How Do You Tow A Car Without Damaging It?

 In Blog

If you have a car that needs a tow, it’s important to know what actions can help prevent damage to your vehicle. A common question we get from customers is “Can you tow a car with the emergency brake on?” Issues surrounding potential damage to cars after towing is always a top concern to owners and the answer can vary based on a number of factors. Here’s an overview of situations where we would tow a car in park or with the emergency brake on and what can be done to avoid costly damage.

Can you tow a car with emergency brake on?

Chappelle’s Towing advises drivers to release their parking brake when the car is not in use. Cars with the emergency brake on cannot be towed the traditional way (that is, with two wheels on the street). That being said, if a vehicle is being loaded onto a flatbed truck for towing, you can rest assured the car is not likely to undergo any damage done, as long as the vehicle is in the neutral position and the parking brake is not on while it is being hoisted.

If the emergency brake is not activated, we can absolutely tow a car in park because the brake controls one or more wheels will not be in use during the towing process. If your car is being towed with two non-driving wheels on the ground and the parking brake is released, there should be no damage done to the car. If you are towing with two driving wheels on the ground and you have a manual transmission, it’s usually not a problem to have it towed. The same is true for automatic transmissions, but they should only be towed short distances at low speeds to ensure no damage is being done.

How tow trucks tow cars in park

Can you tow a car in park? The short answer is yes, but towing a car in park can potentially cause damage if certain precautions are not taken beforehand. An automatic car in park can have the mechanical lock of the transmission broken if towed with wheels on the street. Before towing a parked car, one measure you can take is ensuring your vehicle is in neutral. Another option is to tow the car on a flat bed so that the tires are locked safely in place. If you’re unsure what towing position is best for your vehicle, consult the owner’s manual for preventing damage when the car is being towed.

Different wheel drive considerations

Towing an all wheel drive car is where things can become more complicated. With wheels on the ground, the level of concern will usually depend on the transmission and the transfer case. Some transfer cases are built so they should not be towed for long distances or at highway speed unless they are shifted into 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive-hi. Most often, it’s recommended that the safest way to tow 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive cars is to remove the rear drive shaft and tow the vehicle with the back wheels on the ground. The benefit of using a professional towing company like Chappelle’s is that our tow truck drivers utilize the safest methods possible for transporting a range of transmissions and drive types.

If there is any confusion on which is the right way to tow a car, the owner of the vehicle can consult the owner’s manual, which should indicate what procedure is advised for that specific make and model of car. Our team at Chappelle’s is happy to work with you to get your vehicle towed securely.

Towing and roadside assistance Vancouver, WA

Using a professional towing company will give you peace of mind during a time that may otherwise be stressful. Whether you need emergency roadside assistance during an accident, your car won’t start and you need it to be towed to a reliable mechanic, or you simply need it towed to a storage facility, we’ll come to the scene in a quick and timely manner. Our skilled and experienced team of professionals will safely tow your car to the body shop, mechanic’s shop, storage garage, or other destination that you require.Contact us today or take a look at our upcoming Vancouver auto auctions.

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