Towing A Rear Wheel Drive Car: Details Answer

If unfortunately, your vehicle has a problem in the middle of the road and cannot move forward, the most effective way is to hire towing services. At this time, we will receive help from the staff and do not need to worry about other issues. But if you have to connect the vehicle to another vehicle for towing manually, you will need to know the system’s characteristics.

The problem will become more and more complicated when towing a vehicle using the wrong rear-wheel drive mechanism. So take a moment to refer to the information about towing a rear wheel drive car in the article below.

Can You Tow Rear Wheel Drive Car

Can You Tow Rear Wheel Drive Car? 

Of course, you can tow rear-wheel drive models with a trailer or truck. Like most other cars, we will also need tools to perform this operation.

Because of the unique rear-wheel drive (RWD) structure, the vehicle connection method has also changed.

The most typical is that you cannot pull back the rear-drive vehicle. The reverse transmission from the wheel to the engine will cause the car to be constantly stuck on the road and unable to move.

In addition, some gearbox problems, such as Ford Windstar Transmission Problem, can also stem from mistakes when towing the vehicle.

For the above reasons, you will need to perform some tricks such as lifting the car, pulling in a straight line, or more complicated than breaking the axle. Only then will the rear-wheel drive car move more stably.

Towing A Rear Wheel Drive Car

3 Options For Towing A Rear Wheel Drive Car 

There are three popular options that you should prioritize if you want to tow a rear-wheel drive car.

Unlike other methods, drive shaft removal, dinghy, and extra items are much more common. So you will easily find more information or refer to how to do it from many different sources.

Drive Shaft Removal

Removing the drive shaft is the safest method you can take if you want to tow RWD models. However, this is also the most complicated and time-consuming way, even if you already have the tools and experience.

In another aspect, the cost to carry out the dismantling is often cheaper than when buying other auxiliary items. So you should still consider contacting a professional if you want to remove the drive shaft.

The Dinghy

In case you do not want to affect anything on your vehicle, lifting the car will be more appropriate. Because as long as the wheel does not rotate, the transmission shaft will stay still, and the engine will not experience any damage.

In addition, you should use this method on new car models to avoid adverse effects on the warranty policy.

The dinghy will be the most convenient and easy to operate among the options. This item is designed like a small boat and will glide on the road with the car on top. That’s why no wheel will touch the surface at all.

Although the price is a bit high, the dinghy design is suitable for many models with different textures. From there, we can flexibly use this device in many cases.

Extra Items

The simplest and easiest method to tow a rear-wheel drive car is to use particular tools. Often we will come across tow bars, stakes, or chains that will be the most common choices regarding manipulation. But there are still many other options that you should consider.

If you want to remove the shaft, in addition to the pull rods, we also need specialized tools to do the above work. In addition, some vehicles also require technical ropes to pull most safely.

Most models today come with a dedicated set of hooks and have particular positions to fix this tool. So you will need to consult carefully rear wheel drive vehicles list support comes with a theme before use.

How To Tow Rear Wheel Drive Car

How To Tow Rear Wheel Drive Car? 

Here are the steps to towing a rear-wheel drive car most simply and easily. Follow all the items I’m about to mention, and you’ll quickly set up the bridges to tow the vehicle. And, of course, these instructions are available for manual and automatic cars.

Manual Transmission Cars

Step 1: Connect with the tools

Here I still encourage you to use the fastest and easiest method to use aids. So we will need to prepare hooks, fixed eyelets, and ropes to tie.

Often designers will place locations for hook connections at both the front and rear of the vehicle. Your task is to find and install fixed eyelets in these blanks. Be aware that selecting tools in the wrong position can cause damage to the surface.

We can proceed to connect when we have fully prepared the holding pins. You should also note that avoid using metal chains for safety.

Step 2: Install the gearbox

With models using a manual transmission, you need to release the handbrake and the parking brake for the vehicle to move. Always remember to set the car to zero to avoid possible problems.

Step 3: Handling special situations

If your vehicle cannot operate normally, the first thing to do is to activate the car and start the idling process. This way, adding more force to the front gear is easy.

Automatic Transmissions

Step 1: Lift the car

With automatic transmission cars, the manipulation of removing the transmission shaft will be more suitable to apply.

The location of this part is usually below the vehicle, so you will need to lift part of the vehicle to access it. Of course, only tools such as hydraulic jacks are suitable for this job. That’s why you need to prepare this tool in the car in advance.

Step 2: Remove the shaft

Once you’ve raised the vehicle, you can consider removing the vehicle’s crankshaft. Look for specialized bolts to fix this part of the rear differential. Then loosen all of the above, slide the axle forward, and lower it to remove this part from the car.

Step 3: Manipulating the U-joint

Once the drive shaft is removed, you will see the remaining U-joints inside the system. These parts are fragile and easily damaged if you do not take timely protection measures.

We need to use adhesive tape to fix this mechanism so that the operation will be more accessible when there is a need to reconnect.

Step 4: Connect to the trailer

You will need to prepare the hooks, fixings, and ties, then attach them to both vehicles and automatically start the towing front-wheel drive.

Is It Safe To Tow A Rear-Wheel-Drive Car Backwards? 

Pulling backward on RWD vehicles is never a safe option. Because these vehicles inherently use the rear axle to drive from the engine to the wheels. And if we reverse this process, the car is straightforward to get stuck or, worse, get damaged.

You can still mitigate the risks by removing the axle or lifting the vehicle. But these methods often require effort or expense for the tools involved.

Is Front Or Rear-Wheel Drive Better For Towing? 

Although challenging to manipulate, the RWD models are still more suitable for towing than the FWD series. Two main reasons for this assessment are the ability to transmit power based on weight distribution and adequate surface grip.

From the aspect of kinetic energy transmission, it is not difficult to realize that the car’s rear part is much lighter than the front part, which has the engine assembly. In addition, raising the rear axle also helps increase traction when there are fewer steering control systems.

The rear wheel system also tends to have good traction and more stability than the front wheel. Thanks to that, we will easily control the car to avoid obstacles while connecting with other vehicles.

How is a towed RWD vehicle different from an FWD vehicle

How is a towed RWD vehicle different from an FWD vehicle?

Both RWD and FWD have the exact mechanisms when it is necessary to connect for another vehicle to tow. In particular, the most crucial factor is always to keep the wheel attached to the drive shaft not to rotate while moving.

So if it is FWD, you need to fix the front wheel, while in RWD, it is the rear wheel. This difference makes the operations in both models somewhat different.

Tips to Tow A Rear Wheel Drive Car Safely 

In any case, you need to secure the hook and wire mechanisms between the two vehicles. Always check the wiring first to avoid problems like breaks or mid-way traction.

In addition, you also need to consider the completeness of the hooks in advance. After many uses, the certainty will also decrease, and you need to replace the new tool to ensure safety.


Can you tow a rear-wheel drive in neutral?

During towing, you do not need to set the vehicle to N (Neutral). We need to select the means to zero. And, of course, you also need to avoid putting the numbers too high to limit the risk of getting stuck while moving.

Does towing the car damage the transmission?

In some respects, towing will still damage the transmission. However, if you know how to handle it properly, you can reduce these problems to a minimum.

Can you tow an RWD car with a dolly?

You can pull the RWD with the dolly, but remember to remove or disconnect the drive shaft before proceeding to the next steps. If you forget this, the consequences will be dire after tow dolly rear-wheel drive.

What is the 80-20 rule for towing?

This is the rule you need to remember when you want to tow another vehicle or any items, such as a trailer or a mini house. This rule states that you should only use 80% of your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity. The remaining 20% ​​will help us stay safe when moving through less stable areas.


Towing a rear-wheel drive car is a challenging task that one can comfortably do without prior consultation. So please read carefully the information I have just shared to get the most appropriate handling when you need to tow RWD vehicles.

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