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First off, I just want to confirm what the recommended way to tow our cars is. Is it ever ok to tow it with just the front wheels up and the rear wheels in contact with the ground and transmission in neutral? Is it safe for ~20 miles and up to 55 mph? If it was, what if anything, could happen to the transmission?

This is a long story, but the short version is that my car was towed this way for a little over 20 miles with about 15 of that on the highway. Now, the trans isn't shifting at all and I'm wondering (a) what would have likely broke, and (b) what I can do now. The tow company/garage is attempting to deny that the transmission failure is due to their negligence.

Please help. Any advice is appreciated. I'll try to post more details later....
 

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It took out the pump in the transmission, most likely.

Flatbed is the only way to go, IMHO.
 

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had mine towed for 35+ miles just as you discribed. and had no problems. (Knock on wood) that was 9 months or so ago. Grog not that im disagreeing with your diagnosis. but could you explain to me why it would take out the pump. I dont understand
 

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It didn't take out the pump, but it definitely could have done damage. When the rear wheels turn and something hasn't been taken out of the loop to disconnect the transmission, the internals of the transmission are turning as well and without much in the way of lubrication.

Now, is 20 miles going to kill it? Hard to say. It sure didn't do it any good.

Darrin
 

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I'm not suggesting anything here, but did you check the transmission fluid that it's not low? I'm not saying that it's not bad for an automatic to be towed, but I've never seen any major damage from it, either :zdunno:

Like everyone has been saying, it definately isn't good for it! You can always loosen one of your transmission lines where it goes into the radiator, start the car, and you will know if the pump is working quickly enough!
 

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You have to be careful when using a flatbed, too. Nine time out of ten the driver will put that hook right on the front control arms. It is guaranteed to mess up your alignment. In a worst case scenario it will bend that LCA. Make sure you are there to stop the driver from hooking to the suspension.
 

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You can tow the vehicle like that only if the car is running. Car running = the pump in the trans is flowing. But usually, you cant because you had to call the tow truck because it's not running.. :D So flat bed that MN12!
 
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