How To Tow A Car With No Brakes

How to tow a car with no brakes

You are not advised to contemplate either towing or driving a car without functional brakes. This caution does not depend on either the size or weight of the car; whatever the size or weight of the vehicle, it shouldn’t be towed if it has no brakes.

For this reason, most automobile producers have instructed in clear terms against towing vehicles with no sound brakes.

Curiously, however, there are still some queer procedures people adopt nowadays to enable them to tow these vehicles even when there are no brakes.

Firstly, it is common to tow most vehicles when they do not have sound brakes either on a tow dolly or the bed of a tow trailer. An operational criterion for doing this well is how you arrange the cars prior to towing.

For instance, if you wish to tow a car with no functional brakes, it is possible to do it by arranging so as to make it the lead or towing vehicle which always stays in the front. With this arrangement, as you tow on, the application of the brakes in the towed car will be effective on both vehicles.

However, if you want this method to be safe, you have to ascertain that the towing vehicle is a little heavier than the car being towed at the back. Otherwise, it is easy to sustain damage in the vehicle doing the towing. Again, the towed vehicle at the back must always have reliable brakes for the process to succeed.

The snag with this arrangement however is that you should have a very strong tow hitch or bar. Otherwise, it can break suddenly whenever the towed vehicle applies its brakes, which may be a prelude to potential accidents.

You also have the option of towing a vehicle without sound brakes if you load it onto the bed of a tow trailer. Since damage can occur when the drive-wheels are allowed to roll on the ground, these methods of towing do not permit that to happen.

Put in another way, the possibility of damage to the car is all but eliminated if you tow it on a tow trailer or a dolly.

This method of towing is also very effective and applicable to all sorts of vehicles no matter their specifications. As long as you do not allow the active drive wheels to roll freely on the ground, the chances of your transmission system getting affected are all but eliminated.

What are the safety measures to apply?

Now that we have discussed the possible ways of safely towing a vehicle without brakes, it is therefore pertinent to also discuss what safety measures to adopt that will make the process a lot safer.

One, before you endeavor to tow with no brakes, you have to make sure that both the towing and towed vehicles are fully compatible in terms of their weights.

To be specific, the towing vehicle, which is in front, has to be heavier than the towed vehicle at the back. Again, there is the need to have good indicators and sidelights throughout the two.

The roles played by effective brakes in towing can hardly be overemphasized. Therefore, at least, one of the two cars must have very effective brakes for towing to be safe. Finally, it is always recommended for you to constantly monitor what is happening behind you as you tow.

Consequently, you are enjoined to make sure that your rearview mirrors are also well placed too. We should not forget that in most places worldwide, the maximum speed for safe flat towing is about 35 miles per hour(mph).

As a result, you must not tow at any speed more than this and should also be careful when taking corners. If you adhere to these recommendations, your towing experience will certainly be safe and fun to behold.

Is it safe to tow a car without brakes?

For the avoidance of any doubts, it is never safe to either tow or drive a car without brakes. However, there are measures you can adopt to make it relatively safer.

All the same, it is still better if you do not tow without brakes. If you must tow with no brakes, you must arrange the vehicles in such a manner that the towing vehicle in front is the one without brakes, while the vehicle being towed behind has functional brakes.

In this situation, whenever you apply the brakes, it benefits both cars. It may not be safe to tow a vehicle without brakes if it is allowed to roll on its tires.

However, this lack of brakes becomes unimportant if you are towing the vehicle on the flatbed of a tow trailer such that none of its wheels is in contact with the ground.

This is one sure way you can safeguard or protect the transmission mechanism of the car. So, depending on how you plan to flat-tow the vehicle, it can be safe to do it even without effective brakes.

Can all vehicles be towed without brakes?

Yes, all vehicles can be towed, and safely too, even with no brakes, although that is determined by how you execute the entire process. One, if you use the services of the appropriate tow trailer on whose flatbed you load the vehicle to be towed, you may be able to tow it safely.

Again, if you can use another car that is able to withstand the weight of the car you wish to tow, you can simply hitch them up and you are ready to tow away. So, yes, all vehicles can be flat towed if you use the correct equipment like a compatible tow truck or an appropriate tow dolly.

Make sure all the required equipment for flat towing is working fine, such as lights, mirrors, and brakes. Finally, drive at speeds not more than those which are recommended for safe towing. If you ensure this, all vehicles can be flat towed.

Are brakes needed on a tow dolly?

Effective and reliable brakes are important on a tow dolly. It is for this reason that there are countries where brakes are mandated on tow dollies so much so that it constitutes a grave traffic offense if you fail to have brakes on your dolly.

In such places, it may be a little difficult to sell off a dolly with no brakes. So, yes, brakes are necessary on a tow dolly.


(1). Can you flat tow a jeep without brakes?

It is not advisable to tow a jeep without brakes. However, whether it can be done or not depends on how you plan to flat tow it. For example, if you are towing the jeep on the flatbed of a tow trailer, it is safe to do so.

On the contrary, if you plan to tow the jeep with another vehicle, you must make sure that at least one of them has very functional and effective brakes. But, specifically, the vehicle without brakes must be the one to do the towing.

However, if they both have brakes, all that may be required is to ascertain that they are compatible with each other in terms of their weights.

Most importantly, any vehicle with a gross weight of about 3,000 pounds or more is supposed to have brakes for safe and effective towing.  In a nutshell, you can tow a jeep without brakes but it depends on how you want to do the towing.

(2). Can you flat tow a car without trailer brakes?

Although it can be done if you adopt some ubiquitous measures, that notwithstanding, any vehicle with a gross weight of 4,000 pounds and above is required to have effective brakes. Consequently, it is not advised to tow a car without trailer brakes.

(3). Is flat towing safe?

Yes, towing a vehicle can be very safe, but it all depends on how you wish to do it. One, if your vehicle is a front-wheel-drive (FWD) model, you can tow it on a tow dolly by simply lifting its active wheels off the ground, a procedure that will safeguard its transmission system.

Most importantly, you can flat-tow any sort of vehicle on the bed of a tow trailer without any issues irrespective of the type of drive wheel it possesses.

To make the process safer, make sure that you have very functional and effective brakes. In addition to this, you have to equally make sure that your side and indicator lights are all working well. Rearview mirrors should also be properly positioned and clean to allow you unimpeded inspection of the cargo behind you.

Finally, drive at the speed recommended for safe towing in most places, which is not more than about 3,000 to 4,000 miles per hour (mph). If you take care of all these, flat towing can be very safe and fun all at once.

Conclusion – How To Tow A Car With No Brakes

Although flat towing is both frightening and confusing, if you go about it with absolute care, it can be fun to relish. Specifically, you should always refer to the user manual which is your primary guide at all times.

Consequently, front-wheel-drive cars can be towed without brakes by making them the towing vehicles in front. While for all other types of vehicles, you can tow them with no brakes on the flatbed of a tow truck or trailer. Which method you choose is applicable for towing cars with no functional brakes.

How To Tow A Car With No Brakes
How To Tow A Car With No Brakes

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