How Can You Avoid Damaging Your Car While Waiting For A Tow?

Getting stuck on the side of the road typically means calling in for emergency roadside assistance. However, tow truck drivers can't reach your location instantly, and breaking down in remote areas can mean waiting even longer for help to arrive. While sitting on the side of the road, your primary concerns should be keeping yourself safe and avoiding worsening your situation. 

If you've taken care of your immediate safety, you'll want to be mindful of anything that might cause further damage to your vehicle. Even if you already have a mechanical problem, there are still some things that may cause even more damage to your car. Next time you're waiting for a tow, ensure you avoid these three things that can lead to even more financial pain once you arrive at the mechanic.

1. Idling an Overheating Car

Overheating is one of the most dangerous situations any modern vehicle can face. Modern engine blocks can quickly suffer catastrophic damage when exposed to high temperatures outside their normal range. If you're lucky, you may only ruin your car's head gasket, but there's a reasonable chance you'll warp the head and ruin the entire engine.

If your car is overheating, never allow it to idle while you wait on the side of the road for a tow truck. Instead, shut the car off as soon as you're safely out of traffic. You can also release your hood to allow extra cooling into the engine bay, but avoid getting out of your car on roads with heavy traffic unless you can exit from the passenger side.

2. Limping on a Flat Tire

One of the worst things you can do (at least if you're trying to avoid spending even more cash) is limping your car down the road on a flat tire. If your vehicle has a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), it will likely alert you when your tires are low but not yet critical. However, these systems often can't warn you of the difference between a flat tire and one that's just a little bit low.

If your TPMS comes on while driving, don't assume everything is fine. Pay close attention to how your car is driving and any noises it makes. Thumping, rumbling, or vibrating may all indicate that your tire has suddenly lost air pressure. In these cases, pull over immediately and call for a tow. You may be able to repair the tire if you act quickly, but limping down the road will almost certainly destroy it.

3. Ignoring an Oil Warning Light

Low oil pressure is just as deadly to your engine as high temperatures. Your car will likely have a low oil level light (usually yellow or orange) and a low oil pressure light (typically red). If the low oil pressure light comes on, shut your car off immediately and call for a tow. Once an oil pressure light illuminates, you may only have seconds to shut your car off and avoid catastrophic damage.

Although calling for a tow can be frustrating, it's usually not nearly as bad as facing a huge bill at the mechanic. By recognizing the ways you can damage your car while waiting for help, you can avoid creating a situation that will cost you more money than necessary.

Contact an emergency towing company for more information.