Even those who have never driven an automatic transmission have probably heard that such cars are towed differently than cars still equipped with a manual transmission. In this respect, the automatic transmission loses noticeably to its manual counterpart and performs not in the best light. And yet, what should the lucky owner of automatic transmission keep in mind, if life has put him in a situation, when he needs to do the towing?
Probably the most important thing you should do even before the unpleasant situation happened is to open the manual of your saloon and find there the section on towing. Today there are many types of automatic transmissions and they all differ in what you can and cannot do. In fact, even the same gearboxes from different manufacturers are different when it comes to towing.
The main problem with any automatic transmission is its ATP fluid pump, which delivers strictly under high pressure. The salt is that there is no way the pump can jump the right pressure level during towing, which causes the box to have serious lubrication problems with the gears and shafts. It leads to heating and then to gearbox overheating. It ends in failure and costly repairs.
The general rule for all automatic transmissions is to put the transmission into neutral “N” before towing. And here are the first difficulties for many people. Especially if the car doesn’t start the engine. So, many cars with automatic transmissions can be put in the desired mode, just by pressing the brake pedal. Others have a special unlock button, which is located next to the lever. Less often it is hidden under the protective plug.
The next question that arises after going into “N” mode: how long and at what speed can you “drag”? The “50/50” rule applied to the old automatic transmissions: no more than 50 km/h and a towing range of no more than 50 km. The problem is that most modern automatic transmissions are not even capable of this. When the engine is not running, a lot of boxes these days are only designed to get on the tow truck platform. You can learn about the capabilities of your box from the manual. For example, complex modern “robots” are towed according to the “15 by 15” rule. Of course, there are exceptions. Avtovaz simple AMT in “N” position can be towed to hell.