Deciding whether to tow your vehicle? There are undoubtedly some times when a vehicle, even though it will still drive, should really be towed. Many times, a consumer will drive their vehicle to a repair shop to save money on a tow bill. But at times this can actually cause more damage to the vehicle and, therefore, cost a lot more in repairs when a $75 to $100 tow bill would have saved several hundred dollars in damage.

This is where you, the operator of the car, really need to rely on your knowledge of how your vehicle usually performs and your senses to decide if your vehicle is safe to drive or not. Being in tune with smells, how it performs, seeing any unusual smoke or leaking of fluids under the car, or any new and loud sounds created by the vehicle, can be a good indicator of whether a vehicle needs towing or not.

Warnings signs to watch, listen and look for:

  • Vehicle is overheating according to the temperature gauge or sudden drop on the gauge.
  • Check Engine Light is flashing.
  • Oil Level or Oil Pressure light is illuminated.
  • Smoke is coming out from under the hood or out the tailpipe.
  • Vehicle has a burning smell.
  • Smell of fuel while vehicle is either running or not.
  • Brakes that make a very loud grinding noise either while driving or when applied.
  • Loud noise under the hood while engine is running, like knocking, whirring or screeching.
  • Vehicle runs poorly, misfiring, backfiring, stalling at stops, no power when accelerating.
  • Sudden loss of fluid like coolant, oil, power steering or brake fluid that can be seem around vehicle.

Any time that you have one of these conditions, you have a potential problem that could cause your vehicle to be unsafe to drive and could potentially break down. Continued driving could cause more damage and the vehicle should be looked at by a trusted repair facility before you continue. Choosing to tow this vehicle is a wise decision that could save you money, keep you safe and help to minimize damage to the vehicle and maximize the value of your vehicle.

So pay attention to your vehicle and use those senses that we are equipped with.  When in doubt, have your vehicle towed.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.