Towing a rear wheel drive

when towing a rear wheel drive should you remove the drive shaft or simply put it up backwards?

If it has an automatic transmission, you can either remove the driveshaft or tow it with the rear wheels off the ground.


My curiousity has been activated, can you describe what you mean “put it up backwards” perhaps you mean put the car “up backwards”.

About towing rear wheel drive autos. If you need to move the car or truck 100 yards so as that you can get it to a place to work on it or load it up, it will not be a problem moving the car/truck this short distance with the rear wheels on the ground.

If it has a manual tranny you can simply put it in neutral and use a tow bar. The lubricant in manual trannys and differentials does not need to be cooled, is not pumped and used as a hydraulic fluid, or anything of the sort. It’s simply drawn up by the turning gears to lubricate the parts inside, and will do so whether being towed or being driven by the engine.

If it’s an automatic tranny, the problem is the tranny itself. Tranny fluid is pumped around for use as hydraulic fluid and for cooling. If the engine is not running, spinning the output shaft via the spinning wheels will not provide these functions. The best way to tow an automatic is to either disconnect the drivewheels from the tranny or to it with the drive wheels off the ground. You can rent a tow trailer and just put the whole car on it. That’s preferable to putting the rear end on a dolly and towing it backwards, because you don;t have to worry about the steering.

You are half-right. I think you are thinking of an all-wheel drive vehicle, which should be put up onto a flatbed rather than towed. A rear-wheel drive vehicle should be towed backwards so that the undriven front wheels contact the ground if a flat-bed is not used. The reverse is also true.

This is true only for a short distance tow. One should not tow a rwd vehicle a long distance with the rear wheels up in the air.

Let’s say I wanted to tow an auto tranny car a relatively short distance with all 4 wheels on the ground. What speed should I not exceed? How many miles could I go?

I’m thinking hypothetically, such as if my car broke down just a few miles from my house.

From all the varying opinions on here, I’d say, if possible, just request they bring a flat bed, if you’re having someone else tow it somewhere

It depends on the vehicle. The last one I remember was a GM vehicle. With the automatic transmission and on all four wheels being towed, the max speed was 15 MPH for no longer than five miles.


Why ?

Why in the world would you want to put more work on yourself than needed. On a RWD just tow it with the rear wheels off the ground. The steering wheel is a cinch, either run the seat belt through and around it or a piece of rope tied to it then close it in the door with both ends of the rope sticking out and tie a couple of knots in it.


I’d like to know that as well.