Will Towing Damage Automatic Transmission?

will towing damage automatic transmission

Some of the parts of the car that could easily get damaged when pulling go wrong is the gear. Many people are always concerned about this before they agree to pull any car or while pulling.

While many enthusiasts believe that manual gears are safe when you use them to pull, some are worried about whether automatic gears could be ruined by pulling.

The type of method you use for pulling will determine whether the gear will be affected or not. If pulled wrongly, especially when two wheels are on the ground, the automatic gear could likely get ruined.

For the pulling vehicle, when the weight of what is being pulled is beyond the capacity of the vehicle, the gear could also be affected. Check out this article for more information.

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Things you should do before you tow automatic transmission

The automatic gear is prone to quick wear when pulled wrongly. Unlikely the manual gear that could be pulled with any suitable method, you should be cautious with automatic. The following are some of the things you should consider before you pull automatic gear.

Method of pulling

Being a car with automatic gear, all pulling methods are not suitable. For instance, it is not advisable that you flat-pull a car with automatic gear. This is because flat pulling is only suitable for all wheels and front wheels vehicles with manual gear.

You can check the manual of the car for a suitable gear method. If possible, you can make use of a truck bed when you want to pull a car with automatic gear. In this way, the car is not subjected to any threat.

pulling distance

The distance between your present location and where you are pulling the car is another thing that you should consider before you pull an automatic gear vehicle.

The gear could be protected if you are just pulling the car for a few meters. In a situation where you are pulling to a far distance, you should adopt the right method.

Weight of the car

You need to get a car that can safely pull an automatic gear before you begin the pulling process. One of the things that will help you determine if the car has the capacity is the weight of the vehicle. You can check the manual for information on the weight.

Just get a pulling car that is weightier and bigger. The weight of the car will also suggest if it is legal for you to pull such a vehicle.

Be mindful of the speed

If you increase the pressure on the car by moving at a higher speed, the gear of the pulled car could be affected, especially if you do not get the pulling method right. It is recommended that you move at a slower speed when you are pulling an automatic gear vehicle.

The brake is important

You should also check if the braking system of the car is functional. This is because it is illegal for you to pull or drive any car without a functional brake. The solution to pulling a car without a functional brake is to hire a truck, whose truck bed will be used to take the car to the desired location.

Alternatively, you can also install a supplemental brake or turn on the electric parking brake, depending on the model of the car and the manufacturer.

The benefits of using a manual gear car for towing

Though you can use both automatic and manual gear to pull, many experts believe that the use of manual gear is better than automatic. Do not panic if you have automatic gear. Some pulling companies have trucks that are equipped with automatic gear. Below are some of the benefits of pulling with manual gear.

Driving experience

It is relatively more comfortable to pull with manual gear than automatic. This is because manual shifts are easy to handle and you will have absolute control over the vehicle, whether you are going uphill or downhill.

With automatic gear, you do not have such control. The computer is also controlling the gear. Moreover, shifting with the manual is swift and easy and you could lose speed and momentum when you are pulling with an automatic.

Movable weight

If an automatic gear and manual gear car have the same pulling capacity, it is unlikely that the automatic gear car will be able to pull the weight that a manual gear car will pull. This is because automatic gears are prone to quick wear and they could easily fail when the pressure is overwhelming.


If you have observed, when exposed to the same stress, an automatic gear will likely fail before a manual gear. Many experts even believe that automatic gear is not as reliable as manual gear under some circumstances.

Easy to maintain

If there is an issue with both manual and automatic gear while pulling, it will be easier and cheaper to fix the issue with manual gear than automatic gear. Moreover, it is believed that manual gear lasts longer than automatic gear when maintained properly.

Guidelines for towing a vehicle

If you want to pull a vehicle, irrespective of the type of gear that you want to use, there are some things that you must comply with. Below are some of the guidelines for pulling a vehicle.  

The tow rating

This implies that you must know the weight of the vehicles involved in the pulling. The rule of doing this means that the pulling vehicle, irrespective of the gear must be bigger and heavier than the car you want to pull.

No one must be in the vehicle

You should inspect before you start pulling if there is anybody or a pet in the car that you want to pull. This is because it is illegal for you to pull a car when someone is in it, except for some cases.

Have the right paper

There are some documents that the pulled car must have to avoid issues on the road. For instance, the car must be registered and have other valid documents. You could be involved in a lawsuit if the car does not have the right paperwork.

Turn on the ignition

This depends on the pulling method that you adopt. In a situation where part or all the wheels will be rolling on the floor while pulling the vehicle, you should turn on the ignition. You can also check the manual of the car for more information about this.

Some of the dangers of towing

While pulling, you should know that both the pulling car and the pulled car are subjected to potential damage. The damage could be severe if pulling should go wrong. The following are some of the likely dangers involved in pulling.

Ruined vehicle

Both vehicles could be ruined in the process of pulling if it should go wrong. For instance, if you pull an automatic gear car with the wrong method, it will likely be damaged in the process.

Also, the gear of the pulling car is at risk when the weight of the pulled car overwhelms the pulling vehicle. The chassis, brake, and suspension could also become overwhelmed if you fail to do the right thing.

Difficulty to maintain a straight line

While pulling, you should be able to move the car normally the same way you would have moved if additional weight is not attached to it. However, you could find it difficult to maintain a straight line while pulling. This is usually when you do not follow the pull rating of the vehicle.

Time wastage

If you have a busy schedule and you volunteer to pull another car, likely, you will stay longer than you envisage. This is because you will not be able to move at the speed you wanted. Moreover, regular inspection of the pulling material could also add to the minutes you will spend on the road.

More expenses

Bringing a mechanic to the roadside to fix your car is expensive because you will pay for the transportation of the mechanic and other services. While pulling to the mechanic workshop is a good option, you could incur more expenses in the process.

It has been said earlier that the car could be damaged in the process. Fixing the issue will also cost you more money.

Being involved in a lawsuit

Some of the things you must consider before you pull a car have been highlighted earlier. This implies that there will be serious consequences apart from damages when you fail to comply. For instance, if you pull an unregistered car and you are arrested by the cops, you could be paying a fine if you are lucky.

However, have you taken your time to consider what the situation will be if the car is stolen or has been involved in a crime?

Void of warranty

When pulling goes wrong and your car is affected, you could be denied your warranty claim if the dealer gets to know the reason for the damage.

Conclusion – Will Towing Damage Automatic Transmission

The gear, just like the other parts of the car is prone to damage when you pull, irrespective of the type of gear.  

Will Towing Damage Automatic Transmission?
Will Towing Damage Automatic Transmission?

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