There are times when having a tow strap and knowing how to use it can be a real life saver.  Let’s say you get stuck.  A tow strap and a willing helper can get you back on hard ground and out of the lurch you would have been in.  Breakdowns can be towed using a strap to get the car to a safe place or an auto repair shop, without the high costs of a tow truck. Carrying a tow strap in your trunk or truck’s toolbox can be a great thing, unless you do not know the proper way to use it.  Not properly used, a tow strap can cause serious damage, and not only to you vehicle.  The Columbia SC Auto Repair Pro is going to walk you through how to safely and correctly use a tow strap.

How to Attach the Hook to your Helper’s Car

You will want to start by attaching the hook of the strap to the vehicle that will be pulling you.  Nearly all vehicles will have a sturdy, solid point for mounting in the rear of the vehicle.  In most cases this will be the bumper mounting points or an area very close to them.  If the auto has a trailer hitch, there should be steel loops present that are for mounting the hook.  Be sure that you are attaching the tow strap’s hook to one of these solid, secure locations.

 

Mechanic Tip: NEVER attach a tow strap hook directly to the bumper.  This will not be a secure connection and WILL result in damage to one or both vehicles.

 

How to Attach the Tow Strap to the Vehicle Being Pulled

The car, truck or other automobile that needs to be pulled will need to have the strap attached to the front of the vehicle.  Just beneath your bumper you should be able to locate a tow hook.  This is a sturdy, steel loop mounted just below your bumper.  On some vehicles, this hook may be covered with a plastic cover.  You can either have a look at the owner’s manual or lie down and squeeze under there and take a look to find out.

 

Mechanic Tip: NEVER pull an unmanned automobile!  Under no circumstances is it safe for any to pull an unattended vehicle using a tow strap!

 

How to Pull an Auto Using a Tow Strap

With both ends of the tow strap securely hooked to a sturdy mounting, you are just about ready to pull it.  As you start in, it is important that you focus on smoothly pulling the vehicle.  You want to avoid any jerking of the automobile.  With a driver in both vehicles, the car in front will slowly and smoothly begin moving forward until the strap is taught.

Once the tow strap is fully extended and tight, you will start to pull the disabled auto.  Remember to keep it smooth and steady as you are pulling the vehicle.  If you are towing a vehicle to another location, drive at safe, slow speeds and be sure that you have on your emergency flashers on both vehicles.  Stay away from highways if possible.  It is never safe to tow any vehicle at highway speeds using a tow strap.

If you are in the Columbia, SC area and in need of auto repairs, you can go ahead and tow it over to our shop at 7917 Wilson Blvd.  We will be happy to have a look and get you up, running and back on the road!