What happens if I need to tow my car?
Should I just let the tow truck driver handle the towing?
Is there anything that I need to do?
When towing your car becomes necessary, the first step is to push or steer the car away from traffic and to the side of the road.
If your vehicle is a petrol or diesel model, towing your car must be done by lifting the end with the driven wheels.
In a rear-wheel-drive car, the rear must be raised on the tow-truck.
And for a front-wheel-drive car, the front end must be lifted up.
Only the wheels which are not driven should be allowed to roll on the road.
Towing my car tip #1: What if my car has four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive?
A four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive car cannot be towed with a regular tow truck.
It must be transported on a flat-bed truck.
Towing my car tip #2: What if my car is electric?
The same rules apply to any electric vehicle.
The car must never be towed with the driven wheels rolling.
This is because with conventional cars, particularly those with automatic transmissions, turning the driven wheels for several kilometres at even moderate road speeds would cause the transmission fluid to heat up and/or oil pressure build-up in the gearbox even if the selector is in N.
With EVs, there is no automatic transmission to be concerned about but there is an even more critical consequence from towing incorrectly.
Turning the driven wheels will generate current and heat in the same way regeneration works with electric or hybrid vehicles.
If the system has shut-down due to low charge it means the cooling system will not be operating and hence the heat built-up is a fire hazard.
It is only safe to push an electric car for a short distance at low speeds (walking speed) or tow it with the driven wheels off the ground.
Transporting any four-wheel-drive EV requires the car or SUV to be loaded on to a flat-bed.
If you are not aware of the towing precautions stated in your owner’s manual, just be safe and call in a flat-bed truck.