How to tow a small car

C13C13 Member Posts: 390
I see people towing FWD cars with all four wheels
on the road. Do you have to do anything to the car
to do this without damaging it? Is it enough to
just put it in neutral (manual trans)?

Is it better to use a dolly that lifts the front
wheels off the pavement?


  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    I beleive a manual transmission can be towed with all four wheels on the ground. (Someone who's experienced with stick shifts, please verify this.)
    With an automatic you CANNOT tow with the drive wheels on the ground and the trans in "N" because you will burn you trans out. Not could, not probably, WILL BURN OUT the trans. For a FWD car, simply lifting the front wheels off the ground should suffice. It gets a little more complicated for RWD. You need to have the back wheels on the ground, or the vehicle you are towing will fishtail badly. You can get away with backing the car onto the dollie, tying ropes around the steering wheel, pulling them tight, and closing the door on them. The proper way to tow RWD, however, is to put the front wheels on the dollie, and disconnect the driveshaft from the differential. It's just four bolts that holds it on, although, depending how old your car is, you may have to soak them generously in WD-40 to get them to break loose. As easy as changing a tire. I've towed my car both ways, so take your pick.
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