Why Your Battery Is Killed By Winter Cold

Why Your Battery Is Killed By Winter Cold

One of the most common winter calls that tow truck companies get will be a dead battery. With the number of electrical and hybrid cars on the road increasing, the degradation of batteries in cold weather is becoming a much larger problem. The problem is that many people do not know what it is about the cold weather that negatively affects the performance of batteries and kills off older ones.

Cold Temperatures Slow Chemical Reactions

All batteries will rely on chemistry to work correctly whether they are lead-acid, lithium polymer or nickel-cadmium. Batteries are made up of a cathode, an anode, electrolyte solution, collector, and separator. Without going into too much detail, a freeing of electrons will create a current which only occurs through an electrochemical reaction relating to the cathode and the anode in the electrolyte solution. The problem is that cold temperatures will slow this reaction.

There are 2 interrelated problems that all car batteries will suffer from and they are sulfating and undercharging. With sulfating, the sulfate from the acid solution in the battery will coat the cell plates and this will interfere with its ability to hold and release electricity. Undercharging can be caused by too many short trips, a dying alternator, a faulty voltage regulator or your battery not getting enough energy when the engine runs. When this happens a memory effect will develop.

This means that the deepest parts of the sulfate is not being dispersed into the electrolyte solution. This will compromise the ability of the battery to fully charge. All of these issues will be exacerbated by cold weather, particularly in an older battery. Older batteries will already start to lose their efficiency because of the continuous use.

If you do not want to call a tow truck when your battery dies or when your car will not reliably start, you could try two things. If your battery is older than 4 to 5 years, you need to replace it. If you have a newer battery and have issues, you need to get a battery warmer. These items are relatively cheap when you compare them to being stranded and needing to call a tow truck.

If you cannot take either of these steps, you need to know a high-quality roadside assistance company. They will be able to help you when your car will not start because of a dead battery.

Let Leahy’s Towing help you when you need assistance. Call us for more information, our service professionals are here to help.

Why You Need To Have Emergency Roadside Assistance Insurance Coverage

Why You Need To Have Emergency Roadside Assistance Insurance Coverage

What Is Roadside Assistance Insurance Coverage?

Emergency roadside insurance is more than an additional piece of auto insurance that helps you cover the costs of a breakdown. A roadside breakdown is something that can happen at any time and most people will have to deal with this at some point. However, the stress of these situations can be reduced when you have a number to call, assistance, reimbursement of expenses and support.

When you buy your auto insurance policy, you will generally be offered roadside assistance coverage. This is an additional premium which is generally minimal when compared to the rest of your insurance. However, the benefits of this insurance should not be overlooked.

The Benefits

Most people will overlook the insurance that is not legally required. They will also overlook insurance that seems to offer little when compared to their primary insurance policy or more substantial add-ons. However, the relatively low cost of this insurance will provide you with the support you need when your car breaks down on a cold and rainy night.

The policy details will vary depending on the insurance company and the policy you choose. The standard roadside assistance policy will have reasonable payments for the following:

• Mechanical labor provided at the breakdown site

• Towing the vehicle from potential danger

• Towing the vehicle to a repair site if the vehicle is inoperable

• The delivery of oil, fuel or a spare tire which is needed to make the vehicle operable

• The labor of a locksmith if you are unable to enter the vehicle

An Emergency Number To Call

Most insurance companies will have a dedicated emergency roadside assistance number that you can call when you need to. When your car breaks down, you will call the number on your policy and it will connect you to a trained operator. The operator will generally ask for your location, details about the situation and will contact a local towing or repair service. This service will respond to your situation.

Save With Emergency Roadside Assistance Insurance

If you become stranded with a car that will not move and do not have any roadside assistance insurance, you will be at the mercy of the towing and repair company that arrives at your location. While most of these companies are reliable and reputable with a set fee schedule, there are others that are not. These companies will take advantage of your situation and inflate the costs of helping you. If you have insurance coverage, the insurance company will cover the reasonable costs.

Let Leahy’s Towing help you when you need assistance. Call us for more information, our service professionals are here to help.

What Is Vehicle Recovery Or Recovery Towing?

What Is Vehicle Recovery Or Recovery Towing?

Sometimes, off-road vehicles get stuck in situations that are impossible to get out of without the help of specialized towing tools. The drivers of these vehicles get a little bit overconfident, taking on challenging road conditions that are too much for their vehicles to handle.

Other times, large trucks, buses, and RVs pick up so much momentum when they are traveling that they can easily wind up slipping off the edge of the road or completely rolling over.

Vehicle recovery, which is also referred to as recovery towing, is designed to help recover these vehicles using special equipment.

Keeping Everyone Safe

The first thing that tow truck drivers have to do in situations like these is to make sure that everyone in the vehicle is safe. The driver or passengers are usually asked to move away from the area so that they don’t accidentally get in the way of the tow truck. This also helps keep them from inadvertently stepping out into traffic on the road.

Recovery Towing Equipment

When large vehicles such as motorhomes or tractor-trailers wind up in a borrow pit or ditch, large, sturdy equipment is usually required to get them out. Tow vehicles that are designed to deal with situations like these have a wider wheelbase than normal. They also have a much higher towing capacity and have stronger cables and winches than standard tow trucks.

In Harrisburg, towing companies like Leahy’s Towing have special training that allows them to safely deal with hazardous materials and to manage accident scenes. An important part of this involves keeping people away from the area where the accident occurred.

Certain situations require multiple recovery vehicles. For instance, when large semi-trucks rollover, two vehicles may be needed to pull them back into an upright position. Once they are back on their wheels, high-capacity tow trucks can pull them to a safer area. The drivers of these trucks undergo special training to learn how best to position and use the cables and other towing accessories to deal with situations like these.

Backcountry Vehicle Recovery

Driving in the mountains or backcountry can be dangerous, regardless of whether people are in two-wheel or four-wheel-drive vehicles. Oftentimes, they wind up getting stuck on dirt roads or sliding into ditches or ravines. Recovering these vehicles requires specialized equipment. More than that, it also requires special training to know how best to deal with vehicles that are stuck in out-of-the-way locations.

Occasionally, recovery companies such as Leahy’s Towing are also contacted to help recover small airplanes that have crashed in remote regions. Call us for more information, our service professionals are here to help.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Tow Trucks?

What Are The Most Common Types Of Tow Trucks?

All vehicles break down on occasion. A good towing company will have a wide range of equipment available so that they can use the right tools for the job, regardless of the situation. Cars, trucks, and other vehicles all come in different sizes, shapes, and weights. Additionally, they can wind up breaking down or getting stuck in a variety of different locations or situations. Vehicle recovery is particularly challenging when dealing with roads that have sharp curves, wet or slick road conditions, or steep edges. In situations like these, towing providers need access to the right tools to safely recover vehicles.

Over the years, a variety of different wreckers and towing tools have been developed to deal with just about any situation that you can imagine. Companies like Leahy’s Towing have to be ready for anything when it comes to recovering vehicles. For instance, they have large wreckers that are equipped to handle semi-trucks and other oversized vehicles. They also have a lot of other specialized tools that they can turn to when dealing with unique or challenging situations. As an added bonus, all of the operators are specially trained to handle a variety of challenging circumstances. Thanks to their expertise, they can provide assistance whenever it is needed.

Choosing The Right Wrecker For The Job

Different towing situations require different types of equipment. Ultimately, the goal of any towing company is to recover vehicles without damaging them in the process. That is why it is so important to use the correct equipment.

Some of the most common towing methods include the following:

Hook-And-Chain Towing – In the past, this type of towing was commonly used. However, because of the way the chain is attached to the vehicle, it can cause damage to the body. As a result, this method is usually reserved for vehicles that have already sustained major damage.

Boom Trucks -These trucks are equipped with large booms that are capable of recovering vehicles from ditches or other areas that are located off the side of the road. Vehicles like these are commonly used in the mountains or in areas where there is a lot of ice on the road.

Flatbed Towing – These trucks have a hydraulically-powered bed that angles down to the road, creating a ramp of sorts. A winch that is mounted on the truck can then be attached to the vehicle, pulling it up onto the bed. Once it is in place, the bed of the truck is raised back into a flat position so that the vehicle that is being towed can be hauled to its final destination.

Wheel-Lift Trucks – With this type of towing, a special yoke is secured underneath the drive wheels of the vehicle. Since it doesn’t come in contact with the rest of the vehicle, it doesn’t cause any damage. Once it is securely in place, the front or back of the vehicle is raised up off of the ground so that it can be towed wherever it needs to go.

Let Leahy’s Towing help you when you need assistance. Call us for more information, our service professionals are here to help.

The Safety Measures For Towing A Car

The Safety Measures For Towing A Car

Towing a car is never fun, but towing services can be used for a variety of situations. There are times when the car cannot be driven because it has been disabled. Cars that are involved in accidents will also need to be towed away because the vehicle has been damaged or the driver is unavailable.

However, before you start to worry about the transportation of your car, you need to consider your personal safety. If you are stuck on a busy road, you need to turn on your emergency blinkers before you exit the car. You should then step away from the car and to the side of the road before you call for help. If you can, you should place flares or warning markers at least 100 yards behind your car to warn oncoming drivers.

Tow Truck Safety

Tow truck operators will have to deal with many different conditions. The cars, trucks, and SUVs of today are more complicated than in the past and the tow truck operator needs to be aware of the differences. Fortunately, the AAA has created a manual of 350 pages for tow truck drivers which helps them manage the many situations they find themselves in as well as the vehicles they could work with.

The Towing Process

Hooking up the car and pulling it is no longer a safe towing process. When the tow truck arrives on the scene, they will need to follow the instructions in the manual regarding towing your vehicle. This is why you need to always contact a professional towing company.

The situation has changed because of the complexities in modern cars. The brakes, lights, and steering wheel could be affected when the engine is off. There are many stories of people being injured or killed while towing a vehicle. One instance occurred in Michigan where a helpful neighbor was killed by a flying chain which had broken loose from a snowbound vehicle.

Professional tow trucks will have blinkers, flashing lights, and other ways to warn oncoming vehicles of their presence. They can also use these features to alert drivers while they move along the road at a reduced speed.

Avoiding The Mechanical Dangers

There are some vehicles which have manuals which state that none of the wheels should be on the ground when the vehicle is being towed. This is due to the fact that the all-wheel-drive system can be seriously damaged when this happens. It is possible for the transaction or transmission to be completely ruined when the wheels are pulled behind the truck.

If you have one of these vehicles, they will need to be flat-bedded. The problem is that not all tow truck companies will have the capacity to offer this. This is something that you will have to check in advance and not when you need to be towed.

If you have a front or rear-wheel drive vehicle, the non-drive wheels may have to be the ones that are on the ground. A rear-wheel-drive vehicle will need to be towed backward.

Let Leahy’s Towing help you when you need assistance. Call us for more information, our service professionals are here to help.

Important Tips To Consider When Choosing The Right Towing Company

Important Tips To Consider When Choosing The Right Towing Company

Towing companies, just like any other services or organizations, are not created equal. There are various factors that needed to be taken into consideration such as the company’s reputation, experience in the industry, availability, training their employees have received and the location are just some of the main aspects that one has to carefully review when looking for a towing service.

There will come a point in our lives where we’ll need a towing service – it is inevitable. Your RV may break down, or your truck or sedan just won’t suddenly start and you’re away from home. Accidents may occur at any time in our life, or for whatever reason, you’re stuck somewhere and needs immediate assistance.

Planning Ahead Is The Best Way To Go

First and foremost, look for the available towing services in your area, or in those areas where you’ll be passing through. Check your route and familiarize yourself with the available companies that you can call just in case these problems may occur. Ideally, you may want to keep those companies’ phone numbers along with you because you’ll never know when you’ll need to call them.

When you’re traveling to another town or someplace far away from home, you must find a towing company that offers a 24-hour towing service. Again, save those numbers – either write it down or save it in your phonebook for easy access. Doing this helps you minimize the amount of stranded time since you have already done your research beforehand.

If you’re traveling to Harrisburg, Leahy’s Towing prides itself in offering 24-hour recovery and towing services, with only the best drivers with full certifications and training. They can handle various situations and types of vehicles.

Determining High-Quality Towing And Recovery Companies

Not everyone who’s offering towing services can properly address and help you with your situation. For instance, not all companies have the capacity to tow larger vehicles, while some others have limited location range. At times, we don’t know if the company can help secure and ensure the individuals’ safety, while some others only have business hours and are not available 24 hours a day.

It is important that you find someone who can take care of all of your needs, regardless of your situation and/or vehicle type. Also, it is crucial that you only hire a service that operates with fully licensed tow trucks. Their license number is usually displayed on the vehicle – and is a good way to determine the company’s capability. Never, under any circumstance, work with unmarked trucks – whether they’re unlicensed or no company logo displayed on their truck.

Driver Training

Another thing that you also have to take into consideration is the driver’s ability to handle special circumstances, including stressful ones. These people should have undergone licensing for HAZMAT conditions. Drivers in these towing companies should have also received special training to address emergency situations. Exams may vary from one state to another. For instance, a written exam is required in Colorado, followed by a driving and an operational test before they receive their certification.

Because of the proven track record and expertise in the field, Leahy’s Towing personnel are often times contacted by the authorities to handle emergency situations and are the trusted ones to help motorists with clearing vehicles, no matter what the time of the day or night it is.

Let Leahy’s Towing help you when you need assistance. Call us for more information, our service professionals are here to help.

Important Information About Having Your Vehicle Towed

Important Information About Having Your Vehicle Towed

At one point or another, you probably will find yourself in a situation where you need to have your vehicle towed. When unexpected problems occur, having a plan in place is the best option. That way, you can work with a towing company that not only provides fast service but that also has the right equipment for the job.

Step #1 – Plan Ahead

Towing companies typically provide service in areas that are located within about an hour of their home base. If you are going to be taking a long trip, it is a good idea to write down the contact information for reputable towing companies along the way.

Take a look at a map of the route that you plan to travel. Find cities or towns that are located about every 50 miles. Do a little bit of research for each of those towns to find the top-rated towing service. Make sure that they are licensed, insured, and certified. They should also provide 24-hour service. Put together a notebook that has the name of each company, their location, and their phone number. That way, you can quickly call for help if you need it anywhere along the way.

Step #2 – Get Out Of The Way

Regardless of whether your vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident, it is important for you and any passengers in your vehicle to move away from the road as quickly as possible. Getting out of the path of oncoming traffic is important for ensuring your safety.

Step #3 – Reach Out To The Towing Company

Use the information that you researched earlier to find the towing company that is located closest to your current location. Give them a call and let them know exactly what is going on. Provide them with details about your location as well as what happened to your vehicle. Be as accurate as possible. Not only will this allow them to get to you more quickly but it also will help them decide which equipment is required for the job.

Step #4 – Discuss The Pricing Ahead Of Time

While you have the towing service on the phone, discuss their payment policy. Ideally, the company will take cash or credit cards. Ask them to provide an estimate for how much the service will cost. That way, you can be sure that it will fit within your budget.

Step #5 – Decide Where You Want The Vehicle Towed

Oftentimes, towing companies will simply tow your vehicle to their lot. From there, you can tell them where you want to have it taken for repairs. If you know where you want to have the repairs done, however, you can have the company tow your vehicle directly to that location. Sending it straight to the repair shop rather than to the company’s lot will usually wind up costing less.

Let Leahy’s Towing help you when you need assistance. Call us for more information, our service professionals are here to help.

How Important Is Roadside Assistance?

How Important Is Roadside Assistance?

Roadside assistance can seem like an unnecessary expense until you find yourself in a situation where you need it. When something goes wrong and you are stranded on the side of the road, nothing feels better than being able to call for help.

When your car breaks down or you are involved in an accident, it can be quite scary. This is particularly true if you are stuck in a remote location with few vehicles passing by. Fortunately, if you have roadside assistance, you won’t have long to wait until help arrives. With the help of a qualified professional, you can quickly get your vehicle to a safe location so that you can figure out what steps to take next.

Roadside Assistant Clubs And Memberships

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you will never need roadside assistance. As it turns out, however, most people do at one point or another. Signing up for AAA or some other type of roadside assistance insurance can help offset the cost of having your vehicle towed if problems arise.

A good habit to get into is keeping the contact information of a local towing company handy, no matter where you go. If you are traveling in a large vehicle like an RV, it is important to remember that not every towing company has the equipment necessary to handle these vehicles. Before you leave on your trip, spend some time researching towing companies along the way so that you know which ones to contact if you need them.

Be Smart

If a warning light appears on your dashboard, it is usually best to pay attention to it. Avoid the temptation to keep driving until you get to a place where you can stop for help. If you drive your vehicle when it is overheating or when a warning light is flashing, it can wind up causing a significant amount of damage, leading to more costly repairs.

If you have a roadside assistance plan, the odds of you pulling off and playing it safe are much higher. Having your vehicle towed is the best way to avoid damaging it, which is why this is such a great option.

All that you have to do is find a safe place to pull over. You can then contact your roadside assistance provider for assistance the minute that you notice a problem.

If you do need to have your vehicle towed, consider reaching out to Leahy’s Towing. They not only can tow standard vehicles like cars and trucks but they can also deal with larger vehicles like motorhomes and tractor-trailers. They can even handle off-road recovery situations. The tow truck drivers are specially trained to deal with emergencies or hazmat situations.

One of Leahy’s Towing top priorities is to make sure that all of the people at the scene of the incident are safe and protected before dealing with the vehicles.

Let Leahy’s Towing help you when you need assistance. Call us for more information, our service professionals are here to help.

Are Tires Charged With Nitrogen A Good Idea?

Are Tires Charged With Nitrogen A Good Idea?

If you haven’t inflated the tires on your car in a while, and the overnight temperatures where you reside are now dipping into the 30s or lower, it is more than likely that each of your tires is under-inflated by around 6 pounds PSI (per square inch).

In general, air stored inside your tires will have a PSI that will either drop or rise by one pound with every 10 degrees fall or rise of the ambient temperature. Over time this pressurized air will also escape from the tires at a molecular level. Driving your car with tires that are under-inflated is associated with a number of risks that can include fuel efficiency that is lower, accelerated or uneven tire wear, and a reduction in safety, especially when you are carrying heavy loads. Under-inflated tires also increase your chances significantly of eventually having to make a call to tow companies such as Leahy’s Towing to ask for assistance.

What You Need To Know About Nitrogen

The air that you usually fill your tires with is associated with two primary virtues, which include low cost and wide availability. This compressed air is in fact already 78% nitrogen, which is described as a dry and inert gas. When performance tire dealerships or new car dealerships offer to fill your tires for free with nitrogen, what this actually means is that most of the remaining oxygen (about 21%) will be purged from the tires and then replaced with a nitrogen content that is higher, without having to use a specialized compressor.

The military, motorsports racing, and aircraft industries, typically use tires that are nitrogen charged, because they need tires that are free from oxygen. Oxygen carries water, is flammable, as well as molecular smaller when compared to nitrogen. This also makes it easier to escape passively from your tires. To condense this story, nitrogen provides a more stable and consistent inflation pressure when compared to standard compressed air.

What Does It Cost?

If you are similar to us, then the costs involved to inflate your tires will be a consideration. We have already seen these green-stem caps, and the cheapest price we have found for nitrogen fills is $6 per tire (before tax). Nitrogen will also leak out slowly and contract and expand according to the outside temperatures. So keep in mind that this is not one of those one-time expenses. After a number of refills, you could have already purchased your own small air-compressor.

If you contact our towing service company when you need roadside assistance, we will drive to you using standard compressed air. We suggest that the money you about to spend should rather go towards rotating the tires on your car when necessary as this provides a way for the tires to wear out more optimally along with offering you with improved traction over the long-run.

Let Leahy’s Towing help you when you need assistance. Call us for more information, our service professionals are here to help.

4 Ways To Avoid Danger In The Rain While Waiting For Roadside Assistance

4 Ways To Avoid Danger In The Rain While Waiting For Roadside Assistance

Are you having problems with precipitation? If so, you are not the only one. Even highly skilled drivers will have a hard time navigating in heavy rainfall. Roads are slick which makes it more likely to have collisions with objects and other vehicles or hydroplaning to occur. When the rain starts to accumulate, obstacles are created as it begins to morph into deep puddles of water. If it goes unnoticed, the impact with the pools may result in dangerous accidents, engine failure, and vehicle damage. When those incidents take place, how can you remain safe in hazardous environments while you are waiting for the towing company to get there?

4 Ways You Can Avoid The Dangers Of Rainy Day Roadside Assistance

The following tips for keeping safe on the roadside when it is raining are commonsense, however, in moments of panic they are often overlooked:

Remain a Safe Distance Away From The Traffic

It can feel overwhelming when you need to pull off a highway or interstate when something is wrong with your vehicle. The slick surface of the road requirements you to make adjustments to your braking in order to prevent hydroplaning from occurring, and for safety, it is also necessary to add extra space in between vehicles and drive at slower speeds. Having some extra space is particularly important when you are sitting on the side of the road in the rain waiting for help to arrive. Keep your truck and yourself a safe distance from the dangers posed by passing traffic while you are waiting for your heavy-duty towing service provider to arrive.

It is harder to see other vehicles in the rain, especially during strong storms. It is even worse at night. After you have pulled off of the road safely, make sure you are visible by turning your hazard lights on immediately while you are calling for help. Turn your sidelights on also at night, but avoid turning your full beams on since they may impair other drivers. Stay inside the cab if possible. If you are unable to do this, make sure to have a high-visibility vest packed, and put it on anytime you need to get out of your truck.

Keep The Hood Close

Heavy rains can cause excess moisture that may, in turn, cause electrical components and the engine to fail. Rather than trying to tinker around under your hood while it is raining, leave it closed and wait for a professional to determine what the problem is. Otherwise, you might end up adding a couple more.

After You Go For A Dive Don’t Try To Restart

Large amounts of water can accumulate on roads that are poorly designed when it rains. If your truck comes into contact with these pools of water (which often are deeper than they look), they may cause your engine to stall. When that happens, resist the urge of trying to restart your truck. It isn’t likely that will get you back o the road, and at the same time highly likely that it will cause your engine to lock up, and the infiltration of water can cause catastrophic damage to the valves and piston rods of your engine.

Let Leahy’s Towing help you when you need assistance. Call us for more information, our service professionals are here to help.