How To Tow Rear Wheel Drive Car – Detailed Guide

Unlike towing a front-wheel drive car, towing a rear-wheel drive one is way easier and more manageable.

Although it still has its problems and difficulties, they are much easier to overcome than those of FWR vehicles.

Knowing how to tow rear wheel drive car is important. But the one thing you first need to worry about is the car’s transmission (mechanics).

This should be your number one concern since it can make or break your car. There are two styles of transmission: automatic and manual transmission.

In the case of the automatic transmission, improper towing of these cars can ruin the transmission.

Using transportation engineering and vehicle technology, this guide only requires some skills of a DIY mechanic. You don’t need to have any expert tools.

How To Tow Rear Wheel Drive Car
Tow Rear Wheel Drive Car

How To Tow Rear Wheel Drive Car

There are some key differences between automatic and manual transmission. When your car has automatic transmission technology, it can change to different gears all by itself. This means that drivers do not need to make the adjustments.

On the other hand, mechanical engineering tells us that manual transmission cars rely on drivers.

They need to use the clutch to accelerate land transport. Let’s look at car layouts with manual transmission.

Manual Transmission Cars

As you might recall, the biggest issue in the process of towing a rear-wheel-drive car is how not to damage the transmission.

When you are driving a manual transmission automotive industry and using a tow bar, you can put it in neutral and do the trick.

But how do people go about towing a rear wheel drive car with manual transmission?

Step 1

Attach Tow Strap
tow strap attached to the front part of the frame

You first need to get your tow strap attached to the front part of the frame. Also, many motor vehicles have tow eyelets.

There are a lot of cars equipped with these. You would want to use it to protect the car during transportation to the dealership.

To join the tow strap, you have to try finding safe places. You should be careful not to attach this strap to the engine or radiator core support.

Another thing to avoid is using chains for towing. These have a high chance of breaking and then becoming hostile projectiles.

Step 2

Attach Trailer
Attach Trailer

The next step is to attach the vehicles doing the towing with the strap. One example of a safe point for attachment is a trailer hitch. This is also the case for the tow eyelets.

You shouldn’t attach to the bumper that doesn’t come with the exhaust system or tow hitch.

Similar to the components of the engine and core support, areas like these are not strong enough to support the pulling of another car.

Step 3

The next appropriate step is releasing its parking brake. You have to shift into the neutral transmission.

This lets the towed wheeled vehicles roll back. Now, whenever possible, it will hold the slack of the tow strap.

In case it is not plausible, you will have to let the leading vehicle take up the slack by idling forward.

The car being towed ought to hold the slack on the towing strap tight plus secured during the towing process.

This also helps the towing car (vehicle) decelerate at a stop and when making a turn.

Automatic Transmissions

When towing a rear wheel drive car on a dolly or dealing with automatic transmission, you must disconnect the drive shaft.

There is also the option to use additional accessories such as lube pumps and driveshaft couplings.

Unless you use a driveshaft coupling, you will need to remove the driveshaft itself. Using it enables you to switch between two modes: driving and towing.

When the drive shaft is engaged, you switch to driving. Likewise, when the drive shaft is disengaged is when you are towing.

It can be a quick solution for an otherwise time-consuming process of disconnecting the drive shaft. So how to tow an RWD car with a dolly?

Step 1

The first step of how to tow a rear wheel drive automatic car is to support and raise the rear of the car.

You can do this using jack stands and a floor jack. You would want the jack to support the car’s weight. So you need to put the jack stands below the rear axle.

Step 2

Driveshaft of the car
driveshaft of the car

Now, you can try to remove drive shaft for towing. But first, you need to remove the securing bolts.

These are holding the shaft to the back differential. The next action includes sliding it into the transmission.

Then, you can try lowering it. Next is pulling it from the transmission’s rear. You can now start securing the U-joint caps using tapes. Tape can help you avoid damaging the U-joint.

Moreover, lube pumps can offer much-needed lubrication to the automatic transmission.

Find these manufactured goods to ensure it gets the cooling it would otherwise get when the automotive technologies are operating at normal capacity.

On a final note, we think it is always a good idea to consult your manual for safety precautions plus instruction.

It is important to know the towing capacity of the vehicle. Therefore you need to make sure that you are aware of it. So you can choose your towing method.

Frequently Ask Questions

Is RWD Best For Towing?

Having to tow rear-wheel-drive vehicles is not as bad as having to do so with a front-wheel drive.

FWDs are a more optimal choice as the front wheels are light and have superior steering power.

Also, they are better considering the trailer’s tongue weight and the power transfer. This means the rear of your vehicle squats, which would give the rear four-wheel drive more traction.

What Happens If You Tow A Rear-Wheel-Drive?

It is fine to take out the rear driveshaft most of the time. You can tow vehicles with the back wheels positioned on the road to prevent damage to the transmission.

Also, you risk damage to manual transmissions in case you tow it away while I am in the vehicle in “park”. You should only tow vehicles in “neutral”.

Can You Tow A Rear-Wheel-Drive Car In Park?

Yes, if the drive wheels are on the ground. When you tow a vehicle with an automatic, it will damage the transmission.

When in a park, the drive wheels will likely skid. This can cause damage to the tires.


In conclusion, if you go through this post thoroughly, we are confident that you can know how to tow rear wheel drive car. Remember to follow the guide step by step to keep your vehicle in its greatest shape.

In case you wonder: how to tow a front wheel drive car, stay tuned, and don’t forget to visit our next posts!

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