Towing Safety Tips for Stranded Drivers

Safety is the top priority when waiting for a tow truck in Charlotte NC. Most times, drivers are stranded on a road and that usually means there are cars whizzing by. While waiting for a tow truck to arrive and bring you to safety, here are some safety tips for stranded drivers.

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Get Out of the Car

It may seem convenient to sit and wait inside your car, but the reality is there are going to be passing cars. There’s always a chance that one of those passing cars could stray out of their lane and crash into your vehicle. At night, some drivers may fail to see your parked vehicle and with so many people texting and driving, there’s always the chance that a distracted driver could collide with your vehicle. It’s better to get out of the car and away from the road. And with help on the way, there is no need to put yourself in harm’s way.

Let There Be Light

When your car is disabled on the side of a road, it’s important to let other drivers know it is there. You can start by turning on your hazards lights and, if you have any flares, that is the time to light them. This is the best way to let other drivers know your car is stranded. Having some warning triangles inside your car along with a bright vest to wear are also ways of standing out, even on a dark night.

Allow the Pros to do Their Job

Tow truck drivers are experienced and know just what to do in certain situations. There’s no need for you to provide any assistance during the towing process. It’s best to just stand back, let the driver hook up your car and get it off the road.

Wait For the Tow Truck

When a tow truck driver arrives, it is with a purpose. Your whereabouts are known and it is all on record. When a random car stops to offer help, there is no need to accept. Help is already on the way and while that driver may have good intentions, there is always the chance that it is the opposite. It’s better to wait and rely on a professional service for help than to take a chance with someone who might have ulterior motives.

Your safety is a priority at Neighborhood Towing as we provide the best towing Charlotte, NC has to offer.

Advice for Preparing to Tow Your Vehicle

It is usually never a fun time when you are getting ready to have your vehicle towed. However, there are steps you can take when preparing for a tow. Here is a look at some helpful advice when you find yourself in this situation.

Advice Tip #1: Collect your valuables and personal items
There may be some valuables in your car and the fact that it is going somewhere means that you should secure those items in your possession. Look through your glove compartment, trunk and backseat to be sure that you grab anything valuable. There is always the chance someone could rummage through your car and you may also be without for a while.

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Advice Tip #2: Take photos
You are entrusting your vehicle in the hands of someone else, which makes it important to know what you are giving them. Taking pictures of your vehicle before it gets towed provides you with evidence should something go wrong or some type of damage be incurred. There’s always a chance that your car could somehow get damaged and without any beforehand photos, you won’t have any type of proof that it wasn’t like that before it was towed.

Advice Tip #3: Turn off your emergency brake
Most people don’t use their emergency brakes during their daily driving. But if a car is broken down or in an accident, some drivers may be more inclined to engage the parking brake. It’s important to turn it off before a vehicle tow because the process could damage your car if it is engaged. To be on the safe side, double check and make sure the parking brake is off.

Advice Tip #4: Have somewhere to tow the car
If your car stopped running or has been in an accident, there are specific places that will take care of the repair process. Decide on a destination before you call for a tow. It’s also better and cheaper to tow your vehicle to a place that will take care of the repairs as opposed to just having it towed to your home.

Advice Tip #5: Don’t just call any towing company
Not all towing companies are created equal. Some will gouge you with excessive fees. It is important to do some research and make sure you are trusting your vehicle in the care of a reliable company.

For reliable and affordable towing in Charlotte, NC, contact the team of professionals at Neighborhood Towing.

Jumpstart or Replace?

How to jumpstart your car and how to tell if you need to replace your battery.

Suv 1353451 1920 At one time or another, car troubles are going to affect everyone. One of the most common issues with any type of car is a bad battery. Car batteries are not meant to last forever and sometimes they can stop working without any warning signs. When that occurs, a quick jumpstart from a roadside assistance or a friend should do the trick. But there are some important things to know when attempting this quick fix.

Jumpstarting your car

A dead battery means you get no power. That means no lights, no radio. Once that has been determined, you can begin the process by getting a pair of jumper cables.

Before doing anything, put your car in park and shut off the engine. Also, shut off the engine in the other car that is attempting to jumpstart your battery. There are two clips on jumper cables, a red one and a black one. The first step is to attach the red clip to your battery’s positive terminal. The plus sign will signify the positive terminal. Next, do the same with the red clip on the other car.

Now it’s time for the black clip to be connected to the other car’s battery. That black clip should be attached to the negative terminal. The other black clip does not need to be attached to your battery. Instead, attach it to a metal part of your car and not on any part of the engine. Then, allow the other car to start up and run for a few minutes before turning your ignition. That should do the trick.

How to tell if you need to replace your battery

The first sign that you need a new car battery is a frequent need for a jumpstart. This pretty much means that your battery is draining rather quickly. The next sign is a buildup of corrosion on your terminals. Take a look at your battery and if there is an excessive amount of corrosion, it means that it’s time for a new one. Even if you clean excessive corrosion, it is likely going to come back. A little bit is okay, but a lot is a problem.

Age is another sign that a battery needs replacement. Batteries are only meant to last a few years and there is a sticker on it that indicates when it was manufactured. Chances are the battery is not going to last more than 3 years. Some do, but it is a bit of a gamble to ride around on a battery that old. If you decide to take the chance, keep our number handy in case you do end up needing roadside battery service in Charlotte NC.

Beware of Predatory Towing in Charlotte

It is an unfortunate reality that some towing companies continue to use predatory tactics throughout the Charlotte area. And this tactic is as bad as it sounds.

It works like this. Some tow-truck drivers will stake out a crowded area and wait for drivers to make a mistake by parking in a private lot or spot, even if it is for a matter of a couple of minutes. Some of those areas have poorly-displayed signs that warn drivers about parking there. This makes drivers easy prey for unscrupulous towing companies.

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Some of those lots will be near convenience stores or coffee shops in the city. A driver may just be running inside to grab a snack, coffee or lottery ticket. And before they can return to their vehicle, they are greeted by a boot. That leads to an actual tow in which drivers are forced to pay exorbitant fees to get their vehicles back.

But some of those property owners are not so innocent. Some actually conspire with towing companies to sneak up on drivers. Consequently, the poorly-displayed “No parking” signs are tactically positioned.

Predatory towing companies also use spotters to carry out unethical tows. People are positioned in a crowded area, near a parking lot designated as “No Parking.” And the moment someone parks there, they notify the nearby tow truck driver, who drives right to that location and tows the vehicle. It is irrelevant how much time has elapsed since the driver stepped out of the car.

Tow truck drivers will hide behind the excuse that it is against the law to park on a private lot. However, there is a lack of ethics involved in this practice and municipalities all over the country are cracking down on predatory towing. However, there has not been significant progress in the state of North Carolina as state laws have limited the level of action that cities and towns can take.

There have even been reports of tow truck drivers removing parking passes and towing a vehicle based on the premise that there was no pass. It all falls under a lack of ethics and with tows on the rise throughout the city of Charlotte, it is important to be aware of where you park.

The good news is there are still towing companies you can trust. Neighborhood Towing prides our business on helping those in need of a tow. For ethical, professional and courteous towing in Charlotte, contact Neighborhood Towing.

What to Expect When Towing Your Car, Truck or Van

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When it is time to tow your car, truck, or van, there are usually a lot of things going through your mind. While you may be looking ahead to the future and how you’re going to fix your vehicle, it’s important to concentrate on the present. Here’s a look at what to expect throughout the towing process.

Some Questions

When you call for a tow truck, you are going to bombarded with a lot of questions. You’ll be connected to a customer service associate from the towing company. That associate will want to know your location, the problem with your vehicle, all your contact information, the make and model of your vehicle, in addition to some other factors. Be prepared to provide some answers.

Some Roadside Assistance

A reputable towing company will offer roadside assistance. That means they will be able to fix certain issues with your vehicle and get you on your way without needing a tow. Those fixes range from jumpstarting your vehicle to tire service, to gas service, as well as battery service. Just because you have broken down doesn’t mean you necessarily need a tow. A quality towing company will be able to examine your vehicle and provide any of those previously mentioned fixes right there on the scene.

Some Signing

When the tow truck driver arrives, you’ll be asked to sign a release. This is a type of liability form that simply states you are aware of the risks that come with your vehicle towed. It may also relinquish liability from the towing company for any damage that may be deemed unavoidable when your vehicle is in transit. In many instances, the tow truck driver will also ask to see a driver’s license and vehicle registration just to verify that it is not stolen.

Some Waiting

Even though some towing companies may be near where you are stranded, it might still take some time to get to your destination. Typically, the wait time it’s not very long when you call a reputable towing company in a highly-populated area. However, it’s a good idea to utilize any wait time by gathering your personal belongings out of the vehicle. It’s also good to have your documentation ready when the tow truck driver arrives as it will help to expedite the process.

When you contact Neighborhood Towing, you can expect a high level of professionalism we offer the best towing service Charlotte, NC has to offer.