Can a fully automatic car be towed?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by American Dream, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Why was this thread closed? http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/motorhome-chat/7509-smart-towing.html

    We were just discussing why a SMART could be towed and the answers were totally relevant.

    I certainly have no intention of getting personal as I was answering from hands-on experience of stripping a Smart.I apologise if it came over as such.

    Forget the tuning aspect.

    The fact is that the Getrag gearbox is an electrically operated Manual gearbox.

    It can be operated in full "auto" under the control of the ECU or manual modes.

    Change the electronic actuators for linkages (clutch and gearchange) and you'll have yourself a totally manual 'box.

    I made the same mistake in thinking the SMART of that era was a fully auto gearbox in the true sense of the word when I initially bought one.

    There are no torque converters etc involved...hence it can be towed on an "A" Frame with no problem.

    My question is.... can other fully automatic cars be towed.I know my RV cannot and there are warnings to disconnect the propshaft if recovery is required by towing.....:Eeek:

    Steve.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2008
  2. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    Hi, Steve, As you probably know vehicles with torque converter automatics cannot be towed for any real distance at any real speed due to the design, however the new breed of automated manual boxes is a different story! due to the "advances" in technology they are all computer -controlled and full of gizmos that you can't do anything with except replace if they go wrong and then you need a pc to diagnose it in the first place at mega bucks, so its probably best to take notice of the manufacturers advice. Unless of course somebody has towed for thousands of miles without problems . I think it is a very grey area and should be treated with ca
    ution .:Sad:
    Hope this helps a bit (probably doesn't!)
    Dave:thumb:

    ps don't know why thread was pulled either
    Dave:thumb:
     
  3. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Have you investigated towing a Fully auto vehicle Dave?

    I have heard rumours that it is not adviseable as damage can occur to the transmission.

    I would love a small auto TOAD but I am very wary now of what I can tow.

    Sadly the SMART is too small for me, my wife and 3 kids....:Doh:

    Steve.
     
  4. Phoenix

    Phoenix Read Only Funster

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    Hi,
    There are some auto transmission cars that can be towed:thumb:
    Honda CR-V
    Suzuki Grand Vitara
    Also a lot of American auto cars can be Toads.
    I personally tow my Grand Vitara

    Chris
     
  5. dazzer

    dazzer Read Only Funster

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    I tow our Jeep Grand Cherokee which is a 4X4 on an a frame You need to keep the transmission in Park and put the transfer box into neutral.

    It tows a dream!!:thumb:

    I would have thought than any auto 4X4 with a neutral in the transfer box system would tow with no worries.:Wink:

    I looked into towing the F150 Lightning (Automatic pick up) as well but his needed a modification fitting to the propshaft to disengage the propshaft from the gearbox. Its an American system which is operated by a lever inside the cab when towing behind an RV. The kit was about $400 (unfitted) and they make them for nearly all USA cars and a few Euros as well (BMW/MERC/Japs etc).

    Personally id go for a 4X4 everytime!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  6. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Cheers Dazzer,

    That's what I thought.My Manual for the Dodge suggests disconnecting the propshaft.As it happens it did EXACTLY that on the M1 last year....but at the wrong end......:Doh:

    PS I'll always tow the Lightning for you if you need a hand.:RollEyes::Wink:
     
  7. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Cheers Chris.:thumb: That car might fit the bill nicely.

    Steve.
     
  8. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    Hi, Steve, only just managed to chuck the wife off the pc- only joking, been watching the footy! Anyway it's always best to check with the handbook or manufacturer about towing autos. On the other tack I had a JBA kit car with a Rover V8 & autobox, I imported one of the kits mentioned to disconnect the propshaft from inside the car and it worked a treat-towed it behind our 33' F
    oretravel RV- didn't know it was there! I will try to get some pics posted
    Regards, Dave:thumb:
     
  9. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Cheers Dave,

    That would be great.:thumb:

    Was thinking, in the interim, of towing our MPV, Toyota, so the wife doesn't have to drive behind, but would really like something a bit smaller although it still has to be 5 seats.

    Looking at the braking and weight limit constraints too.

    Steve.
     
  10. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    Hi, Steve I've been trying to upload a photo for you but gan't get it right:cry:--are there any clever peeps near westhoughton who can help? I would be grateful for advice. Sorry I just missed you.
    Dave
     
  11. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Hi Dave and thanks,

    Have you taken a look at Jim's tutorial here. Created by Jim for MotorhomeFun5
     
  12. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    ]Hi, Steve I've been trying to upload a photo for you but gan't get it right:cry:--are there any clever peeps near westhoughton who can help? I would be grateful for advice. Sorry I just missed you.
    Dave
     
  13. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    Hi steve will try later- have to go now.
    bye for now, Dave:thumb:
     
  14. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Cheers Dave,

    Have a good evening.:thumb:

    Steve.
     
  15. olley

    olley Funster

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    Hi you can't tow an old fashioned autobox because the autoboxes oil pump is driven by the engine, ergo: no engine, no oil pressure, big bang. So you need to disconnect the prop as has been suggested.

    Ordinary manual gearboxes rely on splash lubrication so can be happy towed, as I understand it the Merc sprintshift and other similar types of modern autoboxes simply use an ordinary manual box and clutch, but with computer controlled electric actuators to change gear and operate the clutch, so should be ok to tow.

    Given the small size of the market for towing 4 wheels down in Europe I think its unlikely that any European manufacturer is going to bother testing it out. Its easier to just say NO.

    Olley
     
  16. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    Hi Steve, Trying to download pic now.
     

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  17. clivemott

    clivemott Deleted User

    "The fact is that the Getrag gearbox is an electrically operated Manual gearbox.

    It can be operated in full "auto" under the control of the ECU or manual modes.

    Change the electronic actuators for linkages (clutch and gearchange) and you'll have yourself a totally manual 'box."

    I was told by a SMART sales person that the transmission relies on an engine driven oil pump for its lubrication and this is the reason that "A" frame towing is not recommended.

    Is this true or codswallop??

    C.
     
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