Is my car driveable?

This is a very subjective question. "Is my car driveable"? We hear this question all the time when responding to accidents or mechanical breakdowns in Santa Rosa. Lets start with the obvious scenario of an auto accident. Maybe the fuel shut off switch activated during the collision and simply needs to be reset, or the bumper is slightly rubbing a tire and the tow operator can pull it from contact. We can handle both of those problems rather easily but there are times when the car could be "unsafe to drive". If any suspension parts or tires/wheels have been impacted it is our recommendation that the vehicle be towed. Without conducting a thorough inspection of the suspension by a ASE/I-CAR certified Autobody/Mechanic technician there is NO way of determining if it is safe or not to drive at normal to highway speeds. If the unibody or frame of the vehicle has been compromised in any way, have the car/truck towed. If at any time the vehicle is leaking fluids be it, oil, tranny fluid, coolant or fuel, have it towed. Also, if any of the headlights, tail lights or running lights have been damaged such that they do not work, have it towed to avoid any visibility issues or traffic violations.
Obviously if an air bag has been deployed the vehicle is NOT safe to drive.

As for the mechanical breakdown situations, if the tow operator or service technician can properly assess the breakdown (and everyone involved is in a safe location) they need to judge whether or not the vehicle can be efficiently repaired on the roadside. Some of the simple repairs could be as easy as tapping on the starter, jump starting the battery, tapping on the fuel tank to get pump to engage or cleaning battery posts. One breakdown that a technician should never attempt to repair would be an overheat that has lost coolant. One, you should never open a hot sealed cooling system for risk of injury and two the possibility of further damage by driving the vehicle after it has overheated can be dramatic. Brake issues, other than a stuck parking brake that can be manually released, should always be towed.

Ultimately the decision to have the vehicle towed sits with the owner/driver of the vehicle. If at anytime, you or the tow driver feels unsafe or uncomfortable with either trouble shooting the car or driving it at that time have the vehicle towed.

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