Author Archives: Pippin Towing & Recovery

Who to Call: Locked out of Car

What do you do at a time like this?

After a hard day at work or a busy day of shopping, what can be worse than getting to your car, only to discover you’re locked out of car? Maybe if it’s pouring down rain, snow, or at night would make it even worse. Either way, being locked out of car is a pain. If your keys aren’t in the ignition, then you’re wondering, “Where’s my car keys?”. 

Besides screaming to nobody in particular, some of may cry and kick the tires. It may not even be you that left the keys in the car or lost them altogether, causing you to be locked out of car. As a parent, I have firsthand experience in being locked out of car by one of my kids.  Just an FYI: Unless there is a child locked in the car, you won’t get any help from law enforcement.

Let’s take a few minutes from this nightmare scenario, and answer a few questions that you may, or maybe not, have thought about, like,” How do you open a car when the key is locked inside?” We offer you a few workarounds that will get to help you with what do you do if your locked out of your car:

  • Method One: A tennis ball – We don’t blame for being skeptical about this one, and it takes some prep time, so maybe have a tennis ball prepared and handy for future lock outs. Put a hole in a tennis ball then placing it over the keyhole, push on the ball. This forces air from the ball into the keyhole and should unlock the door.
  • Method Two: Shoelace – If you’re in a hurry, and most of us are when we’re in this predicament, this may not be the solution for you. Take your shoelace, make a small loop with it, and then  gently push it into a door. Work it to get that loop around the lock, then pull the lock up.
  • Method Three: A coat hanger – This method is for cars with horizontal locks. Take a wire coat hanger and untwist it so that you have a long wire. Make one end a hook and work that end into the car door. Wiggle it around until you have that hook around the lock then pull the lock up.
  • Method Four: Rod and screwdriver – This method could damage your car’s exterior or interior if you’re not careful. Take the screwdriver and make some space at the window top, then slide the rod in and push the lock open with the rod.
  • Method Five: A spatula – Insert the door lever and wedge open the door big enough to fit the spatula inside the door and lift the lock.
  • Method Six: An inflatable wedge – This is something you’ll want to buy at your local auto parts store, and it can be a little costly, but an investment if getting locked out of car is a common issue in your household. Using the same screwdriver method described above, but this devices uses air to open the door.
  • Method Seven: A strip of plastic – Bend the strip of plastic and insert in through the door jamb then lift the lock. Easy.
  • Method Eight: A lock picking tool – You can purchase these online and you can watch videos on how to use one.
  • Method Nine: Call locked out car service or the auto club – Either of these is a good option and they will have the skills and proper tools for getting you into your locked out of car.

How do I unlock my car door without a key?

If you have a newer model car, most of them have power locks with a remote controls that opens the door. An older car, and some lower priced newer cars, only open manually. With the manual lock,  some cars  have a locking handle on the windowsill with a knob on top – these are the easier ones to unlock using the methods we listed above.

Some of them, however, have a slim, straight handle. These were designed as anti-theft and unfortunately, if you have gotten locked out of car, it is going to be almost impossible to get inside without professional help. The same with cars that have the lock on the interior of the door, flush with the door handle.

panic at being locked out

How much is pop a lock for a car?

If you have to call a professional lockout service, aka, locksmith, you can expect to pay around $150.00. Some areas of the country maybe less than that, some are higher. This is why having an auto club service is a good idea. They offer a certain number of times per year where they don’t charge you to help you when you’re locked out of car, and the same with bringing you gas.

If you’ve lost your keys, and you’ve locked yourself out of your car,  do you know where to get car keys cut once you’re inside it again? If you have a spare key or somebody else has a key to your car, you can take it to any locksmith or anywhere that makes keys to get a copy made.

However, if your car key is a security key, meaning it has a chip inside that is just for your car, you’ll need to take it to a dealership or a locksmith that can duplicate the key and the chip. This type of key is called a key fob can cost as much as $150 or more, depending on the make and model of the car. Call __PHONE__ today fo your pop a lock needs in Festus, MO.

How long do tire changes take?

tires in a line

Is it OK to replace two tires at a time?

We know that in order for a vehicle to operate, it requires an engine, a transmission, and other components found under the hood or under the vehicle. There is one other thing it needs to help get down the road, or rather four other things, like tires. Because the tires take a lot of abuse, constant contact with the roads, they need maintenance too. This means keeping them aired and getting routine tire changes.

 Most tire service centers will recommend getting all four tire changes at the same time. However, they understand that there are times that the budget doesn’t have room, so, getting two tires one pay day and two the next pay day may be necessary. 

In the case of only getting two tire changes, it is recommended to have the new two tire changed place on the back axle. This will provide traction and increase the level of safety for your vehicle. 

With two rear tire changes, it your vehicle will have less chance of hydroplaning. With the two front tires remaining unchanged, there is a chance of them hydroplaning, but the vehicle will remain traveling straight, allowing you to keep control of the vehicle. The two rear tire changed to new tires will keep the rear of the vehicle stabilized. 

Is it OK to have mismatched tires?

Even though a vehicle can be operated with mismatched tire changes, but it isn’t recommended for several reasons: 

  • Tires do not wear at the same rate, even if all four of the tires are the same. 
  • Tire rotation can help minimize or slow down the wear to extend timeline for the next tire change.
  • With multiple brands, styles, types of tire on a  vehicle will not have the same results with an alignment or tire rotation.
  • Mismatched tires on a vehicle will have inflation issues.

A bigger problem will occur if you try to sell the vehicle with four tires mismatching. As a buyer, having multiple brands and styles of tires indicates that perhaps the owner doesn’t take care of the vehicle. As they say, always put your best foot forward, and the same is said when trying to sell a car. It is important to have all 4  tire changes match.       

Do you need an alignment after replacing tires?

Where you buy your tires and have the tire change service performed is likely to be a place that offers tire services and more. Among those services is wheel alignment, which the service technician will recommend be performed with your new tire change. 

 A wheel alignment with new tire changes isn’t necessary, but by having it done, you’re getting the most of your new tires. This will make sure that all four of your new tires are angled correctly to get the best traction possible. 

Having a wheel alignment with any issue with your tires, like a flat tire, or because a hard impact from hitting a bump or ditch is always recommended. In addition to new tire changes and tire repairs, a wheel alignment should be done once a year. This is especially so with the conditions of the roads today. 

What happens if you don’t align your tires?

If you choose to skip the recommended wheel alignment after having new tire changed, the ride may not be as smooth as you expect. Additionally, not getting a wheel alignment with your new tire changes, your new tires will wear unevenly and need replacing sooner than they would others. Skipping the wheel alignment could also void the warranty on your new tire change! 

balancing a wheel

How long can you drive on new tires without alignment?

Remember how your car drove and handled so perfectly when it was brand new? That is because the factory did a wheel alignment after install the tire changes. This made sure it was properly aligned the day you drove it off the dealer lot. 

Now, you’ve driven it several miles, and with each mile, the tires have worn and deteriorated a little bit, and so has the performance. Keeping the tire pressure evenly inflated every so often will help, but a wheel alignment will extend your tires lifespan. 

The frequency of your wheel alignment should be based on the mileage, not the time frame. Your driving style will also determine how frequent you should have a wheel alignment also. Your mechanic or the establishment that offers  tire services for a car can advise you best. 

At any time you feel your car isn’t handling and steering as well as it should, take it to any business offering tire services open closest to you.  Keeping your tires in good condition with proper inflammation and wheel alignment is important for the safety of your car and passengers. Call __PHONE__ today for tire service in Festus, MO.

Why do car batteries die in the winter?

car battery being tested

How do you keep a car battery from going flat in cold weather?        

Winter 2021 has taught us many things across the country, and one is taking care of the car battery. It can be a distraught time when the car won’t start, regardless of what day or time it is, but winter may be the worse time to realize your car battery is dead. 

A car battery does not like cold weather and the colder the temperature gets, the weaker the car battery will get, even a fully charged battery isn’t at 100% in cold weather. A half-charged battery can freeze at a temperature of ten below zero. So, can you winterize your battery? The following 5 steps are recommended by experts in the far north where winter is longer and colder than it is here in Missouri: .

  • Get your car battery checked: Before winter arrives, almost any auto parts store or repair shop will do a free battery check. This takes less than 30 minutes of your time, which is a lot less than when your car battery completely dies and you’re late for work waiting on a tow truck.
  • Drive daily for minimum 10 minutes: One way to prevent car battery problems is to drive the car every day, no less than 10 minutes. This will keep the cold temperature at bay as the engine warms up.  
  • Park your car inside: Parking your car inside the garage will protect it from the direct wind and freezing temperature. Where can you park to help protect your car battery? 
    • In a garage
    • In a parking garage with constant traffic
    • Close to heated equipment
    • Close to a warm building
    • Indirect sunlight
    • Any place that is warmer than in the shade or directs outdoors
  • Wrap a blanket around the car battery: The plastic case around a car battery provides some thermal protection along with the internal design and the material structure. Believe it or not, there are electric blankets specifically for a car battery. These corrosion-resistant heat blankets can be a lifesaver for any car battery and are available in stores and online. 
  • Charge with bigger than a trickle charger: It is essential to keep your car charged,” but when the temperatures are below zero, a trickle charger isn’t going to be enough. Can you leave a trickle charger on all winter?

There are trickle chargers that can be left on indefinitely, typically on a car that is stored. So, yes, you can leave a trickle charger on all winter, that is what they are for, if the car battery is in storage. It is recommended to check on the car battery and charger daily to make sure nothing is getting too hot. 

How do you warm up a car battery in cold weather?

Freezing cold weather is not good on a car battery, so preparing for winter before it arrives is always best for your home and your car. When the cold weather arrives though, what is the best process for the car battery when you start your car in the cold? 

  • Minimize the electrical drain: Ideally, when you park your car, make sure everything is turned off like the headlights, blower motor, radio, etc., and make sure all the doors are closed. 
  • Turn the key and hold for 10 seconds: After 10 seconds if the dashboard lights up, the car battery is charged. If you don’t get any response like lights or sounds, your car battery is not charging and needs a jump or replacement. 
  • Allow the car battery to recover: If the car doesn’t start after twenty seconds of trying, top and wait 2 minutes then try again. If the car battery still isn’t making any contact, it is time to call for a jump. 
  • Check the owner’s manual: Almost every car owner’s manual has a chapter on cold-starting the engine. 
  • For cars 1985 and older: Your car is carbureted so while the car is still parked, push on the gas pedal once and release. That push dispenses gas into the intake and gives the carburetor something to work with, easing the strain on the car battery.  

Is a car battery any good after it freezes?

Maybe, maybe not. You can thaw a frozen battery out and it will probably charge back up. However, it may start your car and it may not, or if it does start your car this time, it may not the next time.  The safest thing to do is get a new car battery installed. Go to a reputable auto parts store or retail store, or use your own mechanic, where you know these are people that know your car battery with fitting for your specific car. 

Mechanic testing failed car battery

How can you tell if your car battery needs replacing?

There are a few symptoms that are an indicator it is time for a new car battery without negative experience of it not starting one morning: 

  • Slow to Crank
  • Check Engine Light
  • Low Battery Fluid
  • Battery Case is Bloated or Swollen
  • Battery is Leaking
  • The Battery Is Older than 3 years 

As with a frozen battery, the same advice holds. Be on the safe side and get a new car battery if your current car battery is exhibiting any of these things. Call (636) 937-0797 today for your car battery jump needs in Festus, MO.

What is Light Duty Towing?

Couple near tow-truck picking up broken car

Learn More About Light Duty Towing

It can be a process to see what kind of towing you may need when you require transportation to and from a location. Depending on the capacity of materials that you need to be towed there will be different types of tow trucks that will be ideal to use. Consider light duty towing services when you know that you won’t require heavy-duty towing capabilities. If you’d like to know more details about towing services contact a qualified towing company for more information. Until then, here is some general background information regarding light duty towing that may be useful to you.

What is a light duty tow?

Light duty towing is similar to medium duty tow trucks and are equipped with modern wheel-systems that eliminate all contact between a tow truck and vehicles with the exception of the tire’s rubber on a given vehicle. This is due to the fact that light duty towing trucks will lift the vehicle off of the ground by securing the front two or back two wheels. Consider these options if you have a smaller vehicle or attachment that won’t require the use of larger tow trucks and equipment.

What is considered a medium duty tow?

A medium-duty tow will have a tow truck chassis that has a minimum gross vehicle weight (GVWR) rating of no less than 22,000 pounds. It will also have to have at least a twelve-ton boom assembly as rated by the truck’s manufacturer.

What is considered heavy towing?

Heavy-duty towing is ideal for weights of around 25 tons. Trucks used in these cases will have for example a six-ton wheel lift, a 25-ton boom lift or winch, both of which often are used for heavy-duty towing situations.

What is the difference between a tow truck and a wrecker?

A tow truck is a vehicle that can tow or haul a vehicle while a wrecker truck can recover vehicles and at times can tow a vehicle. A tow truck however will not be able to act as a wrecker truck. 

Light Duty Truck Towing Capacity

The heavier a vehicle is the more weight it technically is able to hold. With modern trucks and vehicles although they are lighter than before in design they can actually hold heavy loads as well. As far as the specifications of the wheelbase, the longer the distance between the front and rear axle then the safer it will be for towing. As of now, perhaps the best light-duty truck that can hold a maximum of 13,400 pounds is seen with the Chevrolet Silverado.

What happens if you tow over capacity?

If you happen to tow over capacity there can be a number of reactions that can be triggered such as tire failure from added weight, breaks starting to fade, and the engine overheating due to the extra work required to move. This will end up overloading the drivetrain and shortening the life of the transmission.

Will my insurance cover towing?

Most insurance policies won’t cover towing or they will cover towing up to a certain mileage amount. This will typically come with roadside assistance also known as towing and labor coverage which is typically an inexpensive add-on by major auto insurance companies. 

How much weight can a tow truck tow?

Depending on the size and type of the tow truck there will be different capacity caps for each. A medium-sized truck can take anything around 25,000 pounds for example. This includes such vehicles as buses, box trucks, most construction vehicles, and tow trucks themselves.

Do you have to be insured to be towed?

At times your car may be towed without connection to your insurance. As far as having your car towed, if you don’t have that covered by insurance then you

Tow truck with broken car on country road

What is the most fuel efficient vehicle for towing?

  • Chevrolet Silverado | 17 mpg | 13,400 lbs 
  • Ford Expedition | 19 mpg | 9,300 lbs 
  • GMC Canyon | 23 mpg | 7,700 lbs
  • Nissan Pathfinder | 23 mpg | 6,000 lbs
  • Ford Explorer | 24 mpg | 5,600 lbs
  • Kia Telluride | 21 mpg | 5,000 lbs
  • Honda Passport | 21 mpg | 5,000 lbs
  • Chrysler Pacifica | 22 mpg | 3,600 lbs
  • Toyota RAV4 | 27 mpg | 3,500 lbs
  • Subaru Outback | 26 mpg | 3,500 lbs

Contact Your Local Towing Company Regarding Light Duty Towing

If you’re in need of light duty towing services then reach out to your local towing company today. Light duty towing is a great way to transfer fairly lighter weights of materials, vehicles, or possessions in a more sustainable and safe way. It’s important to contact a professional about your towing needs in order to get the vehicle that will work best with your capacity load. If you have any questions or concerns then reach out to a knowledgeable towing representative for more information. Ease the process of transferring items with a reputable towing company today.

Get more information regarding light duty towing in Festus, MO by calling (636) 937-0797 with the experts at Pippin Towing & Recovery today!

Who do I call to pick up a junk car?

damanged and worn car

Getting rid of a junk car

There it sits, your non-running, totaled car that hasn’t been driven in years. The city has told you it is time to move it or they start fining you for every day it sits there, uninsured, and unregistered. You can’t find the title, so you can’t sell it, so what can you do with this junk car? Removal service maybe? Those companies that buy running or not a  junk car removal service that would haul it away. 

Your first question may be, “Can I junk a car that’s not in my name?” The short answer is, it depends. There are states where cars can be sold to junk car removal services without the title, so yes, it is possible. However, Missouri is not one of those states. While that wasn’t the answer you wanted to hear, but it is the law. So, what to do if you want to scrap your car? Is there a way to get junk car removal service done without having the car title in your name? 

In Missouri, and most other states, the opportunity that allows a junk car removal service to accept an abandoned vehicle or a vehicle without a title just isn’t possible. There are legal considerations for junk car towing companies, including buying and towing away a car without a bill of sale and proof of ownership.  The ‘junk yard’ business isn’t as simple as it may seem on the other side of those walls, and the first law not to be broken is to only deal with a junk car with title! 

If the title was ever in your name, there should be registration records with the state of Missouri. You will have to get a copy of that registration and with that, you can prove the car is yours to have junk car removal done. If registration can’t be found or proven, you can file for a duplicate or missing title with the state of Missouri. 

Is it better to scrap a car or donate it?

So, you need to do something with that old clunker in the driveway, is it better to handle it as a junk car or donate to an organization? Getting rid of a junk car, removal is the biggest challenge. If you have the title, in the state a Missouri, there are junk car removal services, aka, towing service, but that will usually cost you.  

No, they don’t do junk car removal for free, this is a business for them. Some will pay you for it if you do your own junk car removal and bring it to them. Otherwise, if they come to your house, you will be required to pay them for the service. 

Another option you have is to donate that clunker car to a charity. There are several in all states, and Missouri has several that junk car removal is a vital fund raiser for them. Like, Make A Wish or Vehicles For Veterans that have agreements in place with junk car removal services. These organizations are the only ones that benefit from this junk car removal service, there are several benefits for individuals that donate the cars and trucks too. 

  • Free Towing: If you call a junk car removal service, you’ll be required to pay for the towing of the vehicle, even if they are buying the car from you . However, when you donate a vehicle to a charity, these junk car removal services will pick up the vehicle for no charge and junk car removal service to haul it away for free. Why? Because they are getting a tax credit and you will too! 
  • Tax Deduction: Donations of junk car, removal for free isn’t all you’ll get from getting that old clunker out of your way. When you sign over the title to a charitable organization, they will put it up for auction. Once that vehicle has sold at auction or sent to recycle, you will get a receipt for a tax deductible donation.  Another option for your tax purpose may be to get a professional junk car estimate to use as a tax documentation for write off. 
  • Any Vehicle: What if this is a rusted and non-running junk car, removal by a charity is still a possibility? Yes, these organizations have arrangements with other services to buy non-running, rusted out vehicles as long as there are legal titles or proven legitimate ownership available. This includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, off-road and watercraft items, even boats and trailers.
  • The Space: Not only will you be getting rid of an eyesore but think of the space you’ll have in your driveway or garage with junk car removal?! A car or any type of vehicle as we listed above begin to take up viable space when they aren’t running and useable anymore. By donating them to a charity, you’re helping an organization and getting space back in your driveway or garage too. 
junk car with rust on body

When should I get rid of my old car?

Even a car that doesn’t run can still have some value. When your car has quit running though, how do you know to have the mechanic do their magic and getting it running again? Or is it time to all time of departure and sell it, but who is going to buy it? Or you could consider donating it? The question is when do you make these decisions? 

  1. Excessive Rusted Body
  2. Expensive and Extensive Repairs
  3. Non-Existing Safety Features
  4. Deteriorated
  5. No Need for The Vehicle 

Now you know when to get rid of an old clunker and how to get junk car removal service, your last question is probably, “What should I remove from my car before I scrap it?” A few items that we recommend are :

  • Remove all your personal items and property
  • Sign the title over
  • Remove the license plates
  • Remove the vehicle from your insurance policy

Do not leave anything of personal nature or with personal information in the vehicle. You know who you’ve donated or sold the vehicle to, but you don’t know where it is going from there. This includes any garage door openers or keys as well as anything with your name and address – remove these things first! Call (636) 937-0797 today for junk car removal in Festus, MO.

What Does a Winch Do?

winch on a pick up

What is a winch used for?

A winch is a device to haul or lift with a combination of a cable, chain, or rope that that winds horizontally around a drum as it is cranked by motor or manually. This is done by a piece of equipment that lifts something or someone up, which is referred to as  winch recovery

Winch recovery can be to winch survivors, human or animal, up from a mountain, rapid river waters, etc. More typically known is the winching of a vehicle, which is the direction we are going to take with this article. 

Winches aren’t new, they’ve been around for years, but to the common public, it isn’t part of everyday conversation. The term winch recovery is common among tow truck drivers and off-road drivers though. Tow truck drivers have a winch on the back of their truck and 4×4 off-road drivers will often have one on the front of their jeep or truck. 

Knowing how to winch a car and when to winch a car is a normal part of their day. If winch recovery isn’t done correctly, it can cause more damage to the vehicle being recovered as well as the recovery vehicle. Same when performing a winch recovery of an animal or human, one wrong movement can result in further injury or death. 

What is winching a car?

Winching a car is a winch recovery and towing that can be for a variety of reasons. Some winch recovery examples for cars or other vehicles would be: 

  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Abandoned vehicle
  • Illegally parked vehicle
  • Wrecks
  • Stuck vehicle
  • Bank Repossession

How strong winch do I need?

Electric winches are a fast-growing popular ‘tool’ ii the world of 4×4 off-roading and rock climbing. If you’re a newbie or a rookie at winch recovery, you may be confused and have some misconceptions that the winch capacity needed is directly proportional to a vehicle’s weight. 

The simplest way to advise and explain the needed capacity for winch recover is one and half times the gross weight of your vehicle. So, If your vehicle weighs 5,000 pounds, your winch recovery capacity should be 7,500 pounds. 

However, the strength isn’t the only consideration for successful winch recovery. For an electric winch that is rated for 10,000 pounds, it is not always going to have pull power at 10,000 pounds. Each winch has a designated capacity based upon one layer of winch cable. 

So, if your electric winch has more than one or two complete layers of winching cable wound around the drum, it lowers the gear ratio, and the more layers, there is a decrease in the pull power. The pull power is also affected by the length of the cable, chain, or rope you’re  using too. 

When too much cable, chain, or rope is spooled out, it can get bunched up, damaged, or snagged during the pulling process. One hundred feet is a standard length, keeping some spare extension cable, chain, or rope in case you encounter a longer winch recovery distance.

During the winching, it is important that the winch cable, chain, or rope is kept straight through the fairlead and wraps linearly and smoothly around the winch drum. An angle feed can cause an uneven layer of the winching medium and affect the performance of the winch. 

What is better for a winch rope or cable?

In the world of off-roading and rock climbing, a polyethylene, synthetic rope is considered by the experts to be the safer option over a steel cable. The polyethylene, synthetic rope medium for winch recovery  is mandated by most sanctioned off-road events. 

Why the polyethylene, synthetic rope  instead of a steel cable? The rope is significantly lighter weight compared to a steel cable; Therefore, it doesn’t store as much energy and is less likely to become a projectile if it were to break, causing more damage or injuring anyone, or worse, cause death.

Winch on a jeep

Is synthetic winch rope worth it?

Winching isn’t something that an off-roader, vehicle rock climber wants to do, well, yeah, it kinda is, but …. Anyway.  When you are doing a winch recover, you need a winch you can depend on. You need a controllable, precise, and safe winch, and that is the synthetic winch rope.

When a  synthetic rope is under load, it weighs lighter and has less kinetic energy. So, if it breaks, the kinetic energy is released and less likely to cause damage to either vehicle, other nearby things, or humans. So, yes, a synthetic winch rope is worthwhile and as we stated earlier, it has become mandated in many sanctioned events. 

No matter the circumstances requiring a winch recovery, safety is the first priority. Common sense creates safety, and these are basic safety rules and tips: 

  • Never use a winch to hoist animals or humans unless it is specified for that purpose.
  • Always wear gloves while operating a winch.
  • Keep hands clear of the winch during operation.
  • When using a wire rope, some over the rope like a blanket or towel so if can break the whipping effect from the kinetic energy should the rope break.

Need help with winch recovery? Call us today at __PHONE__!

Who Pays for Roadside Assistance?

Person staring at broken down engine

When your car breaks down

What is roadside assistance? It is peace of mind! Especially if you’re on the road a lot and don’t know a thing about vehicles, like changing tires or jumping a battery off. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can get hurt and damage the vehicle. Roadside assistance gets you an experienced, knowledgeable person with the proper equipment and tools. Including putting a little bit of gas in your vehicle to get you the gas station! 

Anyone that asks, “Do you really need roadside assistance?” must be a mechanic or never has broken down before. Roadside assistance may be the next best thing to sliced bread! A broke down vehicle can be aggravating, inconvenient, and scary. 

The first issue you have to deal with is traffic. It seems like we’re all driving at warp speed while on cell phones, not paying attention. The second issue is not being mechanically inclined or not having the tools and any knowledge of vehicles. That is why roadside assistance is an excellent service!  

What is included in roadside assistance?

Generally, roadside assistance brings a service professional to you to make minor mechanical adjustments or repairs that will get you back on the road. Some of the reasons that you may need roadside assistance would be: 

  • Battery jump-start: If your vehicle doesn’t start, the roadside assistance service professional will attempt to start it by jump-starting the battery. There may be an exception to some vehicles. For example, an electric car has to be serviced differently. 
  • Flat tires: The roadside assistance professional will remove the flat tire and install the spare tire.  
  • Lockout: Keys get locked inside vehicles every day! If you’ve never had that happen, you’re the rare person. The roadside assistance service professional has equipment and tools that enable them to enter most vehicles. Sometimes, they aren’t able to do this, though, and that is when they call a locksmith service.
  • Fuel delivery: Just like keys getting locked in a vehicle, people run out of gas every day. Maybe you didn’t have enough to get to the gas station. Or maybe your gas gauge is working correctly. A roadside assistance service professional will bring you a couple of gallons that should be enough to get you to the gas station.
  • Winching Service: When a vehicle gets stuck in the mud, a roadside assistance service professional will arrive in a wrecker with a winch and pull the vehicle out to the road. 
  • Towing: If the roadside assistance service professional isn’t able to get your vehicle back on the road, they will have the vehicle towed to a location you request. There is confusion between roadside assistance vs towing, and perhaps because roadside assistance does both in most cases. You can call a wrecker service to tow your vehicle, but that doesn’t mean the wrecker driver can make any adjustments or repairs. A roadside assistance service is usually a person in a wrecker that can adjust or repair, or if needed, tow your vehicle. 

What is the best roadside assistance?

If you don’t already have a roadside assistance plan, it may be something to consider. However, if you have a new car, it probably came with a roadside assistance service, or you may have added an extended warranty to have the service. If you are thinking about taking out a roadside assistance plan, which one is the best? Well, that can depend on you, your possible roadside assistance needs, and your budget. 

 If there are multiple cars in your household, a full-service plan like AAA, Better World Club, or National General Motor Club would be the better choice. A household with several drivers and cars, Good Sam Roadside Assistance, is a reasonably priced plan that takes care of every driver in your household. 

If you travel a lot by vehicle for pleasure or work, choose a plan that has a generous towing allowance and benefits like trip-interruption reimbursement. No matter which roadside assistance service you choose, read the fine print! Each company is different, so don’t assume they’re all alike. 

car being towed

How to get roadside assistance if you don’t have it?

Can you call AAA if you aren’t a member? To get roadside assistance, call any of the companies we mentioned above and do your own research too. Call your auto insurance carrier and ask if they have any roadside assistance service you can add to your policy. When it comes to AAA, well, it is a membership roadside assistance club, people pay a monthly or annual fee for this service. In addition to their roadside assistance, AAA offer members other benefits too. 

So, can just anyone call them? Well, sure. Are you going to get top rated service if you’re not a member? You’ll friendly, professional help, but you’ll like to get a sales pitch too. Because you’re not a member, you’ll have to pay for whatever service they send to you, whereas a member will get many of those services for free. Call __PHONE__ today for help with roadside assistance!

How long does it take to unlock a car?

Car door locked trying handle

Unlocking your vehicle

Have you ever had that frustrating and sinking feeling of realizing you’ve locked yourself out of your car? Maybe you were running late and as you were grabbing your briefcase, purse, and other things, they fell out your hands on the seat.  Just as you shut the door, you see them.  As you moan (or scream loudly), realizing you can’t unlock car without those keys, what is going through your head? 

There are few people that can say that has never happened to them. They’ve at least been with somebody that has happened to. What do you do next when you can’t unlock car door? You need to unlock car, company that does this type of thing, like a locksmith or an auto club? 

You’ve heard people talk about getting into their car when it’s locked without the keys. Maybe somebody left and took their keys with them, or locked them in the car, or simply can’t find them. There are a dozen reasons that somebody can’t unlock car of theirs, and there are just as many ways to get into a car without unlock car. 

How do you unlock a car door with a shoelace?

Or can you? This little-known trick won’t work on every vehicle and is most likely going to work on an older car before a newer one, but it worth trying to unlock car that belongs to you. Take a shoelace and create a slip knot, insert the slip knot end of the lace into the top right corner of the vehicle door. Wiggle it down the window on the inside of the door and place the slip knot over the door lock knob. Now pull the other end of the shoelace, tightening the knot and pull up the knob and unlock car. 

The reason this doesn’t work on newer vehicles is because they have power locks, meaning they are unlocked by pushing a button inside the car, or on the remote. There is nothing sticking up like a lock hand that is common in older cars. Unfortunately, you can’t unlock car with remote if the remote is locked in the car! So … 

How do you unlock your car with keys inside?

One of life’s most frustrating things is being locked of your car. What can be more frustrating is you can see the keys inside your car, especially if you’re in a hurry! What should you do? If you have membership, all the auto club. If you can afford it, call a professional locksmith. If those aren’t an option, perhaps you can unlock car using one of these methods, if the above shoelace trick didn’t work: 

  • A Long Rod: Using a long rod, pry the top of the car door open and place a wooden wedge in that opened area. Now pumping air into that opened part of the door, as it opens further, slide the long rod into that gap until it reached the locking mechanism and unlock car. 
  • A Plastic Strip: If the locking mechanism of your car is at the top of the door, using a long strip of plastic folded in half, slide into the pried open door. When it gets to the lock, loop the plastic around the lock knob, squeeze to so that grabs a hold of it and pull upward.  
  • A Coat Hanger: The tool that is designed specifically to unlock car without a key or remote is a ‘slim jim’. When you don’t have one, a common method used to unlock car doors is a wire coat hanger. A wire coat hanger is a makeshift version of a slim jim and has a good success rate of unlock car doors with manual locks. Straighten the wire coat hanger out with a pair of pliers until one end of it is straight, leaving the one hook end intact.  Sliding the hook end of the hanger in between the top of the car window and either the top of the window or at the weather stripping, get the hook so that is approximately two inches below where the car door meets the window. This should have your hook end hanger near the interior door handle where the control arm is located. Now, while rotating the hanger, get the hook facing the inside and begin to “fish” for the control arm. Once you’ve got to that arm, pull it up and unlock car door. 
  • Car Antenna: This works for older cars that have the lock/unlock button on the arm of the door, your car antenna could be your “key” to unlocking the door. Sticking the antenna down between the window top and door frame, aim for the lock button. Once you get there, push the unlock with the antenna. 
  • Windshield Wiper: Remove one of the wipers from your car and wedge open the door. Now push the wiper into the inside of the car and try to grab the keys with it (this will work if the keys are in the seat), bringing the keys to the top of the window where you can get them. Or use it to push the lock button the door arm or door panel to unlock car doors. 

Do police charge to unlock your car? 

Only if there is a child locked inside the car. Contrary to what many people believe, law enforcement do not have slim jim or other proper tools to unlock car doors. If a child is locked inside the car, when they arrive, they typically break the window so they can reach inside and unlock car door. 

How long does it take to unlock a car? 

For a professional locksmith that is fully equipped with the tools, they can unlock car doors within five minutes or less. A car with a complexed lock system and security could take longer. 

got keys out of locked car

Can someone break into a locked car? 

If you think about it, a thief can break into a locked car using any of the methods we’ve described here. They can also use a brick or rock to break a window.  The technically savvy car thief will use any of the following to unlock car doors and ignition: 

  • Signal relayed: A thief will use the simple technology of seizing the unique signal emitted from your car keys using a wireless transmitter to the front door or window. This makes your car think there is a key close by and automatically unlock car door. 
  • Signal jammed: Jamming the signal is another technique by thieves that will stop the owner of a car from locking their car by using a device similar to the one mentioned above.   
  • Program the Key: Once a thief has gained access inside your car, they have to get it started, but without the key, they can’t. The tech savvy criminal can access the software of your car’s computer by plugging in a small device into a port in the footwell and program a blank key fob. 

So, we have told you ways to unlock car doors when you’ve locked your keys inside, but will car unlock if the battery is dead?  This pertains to cars with a remote key fob, a great thing these days, until they don’t work. So, what can you do if the FOB is dead?  Replacing the batteries is the first step. 

Most car manufacturers today have a service to unlock car door by remote if you have set up the pin for that access.  If not, some manufacturers have roadside assistance for their customers. 

If that isn’t an option, hold the dead fob at the door handle and pull. There may be just enough power left in the FOB battery to unlock car door at that proximity. Some car manufacturers have a mechanical key built into the FOB too. Call __PHONE__ today for all of your car unlock needs in Festus, MO.

What is heavy duty towing?

heavy duty towing

What is Considered a Heavy Duty Tow?

Heavy duty towing is the use of the largest tow trucks a towing company like Pippin Towing & Recovery has to move heavy equipment and vehicles. While some states differ when it comes to normal towing, federal law dictates that a person needs to have proper licensing before being able to commit to heavy duty towing. When driving more than a short distance, the driver will need CDL (commercial driver’s license) before getting behind the wheel. When hooking up the charge to a heavy duty tow truck, the job tends to take more than one person, being considered unsafe to do alone. The reason is that such vehicles this specific type of tow truck can carry include:

  • Garbage trucks
  • Semi trucks
  • Trailers
  • Big rigs
  • Bobtails

Being in an extreme category, these vehicles require special attention when the service of heavy duty towing is applied. While a professional must be careful when driving normal tow trucks, the level of care is far more when applied to heavy duty towing. This is because like all vehicles that carry a significant load, movements are more pronounced and it is imperative that more time is applied for stopping. So instead of getting your CDL, which requires multiple tests and a hefty amount of paperwork, why not trust the professionals at Pippin Towing & Recovery in Festus, MO. We offer several towing services, which include heavy duty towing for equipment and vehicles. Call __PHONE__ today to schedule your appointment for heavy duty towing.

What are the different types of tow trucks?

When it comes to tow trucks, there are different types designated by the different weights they can carry. As you’ve probably seen, most tow trucks are not exactly built for heavy-duty towing, but instead for cars one would generally find in an urban setting. The heavy-duty trucks are sent out for the mentioned list above, generally to remove equipment and transport it somewhere else or to recover a big rig or larger vehicle stuck on the road. Here are the different weight classes for tow trucks:

  • Light-duty tow truck
  • Medium-duty tow truck
  • Heavy-duty tow truck

Normally, most people will see the light-duty tow truck, which carries passenger vehicle trailers, and motorcycles. They have a limited carrying capacity compared to the other two and is far better at making turns as well as maneuvering. Medium duty works for farming equipment, automatic trailers, low-profile trailers, and the general like. The heavy-duty two truck has been mentioned above, but for all of their pulling strength, they have little capability in maneuverability. The light and medium duty tow trucks can be found in urban areas whereas the heavy tow trucks are not as common due to being too bulky. There are also different kinds of tow trucks in the two systems they use which are:

  • Wheel lift
  • Hook and Chain
  • Flatbed

While the wheel lift moves the towed vehicle by the front or back tires, used for smaller vehicles. Flatbeds, which can have hook and chains, move vehicles by securing it to a large surface on the back of a truck. These three come with harnesses and systems that keep the towed vehicles secured during transport.

What is the Difference Between a Wrecker and a tow Bruck?

Other than professionally, a wrecker and a tow truck driver are technically two different occupations. While a person can be both, a tow truck driver typically does not commit to repairs and the wrecker does. Both tow vehicles, but the wrecker is the only one that is known to fix the vehicle outright on the spot or bring it somewhere to fix. Both professions use tow trucks and are required to have licensing to do their jobs. Tow truck drivers specifically move vehicles that are illegally parked, either by request of law enforcement or property owners whereas a wrecker is not known to do that.

For clarification, the United States Department of Transportation requires a CDL when someone is driving a vehicle that is carrying weight amounting to over 26,000 pounds or 11793 kilograms.

heavy duty towing

Why is towing so expensive?

Towing prices tend to be built up through three factors:

  • Labor
  • Fuel
  • Insurance costs

While some companies may allow you to negotiate the cost, it is common for there to be a set price with most. The labor that is included with towing tends to be built through training and experience plus licensing. A normal person is not necessarily able to commit to tow even with the equipment for safety and legal reasons. Depending on the time of year, a tow will be more or less expensive depending on how high the gas price is. Tow companies are required to have more liability insurance due to the line of work. However, when it comes to being moved for parking illegally, the cost of the tow does factor into the ticket. However, in the case of heavy-duty towing, it is common for the need to be because of a vehicle is stranded and cannot be moved by any traditional means. When you need towing services by Pippin Towing & Recovery in Festus, MO call __PHONE__ to schedule your appointment today.

How can I start my car with a dead battery?

battery getting a jump

Getting your car running

For a car engine to start, it needs a battery that powers the electrical components. Sometimes, there is a variety of reasons why a battery won’t work. It can be anything from the battery is drained because you left the lights on to the battery is old and needs replacing. Many times, when it won’t work, you can jump start car to give the battery the power it needs.

To jump start for cars, you can do it a couple of different ways, either jump start or a new battery installed:

  1. Using jumper cables, connect the dead battery to a good battery and jump start car with the good battery then let it run for a short time to charge the dead battery.
  2. You can jump start with a battery charger after letting the battery sit on the charger for a short time.
  3. Use a charged jump start box that will give the battery enough charge to jump start a car. 

How long does it take to jump start a car?

If there is nothing severely wrong with the car battery, you can jump start car run after starting it with either a battery charger, jump start box, or jump start with cables from a running car. After 15 minutes of running connected to any of those options, it should start on its own.

Can you ruin your car by giving someone a jump start?

Absolutely, yes you can! There is jump start car damage, and it is a real thing. However, it isn’t a cut and dry situation. The likelihood of jump start car causing damage to the good car and battery is more complicated.

First, the age of the two cars is a factor. Newer cars are computerized and doing a jump start car incorrectly can fry the computer out, especially if the dead battery is dead. On an older car, a jump start car process can blow the fuses of the good battery car.

Is it OK to jump start modern cars?

A standard in every car, or should be, has always been a set of jumper cables. Whether your car needed a jump start or a car near you did, having jumper cables could save the day. From the year 2000, cars now come with not just one computer, but several computers and digital devices, so the jump start car process we’ve used for years can damage a car – the one doing the jumping-off or the one needing the jumping off. 

What should you not do when jumping a car?

Modern cars with a dead battery require new equipment and new techniques to safely jump-start them. If you don’t have the right equipment and you don’t know the new technique, what are the do’s and don’ts of jump start cars?

The “Do’s” to jump start cars

  • Read the owner’s manual and confirm if there are jumpstart lugs to attach the cables and not the battery terminals. There are some cars that will void the warranty when it has been jump-started. Read the owner’s manual.
  • Verify the battery voltage of the vehicle that is doing the jumping. If the two cars have different voltage, it can damage both cars.
  • Park close enough to each other so that the jumper cables reach without touching.
  • Turn the motor off to the car with the charged battery, put emergency brakes on both cars.
  • Unplug all accessories like chargers so they aren’t shorted out and turn off headlights, hazard lights, blinkers, radio, air conditioning, etc.
  • Wearing gloves and goggles is recommended.

The “Don’ts” to jump start cars

  • Do not lean directly over either car’s battery.
  • Do not smoke while jump starts cars.
  • If fluids are frozen in a car, do not jump start car. This can cause a car engine to explode.
  • Do not jump start car battery that has a crack or leak.
batteries on store shelves

How long before car battery dies?

With a brand-new battery, you can park your car for two weeks and the battery should still have ample charge. You should turn any energy-using devices off or unplugged before leaving your car sitting that long. If the car will sit a year or longer, disconnect the battery completely, and if it will sit at 25°c temperature or colder, the battery should be removed and taken indoors, but not near any heat like appliances or radiators. 

A car needs an engine and a transmission. A car needs a steering wheel and tires. A car also needs a battery or none of those things are going anywhere. Take care of the battery according to the car manufacturer or the battery manufacturer instructions, and your battery should last for a minimum of two years, on the average five years.

Has your battery gone dead? Need to jump start your car in Festus, MO? Call (636) 937-0797 today!