Can a car be damaged from towing?
Can a car be damaged from towing? Towing your car can never be a good thing. Further, it is a tricky business. Quite often we let our guards down believing that professionals know well how to take good care of our vehicle. However, that is not the case always. There have been occasions where vehicles were damaged because of one thing or the other. Yes, despite popular opinion, a car can be damaged while towing it. Let us dive deeper to know why this happens and how to prevent the same.
When it comes to an automatic transmission vehicle, if the wheels are on the ground while being towed, there is a high risk of damage. Also, rear towing with front wheels on the ground can lead to the trans-axle getting a hit on the ground. However, if in any case you only have the option of rear towing, it is advisable to use a front dolly.
In the Park mode, there is a high probability of the drive wheels skidding, which can damage the tires and the transmission linkages. This is because when your car is in a Park mode, there’s a pivoted curved bar which holds your transmission can car in place. When you tow your car with the wheels on the ground in a Park mode, it damages the bar and transmission.
Neutral is safe
There are many who suggest to keep your car in neutral as it allows everything to turn and move. Having said that, it is necessary to keep your engine running in order to allow oil to circulate through the transmission. Keeping the transmission in neutral for a short distance usually doesn’t cause any damage. Thus it is the safest bet while towing. However, it is advisable to use a dolly for the same.
Don’t just end the article just yet. Neutral is not the safest bet while towing your vehicle. It must be said that while neutral does disengage the engine, it does not disengage your transmission. It is possible that the turning of wheels may cause the transmission to overheat. While this is not a frequent occurrence, it is good to know the causes if the situation arises.
The best practices
One of the best solutions is towing your vehicle on a flatbed tow truck in a neutral gear. This makes the vehicle move only in feet and the probability of damage is unreal.
If you are a beginner and still not well versed with what to do when you car breaks down, it is important to keep in mind the following things. Don’t panic. Be calm and just pull over your car in a spacious place. Take out the vehicle’s owner manual and go through the towing instructions. Most manuals state that the vehicle should not be towed with the drive wheels on the ground for longer than x miles or faster than y speed. Follow these instructions and you should do good.
Now here is an extreme situation, if you car is in Park mode and you have lost your keys, here’s what you can do. Try lubricating the tires using soap water. This should move or slide the fixed tires. Then tow the vehicle on a flatbed truck. It is advisable to use a dolly in such situations.