Towing Considerations For Your AWD Vehicle
Broken car on tow truck after traffic accident, on the road service

Towing Considerations For Your AWD Vehicle

You might have bought your AWD (all-wheel drive) for the reason of additional traction that comes in handy in wet or snowy weather. It also offers better safety as all the wheels equally accelerate while driving. With those benefits also comes a difficulty and that is with regards to towing the vehicle.

Towing two-wheel drive vehicles are easier because you just have to lift either the front or the rear wheels off the ground. That can’t be done for an AWD because all the wheels are connected to the drivetrain.

However, that doesn’t mean that your car can’t be towed. It can still be towed but the process would be a bit more complicated. Below, we’ll explain why you need to be careful about having your AWD towed. We’ll also tell you ways on how to get it towed safely with the least damage possible.

The Problem With Towing An AWD

When towing two-wheel drives, many know that it shouldn’t be towed on its drive wheels or else you’ll damage the vehicles. Even if you placed the car in neutral, it should still not be towed on its drive wheels because the transmission will get damaged.

Front-wheel drive vehicles should be towed with their rear wheels on the ground. The opposite is to be done on rear-wheel-drive vehicles and the steering should be locked. Alternatively, the driveshaft could also be removed if you choose to keep the rear wheels on the ground.

With an AWD, you can’t just choose the wheels to keep on the ground. Those with a permanent AWD system towed on two wheels would have not only their transmission damaged but also the couplings and other drive components.

Towing An AWD On Its Wheels

Technically, you can still tow an AWD on its wheels. You just need to disengage the driveshaft. This extra step is a complex procedure and can only be done by a trained mechanic. That also means that the process is expensive. However, that ensures that the wheels spinning won’t cause damage to either the drivetrain or driveshaft.

The Best Way To Tow An AWD

A more efficient, and probably the best way to tow an AWD without damage is to keep all of the wheels off the ground. In order to do that, a flatbed tow truck or a tow truck with a flatbed trailer is needed. With the wheels lifted, they wouldn’t be spinning while the car is being towed. This is the safest and easiest way to move an AWD without causing costly damages to the drivetrain.

Finding a car towing company with flatbed tow trucks is ideal. However, you have to remember that there can also be others who are in need of the flatbed tow truck. This means that there is a chance that you’d have to wait unless they have multiple flatbeds available.

As an alternative, you can also request tow trucks to bring dollies. The car will be lifted and the dollies will be placed underneath a set of wheels. The other set of wheels will be attached to the wrecker. With these in use, all the wheels of the AWD are still kept off the ground.

Either of the methods works and will not damage your AWD’s drivetrain, driveshaft, or transmission. When calling for a towing service provider, make sure that they’ll be using either a flatbed or dollies for your AWD.


Any guy with a truck and hook can tow a car – that’s the easy part. If you want the trip to be damage-free, well that requires a certain finesse and the right equipment, namely the flatbed tow truck

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