“To tow or not”: characteristics of car with automatic transmission

“To tow or not”: characteristics of car with automatic transmission

Can I tow if the car is equipped with a automatic transmission?

Most motorists “heard something” about that tow on a mechanical gearbox is different from towing to “automatic”. However, the details of these differences is not widely known. Even owners of cars with automatic transmission case of an emergency are often lost and don’t know if you can tow a car or take someone in tow.

So, is it possible to tow a car with automatic transmission or, conversely, to use such a vehicle as a tug? If so, are there any special requirements to such types of towing?

The difference between towing a car with automatic transmission

In the case of a towing vehicle equipped with a manual transmission, in neutral position of the box is spinning just one gear. At the same when towing a car with automatic transmission, the neutral position of the box will rotate the whole mechanism. Since the device is not designed for such work, it quickly overheats and, as a consequence, may fail. In addition, the oil pump, which is gear box operates only with the engine running. If towing a car with a stalled engine, transmission parts will work without lubrication. It can also lead to the failure of automatic transmission.

In that case, if a car with automatic transmission acts as the tow, the transmission was also subjected to additional loads. And if the car with the “mechanics” can be both the towing and towed without any restrictions, the automatic transmission requires some “concessions”.

How to carry out towage

Due to the fact that automatic transmissions on different car models may have significant differences, the towing capability of these cars are advised to check in the instruction manual. There you can find information about what is the maximum distance you can tow the car and how fast. From different manufacturers, these parameters may vary. In rare instances, towing may be prohibited altogether.

Of course, this advice is suitable only in the case when the need to tow a car known in advance and there is time and opportunity to consult the manual. When this is not possible, professionals and experienced motorists recommend to focus on the “Golden mean”. So, according to them, most cars with automatic transmission can be towed or used as a tug, driving on them is not more than 30 kilometers at a speed not exceeding 30 km/h. After that, to continue towing the car it is necessary to give “rest”.

In addition to the manufacturer’s recommendations for each specific vehicle, there are tow General rules that apply to all cars equipped with automatic transmissions. In particular, if the vehicle with “automatic” was in tow, the box must be in position N. If the car with automatic transmission itself acts as the tow, the towing is carried out on the second or third gear.

One of the main principles of operation of the automatic transmission are enforced lubricant and high heat. Before undertaking the tow, it is necessary to make sure that the oil level in transmission is correct.

When a car with automatic transmission acts as a tug

In principle, the manufacturers suggest to avoid such situations. If there are no other options, you must follow certain rules. When towing it is better to prefer a rigid hitch. While the towed vehicle at its mass should not exceed the weight your towing. As when driving on tow, speed should not exceed 30-40 km/h. Box in any case should not be in the position D, only 2 or 3. It is not recommended to switch on downshifts, not to create additional stress.

A few more tips for towing a car with automatic transmission

Special attention should be paid to the towing of cars with automatic transmission are equipped with all-wheel drive system. Most often, the manufacturer insists that such machines were moved exclusively to the tow truck. In the absence of this option the machine must be towed with raised front or rear axle. The towing hitch is extremely undesirable.

Not less attention deserves when towing and variable speed transmission. It should refer to the manual of the manufacturer, because for some vehicles it is recommended that towing in neutral, others will certainly need a running motor, and a third towing is prohibited.

So, towing a car with automatic transmission is troublesome and not always safe for the machine. If possible, such pushbacks to avoid using the services of a tow truck. However, if the situation is hopeless, in the process of towing a car with automatic transmission should be approached with the utmost seriousness and responsibility.