Getting bogged in the sand dunes

Have Your Car Towed If You Notice Any of These Problems

by Andrea Muñoz

Some mechanical problems with your car are not so serious that you can't get your car to a nearby repair shop, but all too often, car owners overlook serious mechanical issues and drive their car when they shouldn't. There are some problems with a car that make it dangerous and unsafe to drive even a short distance, and doing so can put you at risk and also cause more damage to your car overall. Before you decide to drive your car when you know it needs repairs, note the following.

1. Obvious overheating

Never ignore the dashboard warning light or any other signs that your car is overheating, and don't drive it even a short distance when it does. Heat in the engine cause extreme wear and tear and overheating is often the result of excess friction between parts. 

This problem can be because a part has broken or because your car is leaking oil or another fluid, but no matter the cause, you don't want to drive your car. Your engine could actually seize up if it gets too warm, and driving your car when it's overheating means causing more damage to its parts. Have your car towed if you notice the warning light, smoke coming from under the hood, or can smell signs of heat from the engine.

2. Skidding when braking

If you slam on the brakes and your car slides on wet or slick pavement, that is to be expected. However, if the pavement is dry and your car slides when braking, this can be an overly worn tire, brake pads that are slipping, loss of brake fluid, or a number of other problems. No matter the cause, this can be very dangerous and typically will only get worse. Don't risk driving your car even a short distance when the brakes are acting up in any way, but call a towing service instead.

3. Obvious clunking noises

If your car clunks with every bump in the road, this can be a broken shock. Driving this way can cause damage to the axle or suspension. A clunking sound at any other time can be a broken part; this can be broken lug nuts on a tire or even ball bearings. Driving with this type of damage to the car can make it worse, and if it's broken lug nuts, a tire could actually come off. Note the location of the noise and then have your car towed to a shop for repair.