Common Breakdown Causes

Here at Chicago Towing we have been helping to rescue people from stalled cars or car breakdowns for years. In this  brief blog post our experts will detail what some of the most common breakdown causes are, so you can be better prepared.

 

Flat Batteries

If your battery is faulty it’s poor electrical connections will cause breakdowns. Whenever you get your car serviced, have the garage make sure to check the battery connections for secure placement, as well for evidence of corrosion or battery acid leaking. If you don’t often make long car journeys, your battery wouldn’t have charged too much – try charging it overnight around every 2 weeks to keep it running longer.

 

Key Loss

If your car keys are lost, you won’t be able to restart it which is an issue when parked at home but especially when you’re in the middle of a car trip on the road. If you lose your key, contact an authorized expert locksmith technician who can help furnish you a brand new working key.

 

Tire Damage

Make sure to check your tire depth tread, and if they are worn unevenly, the wheels could be misaligned. Make sure that your spare wheel has tread and is fully inflated and ready for use. If you use a car jack, make sure it’s in good condition before going on the road, as well as any wheel removal or installation tools, and a lockable wheel nut adapter. If you are driving with heavy loads, make sure to adjust your tire pressure to the change in the weight of your vehicle – look in your car handbook for custom instructions on how to do so.

 

Alternator Issues

If you have constant battery issues and your headlights dim when your engine is idle, it will likely be an issue with your car’s alternator. If the ignition warning light comes on and the temperature of the engine heats up quickly, the alternator and water pump belt could be broken, which is a very serious and dangerous issue. If this is happening, stop and turn off your engine and call a licensed towing company.

 

Clutch Cables

If your clutch cables are under major stress they can break, causing major problems. You can notice if this is an issue if you feel the clutch feels different when the pedal is pressed. If the clutch cable breaks, make sure to pull over and give an expert towing company a call.

 

High Tension Leads

High tension leads carry electricity to the spark plugs, but they can decay with age, making it really hard to start up your car. It can help to use dampness-repellent sprays like WD-40, but it really is the best thing to do to contact an expert car repair company to look over the entire ignition system to test to see if they can solve any of the problems.

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Avoiding Scam Towing Services

If you find yourself in a situation where your car has broken down in the middle of nowhere, you are likely prepared to contact a licensed towing company. However, you might be wary of the many scam towing companies out there that only want to extract some money from their customers rather than truly help out. If you’re worried about these sorts of situations, it can help to be in touch with a trustworthy towing service that can really help, like Chicago Towing. But how can you make sure to avoid a towing scam, or know what group is trustworthy? In this blog post, the experts at Chicago Towing will help you figure out what towing company is the best.

 

Sniffing Out a Towing Scammer

Scammers can charge unduly amounts for simple services, or even damage your car.  One scam is to advertise an undercharged price for a service, which is a sure sign that you’re working with a scam artist. Cheap tow truck services usually conceal hidden costs that only are shown to the customer after the service is provided. These can range from travel fees to additional mileage costs, to gas charges or any range of mumbo-jumbo technical language – plain speaking, it’s highway robbery.

 

Tow Truck Chasers

Another form of dishonest tow truck business practices that’s rampant today is the payment of tow truck drivers by body shops. These referral fees basically ensure that these tow trucks, known as chasers, will send you to the corresponding repair shop automatically, towing your vehicle straight to them. If you change your mind during your trip to the repair shop, they will likely charge you additional towing service or extra fees – which can range from the 100s to the 1000s in extreme cases.

 

Scanner Junkies

This category describes tow truck drivers that cruise freeways and highways listening to the police scanner, looking for notifications of accidents or car breakdowns. Then they will turn up automatically, the car owner assuming it’s a lucky coincidence – and will automatically sign on to any contract, most usually, and find themselves locked into a contract that overcharges them a fortune – all out of a desire for convenience.

 

Finding a quality Tow Truck Company

The best way to prevent being scammed by a tow truck company is to find a trustworthy towing company. You can find this by checking out a company’s Yelp page for customer testimonials – which is the most valuable clues you can find, rather than large ad campaigns. Always ask questions regarding any hidden rates, and ask about all the necessary time of all rendered services. A professional tow truck company will be upfront about their fees, and won’t conceal any information from you. And just to make things easier – if you don’t want to search around for a company, you can always trust in Chicago Towing.

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What oil is best for your car

All cars are different and need different types of oil to work as best as it can. There’s tons of different kinds of oil on the market for vehicles, so it can be difficult to understand what kind is the best for your personal car. The fuel delivery experts at Chicago Towing have prepared a brief guide to all the different common varieties of vehicle engine oil so you can help figure out which one is the best for your car.

 

Normal Oil

This is the most affordable option for car engines. The majority of car dealers utilize this oil for the vehicles that they sell. This kind of oil comes in multiple grades and levels of viscosity for different kinds of cars. It’s a good choice for cars with low mileage, simple engines, and safe drivers who travel at level amounts of speed. People who regularly change the oil of their cars use this type of oil for both high performance and affordability.

 

Synthetic Blended Oil

This oil is used mostly by SUV and truck drivers since it carries the benefits of synthetic and normal oils. It has as much better temperature performance with a negligibly higher price than normal oil.

 

Synthetic Oil

This oil is commonly used with advanced car engines since it lasts longer. This type of oil goes through rigorous testing to enforce superior quality – and even though this is the highest quality of oil, many engines can run without it. However, your car’s manual may state that it needs synthetic oil – in which case, definitely use it.

 

Advanced Mileage Oil

This type of oil is used with vehicles that have high levels of mileage. It’s engineered with advanced types of conditioners that increase the longevity of the seals within the engine. This oil does not work with all kinds of car engines however – so before changing your oil, ask a vehicle expert whether it’s a good idea to use it.

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Signs you need new brakes

We all know how essential vehicles are for our everyday lives – and we all know how essential brakes are for a safely operating vehicle. By periodically  having your car checked up on by a licensed towing and vehicle maintenance company, you can ensure its lasting durability. Brakes often need replacement after some time – and the team at Chicago Towing have prepared a list of signs and signals that it’s time to replace your brakes.

 

Grinding or Screaming Brakes

If your brakes make a screaming or grinding noise when you slow down, you likely need brand new brake pads. It’s absolutely essential to correct this before the sound gets worse, and the brakes get even more dysfunctional. If you wait too long to do so, you can really damage the braking system and put your life in danger every time you drive.

 

Worn Down Brake Pads

If your brake pads are worn down, it’s time to replace your brakes. You want to be able to visibly see the brake pads of your car through the spokes of the wheels – and if the pads are less than a quarter inch thick, it’s time to replace them.

 

Vehicle Edging to the Side

If your vehicle is edging to one side when you press on the brakes it’s a sign that the brakes are unevenly worn down, or possibly a malfunction with the brake fluid. If you notice this disfunction, call a licensed expert to help tow and possibly repair your car.

 

Vibrating or Shaking Brake Pedals

If the brake pedal of your car starts to shake or vibrate when you press it with your foot, you need to get your car inspected by an expert. This sort of vibration is caused by worn down brakes, and should be corrected right away to avoid wearing the brake pads completely, which can cause even more extensive damage to the brake mechanism itself.

 

Towing Brake Problems

It’s safer to get your car towed, and then repaired, then to attempt driving with malfunctioning brakes. It’s always better to be cautious; so if your brakes are acting funny, contact the expert towing team at Chicago Towing right away for instant, on-the-spot service.

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Common reasons for roadside help

There’s few everyday day-ruiners like automobile trouble. However, you’re lucky that Chicago Towing can always help provide roadside assistance to you when you need it. Here’s some of the most common vehicle issues that might lead to calling for roadside help for a good fix.

 

Jumpstarting

Sometimes you place your key in the ignition slot and turn it, only to find that it has no effect. This can be unbelievably annoying when you’re in a huge rush to get somewhere, or if someone you know or are related to can’t get there in a rush to help. Calling Chicago Towing for roadside assistance is a fantastic quick solution to get a jumpstart and get you back on the road. If you find that your car needs jumpstarts often, it should have it’s battery completely replaced.

 

Flat Tires

Flat tires are a very common cause for roadside assistance. It’s always smart to carry a spare tire inside your car, but it can be very very hard to change your tire when you’re all by yourself. Getting professional roadside assistance can help you swap your faulty tire for a good new one, and get you back on the road in a matter of minutes.

 

Lockouts

Roadside assistance can help when you get locked outside of your car. This is one of the most common issues for motorists. Within a matter of minutes from your call, a technician from Chicago Towing will arrive directly at your location, get your car unlocked instantly, and get you back on the road right away.

 

Re-Gassing

Sometimes you’re in a hurry to leave your house, so you leave bevor checking the gas meter, or hoping that you have enough to pull you through the day, and just refuel at a gas station after work. However, you’re driving down the street and your car begins feeling weird – this means it needs to be refueled, but this can be difficult especially when you’re in the middle of nowhere. Gas delivery is a commons service performed by roadside assistance groups – one of our technicians will simply drive to your location and refill your gas tank as soon as possible.

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Flatbed Towing and Dolly Towing

If you’ve ever had your car towed, you may have been asked by the expert towing technician if the car needed flatbed or dolly towing. You might have been – or still be – confused as to what exactly this means. Here’s a guide to the difference between flatbed and towing service, prepared by the towing experts at Chicago Towing.

 

Dolly Towing

This service, known as the hook method, involves a two-wheeled towing device attached to a tow-hitch and axle. This dolly trailer tows front wheel drive suspension cars, and hooks the front wheels up on the trailer, with the two back wheels of the car remaining on the ground. Dolly towing lifts the front wheels of your car off the street onto the truck itself. Dolly cars help save money over using a flatbed truck, while also keeping your car’s mileage the same. However dolly towing cannot work with the same amount of weight as a flatbed truck.

 

Make sure to  hook the towing dolly to the vehicle you want to tow before it’s loaded onto the dolly. If you’re driving a big vehicle, we highly encourage you to use a flatbed truck, as it’s much safer for the car. You can also check with your insurance company to see if it qualifies with the first few miles.

 

Flatbed Towing

This involves a flatbed tow truck fit with a ‘bed’ that’s hydraulically controlled, shifting on an incline to ground level, allowing for a car to be attached on top of it (either through the car’s own drive, or using a winch.) This towing is usually used to transport 4 wheel drive cars, as well as any heavy equipment including excavators, bulldozers, and dump trucks.

 

This is the safest transportation methods for vehicles as they don’t change the powertrain of the vehicle. The car doesn’t incur any wear as they often do with typical dolly’s, since all of it’s wheels are off of the road. This is an ideal towing method for all vintage and luxury cars – or anybody who wants to keep their car as safe as possible as it’s being towed. However, flatbed towing costs more money than dolly towing.

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How to find a professional towing company in Chicago

There’s tons of misunderstanding about the professional towing industry. And yes, there’s many scam artist fake towing professionals out there that can not only provide poor service, but actually damage the vehicles that they poorly tow, Here’s how to understand how to find a professional towing company. At Chicago Towing, we take pride in our expert towing service, and for providing our customers high levels of serious service. Here’s exactly what makes a professional towing company.

 

  • Good Reputation

When professional towing companies make their customers happy – or even exceed their wildest expectations, they will receive a growing healthy public perception. Any trustworthy towing company will make sure to put special emphasis on customer service and the upkeep of a loyal customer base. If you’re looking for a professional towing company, check out their online reviews – or even call them in order to get a feeling on how they treat even potential customers.

 

  • High Quality Equipment

Not all tow trucks operate at the same level of quality, and some faulty tow trucks can actually seriously damage your vehicle. Any really trustworthy tow truck company will provide many options for towing including flatbed truck towing, winch recoveries, and heavy duty towing. WHen you all the tow company pay attention to whether they ask questions about what kind of vehicle you have – this way you know they are figuring out which specialized equipment to send you, which is always a good sign.

 

  • Availability

You can never predict when your car or vehicle will break down. Nobody plans for it really because nobody wants it to happen. It might happen in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere – and if this happens, what good does it do to have a contact for a tow truck company that can only come in the morning? You don’t want to sleep outside! A trustworthy tow truck company should be able to cater to your roadside emergency breakdown at any time of day or night, any day of the week, any week of the year. Any respectable quality company will come rescue you from your situation right on your call.

 

  • Licensing

Any reputable towing company should have full license and insurance. Any company that is not licensed or does not have insurance should not be trusted. Any tow truck driver should proudly display their DOT ID number right on their truck along with any of the other particular licensing information required by their specific State. This ensruies customers that the towing company has full liability for any potential damage, and allows the customer to have peace of mind in knowing that their vehicle will be handled by a truly trustworthy towing company.

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Causes of Flat Tires

We understand how annoying flat tires can be. They simply pop up at the worst times, stranding you on the road looking for a towing service – hopefully from the experts at Chicago Towing. Sometimes, flat tires are unavoidable, however there’s many common causes that force tires to rip or pop; we’ve gathered some of these causes together, to help you better understand what causes flat tires.

 

Small Holes or Punctures

There’s tons of random objects and detritus on the streets, all of which has the potential to end up in contact or even attached to a car’s tire, which can lead to punctures or holes on the tire. Objects that often cause punctures are staples, screws, and nails. Usually glass cannot cause tire holes, however sometimes it can if it’s at the right angle and density, and glass can however, cause damage to tire treads. If any sharp debris gets out of the tire after it’s been embedded inside it, it will cause a slow air leak. You will be able to tell if you have this sort of leak if you inflate your tire with air, and then it’s PSI quickly drops right after. If this is the case, contact an expert like Chicago Towing.

 

Sidewalls

This sort of severe damage will cause tires to need to be fully replaced. Basically, sidewall damage severs the connection between the various layers on the sides of the tires that allow movement and flexibility. One of the major causes of sidewall damage on tires are curbs. Making a fast turn and agitating your tire onto the curb can damage the sidewall of the tire, which can in turn increase the chances of a sudden blow-out – incredibly dangerous phenomenon.

 

Expert Flat Tire Repair from Chicago Towing

While some aspects of tire damage can be remedied and repaired, amateurs wouldn’t attempt this themselves. Leave the tire repair to the experts; this is the only way that you can guarantee that the repairs are completed in an effective fashion and that your tire will continue to operate normally. If you’re in need of repair for any form of flat tire, contact the experts at Chicago Towing. They will arrive at your location in a matter of minutes, quickly repairing any sort of damage to your tires in a matter of minutes, and all at a competitive price.

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Preventing Winter Car Accidents

We at Chicago Towing care about our customers safety – and it’s important, deep in this winter, to understand safe driving techniques for icy or snowy roads that might have slippery traction and low amounts of visibility. In order to lower the chances of having an accident, follow our tips for preventing winter car accidents. And if you do have an accident, don’t hesitate to contact us for expert roadside assistance.

 

Never Brake Suddenly

Ice is going to cause your car to slide whether you’re braking slow or fast, but what really makes the difference is when your car is going to stop. If you slowly decelerate your vehicle before stopping, it gives it less physical momentum while it’s on ice. This means even if you’re going to slide, you won’t be sliding as far, and it will be easier to reclaim control of the vehicle. If you’re on ice and suddenly break, you will skid for a while, which can be potentially very dangerous.

 

Always be aware of the Windshield

Poor visibility causes many snowy weather automobile accidents. It’s important to keep track of when it will be rainy or snowy by keeping watch of daily weather reports before heading out on the road. If you have to drive around inside the snow, make sure that your windshield has been cleared of snow or ice, and that the window wipers work.

 

Routine Inspections

It can be a smart move to inspect and upgrade your vehicle. Get your car checked out by expert technicians, and perhaps install brand new winter tires with a strong tread that can easily work with icy or snowy conditions. We also recommend applying a rust coat before taking it on salty roads, which will prevent exponential corrosion and damage. Also, make sure your brakes are always tested throughout the year – and if they slip, make a weird noise, or feel generally like their not working, make sure to replace them before embarking on an icy journey.

 

Maintain Tire Pressure

Any low air temperatures will cause the tire pressure of your car to drop, and if it drops enough, it can be quite dangerous. Make sure that your tires are always fully filled, and even regularly tested. Full tires work much better, and are much better equipped to handle any cold weather related challenges that might pop up on the road – for reasons such as an increased efficacy of the tire’s treads.

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Tire Maintenance Tips

Tires are one of many absolutely essential parts of a working vehicle, and we at Chicago Towing understand that they can be costly. So we want to help our customers increase their tire’s longevity, so that they can save money by not having to replace them often. Here’s our professional tips for ensuring the continued healthy maintenance of your tires.

 

Air Pressure Maintenance

If you check your tire pressure regularly, you can make sure they keep working properly and prevent incurring any serious or even light damage. When your tire air pressure drops, your car’s engine has to work harder to keep your wheels moving, which will eventually cause interior damage and eventually wear your tires down even faster at an exponential level since the friction increases.

 

Even if you don’t own an air gauge, you can simply take your car to any local auto shop to check it. It’s the best to check air pressure once your tires are cool, as it can be somewhat risky to quickly take the inflation outside of a hot tire. Tires are prone to air loss, averaging around a pound of lost air per inch about once a month. It’s important to check air pressure every few months, and always before embarking on any long car trips on the road.

 

Suspension Alignment

If your tires are perfectly and symmetrically aligned together, they get much less road friction, allowing your engine to run easier for every rotation of the tires. Tires often get knocked out of alignment when they hit any sort of road obstacle, or fall into a pothole. By aligning the suspension of your car, you will improve the way it drives – the toe, caster, and camber of a tire will be readjusted, rendering them properly aligned again.

 

Cleanliness

Even when most people pay extra attention to keeping their cars clean, they often don’t clean the tires. By cleaning off tires with soapy water or official tire cleaner, you can make the tire’s tread last longer, and reduce any chances of getting a flat tire (as you’ll notice any rips in the process) – as well as keeping your car looking pristine. It’s smart to ask your local auto shop their opinion on which cleaner to use on your car tires, as some are much stronger than others are and can actually cause damage to the rubber of the tires.

 

Tire Rotation

Tires normally wear down even with normal driving habits. Based on the make of the car combined with the driving technique used, they might wear down on one side more than another. We recommend ensuring the uniform wear of tires on each side by having your tires rotated. This can be done at home, or even better, by professionals who will remove, turn around, and reconnect the tire. Certain automobile manufacturers have an official recommendation for the amount of necessary rotations per year, but we generally belief in the efficacy of having a rotation for every 6000 or 8000 miles.

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