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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Why Keys sometimes don’t turn in ignition

It can be quite annoying when you put your key inside your vehicle’s ignition slot and it won’t turn. Your mind can be floating everywhere trying to figure out what’s wrong, with no clear cause or reason for the key’s malfunctions. Here’s Chicago Towing’s quick guide to reasons keys sometimes don’t turn inside ignition.

 

If you’re car owner without any warranty on your vehicle, jamming keys can pose both a severe annoyance and a high cost. If you need to jiggle the ignition in order to start the car, it’s a sign of problems starting, and you should contact a professional right away. Poor design can be a cause of ignition problems. Another potential cause is a lousy connection between the transponder microchip inside the car key and the car’s computer. This reconnection is a highly technical operation best handled by an affordable expert automobile locksmith. It’s best to handle these situations as soon as possible, as with a faulty ignition, you can get stranded anywhere.

 

You may have any of these following issues:

  • Hard turning key in ignition
  • Ignition is stuck or sticking
  • Key comes out of ignition dirty
  • Key gets stuck in particular position
  • Key is frozen

 

An expert locksmith can easily handle this sort of job, at a fraction of the cost that it would require at an automobile dealership.

 

Fixing Ignition Keys that get Stuck

  • Check to see if the parking brake light is on, so you don’t roll away when you turn the key.
  • First apply pressure to the key, and turn the steering wheel to find a spot to turn the key.
  • Most cars won’t allow you to turn the key unless you are in park position.
  • If this doesn’t work, clean out and then lubricate the cylinder of the lock with electrical contact cleaner, and a small spray of silicone or graphite. Make sure not to drip any of these solutions onto the seat or carpet, and keep the windows open to prevent any fumes. Of course, avoid any flames or sparks near the lock cylinder, as these solutions are often flammable.
  • If the key still won’t turn, the issue is likely inside the tumbler which may be stuck locked. Tap the face of the lock cylinder with a tack hammer for about 60 seconds.
  • If they key still won’t turn, inspect the key for any distortions by laying it on a flat surface and seeing if it looks crooked or arched. If it is, hit it with a heavy object to flatten it out, but try to avoid any heavy metal object as it can cause further distortion to the key’s grooves.
  • If the key still won’t turn insert it in the ignition and tpa it lightly with a hammer.
  • If all these measures fail, contact a licensed, professional locksmith.
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Towing Safety Tips

Cars break down; it’s a fact of life. Even when you take excellent care of cars, they are still likely to experience some form of mechanical problems every now and then. However, towing isn’t always a completely clean and orderly operation. Things can go wrong as you go along with it – here’s Chicago Towing’s list of the 9 most serious towing safety tips to keep in mind while one is towing a vehicle.

 

Dangerous Operation

Anybody involved with the towing operation should never stand on the sides of the truck, since a spontaneous turn could be incredibly dangerous for everyone involved. For maximum safety, make sure to ride along inside the truck with all doors securely locked.

 

Tire Safety

Make sure that any flat tires are fixed before the vehicle is hoisted up onto the truck. Make sure to change all tires in order to prevent an unstable tow load from suddenly flipping over due to unequal pressure. Just to be safe, it’s smart to check the tire pressure gauges.

 

Turning Suddenly

Sharp turns and steep hills should be handled very slowly, since going fast in these situations can either seriously damage your truck’s chassis or axle, as well as risk the possibility of flipping over completely.

 

Driving Blind

Dark or inclement weather reduces visibility – so should be handled with bright headlights, and by driving slowly.

 

Towing Inappropriate Vehicles

Don’t connect large vehicles to SUVs or sedans, since trailer hitches don’t work with all vehicles – only vehicles that meet towing requirements should be hitched up.

 

Swaying from Side to Side

Drive slowly and follow the speed limit to prevent the truck from swinging around, which can be quite dangerous especially at a high speed.

 

Always bring Emergency Equipment

Make sure to always carry a fully stocked emergency kit with a flashlight, red triangle lamp, spare tires, a tool set, first aid kit, water, and some food.

 

Never Rush

Don’t drive really fast while towing. As a ground rule, make sure to always have enough space to brake between your car and any vehicles in front or behind you.

 

Use the Breaks

Whenever making any turns, slowly and gradually apply the brakes for stable and safe driving. Sudden application of the breaks can be equally as dangerous on turns.

 

 

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December Parking Advice in Chicago

december-parking-in-chicago

With the Christmas season fully in effect, Chicago traffic can be a bit overwhelming. Between a swelling influx of tourists and Chicagoans coming home to visit family, and the hectic crowds embarking on holiday shopping expeditions, being a driver in the Windy Season can be somewhat more difficult around this time of year. Malls and parking lots are full of people; and although most people don’t know this, parking lots are actually very common settings of traffic accidents – from rear enders, to even hit and runs. Additionally, crowded distracting parking lots are perfect environments for trouble makers like pickpockets, carjackers, thieves, and other vandals. In order to keep yourself, your vehicle, and the people you love safe – follow Towing Chicago‘s official Chicago parking safety tips.

 

  • Avoid shopping (and parking) at the most busy times of day. This is usually at weekday nights and weekends.
  • Consider using valet parking – this way you don’t have to search for a space, and you won’t have to worry about whether your car is staying safe.
  • Drive slowly in parking lots, and always use your turn signal.
  • Never park in tight parking lots – this way you can avoid scrapes and bumps.
  • Park farther away from buildings to avoid the chances that shopping carts or cars backing up might dent or smack your vehicle.
  • While walking to your car or backing out, make sure to be aware of other cars that are backing out or in at the same time.
  • Always park in a highly visible area that’s brightly lit.
  • Roll up your car’s windows and make sure all doors are locked.
  • Always keep the number of a reliable service like Chicago Towing on hand.
  • Always have your keys on hand while you’re walking to your car – as well as your phone, just in case you need to quickly dial 911.
  • Never leave valuable possessions like expensive clothes or electronics in a visible area of your parked car while you’re away from it.
  • When you’re walking to your car, look around for any suspicious people lingering inside the area.
  • If you feel unsafe, ask a security guard or nearby person to escort you to your car.
  • Put all of your shopping bags inside the trunk, rather than conspicuously in the back seat of the car.
  • Lock the car doors as soon as you enter the vehicle.
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Unofficial Traffic Crimes

traffic-rules-chicago

There’s traffic crimes – the type that can get one arrested or ticketed – and there’s traffic infractions, that break the collective ‘rules of the road’ and can potentially create dangerous, or minimally, annoying situations for other drivers. Here are some of Towing Chicago‘s choices for the worst offenders.

 

Refusing to use blinkers

There’s nothing more annoying than sitting in traffic and have somebody quickly pull in front of you, causing you to surprisingly slam on your breaks. If they used their turn signal, it wouldn’t be nearly as startling and dangerous.

 

Parking Spot Thievery

If someone is obviously waiting for someone to pull out so they can take their parking spot, don’t swoop in and take it – it’s straight up rude and completely inconsiderate.

 

Following people walking to their cars

Sometimes it’s hard to find a parking spot – we can all identify with the maddening search for an empty spot when all you want to do is get home and take your shoes off. However, it’s flat out creepy to stalk someone leaving a store carrying bags to their car, because not only is it vaguely threatening, but it rudely passively asks the person to walk faster – just circle around the block and drive slowly to look for an available spot.

 

Switching between bike and road rules

If you’re riding a bike, make sure to follow all the other collective rules that would apply to an automobile driver. Stop at all stop signs and lights, face the correct way, and obey all right of way laws. Just because you’re on a bike doesn’t mean you’re diplomatically immune from all the rules of the road. This goes the same to motorized wheelchairs – which should be operated on the sidewalk, where it’s much safer.

 

Waving Thank you

Being stuck in traffic can be aggravating. Which is why it’s such a  sigh of relief when somebody finally courteously allows you to pass to get into your needed lane. If you’re being allowed to pass into a lane, be a person and wave thank you to the driver interrupting their schedule to slow down enough to allow you to merge – it will show them that their kindness and courtesy is appreciated, and will encourage them to demonstrate similar kindness to other strangers. Good deeds beget other good deeds – especially on the road.

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