How to tow a vehicle yourself using a tow strap
Sooner or later, everyone’s car breaks down. It’s just inevitable, no matter what you do. And, if you’re driving around an old junker, chances are good that it breaks down more than you’d like to admit. If you have roadside assistance, then you can call them and ask for help. But, sometimes, you might find yourself in a situation where you have access to a heavy duty vehicle, and want to tow your vehicle yourself.
This is completely possible to do, but it’s important to understand that it’s serious business. Consider this a fair warning: this is not a task you want to take lightly. If you’re not careful, you can cause serious damage to your car, and potentially injure yourself or others. So, keep this in mind going forward. Read through this guide thoroughly before getting started.
Buy a tow strap
The first thing you’ll want to do is buy a towing strap. These are sold at automotive stores. Be sure to buy a strap that’s rated for the vehicle weight you’ll be working with. Don’t skimp on quality here: get something heavy duty. Under no circumstances should you try to tow a vehicle with anything less than a professional, weight rated tow strap. Do not attempt to tow your vehicle using random ropes, chains, or anything else that you just happen to have lying around. They could break, and that could spell disaster.
Attach the strap to the towing vehicle
The towing vehicle will have an attachment point on the reach where you’ll attach your tow strap’s hook. It’s important to use the location that’s designed specifically for this purpose. There should be a loop attached to your trailer hitch. If in doubt, consult the maintenance guide for the towing vehicle.
Hook the other end of the strap to the vehicle that’s being towed
Next, you’ll hook the other end of the tow strap to the vehicle that you need to tow. There should be a mounting hook underneath the front of the vehicle. Take a look at the owner’s manual to determine the precise location. Be sure that the tow strap is straight, and that it’s not twisted. Do not under any circumstances attach the strap to the bumper, or any other part of the car that’s not intended for towing.
Pull the vehicle carefully
Be sure that the vehicle to be towed is manned: you need someone in the vehicle in case there’s an emergency. They’ll also need to apply the brakes when you bring the towing vehicle to a stop. Now, accelerate very slowly until the tow strap is taut. Then, proceed forward at a creep. Drive very, very slowly. Do not accelerate or brake abruptly. You’ll need to give the driver in the vehicle being towed enough time to apply the brakes and bring the vehicle to a stop.
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