Automatic transmission vehicle towed the wrong way

A friend of mine has an old Ford truck he is parting out. The vehicle had been parked for years and does not run. When he acquired it, it had a rebuilt C4 transmission in it. He had a towing company relocate the vehicle, but they for whatever reason towed it with the rear wheels on the ground, transmission in neutral. They simply said “it’ll be okay” and did this against his request they do otherwise. They towed it approximately ten miles, speeds kept below 35 miles per hour. Getting the vehicle driveable to test the transmission is out of the question as it needs too many dollars worth of parts to accomplish that. I speculate the transmission is probably no good anymore. What do you guys think?

For what it’s worth, I think the transmission is FINE…But who knows?? It might be junk just like the rest of the truck…

More than likely there was damage to the transmission. Because the engine wasn’t running to operate the transmission pump, the internals of the transmission where rotating without lubrication while the truck was being towed.

Your friend should have called another tow service.


Too many unknowns to know for sure. The towing could have done some damage but other factors that could lead to problems is the fact that it sat for years and whether the definition of “rebuilt” means that it was rebuilt properly.

An old C4 that has been sitting, even if good, is not going to be worth a ton of money anyway.

It is most likley fine… Some cars you can tow all day with drive wheels on the ground. Others not at all. For example a GM powerglide can not be towed with its rear wheels on the ground, but almost ANY other GM trans can be. It all has to do with how the trans is oiled, some can spin its pump off the main shaft of the trans, OTHERS only when the motor is run. I do not know for sure which is true on the C4, but I beilve I have towed cars with a C4 in the past with rear wheels down and not had an issue.