What Are Some Tips to Follow When Towing Automatic Transmission Cars?


Quick Answer

Tips for towing an automatic transmission car include using special equipment such as a drive-shaft coupling, axle lock or transmission-fluid pump to protect the transmission. Flatbed-towing consists of securing the vehicle to a four-wheel trailer and is the safest way to transport automatics. Automatic vehicles can also be safely towed when properly equipped for flat-towing or mounted to a two-wheel dolly.

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Full Answer

A drive-shaft coupling is required when towing rear-wheel drive automatics with a two-wheel trailer. This device consists of a remote-operated mechanical clutch. Front-wheel drive automatics may require a transmission fluid pump to ensure safe towing. Engine-driven pumps provide lubrication for most modern automatic transmissions. Fluid pumps operate through use of an electronic monitor control and are able to provide lubrication without the need to engage the engine.

Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicles with automatic transmissions are not suited for flat-towing and require a four-wheel trailer. The owner's manual provides make- and model-specific information regarding safe towing methods. Flat-towing a vehicle involves attaching the vehicle with either a self-aligning towed vehicle-mounted or couch-mounted receiver or a rigid A-frame tow bar. Removal of the drive axle is required for certain vehicles. Flat-towing produces tire wear and can harm automatic transmissions that are not protected with a fluid pump.

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