Saturday 24th July 2021

Towing the car right? This is how it's done!

Reading time approx. 6 Minutes

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Often, towing is the only option if the vehicle stops in the middle of the road and does not want to start again. What many do not know: there are also some rules that must be observed when towing vehicles. It doesn't matter whether you own an electric, manual or automatic transmission car, in this article we provide you with all the important tips you need to know in order to be towed or towed safely.

that must be observed

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The general rule is that a car may only be towed if it is not possible to repair it on the spot. This is the case, for example, if the electronics have been damaged when coolant leaked, the engine no longer starts or the vehicle can no longer be moved due to a defective transmission. In fact, if there is a lack of fuel, for example, it is not allowed to tow the car. It is also important that if the vehicle interferes with the flow of traffic or is parked on the motorway, you properly approach the danger zone to secureso that nobody is endangered. And note that the key is in the ignition at the first stage has to stop if you want to tow a car that is no longer ready to drive. If you don't do this, the steering wheel lock may click into place. If you want to tow a vehicle that has a start button, you have to press it longer and not press the brake pedal while doing so.

Don't forget to take out a gear or drive position!

Automatic conversion manual transmission manual transmission 1 towing the car correctly? This is how it's done!

Furthermore, the gear must be taken out and the handbrake must be released. If you drive a vehicle with an automatic transmission, you must (provided that the vehicle's electronics work) Set the gearshift to "N" and also do not drive off too quickly. If the electrics no longer work, there is a manual variant of many vehicles to get the transmission in neutral. You can usually find more information on this in the manual for the vehicle or in the common search engines. It is also important to ensure that the tow rope or tow bar selected (more about the tow bar) matches the weight of the vehicle that needs to be towed. Furthermore, you should also make sure that the towing vehicle can not be is considerably smaller and lighter than the vehicle you are trying to tow. Here it is advisable to take a look at the manual of the vehicle that is to be towed.

Tow rope or a tow bar?

Towing a car with a tow bar is easier. This is due to the fact that the bar creates a fixed distance between the two vehicles and prevents accidental collisions. Now you might think that this doesn't happen often, but it happens relatively often and quickly, because the braking effect of the defective car is significantly lower because the brake booster is no longer involved when the engine is switched off. In addition, the distance is limited to a few meters, which are often used up with the response time. But even with a tow bar, you as the driver of the car to be towed should have brakes if the vehicle in front is doing it. Finally, the additional vehicle weight can significantly worsen the braking point of the towing vehicle.

no power steering when the engine is not running

Active steering Servotronic dynamic steering Retrofitting 2 e1586341372508 Towing the car correctly? This is how it's done!

In addition to the reduced braking power, steering the car is also much more difficult because the power steering is out of order. The disadvantage of a tow bar is that it is much heavier than a tow rope and is also usually more expensive and difficult to stow. Regardless of whether you are towing with a tow bar or a tow rope - you always have to attach the tow hooks to the two cars and usually turn them completely counterclockwise. This is because more recent car models have towing eyes that are not welded on, but screwed in, which is why care should be taken to ensure that they are properly attached.

note the length and the correct fastening

If you want to tow with a tow rope, make sure that you attach the rope to the two tow hooks and finally hang the rope between the vehicles. It is extremely important that only those ropes are used that are suitable for towing vehicles and that are no longer than 5 meters.

Use of hazard warning lights when towing

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If one vehicle is towing another, both vehicles must have the hazard warning lights switched on and also the lights when it is dark. When the hazard warning lights are switched on, it is no longer possible to blink when turning. Therefore, a change of direction must be made clear by a hand signal. When turning right, it is advisable to stretch your hand out of the left window and point over the roof (if possible) to the right. If that is not possible, you have to try another way to make other road users understand. If the car has been so badly damaged that the hazard warning lights no longer work, you must have the vehicle loaded professionally and not tow it yourself.

What about electric cars?

Most of the time, electric cars cannot be towed, but must also be loaded. This is due to induction voltages that can arise from the motor and thus damage the entire electronics.

What else do you need to consider?

When towing a vehicle, you should not drive faster than 50 km / h. Although this is not mandatory, it is still recommended for safety reasons. Furthermore, you are only allowed to tow on the motorway if the breakdown actually happened there. When towing, you should start off with particular caution and brake again particularly slowly. Starting off too hard can cause damage to both vehicles and the same applies to braking too hard.

Note: A vehicle has to be Towing device have. All information is available in our article "The towing device - mandatory on every vehicle!".

all information about towing a car summarized:

  • Statutory regulations on towing can be found in Section 15a of the StVO
  • Towing with a tow rope on the motorway to the next exit only for a short time
  • Towing with a tow rope outside the motorway to the next workshop
  • when towing hazard lights Activate on both vehicles
  • theoretically, every road user may be towed if his vehicle is suitable
  • Towing with rope or rod possible
  • Towing with a trailer only to the next exit
  • Occupant of the towed car must no Have a driver's license (only need to be at least 15 years old)
  • it exists none legal speed limit for the trailer (40-50 km / h should not be exceeded)
  • Tow bars offer more security than a rope
  • Towing with rope and broken brakes just with a towing service or a tow bar
  • the rope set a link from your homepage to must be marked with a colored flag (more about signal flags / warning flags on vehicles)
  • Your vehicle's operating manual shows where and how the towing equipment must be attached
  • Automatic and electric cars should be transported by a towing service
  • If possible, move the automatic transmission to the N position
  • Take the gear out of the gearshift truck
  • Release the handbrake
  • Tow vehicles as slowly as possible to prevent high friction
  • It is advisable to tow an e-vehicle or one with automatic, not more than 20 kilometers at a time without a break (transmission and battery should be able to cool down)

Of course that had not happened yet!

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