Getting flat tires can be both inconvenient and dangerous – with the puncture of tires by sharp objects being the number one reason for people to get flat tire repair. However, this doesn’t always happen instantly or for the same reason – here’s a guide to the causes of flat tires as compiled by the professional towing crew at Towing Chicago.
If you’re the proud owner of a motorcycle you understand the importance of maintenance. There’s a few aspects of motorcycles that need to be regularly checked to ensure that your bike will continue efficiently running. Here’s a guide to the essentials of the potential issues with your motorcycle you need to regularly check up on for optimal performance, as prepared by the motorcycle towing experts at Towing Chicago.
Now that it’s December, the towing experts at Towing Chicago are regularly fielding calls regarding our expert Windy City towing services. Countless vehicles get stuck or break down in the snow every year – and we thought it was important to share the essential safety protocols of this scenario with our loyal customers. Here’s what to do if you’re waiting for towing in the snow.
Tow truck drivers have a hard job – putting their lives on the line every day to provide assistance to broken down vehicles when drivers need it most. Towing can also be very complicated – and the entire process is always made easier when customers understand the best practices to follow when hiring professional Chicago Towing services.
Lot’s of people like to embark on Autumn road trips in order to take advantage of cheaper hotel rates and a less maddening amount of traffic. Here’s a guide to some of America’s most dangerous roads, as prepared by the highway gurus at Towing Chicago, so you can make sure that you’re extra careful in case you find yourself driving on one of the below ominous stretches of pavement.
California’s State Route 138
Known as Death Road, Highway 138 stretches from the mountains of Interstate 15 through the San Gabriel Mountains to Palmdale. The majority of its stretch is on a twisting, non divided 1 lane highway with tiny narrow shoulders and huge drop offs. It’s infamous for head on collisions – leading us to recommend to use turnout areas to allow faster traveling cars to safely move past you.
Colorado’s Highway 550
Called the Million Dollar Highway and constructed during the late 19th century, this 25 mile road leads up from Ouray to the top of the San Juan Mountains Red Mountain Pass. It carries huge inclines, hairpin turns, steep drop offs, and thin nails – all with minimal guardrails or safety shoulders. Beginning in October, snow and avalanches add another level of risk to traversing this highway. We recommend using low gears when descending this steep mountainous road while continually braking your engine to keep your car moving slowly, steadily, and safely,
Florida’s U.S. Highway 1
This may well be the USA’s most dangerous road. Moving across the east coast of Florida with beautiful views of 13 separate counties throughout the Florida Keys, U.S. Highway 1 has been home to over 1000 deaths. We stress the importance of paying close attention to the road rather than the enchantingly beautiful scenery, as by paying attention to ocean views, you’re being a distracted and dangerous driver. Instead, wait until you see an official scenic lookout areas where you can park and take in the view safely.
Montana’s Highway 2
This country road runs from North Dakota to Iowa is pretty desolate, but still very dangerous. Since it’s usually so empty, drivers usually drive extra fast on it – and since it’s in the middle of nowhere, if there’s an accident, ambulances simply won’t arrive for quite a long time, over an hour on average actually. When driving on these visually blighted and empty highways, utilize your car’s cruise control at a safe speed and don’t let the landscape hypnotize you out of your driver’s alertness.
Driving during roadwork can be complicated and dangerous – with over 200,000 annual injuries being related to accidents in the vicinity of roadwork or construction areas. Here’s some essential tips prepared by the driving experts at Towing Chicago on how to drive safely in roadwork areas.
Tailgating is really dangerous, with rear-end crashes being the most common kind of accidents that happen in roadwork zones. When you go into an area with roadwork, slow down and keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
Don’t Get Distracted
There’s a level of chaos to roadwork zones, so when you’re driving in one stay focused on your driving. This means don’t check your phone, the radio station, eat, drink, or even engage in conversation. Instead, stay vigilantly aware of brake lights in the cars in front of you, keep both of your hands on the steering wheel, and pay 100% attention to your drive.
Follow the Speed Limit
Since roadwork areas have either rough conditions or construction workers moving through it, the only way to stay safe when driving in one is by obeying the stated speed limit. Anything higher than this is likely to not only be dangerous, but get you a traffic ticket.
Make sure to keep your headlights on so both workers passing through and other drivers have an easier time in spotting you in your vehicle.
Switching lanes and merging
Never try to cut the lane closure barrier line at the last minute as this is an incredibly dangerous maneuver. Keep the traffic flow moving by staying abreast of any lane changes that might be happening when you see signs posted that indicate lane closures and merging. Once you’re inside a road work area, only switch lanes when the signs or pavement markings say that it’s necessary.
Even if you’re in a rush, running late, missed your exit, or annoyed from being in a traffic jam, make sure to stay calm and drive with attention to detail and care – this way you can stay safe while driving and ensure that everyone around you stays safe too.
Here’s Towing Chicago’s expert guide on what to never, ever leave inside a hot car, and how to avoid the damage that can come with the extreme heat generated inside automobile interiors.
Protecting the Inside of Cars
The greenhouse effect causes your dashboard and carpet to absorb sunlight, trapping heat inside your car and causing it to increase exponentially. Try parking in the shade, tinted windows, or shades for your front windows. As a general rule that should never be diverted from, never leave a pet or a child inside a hot car.
Whether your car uses oil, transmission, power steering, or brake fluid, your car is burning fluid to keep it cool. Make sure your car consistently has fluid topped off to its manufacturer’s specifications, so check more frequently if you’re driving in hot areas. Just make sure not to take off the radiator cap when the engine is hot.
Make sure that tires are inflated to recommended pressures, as underinflated tires are more likely to blowout and overheat.
Make sure to park your car inside an indoor garage or area that’s covered as often as possible. Frequent washing of your car can avert the bleaching that comes with the sun, pollution, and road dirt – and waxing helps provide a protective layer over the paint.
Here’s a fantastic method from the experts at Towing Chicago on how to check your tire tread using only a single penny.
- Insert a new penny into the groove of your tire tread, with the face pointed down towards you.
- If you still cannot see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tires are in good shape.
Do It Yourself Mechanic Techniques
Of course, you’re going to want to bring your car into an expert to get it checked out every now and then. However, there’s a few easy techniques you can utilize between visits to the mechanic to check up on your car’s status.
Check your lights out by testing low and high beams, turn signals, tail lights, dash lights, and hazard lights. Ask a gfriend to verify that your brake and reverse lights are working, or if you’re by yourself simply back on up to a wall and check out the reflection.
When the car is off and the engine is cold, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a rag or towel. Look at the bottom of the dipstick to find the minimum and maximum level markings. Then put the dipstick back in and pull it out. The oil should cover the stick at a point between the two marks, ideally closer to the top. If your oil is running low, top it off.
In industry tests, two Ford F150 trucks were loaded with identical amounts of gravel- one of which were additionally given a suspension stabilizer, and one only carried its default factory suspension. In an interview with the respective drivers after they completed a drive through a testing terrain, the driver who drove the truck with only the factory suspension described the drive as being somewhat “mushy” and bumpy – even inside a flat parking lot, the car and is affected by every ridge and bump, making for a much less smooth drive. The truck fitted with additional suspension stabilizers enjoyed a much smoother and more relaxed drive.
We understand how complex the maintenance of tires can be. The majority of truck drivers don’t keep daily tabs on the maintenance of their tires, since the haul of driving can be a distraction. It’s quite easy to pay no mind to your tires until somehow one of your treads drop out, or you pick up a bolt – and unfortunately, tires can be quite temperamental, and profit guzzling. Here’s how to avoid letting your tires become a drain on your profits.
Know when to replace and retread tires
The lowest legal depth of a tire is 4/32’ on the steer tires, and 2/32” on the rest. The average wearing rate of tires is somewhere around 1/32” for every 13-14,000 miles driven. To stay prepared, measure your tire treads, and mark down the projected date to replace them based on your calculations of what your average mileage is. This will help you avoid any future upsets.
Keep tires of the same measurements together
Keep new tires with new tires, and used tires with used tires. Keep all tires of the same diameter together. If you don’t do this, you will end up with a tire skipping the ground or scraping it because it isn’t the same size as the others. Early tire wear is never a good thing.
Listen to damaged tires
If your tire keeps getting damaged, don’t just ignore it. It can be a signal to you that you need to get your tires realigned, so understanding exactly what pattern is reoccuring will help you identify exactly what you need to do. Many tire expert websites have solution charts listing the types of damages that can occur with every type of problem.
Install directly on steering axles
Don’t just install retreads on these axles – start fresh, from scratch, and you’ll receive a much smoother ride.
Change pressure based on environment
Make sure to change your tire pressure based on the climate of your area – if you’ve been driving in a warmer area and go into a much colder one, your tire’s air will contract and suddenly your truck is driving with underinflated tires – make sure to check pressure periodically throughout your drive.
Make sure you have the appropriate inflation based on weight
The weight of the load the truck is carrying will affect how the tires operate at varying pressures. Tires that are underinflated for the weight they are bearing will accumulate damage very quickly, at an exponential rate.
Make sure that your wheels are balanced
Any unbalanced wheels will cause serious damage to tires – after making every trip, visually inspect your wheels to see signs of any dents or damages.