I drive an older car that I always knew would break down some day in a bad place and need towed. I figured I could always easily look up the number of a towing company using my phone's internet service if I ever needed to. Recently, my car started making an alarming sound that led to me pulling off the road while driving down the highway. It then wouldn't start back up. I grabbed my cell phone and went to do a web search to find a local towing company, and I realized I had used up all of my data plan for the month! It was late at night, so I had to call and awaken friends until someone answered who could help. I created this blog to help others avoid the same embarrassment as me. Always keep the number of a tow truck company in your car.
When your car suddenly goes dead, it rarely does so in a place that's convenient. Fortunately, there are different solutions for not being stuck with a dead battery while alone that you can use whether you're prepared or not.
One-Man Dead Battery Starter for Those Who Can Prepare Ahead of Time
One preparation you can make if you're concerned about having a dead battery in your car is buying something called a jump box.This is a rechargeable battery that you can keep in your car for such an emergency. You just charge it up, which can usually be accomplished overnight, and then keep it in your car. It's true that you'll want to charge it up again every once in a while to make sure it doesn't slowly run out of power, but this usually won't be necessary more than once a month.
Then, when your car turns up dead, you simply use the alligator clamps in the box to jumpstart your battery again. They work just like regular jumper cables with red going to red and black going to black like it says in the jump box manual. Your car can then draw from the box in order to start, all without the need for anyone else nearby. Depending on the model of jump box, the instructions may alternatively have you connecting black to a shiny piece of metal like a screw or a piece of the engine block.
Towing and Roadside Assistance Apps for When You're Not Prepared
Another preparation you can make is signing up for roadside assistance. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of using a jump box or roadside assistance that they've prepared beforehand.
However, these days new solutions are appearing that can help you out in this situation. You may not always have the time or battery power to hunt around for a service that can help you with your dead car. But there are now apps out there that you can use to summon service right to your side anyway.
These usually have a one-time cost of between $50 and $100 depending on the service. The tow truck service can help you jump your car, and if it turns out it's completely dead without the hope of resurrection, they can tow you to where you need to go instead. Unlike with a roadside assistance membership, you can download these new apps and get assistance all on the same day.