When Should I Tow My Car Instead of Driving it in for Auto Repairs?

It is a nerve-racking decision to realize your vehicle is in need of auto repairs and wonder if it is safe enough to drive it to the repair shop. You surely want to avoid that $100 tow bill (or more!), but you do not want to risk getting stranded, causing more damage to the vehicle, or even causing an accident. Here are a few of the things that will make towing the car your best bet so that the tow bill is a bargain compared to the consequences. If you notice any of these, call a towing company:

  • Leaking fluids — You may notice a pool of fluids under your vehicle, such as coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, water, or oil. These fluids are necessary to your vehicle, and running it without any of them can create more damage and make your vehicle unsafe to drive.
  • Smoke — If you notice smoke coming from under the hood or coming from the tailpipe, there is either a fire in progress or oil is leaking and burning, which means driving your vehicle with too little oil could seize up the engine.
  • Flashing check engine light — There are only a couple reasons this is flashing that would allow you to continue driving the car, but since you don’t know the reason and it could be serious, you should have it towed. The same holds true for the oil level or oil pressure lights.
  • Odd smells — If you notice the smell of fuel when the vehicle is running or not, a burning smell, or a hot smell indicating the vehicle is overheating, it is best to have your vehicle towed.
  • Noises and rough running — Loud noise under the hood, misfiring, backfiring, stalling, reduced power, and poor running are all causes for concern that should have you calling for a tow.

When in doubt about a problem with your vehicle, give us a call at Highway Tire Auto & Lube in Terrell, North Carolina. We are happy to advise you about tow versus drive if you call us with the symptoms you are experiencing. We will take care of your auto repairs in a timely manner so that you can get on with your day. For more information, contact us today!