Safer Driving on Winter Roads

Safer Driving on Winter Roads Parker Towing DenverFor safer driving on winter roads this season, Parker Towing offers a few pointers to our customers in Castle Rock, Aurora, Lone Tree, Centennial, Highlands Ranch and beyond. There are many ways to avoid problems while driving in snow or other inclement conditions, and if you do experience an issue, even more ways to ensure your safety, such as calling for a tow instead of bearing the brunt of bad weather.

Be Prepared

The best strategy for winter driving is to be prepared. Stock non-perishable snacks, drinking water, blankets, extra clothes, flashlights, flares, phone charger, batteries, jumper cables, reflective triangles, reflective vest, ice scraper, snow shovel, and kitty litter or sand for tire traction if your car gets stuck. Before heading out, make sure your gas tank is full and use either all-season tires or snow chains.

Battery

Check how your battery is working before heading out into the cold. Turn on the headlights and start your car’s engine. If your headlights brighten up when the engine starts, then it is a good idea to bring it in for a recharge or a completely new battery. Be sure to check antifreeze and windshield fluid levels while you are at it. There are a number of de-icing windshield fluid brands for severe weather.

Visibility

It’s always a good idea to clear off your windshield as much as possible before heading out onto the road. Having the most visibility will increase the chances of a safe journey wherever you are headed. Defrosting and de-icing before you hit the road is safer than while driving. Clear snow or slush off of the headlights, brake lights, and turn signals. Use your headlights, even in the daytime, to make sure that you are visible to other drivers.

Slow and Steady

Even if you have all-wheel drive, a slow even acceleration and deceleration is the key to safer driving on winter roads. Avoid spinning tires as much as possible. Especially if you only have 2-wheel drive, plan to leave early and take it slow a route.

Braking is going to be different in snow and icy conditions. Most likely, your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS). This will help to keep it from skidding, allowing you to continue steering during sketchy situations in which you must brake hard. In this case, “stomp, stay, and steer.” If you have to brake hard, you will feel a thumping sensation below the foot pedal. This is completely normal with ABS and actually helps with the mechanism.

Practice steering around obstacles instead of heading straight towards them. Even though it sounds like a no-brainer, our instincts to evade don’t always kick in when the moment arises.

Skidding

If you find yourself in a skidding situation, turn the wheel in the same direction as the rear of the vehicle is going. Otherwise, a skid could turn into a spin and even a car accident.

As you can see, there are few precautions to take for safer driving on winter roads. No matter what happens though, Parker Towing is here to help, anytime day or night. Just give us a call.

When to Call for Towing Services

When to Call for Towing Services Parker Towing DenverNo one ever wants to have to, but knowing when to call for towing services will save you time and headaches in the process. At Parker Towing, we want you to know just what to do in a situation that requires a tow truck, and with 24-hour emergency towing services available, we always have your back with friendly service and honest pricing.

Check out these circumstances so you’ll know when to call for towing services.

Engine Overheats

If you notice that your vehicle’s temperature is rising and have already tried turning on the heater to stop the overheating and nothing is working to cool it down, you must stop the vehicle to avoid causing costly and irreparable damage. Running out of coolant or water is one thing, continuing to drive the car without it is another. Pull off of the road to a safe distance from traffic, as well as possible, to avoid danger and call for assistance. Towing your vehicle to the nearest mechanic or your trusted auto repair specialist will save you money, no doubt!

Flat Tire

As a prevalent problem to have out on the road, flat tires have happened to all of us. If you don’t have an adequate spare tire or are just not in the mood to change a tire, never hesitate to call for a tow service. Never drive on a flat tire as this can cause irreparable damage, costing much more money than a simple flat tire will. Getting off of the road and to safety should always be your priority, especially if you have passengers. Parker Towing can always help with fast, efficient towing services for all situations.

Out of Gas

Of all of the reasons to break down on the side of any road, running out of gas may be the best one, or maybe it’s the worst reason because you forgot to fill up! Either way, a tow truck can be called for either towing services or a gas refill service. Fortunately, it’s an easy fix and a good lesson to learn next time you head out on the road.

Collision

In most instances of a collision, you will need to call a tow truck for assistance. Hopefully, you and your passengers are unharmed in the accident, and you are entirely able to call for the help you need in this instance. Otherwise, those involved, the police or bystanders can make the call for you to help out in a challenging and frightening situation, such as a collision.

Breakdown

No matter what type of breakdown your vehicle is experiencing, if you find yourself on the side of the road with an inoperational car, calling a tow service will be the best option considering the circumstances. Be sure to grab all of your belongings and valuables from the vehicle, as you never know for how long it will be in the repair shop.

Knowing when to call for towing services right way will save you additional time spent guessing at the problem. The reliable team at Parker Towing is here to help with 24-hour towing services in Parker, Castle Rock, Aurora, Lone Tree, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Littleton and nearby areas. Call us whenever you need help of any kind, and we will be there!

Must Haves for Safe Winter Driving

Parker TowingMust Haves for Safe Winter Driving Parker Towing Denver in Parker, Colorado wants all of our customers to be aware of the must haves for safe winter driving. While we provide fast, friendly towing service when things go wrong, we’d rather that you and your family be safe, helping you avoid preventable incidents. Here we suggest 10 items to keep on hand if you get stuck on the side of the road this winter.

Access to Help

When you are stuck on the side of the road, the main thing that you need is access to help. A cell phone with a spare battery is always a good idea to keep on hand. Another good option is to purchase a roadside assistance plan that includes towing. Even if you just use it once, it typically pays for itself, and the peace of mind is invaluable.

A Shovel

In some cases, you may be able to dig yourself out without having to call for help. However, you will only be able to do this if you have the right equipment in your car. To save space, you can purchase a collapsible shovel that you can leave in your vehicle at all times.

Kitty Litter or Sand

One of the unusual must haves for safe winter driving it kitty litter. Throwing it on icy patches can help your tires gain traction. Depending on how you are stuck this might be all you need to get back on the road.

Ice Scraper

Visibility is always important, but even more so in dangerous driving conditions. Sometimes, though, your windshield can get covered over with a sheet of ice that utterly destroys the visibility. Windshield wipers aren’t usually strong enough to break the ice so you’ll need an ice scraper to get the job done right.

Blankets

If you are waiting for tow truck services, especially at night when the temperature drops, you will appreciate a way to keep warm without having to waste gas keeping the car’s heater running. Keep 2 or 3 blankets just in case you have passengers.

First Aid Kit

If you are in an accident, a first aid kit will come in handy for bandaging up minor wounds.

Safety Flares or Reflective Triangles

Visibility is often reduced in the wintertime. Safety flares or reflective triangles provide a way to warn other drivers that you are there. They also help roadside assistance find you.

Jumper Cables

It is harder to start a cold engine. Sometimes all you need is a jump from a kind passerby to get going again. You’ll need good quality jumper cables.

Flashlight and Batteries

Keep a flashlight and fresh batteries on hand. There’s nothing worse than trying to change a tire or look under the hood when it’s completely dark out.

Snacks

Keeping a few healthy granola bars on hand will help if you get stranded. Not only is it nice to not be hungry, but food will also help your body stay warm.

Even if you have all these must haves for safe winter driving in your vehicle at all times, you still may end up in trouble. Don’t worry, just remain calm and give us a call here at Parker Towing. We’ll be out to help as quickly as we safely can.

What to Do if Your Car Gets Stuck in Mud

What to Do if Your Car Gets Stuck in MudWith the rainy season coming upon us, Parker Towing has some tips on what to do if your car gets stuck in mud. It can happen to any of us, so be prepared and know what to do just in case. 

Be Prepared

Fall and winter are particularly dangerous times for getting stuck in the mud, so it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit in your vehicle for emergencies. You don’t need full survival gear, just a flashlight, a shovel, and a traction mat. Gloves, a rain poncho, and reflective triangles can also come in handy for safety and keeping dry while getting the vehicle unstuck. 

So, now that you’re prepared with supplies, do you know what to do if your car gets stuck in mud? Follow the steps below to see if you can get your vehicle out of the mud without help from one of our tow truck crews. 

First things first, lay off the accelerator as soon as you realize you’ve gotten stuck. Stomping down aggressively on the accelerator will only cause your tires to spin and bury themselves deeper into the mud. You’ll only make getting out more difficult. 

Step 1: Try to go in the opposite direction that you were going when you got stuck. Keep your wheels straight and gently back up if you were moving forward, or go forward if you were backing up. If you are unsuccessful in this attempt, proceed to the next step. 

Step 2: Put the vehicle in a lower gear if it’s a manual and get a little aggressive with the accelerator, but not too much or you’ll bury the car deeper as we mentioned before. If it still doesn’t come out try the next step. 

Step 3: You can try to rock the vehicle out by going forward and then backward quickly. Don’t do this too much or too aggressively as it can be hard on your transmission. Sometimes just a few times back and forth is enough to get your vehicle out of the mud. If not, there’s one more thing you can try.

Step 4: Use that traction mat from your emergency kit, or if you didn’t put one in your vehicle, use the floor mats from your car. They’re not as effective, but something is better than nothing. Center it next to the tire in the direction that you want to go and try to move the vehicle. If the mats work, do not stop moving until you’re completely out of the mud or you risk getting stuck again. If they don’t work, it’s time to call in the car towing professionals.

We hope this guide about what to do if your car gets stuck in mud is helpful to you in case you ever get stuck in this unfortunate situation. However, if you’re unable to get your vehicle out, feel free to give us a call here at Parker Towing. We’ll send out one of our friendly professionals to help you get your vehicle out and have you on your way again in a jiffy!

What You Need to Know About Flat Tires

What You Need to Know About Flat TiresIn this article by Parker Towing in Colorado we explain what you need to know about flat tires. A flat tire can happen unexpectedly at any time and for any number of reasons. Knowing what to do if it happens to you can be a great benefit and even save you money in the long run.

Don’t Drive on a Flat Tire

First things first, if your tire goes flat do NOT try to continue driving your vehicle. Many people may think that it’s okay to forego a calling for a tow and instead driving slowly to the nearest repair shop, but it’s not a great strategy.

A flat tire doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to buy a new tire. Often, flats are caused by small punctures from a nail or screw that can inexpensively be repaired without having to fork out the extra cash for a new one. However, if you keep driving on a low-pressure tire, you can end up causing more extensive damage that will require a whole new tire.

The improper pressure on the sidewalls can cause them to rupture and if you keep driving long enough that the tire breaks apart the flailing pieces can cause costly damage to other nearby important parts of the car. For example, brakes, rotors, calipers, or parts of the suspension, can be damaged, putting you in danger of an accident because the car does not respond correctly.

Call a Tow Truck, or Put on your Spare

So, if you can’t drive your car, what should you do? If you have a spare tire available, and the know-how to change it correctly a good option is to change the tire out for your spare. Keep in mind that spare tires are usually not replacement tires and you should only use it to get your vehicle to a tire repair center. Don’t drive your car for an extended period using a spare.

If you don’t have a spare or don’t know how to change it, the other option is to call Parker Towing here in Parker and serving Lone Tree, Aurora, Littleton, Castle Rock, Centennial, Franktown, Elizabeth and Highlands Ranch. Keep our phone number handy and give us a call, we will be happy to help. Our fast, friendly service will get you and your vehicle safely to a reputable tire repair center quickly so you can get back on the road again as soon as possible.

Avoid a Flat

There are a few simple things that you can do to avoid a flat in the first place. Be sure that your tires are properly inflated and are maintaining the correct inflation pressure, have them rotated and inspected regularly, keep them properly aligned and maintain responsible driving habits.

We hope this article has helped you learn what you need to know about flat tires. Following the advice offered here will help you avoid a flat but if you do find yourself in this unfortunate predicament and don’t have a spare tire on hand, then just give us a call here at Parker Towing.

Four Great Reasons to Visit Parker, Colorado

Four Great Reasons to Visit Parker, ColoradoIn case you’re looking for a new adventure, here are four great reasons to visit Parker, Colorado brought to you by the Parker Towing team of friendly towing professionals. We are a family-owned and operated towing company that’s been offering our top-notch services since 1984. We’ve got your back should you run into any car troubles during your visit to our beloved town or the surrounding areas.

Awesome Microbrewery

In Parker’s industrial zone, Elk Mountain Brewery proudly offers free tastings of their trademark brews. Once you find your favorite, you can buy a case or two or few to take home with you. Even if you or someone in your party doesn’t drink alcohol, you can still participate in tasting the company’s locally brewed root beer. For more information, check them out their website here.

Great Hiking and Biking Trails

Get out and enjoy the great outdoors on one of the many trails that Parker boasts. There are about 12 miles of paved trails that offer access to some of Parker’s most scenic areas. Everything is kept up nicely and maintained by Parker’s Recreation Department.

The trails can be utilized by hikers, bikers, joggers and even horseback riders in certain areas. Not only are the trails well-maintained but there is also trailhead parking available in various locations as well as bathrooms and picnic areas. We make it easy to spend a relaxing afternoon enjoying nature’s beauty! You can find more information here.

Quaint Country Market

For those of you that enjoy browsing through an interesting and diverse inventory of items, the Parker Country Market is just for you! You can find all sorts of items ranging from antiques to jewelry to metal sculptures and Mexican pottery. The inventory is always changing due to high turnover so there is always something new and exciting to see. Check out their website for more information or just head down there ASAP to find some awesome hidden treasure!

Interesting Historical Sites

Of course, Parker has a rich Native American (First Nation) history as tribes hunted in this area for centuries. The first settlement of white men wasn’t founded until 1863, but there is plenty to see.

You can find the Parker Area Historical Society in an old schoolhouse in downtown Parker. The public can visit on Saturday mornings to see a variety of interesting ancient artifacts and learn about the area’s history. You can also check out the many historical sites on your own with information from the society’s website. Most of them are easily accessible and even viewable directly from a road, so they aren’t hard to find or access.

We hope these four great reasons to visit Parker, Colorado has inspired you to come and check out our town. As proud business owners of Parker Towing and longtime residents of the area, Parker and its people are near and dear to our hearts. Of course, if you have any car troubles here in Parker or while passing through on other adventures, simply call us for fast and professional towing services.

A Day in the Life of a Tow Truck Driver

A Day in the Life of a Tow Truck DriverEver wondered about a day in the life of a tow truck driver? Today, the staff at Parker Towing gives you a peek into our operations. As you know, tow truck drivers can be both the hero, rescuing people from the side of the road, or the villain, hauling off illegally parked vehicles. This variety of reactions when we arrive at the scene can be both rewarding and frustrating, but we’re passionate about what we do and helping people out when they find themselves stranded.

So, what do we do all day? Do we just sit around waiting for someone to call and have need of their services? Or do we “patrol” areas with the idea of being close by when needed? 

Heavy Machinery

A day in the life of a tow truck driver comes with a variety of responsibilities. The first and most obvious is learning to properly operate the heavy machinery used to move heavy vehicles from one place to another. Improperly handling this machinery can lead to serious injury so this step is, of course, crucial. 

Minor Mechanics

They also serve as minor mechanics. Sometimes, when you have a simple issue that doesn’t require being in a garage to fix, like a flat tire or dead battery, drivers can resolve your problem right there on the side of the road without having to haul your car anywhere. That is a sweet relief on the pocketbook and also takes up a lot less time. Our primary goal, after all, is to get you safely on the road again.

Clean-up Crew

When collisions leave damaged vehicles blocking traffic, tow truck drivers serve as the cleanup crew. Once the police and EMTs have performed their duties, tow truck drivers move in to get everything cleaned up and traffic flowing smoothly again.

Office Work

Even though much of their time is spent on the road, there is still a fair amount of paperwork that’s included throughout the day in the life of a tow truck driver. When impounding cars that have been illegally parked, the tow truck company is responsible for finding the owner and notifying them where their vehicle is and how to retrieve it. If they are picking up a vehicle involved in an accident that the police are investigating, the driver takes the vehicle to their evidence or salvage yard.

Many times, small tow truck companies offer their dedicated services to companies. Whenever receiving a call from one of these companies to collect an illegally parked or abandoned vehicle, the driver must fill out a report before leaving the office.

In short, a day in the life of a tow truck driver isn’t as mundane as you may have thought and we get to enjoy at least a little bit of variety within the job description. If you have any more questions about the services that we offer here at Parker Towing, feel free to contact us, and one of our staff will be happy to answer all your questions or send out one of our friendly, professional drivers.

Never Ignore a Blinking Check Engine Light

Never Ignore a Blinking Check Engine LightAt Parker Towing Inc. we recommend that you never ignore a blinking check engine light, as you could end up causing extensive damage to the vehicle, and even worse, wind up stranded on the side of the road. Sometimes people are hesitant to have their car checked when the check engine light comes on because they think it’s not a big a deal and hope it will just go away on its own. And if they anticipate a costly repair bill, some people just want to put it off as long as possible. Not a great plan.

There are several reasons that a check engine light can come on. Sometimes it’s an easy, inexpensive fix and sometimes it does end up costing more money. But it is always better to get it taken care of sooner rather than later as the check engine light sometimes serves as a warning that something pretty bad is happening inside your engine. If you take action right away, there’s a chance to avoid complete disaster and having to call us to come out and give you a tow – we are available 24/7 nonetheless.

A Steady Check Engine Light vs. Blinking

There’s typically a big difference between a steady and blinking check engine light. When it begins to flash, a situation is occurring in your engine that could possibly damage your catalytic converter, a very expensive and important component. This is why you never ignore a blinking check engine light. With that light flashing, you will likely notice that the car is performing differently.

As soon as you safely can, pull over, turn your engine off and give us a call for a tow. We service Parker, Lone Tree, Aurora, Littleton, Castle Rock, Centennial, Franktown, Elizabeth, Highlands Ranch. Now, if you decide to “limp” home, you could be looking at hundreds even thousands of dollars to replace a catalytic converter depending on the car you drive. Hopefully, that puts the cost of towing into perspective.

Here’s What’s Causing the Blinking Light

In most cases, the actual cause of the problem and the cost for repair is far less catastrophic than if you let it reach your catalytic converter. By getting a tow and immediate repairs, you’ll likely avoid such an expensive fix. So, take a look at this list of what might be causing the check engine light to blink:

  • Engine valves have gone bad
  • A spark plug has gone out
  • A spark plug wire is not functioning properly
  • The engine computer has failed
  • The fuel injector is malfunctioning
  • The ignition coil has failed

 

Now that you understand why you should never ignore a blinking check engine light, be sure to keep our number handy in case this happens. One of the friendly staff members from Parker Towing will quickly and efficiently get your car safely to a repair shop. Remember, even if you think you’re close enough to keep driving to a shop, the cost of a new catalytic converter will outweigh our reasonable towing prices. It’s better to be safe than sorry (and broke)!

Tips to Avoid a Car Break Down This Summer

Tips to Avoid a Car Break Down This SummerHere at Parker Towing, our experts wanted to pass along a few quick tips to avoid a car break down this summer. Nobody wants to get stuck on the side of the road due to car troubles, especially if you’re on a fun summer outing or road trip. Just keeping in mind and inspecting a few simple things can help you to avoid the most common car issues and keep your car engine running smoothly.

Fluid Levels

Just as with the human body, a car engine needs a good level of all its fluids to function properly. They should also be fresh and clean. Be sure to check the fluids regularly including engine oil, transmission, power steering, brake, cooling system and washer fluids. If they are slightly low, top them off and if they look dirty, or the recommended time has passed, change them out for fresh fluid.

Don’t Let It Overheat

Particularly in hot areas, overheating is one of the leading causes of preventable breakdowns. An overheated engine is also extremely expensive, and preventative maintenance beforehand is much cheaper. Once your antifreeze gets to be a couple of years old, replace it. You can also add a coolant to your radiator that can lower the engine’s temperature by 30 degrees. Always keep a close eye on the temperature gauge, especially when it’s scorching out, and immediately stop if you see it climbing an unusual amount.

Oil Upgrade

High-performance synthetic oils are better at dispersing heat than mineral-based motor oils and thus are another way to help keep your engine cooler. The few extra dollars that you have to spend on high-quality oil are really worth it in comparison to an engine blowing up and needing to call for a tow. 

Check Belts and Hoses

Get in the habit of inspecting your belts and hoses every time you check the fluid levels. Any belts or hoses that are loose, or harder or softer than normal, or have visible signs of wear should be replaced immediately. Also, don’t forget to check the hose clamps to make sure they are tight and not cracking or showing signs of corrosion.

Inflate your Tires Properly

You can check on the side of your tire for the proper pressure level that your particular tires should have. Then check all your tires, including the spare, to ensure that they are at the right air pressure levels. A properly inflated tire not only helps with getting good gas mileage but is less likely to blow out, and will generally live longer – saving you money in the process.

If you follow all these tips to avoid a car break down this summer, it’s much less likely that you’ll get stuck on the side of the road with car trouble. Of course, it’s sometimes unavoidable. And if you ever find yourself stuck, just give us a call. Our professionals here at Parker Towing are friendly and will do their best to make your day a little better by taking care of both you and your vehicle.

What to Do and Not Do While Waiting for a Tow Truck

What to Do and Not Do While Waiting for a Tow TruckIf your car is stuck near Parker, Colorado, first call Parker Towing. Then remember this list of what to do and not do while waiting for a tow truck. Whether mechanical failure or even an accident, you will probably have to wait for help to arrive. Depending on your proximity to the tow truck company, or even how busy the day is for the tow truck company, knowing this information will help you stay safe.

What to Do

  • Get out of the road. If you are still able to move your vehicle, it’s a good idea to get it off the road as much as possible, especially if you are blocking traffic. Of course, other drivers will slow down or stop if they see a car blocking the road, but that only works if they see it in time. Your window of safety closes quickly in inclement weather or on an icy road. Better to get your vehicle as much out of the way as possible, even if you have to push it by hand.
  • Turn on the hazard lights. Even if it’s still light out and you think that other drivers can easily see what is going on, do everything you can to warn them, including turning on the hazard lights. Again, that doesn’t guarantee that other drivers will see you in time–but it does help quite a bit.
  • Get out of harm’s way. Depending on the location of your vehicle, it could be safer for you to stay inside with your seatbelt on, or get out and remain a safe distance off the road. Be very careful, watching for cars, and position yourself so that you are out of harm’s way.

 

What Not to Do

  • Don’t flag down a ride. Most people that stop to offer you a ride probably have pure intentions and do want to help, but not everyone. Help is already on the way, so you don’t need a ride. It’s best to stay where you are and wait for the professionals to arrive.
  • Don’t forget about your stuff. If you decide to wait outside your car, it’s a good idea to take your purse, wallet, cell phone, insurance information, and anything else of value with you. This will guarantee that you don’t lose your stuff. Even if you decide to wait in the car, be sure to gather your things while waiting, so it is with you at all times.
  • Don’t put yourself in harm’s way. Don’t ever step out of your vehicle into traffic. Your safety is worth more than whatever you might be trying to do. Even if the road looks clear, remember that traffic can be coming at you at incredibly high speeds.

Now that you know what to do and not do while waiting for a tow truck, we hope you stay safe! Of course, Parker Towing is always here to help with 24/7 roadside assistance in Castle Rock, Aurora, Lone Tree, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Franktown, Elizabeth.