Believe it or not, winter is here in North-Eastern Pennsylvania. I know, one day the weather is 50 degrees, and the next day the weather is 20 degrees. Honestly, I forget it's February at times. It's easier to do than you think.
Most days the roads are raining and wet, not often icy. This is great because Punxatawny Phil said that we will an early spring, but it's also dangerous because we are forgetting ourselves and putting ourselves at risk. When an isolated cold spell occurs and drops sleet or snow on the Lehigh Valley/ Tri County area motorists may be caught surprised and unprepared.
The deceptively warm weather is making motorists forget that we are still very much in full blown winter. When mother nature remembers herself and decides to drop the temperatures again motorists may not have been as prepared as they would be had the weather been seasonally appropriate.
With the unseasonable weather it is important to have an occasional reminder. So, here is a list of the most important items to ensure you travel with during February months (even in 50 degree weather).
The number one most important item to keep handy in a vehicle during the winter months is the typical ice scraper. Preferably one with a long handle and a brush to easily clean off vehicles. It works even better if a pair of gloves accompanies it :) Trust me, your hands will thank you!
The second best item to keep in the vehicle is extra windshield washer fluid. C'mon, we have all been there, you were 17 years old, driving your old buggy to class when you use unrelenting amounts of washer fluid because you are following an 18-wheeler far too closely. The spray back of salt and road grime is caking up your already dry-rotted wiper blades. The wiper fluid just adds enough juice to keep the screeching of the blades to a low roar. Ok, maybe everyone's experience wasn't as dramatic as mine, but, nevertheless, you know you've run out of wiper fluid one-time-or-another in the winter months! Why doesn't it ever happen in the summer? Just live and learn and keep some extra low temperature windshield washer fluid in the trunk in the winter.
Another top contender, sitting at the number three spot, is a bottle of water. Do not even consider trying to forget the yearly news reports of motorists getting stranded on Interstates (80) and the Pennsylvania turnpike. When sudden winter storms arise and motorists are not slowly eased into winter driving conditions we hear stories of major highway shutdowns. Don't be one to have to ask other vehicles for water. Hopefully you put yourself in a position of having extra water so that you may share with others if a situation arises.
Our remaining contenders all are important and can't really be ranked. In no specific order are: Winter coats, blankets (preferably wool), a full tank of gas, a spare tire and jack, tire chains if needed, bags of cheap cat litter for sprinkling down if your tires are unable to gain traction, small car-sized travel shovel, flares, GPS unit, extra dry-good snacks, snow boots and extra socks in a backpack, and lastly a good flashlight.
Finally, and most importantly, if treacherous winter weather shall fall upon you, ensure you have notified at least one person prior to venturing out in dangerous conditions. This ensures your safety if you should not arrive at your destination timely. Should you become stranded in an isolated area, stay with your vehicle so emergency services can more easily locate you and stay with your GPS devices.
Have safe travels this mild but no-less dangerous winter season!
Checklist For Winter Weather Vehicle Service
Are you ready for the winter? If this is absolutely a yes, then you should have a winter weather vehicle service to take you everywhere. However, do you think your vehicle is ready for the icy roads?
Driving outside for work, school, gatherings or some events during the winter season is quite challenging. This is why it is extremely necessary to prepare not only yourself, but also your vehicle, especially on long trips. Performing the following checklist on your winter weather vehicle service will let you save time and avoid ending up stranded on the snowy streets.
Get Winter Road Details Before Leaving The House
Before you plan to go outside and drive your winter weather vehicle service, especially during a snowy night make sure to get the details first of the winter road conditions. You should know what to expect outside so that unexpected circumstances could be avoided. This will help you prepare everything in your winter weather vehicle service and keep you safe on a long drive. There are some websites where you can use to check the winter road conditions even in individual metropolitan areas.
Winterizing The Vehicle
There is a simple trick for your winter weather vehicle service known as the “Winterize Your Car” trick. Just like other machines, vehicles also need maintenance. There are some steps you need to follow in order to winterize correctly.
1. Check the tire pressure using a tire pressure gauge. Remember that in this step, the gauge typically comes from the car dealership. Use a gauge that varies based on the make and model of your winter weather vehicle service.
You will only have to remove the end caps of the tires. Next is to gently press the gauge into the air valve and quickly push it in a downward direction. To get accurate results on the recommended level of tire pressure, few readings are necessary.
2. Check the tire treads using a quarter tricks. Dunking a George Washington’s head coin shows how much tread is left. If the tread was not able to reach the head of the Washington coin, then it is now time to replace the tread.
3. Checking the antifreeze. Your winter weather vehicle service needs a coolant (antifreeze) for its radiator. The radiator helps cool the vehicle’s engine. If necessary, you have to purchase antifreeze and install it in your vehicle. The coolant level should reach the “Full” line. It could be a 50-50 mixture of water and coolant.
Pack Some Heat
Winter weather can be dangerous for drivers, especially on ice and sloppy road conditions. Whether you will be travelling far or near, packing a bundle of cold-weather gear in your winter weather vehicle service are essential. Things like extra food, water, warm clothing, blankets, flashlight, hand warmers, medications, glass scraper and more should be carried on your travel.
Gather The Winter Driving Essentials
Personal safety is the most important consideration in driving. When you get less fortunate and stall out your winter weather vehicle service out in the middle of nowhere, you have nothing to lean on but the things you prepared along with you. Aside from survival needs like food and warm clothing, here are some survival essential things to bring in the vehicle:
Flares. In an emergency situation, flares would be your last resort. With the use of flares, people can locate you even you are over a mile away.
First Aid Kit. This is the kit which you should keep stocked in the compartment of your vehicle. Having a first aid kit all the time helps a lot in emergency situations.
Extra Washer Fluid. An extra washer fluid for your winter weather vehicle service is often overlooked. Though it can be found in most grocery stores and gas stations, having stock is more advisable.
Jumper Cables. During winter times, the use of jumper cables is absolutely essential. In case your battery experience some trouble, jumper cables would be helpful.
Ice scraper. While it is unlikely, it's possible to get stuck in huge ice on the road. Ice scrapers are very helpful in scraping off the snow and a lifesaver at the same time. With an ice scraper, you can maintain visibility.
Flashlight. Your winter weather vehicle service might run out of battery making you stranded in the dark. A flashlight with replacement batteries will let you see in the dark.
Check the Wipers, Oil, And Battery
The wiper blades are more often taken for granted, but during the winter season, it serves as one of the most important tools. Wiper blades should be replaced more often in as little as six months of use. When you notice some streaks in the window of your winter weather vehicle service, it’s a sure sight of the blades’ retiring.
During cold weather, motor oil thickens making it harder for the engine to do a full turn over. When changing the oil, refer to the manufacturer’s manual for the recommendation. Likewise, ensure to change the oil filter for the best amount of oil flow.
A dead battery in a cold morning is such a hassle. Performing a volt test on your winter weather vehicle service to make sure it can stand the whole winter season. Getting a new battery for your vehicle for days of travel on the icy roads is the guaranteed defences of your winter weather vehicle service.
Keep Tanks With At Least 50% Gas
Secure your gas tank with at least 50 percent of gas in the winter. This is not because of the false belief that less than half-tank gasoline freezes during the winter season, but it is because of other problems that might occur in the system of your winter weather vehicle service. For instance, less than 50 percent of gasoline can form condensation inside the tank which might soon prevent your vehicle from starting.
Inspect Your Tires
It’s the most basic thing that you should do on your winter weather vehicle service whatever the season may be. It is recommended to have at least the minimum of 6/32 inch of tread when you plan to travel on icy roads. Check all four tires of your vehicle as well as its tire pressure.
7 Important Tips for Getting A Tow Truck
For many people, driving is not just a necessity but a day to day need. Vehicles help in daily transportation reaching a place, whether it’s far or near. However, along with the use of vehicles, vehicular problems comes unavoidable causing stress to the driver. Even though, most vehicles are well-cured and checked for its maintenance, such unfortunate circumstances like flat tire, faulty engine, and overheating can certainly appear. Getting a tow truck service is a solution!
There are some important things to put in mind before getting a tow truck for help. Here are some mind-blowing tips that you should not forget in getting help for your vehicle, especially when travelling along with the family.
1. Choose Wisely, Consider Safety
Safety is the most important thing to put into consideration in getting a tow truck service for your vehicle. Make sure that all passengers are in a safe place as there are other types of even bigger vehicles that pass through the road. Trucks and other cars can impose a threat for your passengers so the first thing to do is to park your vehicle in the safest area as much as possible before getting a tow truck service.
Meanwhile, in such cases when your vehicle is stranded on a highway, it is best to stay inside of the vehicle while calling/getting a tow truck service. Be sure to turn on the hazard lights and keep the door locks to close. Never leave the vehicle unattended for there are some criminals that may take advantage of the situation.
While getting a tow truck for your vehicle, preparedness is necessary. Most importantly, prepare the driver’s name and other information that might be asked by the towing company. Before making any call, gather up all paperwork for the vehicle such as driver’s license, registration, among others. Another thing which should come handy is the make and model info about your vehicle.
3. Make The Call
In getting a tow truck service, making a call makes no difference in dialling a number. There are three most possible parties which you can contact to provide a solution for your vehicle. A roadside assistance program like the AAA is an example. You can contact an Auto Insurance company, some Credit Card Companies and Automaker companies in getting a tow truck for your vehicle. For new cars, its manufacturer’s roadside assistance hotline is easily accessible to help. Otherwise, you can call a tow service company that would cost more than $100 service charge.
4. Consider The Cost
In getting a tow truck, the cost must be also taken into consideration. Remember not to choose solely on price, but on performance recommendations. Fortunately, in getting a tow truck, most companies are reputable and do not overcharge. To be prepared, you should know about the price per mile fee and the hook-up fee before getting a tow truck service contract. On average, a tow truck service cost around $109.
Price per mile. Price per mile applies if you want the vehicle to be taken to a reputable mechanic shop of your choice whether it’s many miles away. Moreover, this also applies if you want to bring the vehicle all the way home despite its far distance. In this case, every mile is the basis for charges applied. Getting a tow truck operator like this may ask for a cheaper hook-up fee, but charges higher prices in each mile.
Hook-up fees. The hook-up charge is the cost you have to pay in attaching your vehicle to the tow truck. Be aware of talking about this charge because there are some tow truck operators which might not explain it clearly. It is mistakenly assumed that hook-up fees are the only have to pay when in fact, there are also other charges like the per mile charge.
5. Look for the Experts
Remember that NOT ALL towing companies are equal. Thus, in getting a tow truck service for your vehicle, it is important that you get the service of an expert so that damage can be avoided. It is easy to see if you are talking to an expert in tow. He should be very knowledgeable about the problem talked over the phone. Do not go with someone you have a bad feeling. An expert is extremely knowledgeable on many sorts of vehicle problems and you will notice it while explaining what had happened to your vehicle.
6. Choose the Best Company
The towing industry does not differ from other industries where there are bad guys you cannot trust and good guys who will help. Choose wisely in getting a tow truck service. Your family, neighbours, co-workers, and friends might give some suggestions of a trusted tow truck company. Likewise, you can ask help from the local police department, the Internet or get a service of a reliable app.
7. Be Patient, Wait For The Truck
Patience is another important factor in getting a tow truck service. Without patience, it will be difficult to incur solution to problems with your vehicle. Patience will help you solve your problem until the towing truck arrives to help.
Getting a tow truck company service for your vehicle is the most helpful solution, especially when you break down on the side of the road. Calling a tow truck is like calling a rescue team for your vehicle, but don’t forget these important tips.
Ahhh.... Spring Time. There is an ease in the air and a newness in our minds.
The birds are chirping, the air is starting to smell sweet with the smell of new growth. You are feeling at ease as you begin to plan for and have excitement for getting outside and enjoying nature. The fresh air, the sweet lush scenery, the birds, the flowers, the landscape. All the wonderful things that springtime brings. And, with all these delightful new indulgences we are also reminded of spring cleanup and servicing our vehicles. But, does this have to be a headache, or can it be as carefree and easy as the true meaning of spring? Why, yes it can. Let me explain...
Your vehicle is your lifeline. It gets you where you need to be when you need to be there. It keeps you sheltered from the outside weather and keeps you comfortable with thermostat climate control and lush ergonomically correct seats with adjustable lumbar supports. It also safely transports your groceries, your shopping items, and all of your life's belongings. Such an important item also requires to be cared for just as you and I need to be cared for. But, unlike you and I, fortunately our vehicles do not require much fussing.
Springtime service should include the basics such as changing the oil to ensure your car is running at optimal temperatures and running smoothly and efficiently. Checking your tire pressure to ensure you are receiving the optimal gas mileage. Check the tread on your tires to make sure you are prepared for the frequent raining during April Showers. Bring your vehicle into a service center and have the tires balanced and aligned if the potholes of the winter roads put a damper on your travels.
Simple do-it-yourself spring time car work includes changing wiper blades, topping off windshield washer fluid with bug repellant or Rain-X fluid, cleaning the undercarriage of the vehicle to remove winter's salt and brine residues.
More complex and detailed service work for you vehicle may include scheduling an appointment at an auto mechanic shop for tire rotation and alignment. Scheduling an appointment to have spark plugs changed, cabin filters changed, air conditioner coolant checked and topped off are all part of a more comprehensive springtime vehicle service visit.
Winter tires may have to be removed from the rims and replaced with regular driving tires. Studded tires will be exchanged with more fuel efficient tires for regular driving conditions. If planning for long trips during the spring ensure your tires air pressure is set to the standards recommended by the vehicle and/or the tire manufacturer's guidelines.
Spring is a time to renew and start again. Ensure your vehicle is serviced properly and cared for and you will extend the life of your vehicle and will have less surprise visits to a mechanic or auto body shop for unplanned issues with your vehicle. Proper preparation is key to maintaining your vehicles longevity.
June 21st marks the first day of summer. Ahh, the summer solstice has finally arrived. The weather is beautiful and the rains of Spring have finally begun to let up. Summer flowers have arrived as has the hum of neighbors swimming pools and laughing children. What also has arrived, in addition to the noise of lawn mowers, is the sound of motorcycles. I don't know about you, but where I live, the daily noise of thunderous Harley Davidson's casually sauntering through neighborhoods and long country roads.
Sounds dreamy, right? We wish it were always the way of life, slow, calm, and abundant. But, sometimes we gotta bring in the ropes of reality and realize that our vehicles need just as much work in the summer months as they do in the winter. Make sure your 4 wheeled vehicle has windshield wiper fluid changed for warmer weather and tires inflated to their recommended PSI ratings.
For our two legged vessels, make sure you use a battery tender before use to make sure the bike is properly juiced and ready for riding. Keep a small travel kit of tools in your saddle bags in case
Please read to learn more about safety tips while driving in the snow and ice and please leave a comment below.
Today’s topic includes information on safety while driving in the snow and icy weather. Unless you are visiting Bethlehem, PA from Southern states chances are you have had a run-in or two with driving in snowy conditions. We are going to offer a few safety tips to keep you and your family safe while driving in a winter wonderland.
First, an ounce of prevention is worth of pound of cure! Prior to winter weather or blizzard conditions check to ensure that all of your tires are fully inflated. Not over inflated, but inflated to the requirements listed on the wall of your tires. If you can’t find the recommended PSI ratings check inside your cars door panels for specific directions. If you still can’t easily find the recommended PSI ratings you can always see if the information is listed in your car’s user guide. Sometimes a car’s user guide does not list specifications as tires do not last the life of the vehicle, and each tire requires different PSI levels. Also, keep your gas tank full in case you are in an accident and must sit on the side of the road. At least you will be able to run your vehicle to keep you warm.
Second, bring emergency equipment such as jumper cables, road flares, emergency blankets, water, and snacks like granola bars or other sustainable foods. Keeping chains for tires, cat litter, and a small shovel will prove useful if your car gets stuck along the road. Make sure your car is equipped with long handled scrapers if snowy conditions are copious and require frequent cleanings. Having windshield washer fluid that has a low freezing point is imperative in winter weather as salt and grime blowing off vehicles in front of you makes visibility a nightmare in snowy conditions.
Finally, driving skills and safety tactics will help you on the road in the event your car hits icy spots or slippery snow covered roadways. The most important piece of advice here is to drive slowly, but not too slowly as to prevent getting enough traction to move through uncleaned roads or intersections. If you are driving and suddenly unable to stop due to ice it is important to paddle the brakes, unless your car is equipped with an antilock braking system (ABS). Suddenly slamming on the brakes will send your car into a spinning disaster and you will likely no longer be moving straight ahead. Instead, slowly push the brake pedal in and out in an effort to gain traction with your tires. Turn your steering wheel slowly for turns and avoid sharp or sudden movements as vehicles without traction are prone to forces that will push your vehicle away from your intended direction.
The above is offered as suggestion as not all circumstances are the same. Experience is the best skill for keeping you safe on the road. Until you are highly experienced, please drive very cautiously.
Here at Bethlehem Towing we wish you and your family the best in snowy conditions. Please drive cautiously but if you are ever in a situation requiring a tow, please don’t hesitate to call us at 610-557-1975.
Here at Bethlehem Towing we want your towing experience to be as safe as possible. We are unfortunately too familiar with injuries that occur on the roadside. We have written this blog with your safety in mind. We wish to offer suggestions to help keep you safe if you are stranded with your vehicle.
1) Do not exit the vehicle on a busy road. Please use your best safety knowledge and resist the urge to get out of the vehicle to look at your tire if you believe it has gone flat or if you believe your car suffered damage. Do NOT exit your vehicle when your vehicle is within the lanes of traffic. Pull your car off to the side of the road and ensure you are safe and out of harm’s way prior to exiting the vehicle to assess for damage. We strongly recommend you remain in the vehicle until our towing professionals arrive to assess for damage. Our staff are highly trained in roadside safety and will make your safety a priority.
2) Shut your vehicle off if you suspect it is overheating. After you have pulled safely off the road you should turn the engine off if you suspect overheating. Allowing the vehicle to remain running in this situation will further potentiate damage to your engine. DO NOT take off the water cap or radiator cap when your engine is still hot as the cap will burst open under the pressure, and will cause serious burns and scalds. Your engine must be completely cooled down before you attempt to touch any of your vehicles fittings or fluids. You may add antifreeze to a cooled radiator. Also ensure proper oil levels. Take your vehicle to service center for further diagnostic testing. This may include checking hoses for leaks and checking your fans.
3) Turn on hazard lights or interior lights in the dark to ensure other vehicles see you. If you are prepared and have a flare or cone in your vehicle this may be a good time to break them out to alert other drivers of the hazard up ahead.
4) A common practice in the United States is to hang something white out of a closed vehicle window to signal other drivers of the hazard beside the road. If you must leave your vehicle beside the road most states require that you notify the local police department of the vehicles location. This may prevent your vehicle from being towed by the local police department which usually includes impounding and storage fees. In this situation we strongly suggest you call Bethlehem Towing to be proactive and prevent the hassles of being towed by local authorities.
Riding a motorcycle is an experiences that offers exhilaration, adventurism, and is associated with American freedom. But, as a rider, you already knew that. As a motorcycle owner, you also know the pain associated with breakdowns. From flat tires, loose fittings, or running out of gas we got you covered. Here at Bethlehem Towing we are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to quickly respond to your call.
Flat tire? We know it’s a pain, but it’s also very dangerous on a motorcycle. Even riding a bike with low tire pressure can alter the bikes center of gravity and can leave you unprepared to manage the changed handling of your bike. Prior to riding you should always do a once over your bike to make sure everything looks good before take-off. If your riding and you notice your tire pressure is low or you suddenly get a blown tire call us right away and our team can quickly tow you to the closest tire shop or air compressor.
Custom chop or retro/classic ride? Do you have a ride that’s old school and requires a bit more maintenance than the modern rides? Do you wrench, ride, repeat? You know what we’re saying… your bike needs more TLC than some newer rides. You know that fittings may become loose from the bikes vibration and require retightening after new work. So, you either carry a wrench in your saddle bags or you cross your fingers, and hope if breakdowns happen that you’re in a group with the guy who carries half his snap-on collection in his bike. But, you’re not that lucky and realize you need to call for a tow to safely get your ride back to your garage
Run out of gas? You love showing off your sportster so you join the local poker runs and benefit rides only to realize your ride only goes 70 miles before you need to fill up with gas. You join a new run, get caught up in the days fun, only to later realize that you are almost out of gas and the next gas station isn’t for another 10 minutes. You are running on fumes and praying you make it, but alas, you don’t. Bike stalls and you sit. What do you do? Call your buddies and ask them to leave the poker run to run home for their car and bring you gas? Nope, don’t do it. Just call us! We respond very quickly and will arrive faster than your friend would if they ran home, got the can & switched vehicles, and drove back to you. Then they have to ride the can back home and get back on their bike. Yeah…. Don’t be that guy! Just call us! Problem solved quickly and you’re back on the road to finish out the ride!
We understand your ride is highly sacred and we take extra care to ensure we have soft motorcycle tie downs to keep your shining metal flake in as good a condition after your tow as before. We do not suggest lifting your full dresser into the back of your buddy’s truck and tying it down yourself. Protect your investment and call us so that proper tie down methods can be used to ensure your prized possession remains without scratches dings or dulled clear coating.
Call us right now and we will send out either our motorcycle dolly or flatbed with the proper motorcycle tie downs for your cruiser. A two wheeled vehicle is very different than four and needs the appropriate securing method so ensure your ride is protected.