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Common Car Breakdown Problems

Woman Standing Before a Car with the Hood Raised and Smoke Rising from the Engine.

If a Vehicle Is Not Properly Maintained, Car Problems Can Land the Driver on the Side of the Road.

Most drivers reach the point where they can pilot their vehicles with little conscious thought.  However, to protect both yourself and others on the road, you should always pay close attention to the both the function of your vehicle and its repair needs. A car is not only a powerful force with the potential to cause major harm to others; it’s also a complex machine with extensive inter-connectivity between a slew of parts and processes. The smooth consistency of a modern vehicle’s operation can often belie its intricacy, along with its tendency toward certain car problems.

At Pippin Towing & Recovery, we’ve seen and serviced practically any car trouble you can imagine. Regular service represents the secret to avoid roadside breakdowns and preserve your vehicle from destructive problems. As car problems persist undetected, they will steadily worsen and create the need for additional, more extensive repairs. If a driver can remain attentive to the indicators of trouble, he or she can both save money and prolong the life of their car. Below, you will find a list of common car issues and their signals for repair. If you catch these signs early, you can receive the preventative maintenance that averts roadside breakdowns.

Common Car Problems

There exist two general types of car problems: relatively simple issues that nevertheless lead to roadside breakdowns; and the complex mechanical troubles that can kill a car for good. For the first group, simple maintenance practices on the part of the owner can prevent their occurrence. As for the second group, you’ll need to recognize the signs for repair, and have it performed as quickly as possible.

Common Reasons for Roadside Breakdowns

  • Out of Gas: Of all the car problems you might encounter, this one has the easiest solution. Never allow your car to fall below a quarter-tank of fuel, and you’ll avoid any long treks to a gas station.
  • Flat Tire: Sometimes, cruel fate leaves a nail or screw squarely in the path of your vehicle. While you can’t avoid every flat tire, you can check the status of your treads and maintain the recommended tire pressure.
  • Engine Trouble: Though a broad category that covers many possible issues, most engine troubles share a primary and early symptom. Keep an eye on your gas mileage. If it ever starts to decrease, it signals that your engine is using more fuel to struggle through some issue.
  • Dead Battery: Many drivers take their batteries for granted, and forget that they only last for around three years. If your headlights seem dim, or your power windows begin to operate sluggishly, have your battery changed.
  • Lockout: Though everyone’s done it at least once, the commonness of this issue makes it nonetheless embarrassing. Always keep a spare set of keys in your home. If you plan to take a trip with a friend or partner, let them carry the extra set.

Common Questions About Major Car Problems

A Mechanic Inspecting the Underside of a Vehicle.

If You Ever Notice Worrisome Symptoms, Engage a Trusted Mechanic for Help with Your Car.

At Pippin Towing & Recovery, we strive to keep our customers informed about their vehicles. We never recommend extraneous services, and explain the procedures and necessity of every repair or service we provide. As seasoned mechanics, we find ourselves addressing the same questions and concerns on a regular basis. The following represent the most common questions that vehicles owners have about major car problems.

What Can Cause a Car to Break Down?

Common mechanical problems that lead to break downs include alternator issues, failed starter motors, broken clutch cables, deteriorated high tension leads, and transmission trouble.

How Do You Diagnose Car Problems?

  • Alternator Issues: Your car may struggle to start, or your headlights may seem dim.
  • Starter Motor: Odd sounds such as whines and grinding noises when you start your car indicate a failing starter motor. You may also see smoke, in which case you should stop trying to start your car, and instead call for a tow.
  • Broken Clutch Cable: Drivers with manual transmissions become pretty familiar with the sounds and feel of  proper operation. If you ever notice a different “feel” to the clutch pedal, take your vehicle in for service.
  • HT Leads: These carry high voltage to your spark plugs. If they begin to deteriorate, you car will start poorly, as if the effort to operate is too much to handle.
  • Transmission Troubles: Most transmission issues begin with “slipping”. This is commonly indicated through a jerk when you change gears.

What Is a Diagnostic for a Car?

Car electrical problems notwithstanding, the computerization of a vehicle’s operation makes it easy for technicians to detect latent issues. A diagnostic is simply a software-enabled review of your car’s operation.

How Can You Prevent Car Problems?

Quite simply, get your oil changed at a shop that will also check your fluid levels, and take your car in for every round of scheduled maintenance. Preventative maintenance like this will spare you any number of car problems, and prolong the life of your vehicle.

Who Do You Call When Your Car Breaks Down?

Roadside assistance is a highly worthwhile service, the value of which you cannot fully appreciate until your car suddenly stops on some lonely, deserted highway. If your car breaks down, and you have roadside assistance, call that number first. If you do not have roadside assistance, use a data-enabled smartphone to locate the nearest towing service. If you cannot do this, call 411 and ask for a towing service.

How Roadside Assistance Works

Practically everyone will at some point find themselves in need of roadside assistance. Whomever provides your coverage has partnered with a network of service providers, including locksmiths and towing companies, who can help with a wide range of car issues. When you call the number, your roadside assistance company determines the closest provider of your needed service, and dispatches them to your aid. Roadside assistance covers a host of common problems, including flat tires, towing, jump-starts, fuel delivery, lost or locked-in keys, and, if your car is stuck in the mud or a ditch, extrication services.

Reach Out to Our Team Today

Whether you  have a minor need like an oil change, or require service for major car trouble, Pippin Towing & Recovery is the choice for car problems in Festus, MO. If you’ve detected indications of any of the problems described above, we offer a trusted, affordable solution. To learn more or schedule service, give us a call today at __PHONE__.

What Can a Flatbed Tow Truck Tow?

car secured on flatbed tow truck

Cars Are Safer When Towed With A Flatbed Tow Truck

Nobody wants to have to deal with a broken down car. Should it happen, it’s good to know that there’s plenty of towing options to choose from! From 4×4 to motorhome and semi truck towing, there is a tow truck service available for just about anything! One of the most versatile towing services is the flatbed tow truck.

This is a car with a long flat bed that tows the car atop it instead of dragging it behind like regular tow trucks. This is beneficial for completely totaled cars or cars with flat tires that cannot be dragged. Functioning tires are needed with regular tow trucks in order to be dragged behind. Should you ever get a flat tire and don’t have a spare, you can call Pippin Towing & Recovery at (636) 937-0797 for flatbed towing in Festus, MO! We can take your car to the nearest auto shop for Keystone Tire replacement.

Should You Use a Flatbed Tow Truck?

  • If you are traveling long distance, use a flatbed truck so your tires aren’t completely shredded.
  • Totaled cars can’t be towed by regular dolly towing trucks, so they are placed in the flatbed tow truck.
  • Vintage cars are a source of pride and joy to car owners. If you are bringing it to a car show, using a flatbed tow truck can save your car from any damages and keep it covered.
  • Any shape and type of car be towed in a flatbed truck. From SUVs to compact cars and motorcycles, no other tow truck can tow as many car options.
  • Going over a bumpy road with a dolly tow truck can inflict more damage on a car. That won’t happen with a flatbed tow truck.

What is Roadside Assistance and What Does it Cover?

It is never fun to break down on the side of the road and not have the skills or parts to be able to fix your car. That is why roadside assistance was invented! This service partners with your car insurance to provide emergency simple car repairs for free or low fees. Things like towing, tire changing, battery jump starting, locksmith, and more are included with roadside assistance. If you are stranded and need the best roadside assistance in Festus, we are the towing company to call!

What Are the Benefits of Roadside Assistance?

A lot of towing companies will tow your car the first five miles for free. That is fine if the nearest repair shop is within that distance, but then the bill starts adding up when they charge $3 per mile, plus the set base fee. With the best roadside assistance, you can get up to 15 miles free included with your insurance. Don’t rely on these benefits too much though, and be sure to take care of your car. Routine factory maintenance of your car can prevent you from ever having to use roadside assistance because it broke down.

Roadside Assistance Perks

  • Delivering gas when tank is empty
  • Jump start your dead battery
  • Towing
  • Lockout service
  • Replacing a flat tire using your spare
  • Extraction from a ditch

Here at Pippin Towing & Recovery, we offer the best roadside assistance in Festus, MO along with other car maintenance services like towing, tire changing and jump start services. Call us today at (636) 937-0797.

For the Best Roadside Assistance In This Area, Call Our Towers Today!

Avoiding Roadside Emergencies – 3 Smart Driver Habits

Roadside Emergencies

Many Roadside Emergencies are Preventable.

Roadside emergencies can be scary stuff. Most drivers will at experience at least one roadside crisis during their lifetime. Thankfully, there are simple ways to greatly reduce your changes of ending up in one. To protect yourself while you’re on the road, try adopting these three easy driver habits!


Driving Habit #1: Check Your Tires

As we mentioned in a previous post, checking the condition of your tires on a regular basis is a critical part of protecting yourself on the road. That includes looking over your tread (making sure it isn’t too worn), watching out for cracks and bulges in the sidewall, and making sure your tires aren’t expired. Pay special attention to their manufacturing dates, as expired tires are much more likely to fail on the road.

Driving Habit #2: Keep an Eye Open for Leaks

While leaking condensation is nothing to be worried about, oil and other fluid leaks can be quite dangerous for your car. Leaking coolant or oil can cause your engine to overheat and shut down on the road, which can be a very scary situation to be in. Make sure you take your car to a mechanic if you spot any such leaks.

Driving Habit #3: Fill Up Sooner, Not Later

One of the most common, but preventable causes of roadside emergencies is running out of gas. This is especially problematic if you are traveling away from home and you aren’t familiar with the area. One great habit to adopt is refueling when your gas tank is at one quarter tank of fuel. That way, you won’t damage your engine by running on fumes as you frantically search for a station.

For more information about handling roadside emergencies, or if you need to arrange a car tow, call our team at __PHONE__.

What Does Roadside Assistance Cover?

Call Us Today If You Need Roadside or Towing Assistance

We’ve all heard of it: roadside assistance. A lot of us have it. Many of us never have to use it which is great. Roadside assistance is an option in auto insurance policies that if your car breaks down while driving, your insurance company will come out to help. You often see them riskily under cars on the sides of highways helping stranded drivers. It is an extremely useful insurance option to utilize. Some things roadside assistance covers are:

  • Having a locksmith come and unlock your car if you locked your keys inside it, have had your keys stolen or lost.
  • Towing
  • Mechanical on-scene labor such as: battery jump starts,
  • Fuel delivery
  • Oil delivery
  • Replacement tire delivery, and the roadside professional can even put the spare tire on your vehicle right then and there.
  • Replacement battery delivery
  • Winching service: Winching is towing or pulling cars with a motor powered cable or chain. This is often used for cars that have gotten stuck in mud, snow, water, or sand and need heavy duty force to pull the car out.

You should consider getting roadside assistance if you are a nervous or reckless driver, have an old car, often made long commutes or live in isolated areas. Many car owners have roadside assistance just for peace of mind and convenience for the big “what if”. Pippin Towing & Recovery provides roadside assistance in Festus, MO. Call us today at (636) 937-0797 to learn more.

Getting Your Car Ready for Tow

Whether your vehicle has broken down or you simply need it moved from place to another, at some point, you will likely have to deal with a towing company. These tips can help take the stress out of your vehicle transport.


Pippin Towing Company Offers Professional Service, Every Time

Ensure You Have an Ideal Towing Experience When You Call Pippin Towing Company.

The first thing you should do when searching for a tow company is reviewing the licensing and contact information to ensure it’s correct. This information should be easily handed over by any truck operator. In most cases, your tower will be friendly, helpful, and certified to complete the job. However, if you feel uncomfortable with the situation at all, it’s okay to request another driver or another company.

Remove all Valuables

Ensure you remove all valuables from your vehicle before the driver arrives. Recheck the vehicle before the driver leaves to make sure nothing was left. Why create temptation of you don’t have to?

Note Your Vehicle’s Condition

There are times when a tow truck driver is not as careful as he should be. He may have an issue loading or unloading your vehicle or simply dealing with weight shifts while driving. Whatever the case, make sure you note any damage your car already has. This can protect you in instances of accidental damage while towing.

In general, drivers typically have positive experiences with tow truck operators and towing companies. However, it’s always a good idea to protect yourself and your valuables in these situations. If your vehicle needs to be towed, call the Pippin Towing & Recovery experts at __PHONE__ to schedule your service today.

When to Get New Tires for Your Vehicle

New tires make you feel powerful, don’t they? But tires can be expensive! Knowing when to get new tires can be difficult, but here are some tips that will help you decide if it’s time to buy.

The Tire Tread Trick

You may have already heard of this one, but this trick is a valuable tool. Take a penny; insert the penny into your tire’s tread. Abraham Lincoln’s should start to disappear into your tire. If all of Lincoln’s head is still visible, it is time to change your tires. 

The Bar Examination

No, not the law exam. Some newer models of tires have already installed a way to tell when your tread has worn out. Take a look at your tread; if your tire has this feature, you should see thin bars arranged perpendicularly from your tire tread. These appear when your tread has become worn.

Old Tires on a Car

Look for Worn Treading to Know When to Get New Tires.

Chinks, Blisters, and Lumps

Some signs of wear and tear are more obvious than others. Your tires may start to blister as they age, but keep a look out for excessive damage. If you find any chinks or lumps on your tires, it could be an indication that your tire is almost ready to blow out. Make sure you get your tire replaced as soon as possible if you spot these.

If you’re stuck on the road with a flat or shredded tire, call us (636) 937-0797. We’re here on standby for your towing and recovery in Festus, MO.

Affordable Car Maintenance Procedures To Never Skip

vehicle maintenance

Is Your Vehicle In Good Condition?

If you own a vehicle, you know that taking care of it can be quite expensive. However, every bit of maintenance you perform on your vehicle is essential, and should never be overlooked. However, if you have a long list of maintenance needs for you car, and you aren’t sure where to start, here are some inexpensive ones that you can check off fairly easily.

Replace Your Wipers

It can be dangerous to drive in the rain if your vehicle isn’t properly prepared. Keep in mind that windshield wipers do not last forever, and they need to be changed periodically. If your windshield wipers appear dry or brittle, they need to be replaced.

Change The Oil

Changing the oil in your vehicle is essential, and should never be overlooked. Consult your owner’s manual to determine the ideal frequency in which to change  your oil. If you can’t remember the last time it was changed, take it in today to get new oil.

Adjust The Tire Pressure

Proper tire pressure is another easy maintenance procedure to keep in mind. If your tires are over inflated or under inflated, your vehicle will not perform at optimal levels. In fact, significantly uneven tire pressure can lead to blowouts, which may leave you stranded.

Wash The Vehicle

If you don’t wash your vehicle frequently, the paint will begin to deteriorate. Keeping your vehicle is very affordable, and only takes a few minutes of your time.

If your vehicle is unable to move, or if you are unable to drive it, be sure to call our team at (636) 937-0797 for fast and affordable towing services.

What Should You Do In A Car Accident?

Anyone who drives on the road will most likely deal with an accident. Even if you’re the best driver on the road, you can’t control what other drivers are doing around you. If you are in an accident, it’s important to take the right actions to keep yourself safe.

Car Accident Towing

Take the right course of action if you’re in a car accident.

Be Safe

The most important thing to do when you’re in an accident is be safe. If you’re not severely injured, get out of the car or drive it to out of the way of oncoming traffic. It’s important to get away from future danger. Make sure the car is off and completely stopped. Check your passengers and the people in the other vehicle to make sure no one is hurt or still in danger.

Call The Police

The police work with other emergency responders and secure the accident scene to make sure no one else gets hurt. They’ll also write an accident report which is crucial for insurance purposes.

Take Pictures And Exchange Information

Both parties need to exchange information (insurance, phone numbers, etc). If there’s police a report, this is included. However, you should also take pictures of the damages on both cars to show your insurance company if there’s any disputes.

Get Towing Service

If you’re not able to drive the vehicle, you’ll need to call for a towing service.

Call Your Insurance Company

After everything is settled and you are back home, you’ll need to call your insurance company and make a claim. They may direct you to the other party’s insurance company first.

If you’re in an accident, you’ll need to find a reliable towing service. Whether you need towing services or roadside assistance, Pippin Towing & Recovery can help you 24-hrs a day in Festus, MO. Call us at (636) 937-0797.

Do You Really Need To Warm Up The Car Before Driving In Cold Weather?

cold weather

Is Your Car Ready For Colder Weather?

With winter here and many people preparing to travel for the holiday season, many people are rushing to make sure everything is ready. If you will be making a long road trip to meet your family and friends this year, be sure to make sure your car is ready too! There are plenty of things you can do to prepare your vehicle for a long drive, including checking you tire inflation, topping off your fluids, examining your battery and brakes, and replacing old windshield wipers. Today however, we will specifically discuss the idea that your vehicle needs to be warmed up before driving in cold weather.

So is it true that your vehicle needs to be warmed up before driving in cold weather? The answer is yes! You see, car manufactures know that vehicles are going to expand and contract in colder and warmer weather. Because of this, the materials they use in your vehicle are designed to expand easily through temperature changes. However, if the vehicle is too cold, trying to drive without warming up the car can lead to more wear and tear than you’d think, which can lead to unnecessary damages.

Warming up your vehicle also helps the oil in your engine, which is important to prevent extra wear and tear as well. Allowing your vehicle to warm up will also allow the oils to begin circulating before you drive off! Even your tires benefit from an idling engine before driving off. If your tires are too cold, they have less traction, which can be dangerous in wet or icy weather.

 Contact Pippin Towing today at (636) 937-0797 if you think your vehicle is in need of winter maintenance or repairs!