Is it ok to tow an automatic car in neutral?

You also run the risk of damaging manual transmissions if they are towed while the vehicle is in “park”. These vehicles must be towed only in neutral. Conversely, automatic transmissions do not disengage when the vehicle is in “neutral” and the trailer could force the transmission to move in the wrong direction. If a vehicle dolly is used, both front wheels shall be off the ground.

Just park the vehicle and tow. If all four wheels are on the ground, your vehicle must be equipped with a suitable towing device to prevent the transmission from turning without proper lubrication. Putting the vehicle in neutral will not prevent damage. In case of emergency, you can start the vehicle and let it run, with the transmission in neutral, while it is being towed.

This will keep the transmission lubricated, but is not recommended for extended trailers. Yes, when towing a car, if you have an automatic gearbox, you must remove the parking (P) and move to the neutral position (N). Serious transmission damage can occur if you attempt to tow a car with an automatic transmission improperly. The transmission is affected even if the car is in neutral.

The key is to tow the vehicle without involving the internal mechanisms of the transmission. Cars with an automatic transmission system should not be towed or pushed even when they are in neutral while the drive wheels are on the ground. The automatics use a motor-driven pump for lubrication. Towing or pushing an automatic while the engine is off causes the gears to operate without lubrication, which can damage the engine.

Before towing any car, it is recommended that you find out what type it is, which includes knowing if it is a front-wheel or rear-wheel drive vehicle, if it is automatic or manual, what type of transmission system it has and, finally, also its towing capacity. It is also important to know the type of transmission system of any car before embarking on towing with it or using it to tow any broken down vehicle. If the transaxle is not operational, or if the vehicle is to be towed more than 15 miles (25 km), the vehicle must be towed with the front wheels raised off the ground. One of the first things that crane drivers are taught is not to tow with the drive wheels turning with an automatic transmission.

This is why mechanics and engineers recommend keeping the drive wheels on the ground when towing such vehicles, because if these gears are not engaged, the automatic transmission must remain safe when towing or pushing. As a result of this, two-wheel-drive vehicles with manual transmissions tend to be much less susceptible to damage, regardless of the method you use to tow them and the towing distance. You also have the option of using a car trailer instead of a tow bar or dolly to tow any type of car without worrying about the transmission. The towing process, in itself, has many requirements, such as the speed at which you drive, the distance you will drive, your visibility on the road, and the qualification of the drivers of towed and towed vehicles.

The towing capacities of vehicles with manual transmissions tend to be lower, so it is advisable to check the vehicle's rating before towing with it.