Avoiding Brake Damage During An Emergency Tow

10 November 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Regardless of whether you're getting an emergency tow from a friend, from a professional service, or whether you're trying it yourself, it's always good to watch out for a few things to make sure your car isn't damaged during a tow. This is going to be even more important during emergency tows due to the fact that you're likely going to be in a hurry and that there might be snow or other mitigating factors.

Parking Brake

If you drove into a snowdrift or half off an embankment, there's an excellent chance that you may have used the emergency parking brake to prevent the situation from getting worse. Regardless of why, it's important to check to make sure that the parking brake is off before any emergency towing occurs. It never hurts to check with a professional about this real quick if you see them starting the tow with the brake still on.

Sometimes a professional will disconnect the brake even though the lever is still pulled, but if it's snowing, raining, exceptionally cold, or if there's an exceptional need for hurry, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the tow driver will miss it. This can cause damage to your brake, but it can also interrupt or make the tow more dangerously by itself as well.

Trailer Brakes

It's important to remember that brakes on trailers usually aren't self-adjusting like in regular cars, such as the one that you're towing. You have to make sure you're especially careful with braking if you or a friend is doing the emergency tow.

Another thing to worry about with brakes is whipping and swaying. Even if you aren't the one doing the tow yourself, you can still keep an eye out for it in order to alert the driver, regardless of whether it's your friend or a professional. If the towed vehicle begins swaying side to side, then the key is to slow down by taking your foot off of the pedal.

You don't want to use the brake here because it could cause what you're towing to become damaged or tip even more. It's also important to avoid having the driver steer too much to one side or another during sway events. Speeding up or anything except keeping the steering wheel going ahead could have disastrous effects on what you're towing. The key is to just slow down and indicate that you're doing this with the emergency lights. Then you can secure the tow car by checking to see if there's a problem with the hitch or any other piece.

For more information, contact companies like Superior Towing.