When talking about vehicle maintenance, numerous factors detect normalcy in theory but seldom come to pass. For example, a car battery lifespan is four years. Though, in the real world, vibration, aftermarket navigation systems, and temperature extremes all take a toll on the battery.
If you look at a typical car battery, it's simple to see why these things affect a healthy battery life. In the plastic box are plates of materials like lead dioxide and lead. The plates are floating in a mix of sulfuric acid and water, creating an electrolytic solution. This solution lets electrons travel between the plates.
Negative Impacts on Car Batteries
Numerous factors disturb a battery's chemical reaction. A poorly secured batter or vibrations from rough travel can damage or loosen the plates. Extreme quickens the chemical reaction, reducing battery life. Extreme cold can extend battery life by decelerating the result. Some batteries are protected by insulation to keep dangerous temperatures at bay.
Driving style can affect the reaction as well. Starting a vehicle takes a big jolt of electricity. Therefore, the charging system must step in to reload the battery. If you make a good number of short trips or short commutes, the battery never becomes fully charged. This consistent state of undercharging produces acid stratification.
The light acid layer will start to destroy the plates. The heavy acid solution will begin to counterbalance the car's electrical needs by operating harder than constructed to work. The effect is briefer battery life, even if the battery displays as working on regular tests.
Signs of Car Battery Problems
Batteries are so simple and so dependable that drivers tend to forget they're even there until it's too late. If you regularly check your car's battery, you'll lessen your risk of being stuck on the road. Batteries are very affordable, considering the amount of work they do.
The most apparent sign of a battery issue is a dead battery. Though a dead battery could be a sign of a deeper problem. If something is wrong in the electrical system, a working battery might be giving less electricity than necessary.
The best way to test a car battery is with the electronic tester at many auto parts stores. You can also call us at Buffalo Roadside Assistance. Our expert can hook the tester to the battery in the automobile. It takes a photo of your battery's condition and suggests whether it needs replacing.
There's nothing quite as frightening as when your vehicle begins giving you grief while you're driving down the street. Do you know the steps to take if your car dies on you? Keep reading to learn what you need to do if your car dies while driving.
Why Your Car Dies While Driving
Out of fuel - If this keeps happening to you, you might need to have an auto technician examine your fuel gauge. You could be getting a false reading.
A problem with the fuel pump - If something is blocking a filter on the car or a fuel pump, the car can die while driving.
Alternator problems - When there is an issue with the alternator, the car operates off the battery. The battery can only go for so long before it's drained.
Malfunctioning sensors - Modern vehicles have computers. The sensors can transmit the wrong information.
Steps to Take When Your Car Dies
Your main priority must be the safety of both yourself and other drivers. Here's what to do if your car dies while driving it:
Steer the vehicle to the side of the road. Don't panic. Despite the loss of brakes and power steering, you can still pull your vehicle over and get the car to stop. It will just be way harder. If you find it too problematic to slow down, go toward a safe spot, and use the emergency brake.
Attempt to restart the vehicle. If you can start your car again, fabulous. Though, the real problem is a clear sign that you need to head for an auto shop to get the issue assessed.
Call for assistance. Call for towing services to your auto mechanic. This is an issue you need to take care of immediately.
Reduce the Risk of Your Car Dying
Several factors can cause your automobile to die while driving. It's crucial to be mindful of your vehicle's maintenance status at all times. Watch where your gas levels are as well.
Whatever the reason your automobile goes out on you, it's imperative to have the problem handled by a professional like Buffalo Roadside Assistance. Our towing technicians provide gas recovery and jump-start battery services. Reach out to us for all your roadside assistance needs.
Today's vehicles have high-level cooling systems supplied with numerous heat sensors and computer-controlled electric fans crafted to keep your engine operating in any weather. But do you know what to do if your car overheats?
There are numerous reasons why the car could overheat. Parts such as gaskets, rubber hoses, and water pumps can get a leak with regular wear and tear. Certain driving conditions like daily rush hour traffic, put substantial stress on the cooling system, causing it to break down.
Luckily, you can typically avoid this issue with regular maintenance by a licensed mechanic. This professional will check your vehicle's oil and coolant levels. Your hoses, thermostat, fans, and other components of the cooling system get inspected too.
What to Do if Your Car Overheats:
Keep These Emergency Items to Keep in Your Trunk
Steps to Take if Your Car Overheats:
1. Turn on The Heater
It sounds counterproductive but turn on the heater. It pulls warm air away from the engine and into the passenger side. This action reduces the burden on the engine's cooling system. Turning on the heather might be enough to stop the overheating.
2. Pull Over
If your car keeps overheating after you've been driving a few minutes, pull over and cut the engine off. It's the safest way to cool the engine. If you have roadside assistance, now is the time to call. You probably need an emergency towing service.
3. Add Coolant
After you've waited around 15 minutes and the hood is cool to the touch, add coolant. Then, put the cap back on and cut on the engine. If the red warning light goes out or the temperature gauge goes back to normal, you can drive your vehicle. Though, you need to keep an eye on the light or temperature gauge.
4. Head to A Service Station
Adding coolant does nothing to resolve the issue that made your engine overheat in the first place. You will want to drive safely to the closest repair station. An auto professional will examine your auto's cooling system. While driving, keep checking the temperature gauge. Contact us at Buffalo Roadside if your car starts giving you trouble.
There is no feeling quite like that sinking one you get when you start your car up, and nothing happens. You do it again and again. Nothing happens. Then you know. Your battery is dead. Yes, it is one of the worst feelings on earth. But it is also avoided. You have to keep your ears and eyes open to recognizing the signs of a bad battery.
Signs of a Bad Battery:
Slow Engine Crank
It takes lots of energy to start a car. The battery creates all the energy. Once the vehicle is going, the alternator keeps the car battery running. When you put the key in your car, the battery is the only component starting the engine.
If the battery is fading out, you might notice that the engine cranks slower than average. You must pick up on that warning sign. If the engine does not crank at all, it will just click. You should get the battery tested and a new one if needed.
Electrical Components Problems
Besides powering the engine, the car battery must create enough juice to run all the different electronic parts in your car. In modern vehicles, there are several electronic accessories such as the radio, dashboard lights, power windows, power seats, windshield wipers, and headlights. All these parts are run off the electricity from the battery.
Numerous vehicles have a dashboard warning light. The light brightens when the battery doesn't refuel correctly. The warning light also means there is an issue with the alternator. If the light comes on, arrange to have a certified auto professional, examine it, and decide what the problem is.
Usually, a car battery lasts about four years. This life expectancy changes based number of deep discharges or extreme temperature exposure. It is an excellent idea to get the car battery tested by an auto professional. If you are unsure of the age of the battery, you should be able to locate the manufacture date on the battery case.
Don't get stuck on the street with a bad battery. Contact us at Buffalo Roadside Assistance when you need a jump start.
Sometimes even the best plans don't pan out. Like being sure you have enough gas in your tank. Being prepared can help you avoid this problem in the first place. Though knowing what to do if your car runs out of gas can help make a nerve-wracking situation less stressful and safer.
If You Run Out of Gas
Go to a Safe Place.
The first thing is to get out of your car and remain a safe distance from it. A vehicle on the shoulder is a resting target that drivers may not see, especially at night. If your vehicle runs out of gas in the street, cut your hazard lights on for visibility. The lights signal to other motorists that you're stranded.
Next, move your vehicle to safety.
When you feel safe, cautiously get out on the driver's seat and push your vehicle to the shoulder. Grasp the wheel firmly to steer the direction of your car. Once you're in a safe place, put on your emergency brake and hazard lights.
Establish Your Whereabouts
If you're stuck in the middle of nowhere, you're going to have to find out where you are. Navigation apps such as Waze make this simple. If your cell doesn't have a signal, look for road signs or lights, indicating an off-ramp with a gas station.
Call your insurance company's roadside assistance.
Your insurance card should have an 800-number for emergency towing service. You can also call 911. Even a cell with no signal can reach the number.
If you can call a towing service, get to a safe space and do it ASAP. If you're unable to get help, your next option might be to walk. Regardless of the weather, do not remain in your vehicle. Staying outside of the car removes you from the chance of a collision with traffic.
Know Better for Next Time
Don't Trust Your Range
Don't trust your fuel gauge. Even if it says your tank has gas, it can be incorrect. Keep safety and state traffic laws in mind if you're on a fast-moving highway. If possible, keep an efficient speed. Turn off the stereo, AC, and other electrical devices, including cell phone chargers.
Lastly, keep your windows up to lessen wind resistance on your car. If a broken-down vehicle has left you stranded, you don't want a repeat experience. Call us at Buffalo Roadside Assistance if you need gas delivery or a tow truck.
According to studies, tire blowouts cause over 70,000 accidents and kill more than 300 drivers every year. Before you get nervous, know that a tire blowout doesn't mean disaster. By following some simple tips, anyone can safely reclaim control after a blowout.
Tire Blowout Survival
Step 1: Stay calm.
The best thing you can do after your tire blows is nothing. Don't step on the brakes. Don't take your foot off the gas pedal. Don't turn the steering wheel. Any of these actions could make you lose control of your car quickly. Take a deep breath and don't freak out.
Step 2: Drive straight.
You will feel your vehicle going to one side when your tire blows. Hold the wheel tightly. You must withstand the urge to cut the wheel sharply and over correct. Make sure to keep your car going straight.
Step 3: Gently push the gas pedal.
It might sound counter intuitive but accelerate a little after a tire blowout. You doing so aids you in regaining control of your car by sustaining forward momentum. Once you've regained control, come off the gas pedal slowly.
Step 4: Let the automobile slow itself.
A blown tire works like a parachute, innately reducing your speed. Now, you can cut on the emergency lights. Do your best to maneuver the car straight and not turn the wheel.
Step 5: Drop to 20 mph and gently step on the brakes.
When you're down to 20 mph, turn the steering wheel slowly to lead your automobile off the road. When you are securely out of traffic, call for help.
Avoid a Tire Blowout
Often check your tire pressure.
When talking about tire blowouts, prevention is a topnotch survival strategy. Many blowouts are due to incorrect tire pressure. In America, automobiles sold after 2007 come with an electronic tire pressure monitoring system. This tool informs you when your air pressure fluctuates below or above safe levels.
Don't drive on worn, old tires.
Driving on damaged tires in hot weather is asking for trouble. If you have a hard time remembering to check your tires, you might want to select a set of tires that performs the work for you.
Top-quality tires and some due diligence can stop many tire blowouts. Call us at Buffalo Roadside Assistance if you need a flat tire service.
Regardless if you forget to refuel, your car battery dies, or you have a flat tire, here are five tips for roadside emergencies that will keep you safe.
1. Have the Right Tools
One of the simplest ways to be ready in the future for any auto emergency is to keep an emergency kit in your automobile. Pre-made emergency kits can be purchased online or in-store. You can also put your own kit together. Personalize your kit to suit you and your loved ones.
Possible Items to Include in Your Emergency Kit:
2. Get off the Road
If you can move your vehicle, move it to the shoulder. You need to be far away from traffic. If you must leave your automobile, never get out on the driver's side. Exit through the passenger side. Be sure to lock your car and leave your phone number in case law enforcement or emergency towing service stops.
3. Make Your Car Visible
Putting on your hazard lights is a simple way to signal other drivers to your automobile. You can also use warning lights and flares to notify other motorists that your car is having issues.
4. Use Caution
Keep the doors locked if you remain in your vehicle. If you get out of your vehicle, keep a reasonable distance away from traffic.
5. Call for Help
You can't always resolve a roadside emergency on your own. It is vital to call for help when you need it. Possessing a roadside assistance service makes an auto emergency less scary. Having support when it is nighttime, bad weather, or somewhere unfamiliar provides you with comfort in your time of need.
From auto lockout to jump starts, roadside assistance services can help with a host of vehicle issues. Get in touch with Buffalo Roadside Assistance if you find yourself in need of help on the side of the road.
After an auto breakdown, a tow truck on the horizon usually means help has come. But in rare instances, it can represent trouble in the form of dishonesty and high towing costs. Below is how to spot tow truck scams.
Identifying Tow Truck Scams
Your car breaks down. As you're messing around under the hood, trying to see what went amiss, a tow truck shows up and wants to assist. You hand over your keys, sign some papers, and thank your lucky stars for emergency towing service. But this interaction could end up costing you good money.
Fraudulent towing operators materialize when you need them. These bandit tow trucks target unsuspecting motorists in need. They offer to assist. Then these crooks charge outrageous fees for their towing services.
What to Know Before You Tow
To safeguard yourself from fraud and exaggerated towing costs, be sure you know precisely what you're paying for, who you're working with, and what your insurance company will cover.
Find out if you have roadside assistance and what the restrictions are. If you've been in an accident, find out how your car insurance company deals with towing and how much your policy will cover.
If you need a towing service, don't deal with a towing operator who comes on the scene uninvited. Though hardworking, honest towing companies can unbelievably show up when you need them, it's smart to be cautious.
Don't Allow a Towing Operator to Take Your Car Until:
Your Rights as a Consumer
If you believe you've fallen for a towing scam, you have some options. If you file a grievance against a towing company, you can file a claim with the Better Business Bureau. Also, your insurance company might be able to assist. If you'd like to contest any charges, you can do so in a small claims court.
Buffalo Roadside Assistance Can Help
Buffalo Roadside Assistance offers 24-hour support for lockouts, tire changes, jump start battery, and gas delivery services. Call us if you want a reputable and dependable towing company.
Your tire just blew out. It's essential to be prepared and know the steps to how to change a flat tire.
How to Change a Flat Tire: First, Be Prepared
You must have either a flat tire repair kit or a spare tire. Also, you need to inspect your spare tire periodically. A tire without any air does do you any good. Other things you may want to have in case of an emergency include paper towels, flashlights, tire gauge, and blankets.
Pick Your Spot
You can't always get the right spot to change a tire safely. Look for a sturdy, level surface with separation between the road and your vehicle. Put on your flashers while steering your car to your selected spot. Then, put on your parking brake.
Get the Lugs Loose
Begin by chocking a wheel opposite the side of your car you are going to jack up. A rock or piece of wood on the roadside will do if you don't have a wheel chock in your vehicle. This method guarantees your vehicle doesn't move when you have it in the air.
Then, put a floor mat down and get your lug wrench. You might need to take off a lug nut cover. Loosen, but don't take off all the lug nuts. You might need a lug key adapter for one or all of the lugs.
Jack It Up
Find the spot weld or jack point under the vehicle by the tire you're taking off. Put the jack so that the jack handle points out. Next, crank it up clockwise with your jack handle tools. When you see the light between the tire and the ground, your car is high enough to take the wheel off.
Remove the Tire
Turn the loose lug nuts the rest of the way off. Next, remove the tire from the vehicle. Ideally, it'll just come right off. A couple of kicks, though, could break it free if it's difficult.
Get the Spare
Get your spare tire. Line up the studs and holes then push on the tire. Put back on all the lugs. You'll want to get the lugs tight. Once the wheel is on correctly, it's time to put the vehicle on the ground.
Lower the Vehicle
Move the jack handle in the opposite direction now to put your automobile back on the ground slowly. Once it's down, you can take the jack out from beneath your vehicle and get your lug wrench.
Not everyone is mechanically inclined. You can also contact us at Buffalo Roadside Assistance to change your flat tire for you.
In addition to having the number for a roadside assistance service, you should also have a car emergency kit. It could save your life.
Being Prepared with a Car Emergency Kit
Regardless of when incidents happen, you must be ready. Car emergency kits give you the chance to survive until a towing service or medical help arrives.
Below are the must-have items for your car emergency kit:
Every motorist must have a first-aid kit with everything such as gauze, antibiotic ointment, different size band-aids, scissors, gloves, multipurpose splint, burn spray, and pain relief tablets. The kit also should have eyewash, antiseptic spray, tweezers, Clorox wipes, adhesive tapes, alcohol pads, blood stopper compress, ice pack, and anything else you deem essential.
Fire extinguishers must be for Class B and Class C fires.
A jump fixes car experiencing electrical problems. Jumper cables must be at least 10 feet long. Jumper cables must provide you with protection from any electrical surge. The cables also must be insulated enough for the usual wear and tear.
Tow Rope or Strap
Even if every driver can have four-wheel drive automobiles, there can still be situations in which your car gets stuck. Heavy-duty tow straps or ropes can be your best friend.
Reflective triangles signify there is an emergency. These triangles are essential so that other drivers may use caution when coming to your location.
Portable Car Charger
Automotive problems can leave you stranded in the most remote areas. For that reason alone, you must always carry a portable phone charger. Some come with swift charging abilities. But the milliamp hours are the most crucial.
Regardless of what's cracked, duct tape is the temporary repairer you must have on hand.
A blanket doesn't seem necessary until you need one. For instance, a blanket works as a barrier, and the ground when you need to inspect under your vehicle. If stranded for a long time, wrap your blanket around you until help arrives.
When shopping for a good flashlight, stay clear of the rechargeable ones unless you plan on buying a good number of battery units. Get a crank emergency flashlight. This type delivers bright light for a long time with just a turn of the crank.
If you find yourself stranded on the road, call Buffalo Roadside Assistance to get help immediately and affordably.