Can A Subaru Outback Be Flat Towed? [And What You’ll Need!]

Flat towing your car is a great way to eliminate the need for a tow truck in case of an emergency. But can a Subaru Outback be flat towed?

Most people don’t know if their car can be towed because the process of finding out is so difficult. You have to go to the dealer or search online for an answer that may or may not be correct.

Can A Subaru Outback Be Flat Towed 1 1 Can A Subaru Outback Be Flat Towed? [And What You’ll Need!]

Can A Subaru Outback Be Flat Towed? 

You can flat tow a Subaru Outback that has a manual transmission, but not an automatic transmission. Subaru strongly advises that the towing speed should not exceed twenty miles/hr, and the total trip distance should be capped at 31 miles. Flat towing a Subaru Outback will also void its warranty.

If you have a Subaru Outback, there’s a good chance you’re wondering if it can be flat towed. The answer is yes – but there are a few things you need to know before you go ahead and try it. 

Subaru gives some conflicting guidance when it comes to flat towing their vehicles. They recently stopped recommending that you flat tow a Subaru vehicle, even though they previously OKd it.

For example, you can flat tow a Subaru Impreza if it’s manual and you always have been. But now, they no longer make manual Imprezas and they now say you shouldn’t flat tow your old manual ones.

Maybe you should just consider towing your camper behind your Outback instead.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about Subaru Outback and flat towing. 

We’ll cover what equipment you need, how to do it safely, and some of the potential problems you might encounter.

We researched Subaru’s Outback transmission types to find out which ones can be flat towed. We also looked at the towing speed limit and distance restrictions that Subaru imposes. Finally, we considered the warranty implications of flat towing a Subaru Outback.

What is Flat Towing?

Flat towing refers to the practice of pulling a vehicle behind another vehicle by using a special type of connection. 

Flat towing is commonly used when one car needs to transport another car, or it may be used when one particular vehicle does not have the ability to drive on its own. 

To flat tow a car, first, the two vehicles must be connected by use of a specialized hitch and tow bar.

The towed car will then be pulled along by the lead car, typically at fairly low speeds. Flat towing offers a convenient way to transport cars and other vehicles in situations where driving them would simply not be possible. 

As such, it is an important tool for automotive enthusiasts and anyone who wants to get more use out of their vehicles.

There are several benefits to flat towing, including the fact that it is generally easier on the vehicle being towed and that it can be done without having to disconnect any of the vehicle’s systems. 

Flat towing can also be useful in emergency situations where a vehicle needs to be quickly moved out of the way. 

However, there are some disadvantages to flat towing as well, such as the fact that it can put additional wear and tear on the tow vehicle and that it can be more difficult to maneuver than other types of tow.

There are several things to consider before flat-towing a vehicle, such as whether the vehicle is equipped with the proper safety features and whether the tires are in good condition.

In addition, it’s important to be familiar with the laws in your state regarding flat-towed vehicles. For example, some states require that the towed vehicle have its own set of brakes. 

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that flat-towing is done safely and correctly.

Can A Subaru Outback Be Flat Towed 1 Can A Subaru Outback Be Flat Towed? [And What You’ll Need!]

Can A Subaru Outback Be Flat Towed?

The Subaru Outback is a reliable all-wheel-drive car that can certainly hold its own on rugged terrain. Many drivers, on the other hand, are unsure whether it is feasible to pull this car using a tow bar and hitch.

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the type of transmission that the Outback has and whether it is equipped with a supplemental restraint system (SRS).

In general, vehicles with conventional transmissions and SRS systems should not be towed behind another car. 

However, some models of Outback can indeed be flat towed relatively safely – providing you follow the proper towing guidelines and keep your eye on any warning lights displayed in the car’s instrument panel. 

Subaru strongly advises that the speed should not exceed twenty miles/hr, and the total trip distance should be capped at 31 miles. 

While it’s possible to flat tow an Outback with a manual transmission, it’s generally not recommended. 

This is because the process of repeatedly starting and stopping the engine can cause damage to the clutch.

In addition, Subaru does not recommend flat towing any vehicle that is equipped with an SRS system.

Subaru suggests towing the Outback with a flatbed trailer for longer trips at greater speeds. This approach is also advised for steep climbs or slopes since it may place undue pressure on the cable and tie-down points.

It’s not advised to tow a Dolly behind your vehicle because it will most likely spin out, and the center differential could be damaged.

If you’re considering flat-towing your Outback, be sure to check your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to do so safely.

You should also consult with a professional mechanic or tow company to get their expert opinion on whether this type of towing is right for your vehicle.

Are AWDs Suitable For Towing?

When it comes to towing, there are a number of factors to consider. 

One important factor is the type of vehicle you’ll be using.

Many people assume that all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles are the best choice for towing, but that’s not always the case. 

While AWDs do have some advantages, they also have some disadvantages that you should be aware of before making a decision.

One advantage of using an AWD for towing is that it can provide better traction and stability. This is especially beneficial if you’re towing on slippery or uneven surfaces. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all AWDs are created equal.

Some AWDs are better suited for towing than others. 

Another advantage of using an AWD for towing is that it can improve fuel economy. 

When not being used for towing, an AWD can save fuel by engaging only the front or rear wheels, as needed. 

However, when towing, an AWD must engage all four wheels, which can lead to decreased fuel economy.

AWDs are also capable of towing loads in excess of 5000 lbs, making them a good choice for those who need to tow heavy loads. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that AWDs are not necessarily the best choice for everyone.

If you’re planning on towing a lightweight load, or if you’ll be doing most of your towing on dry, level surfaces, an AWD may not be necessary. 

In addition, if you’re concerned about fuel economy, an AWD may not be ideal.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use an AWD for towing comes down to personal preference and your specific needs. If you’re unsure whether an AWD is right for you, consult with a professional tow company or mechanic to get their expert opinion.

Equipment Needed For Towing A Subaru Outback

Towing your Subaru Outback can be a bit of a challenge, as this popular crossover SUV is known for its size and weight. 

If you’ve decided that towing your Outback is your only way forward, there are a few things you’ll need to get started.

Tow Bar

In order to tow your Subaru Outback safely and effectively, you will need a tow bar. A tow bar is essentially what connects your vehicle to the tow vehicle that pulls it along. Typically, they come in two types: fixed and foldable.

With a fixed tow bar, one end of the bar stays attached to your Subaru Outback at all times, while the other end slides into a connector on the trailer or motor vehicle that is pulling it. 

A foldable tow bar, on the other hand, can be completely detached from your car once it has been pulled up onto the trailer.

Both types of tow bars have pros and cons, so it is important to consider your particular needs before deciding which type of tow bar to invest in.

A good tow bar should be sturdy, durable, and easy to use, as well as compatible with both your vehicle and the trailer or other towing device that you plan to use. 

In order to find the right tow bar for your needs, it is important to do some research on different makes and models, as well as ask around for recommendations from others.

We recommend going with the CURT Adjustable Tow Bar, which is designed for use with vehicless weighing up to 5000 lbs. 

It is made of durable steel, has a gross trailer weight capacity of 5000 lbs, and can be easily adjusted to fit a variety of different vehicles.

Tow Bar Brackets

In order to properly install your tow bar, you will need a set of tow bar brackets. These brackets attach the tow bar to your vehicle and usually come as a pair (one for each side of the car). 

It is important to make sure that the tow bar brackets you purchase are compatible with both your vehicle and the tow bar itself.

The CURT Tow Bar Bumper bracket is designed for use with a variety of different vehicles and can be easily installed with no drilling required.

Safety Chains

When towing any vehicle, safety chains are an essential piece of equipment. 

Often, people think that the tow bar is all that is needed to keep the car attached to the tow vehicle. 

However, the tow bar is only the primary connection – if it fails, the safety chains provide a backup system. Safety chains are typically made of heavy-duty metal and can be attached in a variety of ways, depending on the type of tow vehicle or car being towed.

In general, it is recommended to use two safety chains, and they should be crossed under the tongue of the trailer so that they can support the weight of the car if the tow bar fails. 

Additionally, the safety chains should be long enough so that they do not drag on the ground – this could create sparks that could start a fire. 

By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure that you are using safety chains correctly and keeping yourself – and your belongings – safe while on the road.

We recommend going with the Fulton Safety Chain kit.

Last update on 2024-07-14 / If you click this affiliate link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

It comes with two chains, each measuring 36 inches long, and has a maximum capacity of 6700 lbs.

Lighting System

When you are towed behind another vehicle, it is required by law in most states to have a lighting system that alerts other drivers to your presence. 

The system must have a red or amber light that is visible from the rear of the vehicle.

It is also required to have a white or yellow light that is visible from the front of the vehicle.

If you are involved in an accident while being towed, the lighting system may help to prevent further damage to your vehicle. 

In addition, the lighting system may also help to alert other drivers of your presence and avoid potential accidents.

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