Locked Out of Your Car? Here’s What You Can Do.

There is nothing quite like that heart sinking feeling you get when you realize you have locked yourself out of your vehicle. While car lockouts are a minor inconvenience when you are at home, they can quickly turn into an emergency situation when you are in an unsafe area or if the situation involves kids or pets. Be sure that you and every driver in your family know these strategies to handle a vehicle lockout the right way.

Double Check the Locks

When the driver’s side door refuses to open, your first instinct is to panic. However, one of the most common mistakes that we run across is a person failing to realize that another door is unlocked. Be sure to check each door on the vehicle, and remember to try the trunk as well. Many trunks have open access into the backseat that allow you to open the door from the inside and retrieve your keys.

Assess Your Safety

Vehicle lockouts tend to happen when you are distracted or in an unfamiliar area. Once you know for sure that you cannot get into your car, your next step is to make sure that you are safe. Criminals are adept at recognizing a person in distress, so remain calm and make yourself less of a target. For instance, you may need to leave your shopping bags behind the counter of the retail store you just left, or you might need to sit inside of a restaurant while you wait for one of our certified auto repair technicians to arrive and unlock your car.

Contact a Loved One

After ensuring your safety, reach out to someone that you know to let them know where you are and what has happened. You may also ask your spouse or roommate if they have a spare key or know how to locate one for your vehicle. If not, simply knowing that someone knows where you are while you wait for help to arrive is reassuring during a stressful situation.

Avoid DIY Methods

When you are under duress, you may be tempted to try anything to get into your vehicle. However, the majority of modern car door locks are designed to be difficult to open. You can also do more harm than good by trying common DIY methods that involve coat hangers or window wedges, and doing one of these methods wrong can lead to a need for repairs at our auto service center. Instead, call for a professional to provide you with lockout assistance that preserves your vehicle.

Report Emergency Situations

For parents and pet owners, car lockouts can turn into life-threatening incidents. While you should also take steps to prevent locking kids in the car, accidents sometimes happen. If your car lockout involves a child and you believe that they are in danger, be sure to call your local emergency authorities and let our technicians know about the situation. This way, you can ensure that your pet or child is rescued as fast as possible.

When you realize your keys are locked inside of your car, don’t panic. Instead, keep the number to our tow and recovery company programmed into your phone so that you can quickly receive help with car lockouts at any time of day or night.</p

3 Debunked Myths About Car Towing

Towing and recovery companies play a vital role in helping to keep people safe during roadside emergencies. Unfortunately, there are common myths that continue to circulate among drivers, and believing these myths leaves you vulnerable during one of the most difficult moments that you can face as a driver. Since falling for one of these beliefs could cost you time, money, and even your vehicle or health, we decided to clear things up once and for all by sharing the truth about towing services.

You Never Know What You Get When You Call For a Tow

At some point, just about everyone has heard some horror story about a towing service gone wrong. Perhaps the tow truck never arrived, or a person was the victim of a scammer. While these situations do happen, you have the power to make sure that you know exactly with whom you are dealing when you call for roadside assistance. Ideally, you should establish a relationship with a reputable towing company before you experience a vehicle breakdown. This way, you can verify that the crew members follow the best practices for towing such as undergoing continuous training and using the latest techniques to increase safety during every tow.

All Tow Trucks Are the Same

Depending upon the type of vehicle that you own, you may not be able to call just any company that you find since there are different types of tow trucks. Many smaller companies only have one type of tow truck, which will not work for specialty vehicles such as RVs or exotic cars. Alternatively, you may require a heavy duty tow truck such as a rotator if you have an overturned tractor-trailer. To avoid wasting time and money by having the wrong truck show up at your location, always make sure that the tow service knows the specifics about your vehicle and emergency situation so that they can send out the appropriate truck. We keep a fleet of flat beds, traditional trucks, as well as heavy duty rotators so that we can save the day in any situation.

Towing Companies Only Help With Broken Down Vehicles

Towing is obviously what tow truck drivers are known for, but you can also rely upon their services for more than just hauling away a broken down vehicle. These companies that can quickly reach your location before anyone else, can provide assistance such as bringing gas to fill your tank or helping you get into a locked car when your keys are stuck inside. When our drivers arrive at your location, they quickly assess the situation to decide the right course of action. In many cases, you may be able to be safely back on the road driving your car within a matter of minutes.

Misinformation about towing services doesn’t help anyone. In fact, believing any of these myths leaves you open to mistakes that could make a bad situation worse. When you have a question about towing services, be sure to reach out to us with your concerns so that we can continue to ensure that everyone learns the truth about how tow truck drivers strive to do their best serving the community.

What Should You Do When Your Car Overheats?

Keeping up with your car’s routine maintenance goes a long way toward preventing this type of roadside emergency since a lack of coolant is one of the most common reasons for an engine to overheat. However, your car could also overheat due to unforeseen circumstances such as a broken hose. When you see the temperature gauge start to climb, be sure to take these steps to preserve your car and stay safe.

Pull Over Immediately

You should never drive an overheating car since the high temperatures or a lack of fluids could cause serious damage such as a cracked engine block. If you must drive a short distance to find a safe place to park, then turn off the air conditioner in your car to reduce the strain on the engine. You can then turn on the heater to help transfer heat away from the engine. Once you get to a safe parking spot, turn the engine off and make sure that you are visible to other vehicles.

Wait to Open Up the Hood

If your car’s hood has a feature that allows you to open the hood from the inside, then go ahead and pop it to help vent out the heat. If not, then you may need to wait for the engine to cool down before you can safely open up the hood. As you open the hood, watch out for steam or a blast of hot air that could cause a burn. You will also want to use caution when opening the radiator cap. If it feels hot to the touch, then it’s too soon to open it up.

Assess the Situation

Although a car repair company is the best place to get an accurate diagnosis of why your car overheated, you may be able to get a few clues as to what went wrong. Check under the car for leaks, which could indicate a ruptured hose or cracked reservoir. Alternatively, you may notice that a hose is disconnected when you check under the hood. In some instances, such as for a small leak, you may be able to add coolant and drive if your service center is only a short distance away. However, it is usually best to err on the side of caution and call for a tow. This is the only way to be sure that you do not cause further damage to the car.

Repair the Issue

A car doesn’t overheat unless there is a reason. If you acted fast and shut off the engine in time, then you may be fortunate enough to only have to arrange for minor repairs on your vehicle. Keep in mind that even older cars should not overheat if they are in proper condition. Always arrange for your car to be inspected at the auto service center after an overheating incident to make sure that the underlying cause is repaired.

An overheating engine can be a frightening thing to experience as you are driving down the road. Not only will the temperature gauge start to climb, but you may also see smoke or steam emanating from under the hood. By keeping a cool head and getting to a safe place where you can turn off the engine, you can manage the situation in a way that helps preserve your car from further damage.

3 Different Methods of Roadside Recovery

Roadside breakdowns range from simple problems such as running out of gas to full-scale emergencies that happen if a heavy duty truck or construction vehicle rolls over. While being stuck in a jam causes you to think of all kinds of worst-case scenarios, the truth is that heavy duty towing and recovery professionals know how to get you out of any sticky situation. In fact, these three different methods of roadside recovery are just a few of the options that might be selected from to preserve your property.

Wheel Lift Towing

This is one of the most frequently used types of towing, and you’ve likely seen cars rescued from the side of the road using this method. Wheel lift towing is exactly what it sounds like since the truck picks up the car by a set of its wheels. In the past, chains were wrapped around the axles of a vehicle for this method, which had to be done very carefully to prevent damage. Now, however, towing companies are equipped with trucks that have specialized hydraulic dolly systems that support the vehicle at the tires where damage is less likely to occur. Typically, a car is supported with the yoke on the drive tires. For instance, a front-wheel drive vehicle will be towed with the front tires off of the ground. The unique recovery system involved with this method makes it ideal for getting two-wheel drive vehicles out of tight spots without causing damage.

Flatbed Tow Trucks

At times, a specific type of vehicle or situation may call for extra care during the recovery process. For instance, an exotic car may have a low undercarriage that increases the risk of damage with a wheel lift tow. Alternatively, your vehicle may be all-wheel drive, and using the wheel lift method with this type of vehicle could cause damage to the transmission. Flatbed tow trucks have a specialized system that allows for a ramp or portion of the bed to lower so that the car can be loaded on to it using its own power or through winching. Once the vehicle is loaded on the flatbed truck, it is then secured and transported to the auto service center for repairs. Since cars towed in this manner never touch the ground, this is an ideal method for long distance tows or those over rough terrain that pose a hazard for the vehicle.

Heavy Duty Rotator Recovery

Large and oversized vehicles require special recovery methods that go beyond the basic tow. Heavy recovery equipment such as rotators are designed to manage tasks such as turning rolled over construction vehicles and semis upright. These heavy duty trucks also come with equipment that can help pull vehicles out of precarious situations such as dangling from a ledge or being stuck in deep mud.

Whether you have a family sedan refusing to start in a parking lot or a big rig rolled over on a bridge, you need to know that there is always a way to handle even the worst roadside situation. If you find yourself stuck on the road, then just give a few details about your vehicle and the circumstances surrounding your emergency so that our crew can put together a plan to get you back to safety.