“Tow or not”: features of a car with automatic transmission
Is it possible to tow if the car is equipped with an automatic transmission?
Most motorists “heard something” about the fact that towing on a mechanical gearbox is different from towing on an “automatic machine”. However, far from everyone knows the details of these differences. Even owners of cars with automatic transmission in case of an emergency are often lost and do not know whether it is possible to tow a car or take someone in tow.
So, is it possible to tow a car equipped with automatic transmission or, conversely, use such a car as a tug? If so, are there any special requirements for these types of towing??
The difference between towing a car with an “automatic”
In the case of towing a car equipped with a manual gearbox, only one gear spins in the neutral position of the gearbox. Moreover, when towing a car with automatic transmission, when the box is in the neutral position, the whole mechanism will rotate. Since the device is not designed for such work, it quickly overheats and, as a result, can fail. In addition, the oil pump that discusses the gearbox only functions with the engine running. If you tow a car with the engine off, the transmission parts will work without lubrication. It can also lead to failure of the automatic transmission..
In the event that a car with automatic transmission acts as a tug, the transmission is also subjected to additional loads. And if a car with “mechanics” can be either towed or towed without any restrictions, then automatic transmission requires some “concessions”.
How to tow
Due to the fact that automatic transmissions on different car models can have significant differences, it is recommended to specify the possibility of towing such cars in the instruction manual. There you can find information on how far the vehicle can be towed and at what speed. Different manufacturers may vary these parameters. In rare cases, towing may be completely prohibited..
Naturally, such advice is only suitable if the need to tow a car is known in advance and there is time and opportunity to consult the manual. When this is not possible, experts and experienced motorists recommend focusing on the “golden mean”. So, according to these data, most cars with automatic transmission can be towed or used as a tug, traveling on them no more than 30 kilometers at a speed not exceeding 30 km / h. After that, to continue towing the car must be given a “rest”.
In addition to the manufacturer’s recommendations for each specific vehicle, there are general towing rules that apply to all cars equipped with automatic transmissions. In particular, if the car with the “automatic” was in tow, the box should be in position N. If the car with automatic transmission itself acts as a tug, towing is carried out in second or third gear.
One of the basic principles of the automatic transmission is forced lubrication and increased heat transfer. Before towing, make sure the gearbox oil level is correct..
When a car with automatic transmission acts as a tug
In principle, manufacturers advise avoiding such situations whenever possible. If there are no other options, certain rules must be followed. When towing, it is better to give preference to a rigid hitch. At the same time, the towed vehicle should not exceed the weight of its towing vehicle in its mass. As with towing, the speed should not exceed 30-40 km / h. The box should in no case be in position D, only 2 or 3. It is not recommended to switch to lower gears so as not to create additional loads.
A few more tips for towing a car with automatic transmission
Particular attention should be paid to towing cars with an “automatic” equipped with an all-wheel drive system. Most often, the manufacturer insists that such cars move exclusively on tow trucks. In the absence of such an option, the machine must be towed with a raised front or rear axle. Towing a towbar is highly undesirable.
No less attention when towing and deserves a CVT transmission. It’s worthwhile to turn to the manufacturer’s manual, because for some vehicles towing in the neutral position is recommended, while others definitely need a working engine, and for others, towing is completely prohibited.
Thus, towing a car with automatic transmission is troublesome and not always safe for the car. If possible, such tows are best avoided by using the services of a tow truck. However, if the situation is hopeless, it is worth approaching the process of towing a car with automatic transmission with all seriousness and responsibility.
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