Almost everyone who drives a car will need to call a towing company at some point. Motorists may wonder if they need to have a professional tow a car if the vehicle is still running. Here is how to tell if car towing is necessary.
If a car is emitting smoke from any part, then it's time to ask for a tow. Smoke can come from a failing engine. It also could be a sign that something is on fire. Friction can also trigger smoke. For example, a broken spring in the suspension system might be digging into one of the tires. You don't want to see any of these issues worsen even if you're driving at a low speed.
Nursing a vehicle is sometimes possible. Most modern cars have a limp mode. When the engine develops issues, the car's onboard computer switches to limp mode to reduce the risk of damaging the engine and transmission. As long as the car can maintain a steady RPM reading at idle, you may be able to drive it to a service station.
Notably, most mechanics would prefer that you call a towing company. While the odds might be in your favor thanks to limp mode, it usually isn't worth risking damage unnecessarily.
Damage Around the Wheel Assembly
Any damage in the vicinity of the wheel assembly is bad. Even if it looks like there's just a dent, parts of the body could cut into the tires. Also, there may be damage to the suspension and steering systems. Do not take chances. Call for a tow. If the damage is limited, a technician can hammer it out and get the car back on the road.
Towing may not be necessary if you have a spare tire. However, you need to verify that the spare tire is in good condition after you mount it. Also, be aware that many cars have undersized spares that only allow low-speed driving to get the vehicle to a shop. If you do have a full-size spare in good condition, you still need to find a replacement for it as soon as possible.
Do not try to drive a car with a deflated tire that can't hold air after pumping. You could damage the wheels, brakes, suspension, or steering.
Likewise, there isn't anything wrong with asking for a tow if you're not confident in changing a tire. If you don't know where to place the jack, you may damage the car's underside. Also, if you don't tighten the bolts properly, the wheel could be unstable.
For more information, contact a company such as Hansen Towing and Recovery.