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Can You Tow a Car Without Putting It in Neutral: 3 Methods

can you tow a car without putting it in neutral

A situation where your car needs to be towed but can't put it in neutral can become a real challenge. But towing a car with the transmission engaged isn't recommended because it can damage the gear transmission box.

However, there are alternative options available. You can tow your car with the drive wheels lifted if the gear gets stuck or the car becomes locked. Additional precautions are also recommended if you drive an automatic transmission vehicle.

Through this article, we'll explore the possibility of towing a car while its transmission is engaged. So, if you want to know more about safely towing your car without putting it in neutral, keep reading.

How to Tow a Car Without Putting It in Neutral?

If you need to tow a car without shifting into neutral, there are several methods you can use, such as:

  • Method 1: Using a tow dolly

  • STEP 1. Prepare the tow dolly

  • STEP 2. Position the tow dolly

  • STEP 3. Secure the vehicle to the dolly

  • Method 2: Using a flatbed trailer

  • STEP 1. Prepare the flatbed trailer

  • STEP 2. Load the car to the trailer

  • STEP 3. Secure the vehicle

  • Method 3: Lifting the drive wheels

  • STEP 1. Prepare the towing equipment

  • STEP 2. Position your towing equipment

  • STEP 3. Lift the drive wheels:

  • STEP 4. Secure the vehicle:

Take a closer look at these methods:

Method 1: Using a Tow Dolly

You must follow three key steps to successfully tow a car using a tow dolly.

STEP 1. Prepare the Tow Dolly

Before towing a car using a tow dolly, prepare the equipment correctly. Check that the tires on the tow dolly have sufficient air pressure to ensure stability during towing.

Also, ensure that the straps to secure the vehicle onto the tow dolly are tight and in good condition. These preparations will help ensure a safe and successful towing experience.

STEP 2. Position the Towing Dolly

Next, carefully align the tow dolly's ramps with your vehicle's drive wheels. This will ensure a secure and stable towing process.

Take time to position the dolly correctly, ensuring that both ramps align with your car's drive wheels. This will allow for efficient loading and unloading of the vehicle onto the tow dolly, minimizing any potential damage or instability during transit.

A safe journey depends on attention to detail at this stage.

STEP 3. Secure the Vehicle to the Dolly

Secure the Vehicle to the Dolly

Once the vehicle is properly aligned on the tow dolly, fasten the straps or chains securely to prevent movement during towing. Ensure you tighten them sufficiently, ensuring they will not come loose while in transit.

By diligently following this procedure, you can ensure a secure and stable connection between your vehicle and the tow dolly throughout the towing process.

Method 2: Using a Flatbed Trailer

To safely transport your car using a flatbed trailer, there are three key steps you need to follow.

STEP 1. Prepare the Flatbed Trailer

Ensure your flatbed trailer is in good condition before towing a car, with properly functioning brakes and lights. Check that all the lights, including brake and turn signals, work correctly.

Inspect the brakes to ensure they are in proper working order, as they are vital in controlling the trailer while towing. Don't forget to confirm that your trailer's towing capacity can handle your vehicle's load securely.

STEP 2. Load the Car to the Trailer

After preparing the flatbed trailer, carefully drive or drag your car onto it by lifting the drive wheels and centering it securely. Make sure to position the vehicle to be balanced and stable on the trailer. This will prevent any unnecessary movement during transportation.

Also, double-check that all doors and windows are securely closed to avoid damage to your car while being towed.

STEP 3. Secure the Vehicle

Use straps or chains to fasten your car to the flatbed. Cross the straps over the car and tighten them securely. This will ensure that your vehicle remains stable during transportation.

Method 3: Lifting the Drive Wheels

To lift a vehicle's drive wheels for towing, you have to follow several steps.

STEP 1. Prepare the Towing Equipment

Ensure you've got all the necessary gear, like a tow truck or wheel lift, to raise the car's drive wheels. This method involves lifting the drive wheels off the ground to tow a car without putting it in neutral.

Ensure you have a sturdy and reliable tow truck or wheel lift to support the vehicle's weight safely. Also, ensure you have proper straps and attachments to secure the car during towing.

STEP 2. Position the Towing Equipment

First, position the tow truck or wheel lift in front of or behind the car, depending on the drive wheel configuration. If the car is front-wheel drive, place the towing equipment in front of it. For rear-wheel drive cars, position it behind.

This ensures the wheels being lifted are properly aligned with the towing equipment. Proper positioning is crucial to prevent damage and ensure a safe and effective tow.

STEP 3. Lift the Drive Wheels

Once the towing equipment is properly positioned, use it to lift the car's drive wheels off the ground while keeping the other wheels stationary.

STEP 4. Secure the Vehicle

To ensure the safety of your vehicle, tightly fasten straps or chains to secure it to the towing equipment. Securing the vehicle properly minimizes the risk of damage and accidents on the road.

Ensure that the straps or chains are securely attached to the towing equipment and the car's frame or designated tow points. Double-check all connections before proceeding with towing.

Should I hire a commercial towing service or tow the car myself?

Should I hire a commercial towing service or tow the car myself

If you're unsure about your ability to tow the car safely, it's best to hire a commercial towing service. They have the knowledge and expertise to handle the task efficiently and prevent potential damage.

Towing a flat car requires specific equipment and techniques, which may only be readily available or known by an individual with proper training. A commercial towing service possesses the necessary tools, such as tow trucks or flatbed trailers, to securely transport your vehicle without causing harm.

Maximize Your Car Towing Safety With An Engaged Transmission

As you can see, towing a car without putting it in neutral is possible, but it requires careful planning and attention to detail. Depending on your vehicle's transmission type and drive wheel configuration, you may need to use a tow dolly, flatbed trailer, or lift the drive wheels to do the job safely.

However, you can hire a heavy duty towing service to pull a car with the gear transmission engaged safely. They have the expertise and equipment to ensure a smooth and secure tow.

Remember, leaving it to the professionals is always the smartest choice regarding towing. Trust their knowledge and precision for an effortless towing experience that won't leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

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