Car being flat towed

Can I Tow My Car?

Which cars are better suited to tow with a tow rope than others? The cars that are the easiest to tow are “manuals” which most of the time can just be put in neutral and towed (ideally with the engine running as below). However, when you are trying to tow an electric, automatic or hybrid car there can be potential problems.

Automatic Transmission Cars – When you are towing a manual the gears will turn which in turn splash oil to keep the car lubricated so that everything happens smoothly. Automatic transmissions use a different system that means the transmission is only lubricated properly when the engine is running. If the cars drive train is not lubricated then towing could cause damage to various parts of the car such as drive axle seals. In short, if your car needs to be moved to an auto repair garage we advise you to request a flatbed tow truck which can save a lot of trouble and potential costs down the road. Towing with a tow rope is not advised but if you must in an absolute emergency it is recommended to not exceed 30 kph and less than 10 km distance.

Electric Cars – Electrics cars do not have a neutral position in the transmission. The motor-generator is still connected to the wheels but they are not receiving any power to drive it. This can cause damage to the motor-generator if the wheels are turning the motor/generator. At higher RPMs towing an electric car can cause a lot of damage to the motor/generator and can cause the destruction of the motor-generator. Some models of electric cars are better suited to being towed such as the Nissan leaf 2012 which features options that allow it to be towed via a tow rope however Nissan still strongly recommends that the best way to transport an electric car is with a flatbed tow truck.

Hybrids – Hybrids are a cross between electric and petrol cars and should not be towed because it spins the motor-generator which can cause internal damage to the motor-generator/ motor transmission. It is not recommended that you use tow rope in any circumstances on a hybrid and instead you should use a flatbed tow truck.

If you would like to know the risks and tips for towing with a tow rope, click here: Risks of towing 

For more rules around when you should tow your car click here: The Official New Zeland Rode Code

Car Towing and Transporting in Hamilton

Do you need a car transported or repaired? If so, you’ve come to the right place! At Grimmer Motors, we strongly recommend that you move a broken down vehicle with a car transporter/flatbed tow truck. We can give you contact phone numbers to use or in some cases organize the flatbed tow truck for you so that you can bring the vehicle to us for the necessary car estimates and repairs. This will minimize the risk of damage to you and your car.

For towing, car transporter, repairs and services in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!


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