.
If you see leaking on the battery or significant damage, stop the jump and contact a towing professional.
When the dome light in your vehicle comes on, all cables are correctly connected.
Run the other vehicle for around five to ten minutes, then turn it off so your jump start won't damage their alternator.
Now you can start your vehicle. If the car comes on smoothly, drive it for about 20 minutes to recharge your battery. If the car won't start right after that, or next time in use, it's time for you to replace the battery.
If your car stalls in an area that isn't safe, like on the freeway, at a busy intersection, or in adverse weather conditions, it's recommended not to try to jump your battery. Too much can go wrong, and you can get seriously hurt. Instead, call a tow truck.
Towing companies can transport your vehicle to a safer location and jump your battery. Even if they don't move your car, they can use their emergency lighting to slow down traffic, making the situation quite safer.
If your car is impounded, you'll be paying a storage and towing fee. Your vehicle could even be sold if you don't come to retrieve it. There are regulations and limits which govern car impounds.
A law enforcement officer could have your vehicle impounded if it's blocking traffic, you're stopped and can't legally drive, or you're illegally parked.
You can get your car back with the right documentation after paying the fees. A car and its contents could be impounded as part of some legal proceedings or a criminal investigation. In this instance, the official hold has to be released first.
In most situations, a law enforcement agency doesn't do the towing itself. Instead, it contracts the service out to a private towing company.
Private Property Tows
Owners of private property, including retail shops, restaurants, and apartments, have the right to implement their parking regulations. The hours and limitations have to be displayed along with a telephone number for getting back your vehicle.
If not, contact your local law enforcement agency as the towing company should have notified them within two hours of the tow.
If you return while the wrecker is still hooking up there usually isn't a charge. If they have wholly hooked up your car, you could have to pay a "drop fee" of anywhere around $125-$225 based on vehicle weight.
Every storage facility must meet state requirements for cars towed without consent. For starters, if they get vehicles 24 hours a day, then they must give you your vehicle or let you remove personal property in one hour, any time of the day.
Here are some things you must know to help avoid scams and overcharges.
It doesn’t matter how great of a driver you are if the weather is terrible, you should never drive faster than you’re supposed to. You want always to be safe, especially if there’s adverse weather. Here are some hints on how to stay safe driving in bad weather.
Dense fog is known as the most hazardous condition to drive in because of how severely it can impair a motorist’s vision of the road. The securest way to deal with fog is not to drive in it if you don’t have to.
If you must, remember:
Don’t put on your high-beam headlights! It reflects light off the fog, making it more difficult to see. Instead, cut on your regular headlights or fog lights (if you have them).
When driving in the rain, windshield wipers in good condition are your BFF.
If your windshield wipers are dull and old, they can limit your visibility, expanding your risk of getting into an accident.
Give yourself lots of time to stop. It takes more time to stop when driving in the rain and the roads are slick. Also, you should keep plenty of distance between you and the car in front of you. If you must slam on your brakes, you will probably end up skidding. The last thing you want is being stuck in a ditch and having to call a towing company.
Drive in the middle lanes. Water usually pool on the outer parts of the road.
One of the most crucial things to remember when driving in the snow and ice is this: It’s going to take you much longer to get where you’re going. Allow yourself lots of time. You don’t want to have to speed across the ice to get to your work on time.
Try your brakes. Your car will act differently in the snow than it will on a dry road. If you’ve new driven when it’s snowing, you should practice braking in an empty parking lot so you can see how your vehicle reacts to the amount of pressure you put on the brake pedal.
Gradually accelerate. Your tires will spin in place if you attempt to accelerate too fast.
Submerged in water can be disastrous for your car, particularly your interior, electrical system, and engine. If over half of your vehicle has been immersed in water, continue reading to find out how to recover a car that’s gone in the water.
Contact Your Insurance Company
It doesn’t matter the magnitude of the flood damage, the first thing you must do is contact your insurance company. Flood damage is typically covered by comprehensive (theft and fire) insurance.
Even if you have no collision coverage, you might be covered for whatever replacements or repairs you'll encounter. Your insurance carrier will most likely be swamped with claims, so it's a good idea to begin the process early.
Don’t Start Your Car
You’re tempted to turn the key to see if your automobile still works. However, if there’s water in the engine, trying to start, it could destroy it beyond repair. Try the other tips before attempting to drive your vehicle again.
How Deep was the Car Under Water?
Debris and mud typically leave a waterline on the car, outside and inside. The majority of insurance companies will deem the vehicle damaged beyond repair if water reaches the dashboard or higher.
If this is the case, then have a towing company transport your car to a mechanic for a professional inspection. If the water didn't get above your door bottoms, your automobile is fine.
Look at the Air Cleaner and Oil
If you see water drops on the dipstick, the level of the oil is high, or if the air filter contains water, don’t try to start the car. Call a tow truck and have it taken to a mechanic to get the fluids changed and the water cleared.
Examine All Electrical Systems
Next, inspect your electrical system (if you don’t know how to do so, get an automotive technician to do it for you.
To try it yourself, start your vehicle and then try everything electrical in it: seats, power locks, windows, AC, headlights, interior lights, and turn signals. If something is acting funny, it could be a sign that there’s a problem with your electrical system.
Have a mechanic inspect it. Most likely your insurance will cover any damage.
You don’t have to reside next to a river, lake, or ocean to experience flash flooding. Even desert states like New Mexico have their share of flash floods due to heavy rains that have nowhere to go except storming down what used to be dry washes or arroyos just a few moments earlier. Each city and town is susceptible to sewers and storm drains overflowing and backing up due to a massive amount of rain or debris clogging.
Flash flooding is one of the most hazardous weather-related events since they can occur anywhere and at any time. The water increases so fast and flows so quickly that roads can be especially lethal. Cars can be swept away even before drivers know what’s going on.
Protecting yourself from a flash flood is easy, as long as you drive carefully and stay alert.
All you have to do to get to your destination safely is to practice a couple of safety precautions. Here are some rules for driving safely during storms with flooding.
Don’t Go Through Flood Water
Just because it looks shallow doesn’t mean it is. You can’t judge depth, particularly at night. Also, the ground could be compromised, and there might be a hole where the flat surface once was. If you get stuck in flood water, reach out to a Syracuse towing company.
Get Out Now if Your Automobile Starts Going Under
While it’s unsafe to drive into flood waters, it’s just as hazardous to stay in a vehicle that’s submerging. Remain calm. Take off your seat belt. Open your window and exit through it. If your window can’t open, break it with anything handy. Stay on the roof of your car as long as you possibly can.
If your car gets stuck on a tree, try to get in the tree instead of staying on your car’s roof.
Never Park or Camp Near Washes or on River Banks
While it may be visually appealing to set up camp on a river, don’t do it. Heavy thunderstorms and rain can come at any time. Put a weather app on your cell so you can check the weather when and how often you need.
From your home to the road, getting your vehicle unstuck and back on the road can be a massive pain in the you-know-what. Unless you plan on borrowing Santa’s sled after he’s through with it, you have to be ready for whatever comes your way in the wintertime.
First and foremost, winterized your vehicle. Below are a few winter weather driving tips that will make your journey during the wintertime a safe one. The worst thing is to have to call for towing services and wait in the cold for it to come.
Never, ever pour hot water on our windows to get the ice off. Unless you like the shattered glass look, this is a real no-no.
Instead, crank up your vehicle and cut on the defrosters to aid in softening snow and ice. You can get your car good and warm while you work. When you're ready to start scraping the ice, use a plastic ice scraper. They are less likely to scratch or harm your glass than the metal ones.
Remember that your wipers aren’t constructed to throw off five pounds of snow. Use them after you have cleared off the snow with a snow remover brush. Also, make sure there’s plenty of windshield washer fluid before you venture out into the salt-covered streets.
Snow, Shoveling, And Your Vehicle
You want to get the snow off our vehicle because you don’t want it harming your paint. The best thing is to use snow removal brushes and leave the shovel for your sidewalks and walkways.
Don’t forget getting the snow off your roof. You don’t want a block of snow flying off while you’re driving. Other places not to forget to get the snow off are your mirrors, license plates, tail lights, and headlights.
Carbon monoxide is nothing to play around with. Inspect your tailpipe to make sure it's free of snow whenever your vehicle is running.
When you are ready to hit the streets, shovel around your wheels and under the front and rear bumpers to get rid of any snow. Above all, be cautious out there!
We at Buffalo Towing are here to provide tips and ideas regarding towing, accidents, and safety.