Just because you can start your vehicle and get it on the road doesn't mean it's safe for you, or for other drivers. There are some repair jobs that should be done before you ever drive your vehicle, even if these jobs seem minor. While you may think it's okay to drive your vehicle a short distance when it needs repair, keep in mind that the cost of a tow is often much more affordable than the cost of extensive damage to your vehicle, and the cost of an accident. Consider when it's safer to call a tow truck than to drive your vehicle, even if it runs.
1. When a Tire Is Flat or There Is a Bulge in the Tire
A bulge in your tire means that there is a soft spot in the rubber and this has allowed an air pocket to form. If you drive over this soft spot, the tire can easily burst and you would be driving on the car's rim. This can cause very extensive damage to your car and when a tire bursts, this can be dangerous as the rubber can fly in any direction.
A flat tire is also very dangerous as the air in the tire is what cushions the car itself, not just the rubber of the tire. If you were to hit a bump, you could bend the rim of the tire or even break an axle. Your car's brakes cannot grip a flat tire and you cannot easily turn your car when a tire is flat. No matter the damage done to a tire, never drive on it even a short distance and instead, call a tow truck to have your car towed to a nearby tire shop.
2. When Brakes Are Acting up in Any Way
Brakes that don't grip the tires as they should may signal a loss in brake fluid, and this fluid could easily drain out while you're on the road so that your brakes fail completely. If brakes continue to grip the tires after you release the brake pedal, the calipers may be failing. These are the parts that squeeze the brake pads against the rotors in the wheels. When they fail, they continue to squeeze even after you let up on the pedal.
No matter the problems with your brakes, have your car towed (by companies like Executive Towing Services) rather than continuing to drive it. If your brakes fail while you're driving, this is unsafe for you and all other drivers, even if you're only driving a short distance to a repair shop.