A reputable and licensed towing & recovery company usually has enough safety measures in place to help prevent damage to your car while towing. Apart from these measures, such companies have well-trained tow truck operators to minimize the chances of doing more damage to your car as it is being towed.
This is not to say, however, that these negate any potential towing damage to your car completely. There are many variables at work as your car is being transported. These include type of transmission, drivetrain, your car’s weight, the distance from where your car stalled to the shop and the reason why your car stalled in the first place. Instead of worrying about incurring further damage, an established towing company shares the following tips on how to stop your car from getting damaged while towing.
The Towing Company
A reputable and licensed towing company likely has the right tools for the job and has employees who are adept at using them. This is important as the task requires specific equipment that suits a car’s make, model and weight. It will be wise to do your own research on towing companies near and around your area before the need arises. Check their reputation, client reviews and ratings. Have the contact details of the companies that you chose on your smartphone.
As its name implies, flatbed tow trucks pull your car onto the truck to transport it to the shop. Even if your car is on park, flatbed towing usually has a dolly to allow your car to roll onto the flatbed without actually turning the wheels. This method of towing almost negates any chances of doing damage to your car’s transmission or axles. This is your best option if you want to minimize or eliminate towing damage to your car.
Putting Your Car in Neutral
Put your car in neutral and disengaging the handbrake even before the tow truck arrives. You should do this even if you requested flatbed towing. When your car is in neutral as it is being towed, the wheels will roll freely and thus have little impact on the drivetrain. If your car is being towed with wheels on the ground, keep in mind that cars with automatic transmission can only be towed for short distances. This is because neutral does not disengage the wheels from the transmission, which can cause the transmission to overheat.
Keep Yourself Informed
It is always best to have the owner’s manual in the glove compartment for easy reference. Give your car manufacturer’s recommendations a read, especially the part about towing your car. Having this knowledge allows you to discuss your options with the tow truck operator or even use it to prove your point if you do not agree with the operator’s evaluation of the situation.
Keep Your Wits About You
With the availability of flatbed towing, specialized equipment and adequate training for operators, most fears of towing damage are unfounded. Damage to your car is even more likely if you attempt to drive your car even if you know that it is no longer safe to do so. This is why looking up towing companies even before you need them is essential. Once you have done this part, your best move when your car stalls would be to call them up, wait for them, step aside and let them do their work.