How to Tow a Car Stuck in Park Without Damaging It

October 22, 2019 10:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Can you tow a car that’s stuck in park without damaging it? If you’ve got a car that needs to be towed, you don’t want to ruin the mechanical parts—but if you can’t put the car in neutral, you might not have an option.

Some cars, like recent Ford Fusions, have issues with the rotary gear shift dial. The problem happens when the shift dial gets stuck in park—it locks the car’s brakes and can cause damage to the vehicle. There are recalls for certain vehicles that are experiencing this “shift SYS fault” error, which puts the car back in park from any other gear and locks all motion. The problem is, how do you prevent damage to a vehicle that won’t allow you to tow in neutral?

Towing cars with the emergency brake engaged

If your car’s emergency brake is engaged, the tow truck company cannot tow the car the normal way, which is with two wheels on the ground. Unless you’re parked on a hill, it’s advisable to leave your emergency brake off when you park, or risk damage if your car is towed when you’re not around.

If your car is in neutral and is hoisted onto a flatbed truck for towing, it’s unlikely that it will incur any damage. The same goes for any car in neutral that does not have the parking brake engaged—the two non-driving wheels will remain on the ground while it’s towed. Manual transmissions should be fine across the board, but automatic transmissions require the tow to be at a slower speed and over a shorter distance.

Towing a car stuck in park

It’s possible to tow a car stuck in park without causing any damage, but it requires taking certain precautions. If your car has an automatic transmission, the mechanical lock might break if the wheels are on the street. Your best precaution is to put the car in neutral, and of course, towing on a flatbed truck can help prevent any problems.

Four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles present another problem. The best thing you can do to prevent damage is to remove the rear drive shaft and tow the car with the back wheels on the ground. You can also shift into two-wheel drive, which will allow you to safely tow the car at highway speeds.

It’s important to hire a towing company with a wide variety of vehicle towing experience so you can prevent further harm to your car or truck.

Towing services in Salt Lake City, UT

Since our founding in 2001, AMR Auto Repair & Towing has had one simple goal: to be the very best towing company in Salt Lake City and the surrounding region. When you need to tow a car stuck in park in Salt Lake City, UT, call us—we have the expertise and customer service that will help your car get from Point A to Point B without incurring damage. Contact us today to find out more about our towing and repair services.

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