Towing a 4 wheel drive car

2009-01-20_222453_firsttowThere are different types of four wheel drive transmissions and the kind of preparations required before towing a $ wheel drive car are not an obvious thing. If you’ve been watching carefully on your local highways, you must have seen lots of different towing methods. Why do we have so many options? The most important thing is to consult your manufacturer’s guide or handbook for your 4 wheel drive car.

When the drive wheels of a towed vehicle are left on the ground it may result in severe transmission damage. While this may happen for all vehicles, a four wheel-drive vehicle usually has special challenges considering the fact that all the wheels are drive wheels. A 4 wheel drive vehicle usually has extra transmission components which are lubricated in different ways.

Towing on a Trailer

Towing your 4 wheel drive car on a trailer won’t have any consequences as far as its transmission is concerned. However, you must first ensure the towing car and the trailer are both road-worthy and the 4 wheel drive is securely tied on the trailer. You may as well use a wheeled “dolly” to provide support to the trailing wheels of the towed 4 wheel drive. This should, however, be done if the other end of the towed 4 wheel drive car is raised clear of the ground by the towing vehicle.

Towed on Own 4 Wheels

When towing a vehicle, realize that the gearbox input shaft is usually stationary because the engine is not running. This means it is the road wheels that are driving the transfer-case output shafts and some components of the transfer-case and gearbox are moving at a relatively high speed. It, therefore, means towing on own 4 wheels doesn’t apply to all four wheel drive cars since the moving components may not be lubricated well enough to be towed at high speed and for prolonged distances. This depends on the transmission design.

If you must tow your 4 wheel drive car this way, consider removing the rear and front propeller shafts so that the transmission hand-brake can be inoperative. Don’t forget to check with the manufacturer.

Towing Sicklerville with the Front end lifted

The front end can be lifted on a dolly or by a towing vehicle. Notice that it is only the rear output shaft and the rear wheels on the ground that rotate when this happens. Since the transfer-case front output and the front wheels are not rotating, a relative movement between the transfer-case components is formed.

If your car is a part-time 4 wheel drive, you may experience problems especially when there is no adequate lubrication on the output-shaft and related gears as well as the transfer-case input shaft and related gears. On the contrary, if you have a full-time 4 wheel drive car with a center diff’, there won’t be any problems as the diff’ would be forced to function well outside its design conditions.

A 4 wheel drive car with a manual transmission, manual lockout hubs, and a manual transfer case can be towed with all its four wheels down without sustaining any damage. Well, there is no option when it comes to referring to the manufacturer’s manual to learn and understand how the unlocking or disengaging should be properly done. You must make sure there is no component that will be damaged when towing the car.

However, remember to install a drive shaft coupling device on the vehicle’s rear drive shaft if there are no manual lockout hubs and a manual transfer case on your 4 wheel drive car. The coupling will make it possible to quickly switch between driving and towing modes while on the driver’s seat.

The best and most important advice anyone can provide you with on towing a 4 wheel drive car is to direct you to the owner’s manual for guidelines, instructions, and precautions. If you are concerned about the safety of your vehicle, review this information because the guidelines are set for a specific car model.


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Hire a wrecker

download (4)If you won a vehicle it’s a guarantee that you’ll at least experience the frustration of a breakdown. Your vehicle can really be an inconvenience especially when it gets damaged when least expected. Consider this, you’re on your way to a very important business meeting and then you get involved in a traffic accident.

In most cases, emergency services will dispatch the wrecker to the accident scene making things much easier. However, your engine may develop problems or find yourself in a slide-off or a breakdown in a place where there are no emergency services and the police. What happens? It can be a less stressful experience when you hire a reputable, professional wrecker service. Before contacting a wrecker service, consider the following guidelines:

Do a research on the reputation of the tow company.

Reputation is very important when selecting any service. You may contact your friends or family and see if they can recommend a reputable towing provider. Ask for details on pricing and if they accept credit cards.

Don’t give in to a tow truck that shows up from no where

Unless the tow company has been dispatched by emergency services, don’t just accept and trust a truck that shows up from nowhere. It doesn’t matter whether they offer the cheapest services, simply stay away. A reputable towing company will have its identification number and license numbers displayed on their truck.

Take a Picture of your car and sign the paperwork wisely

You can use your phone to snap some pictures of your car’s condition before the tow provider arrives. This will help you in case of any unexplained damages to your car upon reaching the destination. Read through the paperwork and sign right below or nearby the agreed payment. You don’t want to pay for additional charges without your knowledge.

Ask for a receipt after payment

No one is ready to pay for unnecessary charges. Ask for a copy of the receipt after the work is completed. You also don’t want to forget a copy of the invoice. This will help you pay for authorized charges only.

A professional wrecker service can help if your find yourself in any of the following situations:


Maybe you’re driving on the highway and your car slips into a ditch. Call a professional wrecker service for winch-out services and your car will be back on the road.

Safe Towing

You’ve just had a traffic accident. Well, as your friends or family offer you a ride home, a professional wrecker can transport your vehicle safely without further damage.

Collisions and flat tires

A vehicle can receive critical damage during collisions and it’s only a professional wrecker who can help in determining if it can be safely moved. Furthermore, a wrecker will help deliver your car safely to your preferred auto shop or a reliable one for inspection. Professional wreckers can help replace or patch your flat tire and get you back on the road.

Jump starting and minor repairs

Most professional wreckers have some understanding on how to do minor repairs such as refueling, changing tires, and unlocking cars. This means you won’t have to worry about towing your vehicle to an auto shop for such minor repairs. A professional wrecker does more than just hauling your vehicle. He can as well provide jumper cable and jumping services in the event that your car battery fails.

Emergency services

No one knows when their car will break down. The good thing is that you can hire a professional wrecker any time. Most of them offer twenty-four emergency services.

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