Tesla Guide: Can You Flat-Tow a Tesla? – Tesla Maison

Tesla Guide: Can You Flat-Tow a Tesla?

You may be wondering how to transport your Tesla to your destination if you are a Tesla driver. Many Tesla owners are concerned about flat towing their vehicle. Teslas can flat tow behind an RV using a few items of equipment.

Can you flat-tow a Tesla vehicle? You cannot flat tow a Tesla as there is no transmission disconnection feature. Tesla says that their vehicles can only be towed by flatbed trucks. Other towing methods may damage your vehicle or even void its warranty.

We have researched the topic further to determine which are the best and worst methods to tow your Tesla.

Risques of flat towing a Tesla vehicle

Tesla strongly advises you to not tow your vehicle with wheels on the ground. Although they have not released an official statement, many users speculate that this may be due to heat issues. A consumer might think "I'll put the car into neutral and tow behind me."

This logic has a flaw: the cooling system of the engine is not active when the vehicle is in neutral or off. This cooling system is essential to prevent overheating of many vital components. The first ones that would be affected are your gears and bearings.

It is also very harmful to your transmission. Many gasoline engines are not flat-towed because their transmissions can overheat. Your cooling system is visible throughout the vehicle when it's running. The lines may vary from one vehicle to another, but they usually follow the same route.

To flat tow a vehicle, the transmission must be disconnected. Teslas don't have a transmission-disconnect feature.

The coolant will circulate throughout your engine, transmission, front and rear differential assemblies and the heating and cooling systems of your vehicle. Friction will quickly cause these parts to overheat if the pump is not running.

As the temperature increases, these parts begin to lose lubricity and break down. They will eventually fail. Electric cars are so precise that towing them for just a few miles on flat ground can cause serious damage.

How to properly tow a Tesla

Tesla's towing recommendations are clearly outlined in the manuals of most Tesla models. Tesla recommends exclusively the use of flatbed trucks to tow your vehicle.

  1. You will need to disable all self-leveling functions on your vehicle. This includes the air suspension options that are available on many Tesla premium models.
  2. You can do this by navigating through the Control menus, setting your ride-height to the highest possible level, and then selecting "Jack". This will disable your active suspension technology, allowing you to move the vehicle freely without the risk of damaging the suspension components.
  3. You can place your Tesla into "Tow Mode" from here. Nearly all Teslas will automatically put the car in park once the driver leaves the vehicle. You'll have to disable this feature for obvious reasons.
  4. You can do this by going back to the Controls menu, selecting "Service", then "Tow Mode". This will allow your vehicle to stay in neutral even after you've exited it. Do not turn on "tow" mode until you have connected your vehicle to the tow truck wench. You or others could be injured if your car rolls away.

According to the model of Tesla that you own, there may be other precautions to take before towing your vehicle. Consult your owner's guide for the correct preparations to make for your car.

Credit by DÆrik on YouTube

Towing a Tesla for its Battery Charge

Many customers and news articles online have discussed the possibility of towing Teslas to charge their batteries. It could be very useful if, during a long trip, you run out of power and don't know where to find a charging station.

This works quite well in practice. There are serious problems with this . To tow a Tesla in this manner, many users report that you must follow the above steps to put the vehicle into tow mode. Then, hook up the Tesla behind another vehicle.

Has reported your car's charging ratio will be 1:10. For every mile your tow vehicle travels, your Tesla's battery will regenerate approximately 10 miles. It could save some users a lot of money, since paying a tow truck to haul your car 10 or 20 miles would be cheaper than having it transported to a mechanic or tow yard.

The many reasons why you should not tow your vehicle without it have already been discussed. Heat can destroy important components. Some online users suggest leaving the car's 'on" position when towing the vehicle in this manner.

Jalopnik contacted Tesla to ask if it was safe. Tesla replied that this idea was creative but not feasible. Towing a Tesla requires a gas car to carry the additional weight. The fact that Tesla's charging system was intended to be electric is completely undermined.

Tesla did not address whether this was safe for the car over the long-term. This method is a good option for travelers who have RVs and are unable to access a standard charging system. We can't recommend this method until Tesla provides a response regarding its safety.

It is a situation where 'your mileage will vary' - no pun intended.

Teslas being towed without the owner's consent

There have been a few questions regarding the towing of a Tesla without its owner's consent. The questions usually relate to towing a Tesla which has been illegally or otherwise parked. These questions are valid, because if the Tesla must be placed in "tow-mode" to tow without damaging it, how can police safely tow a car to an impound yard?

This is a tricky question to answer, because , to put it simply, "you cannot", or at least you shouldn't. You can tow a Tesla even if it is not in tow mode. However, you would need to park the car.

The transmission of the vehicle and the electric motor may be put under a lot more stress if you do not place the vehicle in neutral before hooking it up to the tow truck. The wheels would be scraping along the ground until they reached the tow vehicle.

Parking in this situation is extremely dangerous for many reasons. Tesla owners, in particular, need to be vigilant when parking their vehicles under uncertain conditions.

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