Maintenance Checks to Avoid Needing a Tow

As tow truck drivers, we often get to meet our customers when they’re in the middle of a bad day. Breakdowns always seem to happen at the worst time, like when you’re already running late for work. If you don’t want to find your car on the back of a tow truck, then prevention really is the best medicine. Even though modern cars are very reliable, owners should always make sure they’re staying on top of the service schedule and keeping an eye on the car in between. If you want to avoid needing a tow, make it a habit to regularly check these simple maintenance items.

Harveys Towing - tow truck with car wreck

Check Your Tyres

Tyre failures are one of the leading causes of accidents and breakdowns on Australian roads. Tyres have a huge impact on things like fuel efficiency, handling and braking times. To avoid needing a tow, make sure you keep an eye on the condition of your tyres. You need to check:

  • Tyre pressures. It’s normal for tyres to lose a small amount of pressure over time, so pressures need to be checked every few months.
  • Tread wear. Tyre tread is designed to keep you safe on the road. Queensland legislation requires that tyres have at least 1.5mm of useable tread depth.
  • Age. The tyres on your car should be replaced every 5-10 years, regardless of tread wear.

Inspect Your Oil

This is a simple check that far too many people skip! Make it a regular part of your driving experience to peek into the engine bay and check the engine oil. You simply need to pull the dipstick out of the engine and compare the oil level to the indicator on the stick. It’s normal for some cars to use small amounts of oil as a normal part of driving, so it’s important to make sure your engine is always topped up with the oil specified by the carmaker.

If you’re happy that there’s enough oil in the system, wipe the dipstick off on a piece of paper towel. The oil that you wipe off shouldn’t be too black. The closer the oil is to amber or brown, the cleaner it is.

Make Sure Your Brakes are in Good Condition

The braking system is one of the hardest working parts of your car. Maintenance checks should always include inspecting your brakes to make sure everything is in order. Make sure to inspect the whole system:

  • Brake discs. Brake discs should look nice and smooth. Speak to your mechanic if you notice large grooves or pitting in the disc.
  • Brake pads. If your car shakes or the brakes squeal when braking, you could be due to replace the pads.
  • Brake fluid. Brake fluid lives in a little plastic bottle in the engine bay. Simply make sure the fluid reaches the minimum level and that it doesn’t look too cloudy.

Check Your Coolant

Brisbane is one of the hottest parts of the country. That means our cars have enough trouble staying cool without adding poor maintenance into the mix. Checking your coolant levels is a central part of your regular checklist.

Wait until the car is completely cold. Unscrew the cap on the radiator or coolant tank. The coolant inside should be red or green and look relatively clean. If you ever need to top up the coolant level, it needs to be done with a mix of demineralised water and coolant that’s the same colour as your existing fluid.

Has Your Car Broken Down? Call Harvey’s Towing For Help

No matter how well you look after your car, breakdowns still happen. If you’ve found yourself standing on the side of the road then give Harvey’s Towing a ring. We’ll send a truck to meet you as soon as possible. Our accident and breakdown service includes 24/7 towing. Our drivers can be there when you need help, and they’ll make sure your car gets home or to the mechanic safely. Get in touch with us online for more information on our services or call us on (07) 3297 0911 if you need a tow!