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Can Towing Ruin the Transmission?

Can Towing a Vehicle Damage Its Transmission?

Do you have a vehicle with an automatic transmission? Do you need it towed to the shop or some other location? Are you worried about possible damage from the tow? Here at O’Hare Towing, we understand our customers’ concerns when it comes to their vehicles. Other than a house, a car is one of the most significant purchases someone can make, and it makes sense to be worried about any possible damage to the vehicle’s transmission during towing. However, hopefully, this article (in addition to one of our previous articles about tow damage) will help calm some of those worries.

Possible Damage During Towing

Here at O’Hare Towing, we hardly meet a tow we aren’t willing to complete. No matter the issue, O’Hare Towing can get the job done. Call today to get started!

While the professional tow technicians at O’Hare Towing in Oak Park, Illinois know the ins and outs of towing like the backs of their hands, an inexperienced tow operator could cause damage to a vehicle’s:

  • tires
  • linkages
  • engine
  • transmission

However, not all of these problems are common (or likely), especially if dealing with a professional tow company like O’Hare Towing.

What Causes Damage to a Car During Towing?

There are a few different causes of vehicle damage during towing.

Automatic Transmission Vehicle Towed Incorrectly

One of the most common causes of vehicle damage while towing is when an inexperienced tow operator improperly tows a car with an automatic transmission. There is little to no risk involved when towing a vehicle with an automatic transmission on a flat-bed tow truck. However, if the tow operator tows the car with the drive wheels on the ground, that’s when damage can occur.

How to Tow a Vehicle with an Automatic Transmission

If possible, the safest way to tow any vehicle is with a flat-bed tow truck. This type of tow truck doesn’t allow for the wheels of a car to turn while being pulled. However, if the tow truck hooks the vehicle up with the drive wheels on the ground, significant damage can occur. When the drive wheels turn, so do the driveshaft or drive axels. The drive shaft and drive axels rotate components inside of the transmission. Vehicles with automatic transmissions only lubricate the transmission when the engine is running. The engine produces the hydraulic pressure that pumps fluid throughout the transmission for lubrication. If the engine isn’t running and the wheels turn the driveshaft or drive axels, the transmission could suffer damage as a result.

Therefore, the best way to tow a vehicle with an automatic transmission if a flat-bed truck is not available is as follows:

1. Shift into Neutral

While an automatic transmission does not disengage the wheels, most owners’ manuals still recommend shifting the car into neutral.

2. Use a Car Dolly for Front-Wheel-Drive and All-Wheel-Drive Vehicles

To ensure that the front wheels do not turn (and damage the transmission), tow front-wheel drive vehicles with a car dolly. The car dolly will prevent the front wheels from spinning and damaging the transmission.

3. Use a Tow Bar and Hitch for Rear-Wheel Drive Vehicles

Towing a rear-wheel-drive vehicle requires a bit more heavy lifting than a front-wheel-drive car. Tow operators must drop the drive shaft by removing the universal joint. Then, the towing technician must lower that end of the drive shaft gently to the ground, replace the bolts, and yoke the joint back into place so that the bolts don’t get lost. With a gentle tug on the driveshaft, the tow operator then frees the driveshaft from the transmission and stores it in the vehicle for reassembly on arrival. Then, the tow operator places the tow bar in front of the car and ensures all safety devices attach correctly. The tow operator will then lower the tongue of the tow bar onto the ball of the tow vehicle’s hitch.

Scuffs and Scratches

If a tow operator is careless, the vehicle may incur some scuffs and scratches during the towing process. Rest assured that the tow technicians at O’Hare Towing know what they’re doing and can safely tow your vehicle. Call today to get started!

Damage to the Tires

If a careless tow technician doesn’t tow the vehicle correctly or leaves it in park, the car drags on the pavement, which can severely damage the tread on the tires. Save yourself the stress and money by hiring a towing technician from O’Hare Towing to tow your vehicle where you need it!

How Can O’Hare Towing Help?

If you need a vehicle towed, but you’re worried about possible damage, you don’t have to worry when you hire O’Hare Towing. We have decades of combined experience among our staff, and our tow technicians know what they’re doing. Not only that, but we can also assist in recovery tows. Our expertise and customer service shows what we’ve known since the beginning: nobody knows more about towing than us. We can get your vehicle safely to any location; call today to get started!

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