Whether you drive a brand new car or a 15 year old car, one thing is for certain; you care about your property and don’t want it damaged. There are 2 main types of tow trucks and it’s good to have a good understanding of them.
Flatbed Tow Trucks
As the name states, flatbed tow trucks have a long flat platform that slides out and tilts down to the ground. With the platform tilted to the ground, a vehicle can be driven onto it or a winch is used to pull a non moving vehicle up. Once the vehicle is fully on the platform, the platform is then titled to it’s starting position. The vehicle is then tied down using towing straps or chains.
The main and probably biggest advantage of a flatbed tow truck is that your vehicle is on a flat platform. This ensures that your whole vehicle will be off the ground with the wheels stationary wheels. Stationary vehicle = no damage to your transmission.
Wheel Lift Tow Trucks
Wheel lift tow trucks use a metallic yoke that slides under either your front or rear wheels. With the yoke under your vehicle, your vehicle is then lifted in the air via the hydraulic lift (which the toke is attached to)
Once your car is in the air, it can be towed. Since either the front or rear tires will be in the air, your car will have to roll on it’s own
So What Do We Use?
We want the VERY BEST for our customers and their vehicles. While using a wheel lift tow truck can work for SOME vehicle, we ONLY use flatbed tow trucks.
Having a spare tire can get you out of a jam quickly and save you some money.
In order to replace a popped tire with your spare one you will need: Spare tire (of course) Lug wrench Owner’s Manual Jack
You must have all of these items in order to change your spare tire. In case you have lost your owner’s manual, you might me lucky to find online b y visiting your car manufacturer’s website.
How To Change A Tire
1. Get To A Safe Place
From the moment you realize you have a flat tire, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers and slowly decrease your vehicle’s speed while searching for a safe place where you can park. An ideal spot would a long straight stretch so cars coming behind you can see you. Do not park on a curve with fast traffic as other drivers will not be able to see you fast enough.
2. Get Your Vehicle Ready
To prevent your vehicle from rolling when it’s jacked up, apply your parking brake (different from having your car in park). Just in case you have wheel wedges, places them behind the opposite side of the popped tire. If your tire popped in the rear, place them in the from (and vice versa)
3. Loosening The Lug Nuts
All cars differ. Some have hubcaps while others have alloy wheels. If you are not able to see your lug nuts, you most likely have plastic hubcaps covering them. Most plastic hubcaps can be yanked off with your hands, or by using the flat end of your lug wrench.
Once you are able to see the lug nuts, use the lug nut wrench to loosen up the nuts one by one by turning the wrench counterclockwise. Remember that you will have to use force, so don’t be afraid to use your whole body weights. Don’t remove the lug nuts completely, we just want to loosen them up a but. The nuts will be fully removed once the car is jacked up.
4. Jack Up Your Car
Consult your owner’s manual to find where your jack points are located under your car. Once you figure out where they are, place the jack under and start jacking the car up. Make sure you lift the car so that the flat tire is about 6 inches from the ground. NEVER go underneath your car or sit in your car while your car is in the air.
5. Remove Lug Nuts
You can now completely remove the lug nuts. Since they are already loose, you can twist them off by hand. Place them in a visible place and make sure they don’t roll away.
6.Remove The Popped Tire
Carefully grab the tires by sides and pull it out straight. Watch out as some popped tires have exposed metal which can cut your hands.
7. Mount Your Spare Tire
With the popped tire removed, we can now mount the spare tire. Grab the spare tire by its sides and try mount it on the car. You will have to align the holes on the rim to the hub.
8. Put The Lug Nuts Back On
With the spare mounted on the car, you will take the lug nuts and put them back on. You can hand tighten each one, just make sure they are all the way in and that they go as far as your hand can tighten them. You will tighten them with the wrench when the car is back on the ground.
9. Lower Your Car a Bit and Tighten Lug Nuts
With the spare wheel and lug nuts securing the spare, we can now bring the car down a nit. You want to bring the car down enough that the tire is resting on the ground, but the full weight of the car isn’t on the tire. Tighten the lug nuts with the lug nut wrench by turning it clockwise. Use all your strength to tighten each bolt.
10. Fully Lower Car and Tighten Again
Lower the jack completely and remove it from under the car. Tighten the lug nuts again using all your body weight.
11. Put up Equipment.
Take your jack, lug nut wrench, owners manual, and tire wedges and put them back in your car.
12. Get Back On The Road
Make sure that you remove the parking break once you get in your car. Look around you and make sure that you can get back on the road, If you are on a highway, remember that cars travel fast so it’s good to wait when there are no cars. If you are on the feeder then it helps to pick up a little bit of speed while on the feeder, then merging on to the highway.
13. Replace your Spare and Have a Professional Look at Your Car
If your car did not come with a full sized spare, then make sure you get to a tire shop as soon as possible. Compact spare tires (aka donuts) are not meant to be used for a long period of time. Stop by a tire shop to replace your compact spare or have a professional look at your regular spare to see if it’s on right.
Not able to replace your spare on your own or missing a spare? Call us!
Whether your car is missing a spare tire, or you don’t feel up to the challenge of replacing your flat tire, remember that we are just a phone call away. Call us for speedy roadside assistance in Houston! (832)707-4946
Even though vehicle rollovers seem to happen in action movies, they happen daily all across America. Safercar.gov reports that car rollovers account for almost 35% of passenger vehicle crash deaths.
This is why it’s important for drivers to be alert at all times and know what to do if it should happen.
What is a Rollover accident?
A car rollover accident is when a driver loses control of their vehicle, and when the vehicle turns over at least once. Rollovers vary and can throw the driver out the car, leave the driver unconscious, or worse, case death.
How can you protect yourself?
If you’re behind the wheel and start losing control of your vehicle, it’s important to act quickly. It’s advised to pull your feet away from the pedals to prevent damage to your ankles, and to pull your arms close to your chest. Once the vehicle stops rolling, try and remain calm.
If your car is still running turn off the engine as soon as you can. Depending on the severity of the rollover you might be able to get out the car so it’s time to find an exit strategy. If you are physically able to, unfasten your seatbelt and try to see if the door can open. Beware of broken glass and exposed metal which can severely cut you. If the door is stuck see if you can climb out of a window.
If none of these things are possible and you’re immobilized from injuries, remain in your position to prevent the injuries from getting worse.
If you are able to get out safe and are in need of roadside assistance or please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (832)707-4946
Nothing is worse than the feeling of helplessness when your car leaves you stranded right in the middle of traffic. You’ll have drivers honk at you as if it was your fault your car broke down and is now blocking traffic. While we advise our customers to wait for professional help, sometimes it’s necessary to push the car out of the road.
How to push a car out of the road
Should you find yourself needing to push your car out of Houston traffic, start by turning on your hazards to signal oncoming traffic that your car broke down. Then you’ll need to find at least another person who is willing to help you. Once you find someone who is willing to help, decide who will be doing the pushing and who will be doing the steering. Once you have that figured out, put the car in neutral and have the pusher start pushing the vehicle.
Using the correct method
Pushing a car may sound easy but depending on the distance it can exhausting. Make sure that you push using your legs and to keep your upper body and core tight. Start of slow and slowly build up momentum. Make sure to not get too confident and start pushing with all your strength since you’ll quickly run out of strength. Never attempt to push a car uphill since one will easily be tired and there is a high chance of the car rolling backwards causing injury or even death.
Remember, even if you’re blocking traffic, sometimes it’s not safe to push a car out the way so it’s best to call expert help. We are always here for you. Give us a call at (832)707-4946