In the aftermath of a breakdown or accident, you may decide to try and tow a damaged car with your own vehicle. While this may seem like a good idea, it can actually be a very bad idea, indeed. Here are some good reasons why you should never attempt to tow a car on your own.
Transmission Damage in the Car Being Towed
Today, most people drive cars equipped with automatic transmissions. All of these cars share a common design feature. Namely, when the wheels attached to the drive train spin, they engage the transmission. To do its job of transferring engine power to the wheels, the transmission relies on a substance called hydraulic fluid. At the same time that it supports power transfer, this fluid keeps the interior of the transmission properly lubricated.
Unfortunately, this protection is only in place when a car with an automatic transmission is running under its own power. If the engine isn’t running, no hydraulic fluid will coat the transmission’s internal components. Without lubrication, these components can sustain significant damage if the wheels turn for any length of time.
You can only avoid this scenario by towing an automatic car with its “drive” wheels off the ground. However, the typical passenger vehicle simply isn’t capable of towing in this manner. Tow trucks, on the other hand, can and do easily haul cars with automatic transmissions every day. Reliance on a towing company can stop you from damaging or completely destroying the transmission of another car by towing it on your own.
Damage to Your Own Vehicle
Cars, passenger trucks and SUVs are only designed to carry a certain amount of weight. Broadly speaking, cars have a relatively small load-bearing capacity, while trucks and SUVs can handle more. However, even if you own a truck or SUV, your vehicle does not necessarily have the capacity to tow another vehicle without sustaining some sort of damage.
Whatever their original capabilities, older vehicles may have known or unknown mechanical problems that make towing a substantial risk. And at the other end of the spectrum, a brand-new car, truck or SUV may not be broken in enough to safely engage in such a heavy-duty task. Certain environmental conditions can increase the odds that towing a car on your own will damage your vehicle. For example, the strain on the towing vehicle increases considerably in very high temperatures. The level of strain also increases when towing takes place at higher elevations or in dusty conditions.
Trucks designed for towing purposes come fully outfitted with the equipment needed to safely retrieve and haul wrecked and malfunctioning cars. Examples of this equipment include:
- Car-carrying platforms
In addition, experienced tow truck drivers know how and when to use the equipment they carry.
People who attempt to tow with their own vehicles typically don’t have access to the equipment required to keep safety risks at a bare minimum. In addition, they typically lack any significant towing experience. Instead, people who tow with their own vehicles tend to rely on whatever equipment they have at hand, whether or not that equipment actually suits the task. And since they lack experience, they frequently choose unsafe methods of transport, often without any knowledge of the dangers involved.
If you attempt to tow on your own instead of calling a towing company like Nk Towing for help, you will almost certainly increase your chances of causing harm to yourself and other travelers on local roads and highways. While they may seem like a good idea in the moment, your actions can lead to lasting negative outcomes. It’s better to be safe and spend the extra money needed to hire a professional like NK Towing for the job.