Mazdas are popular and reliable cars. If you’re thinking about taking your Mazda on your next RV road trip, maybe you’re wondering if it’s a good idea to flat tow this type of car.
No Mazda other than the Mazda CX-5 can be flat towed. Mazdas can’t be flat towed because the front end, transmission, and tires can be damaged while it is being flat towed. The Mazda CX-5 can be flat towed if it has front-wheel drive. If the Mazda CX-5 has AWD, it can’t be flat towed.
So the answer is complicated, and it’s important to understand what type of Mazda you have. But why can a Mazda CX-5 be flat towed when other Mazda models can’t be? We’ll explore every aspect of this below.
Why Can the Mazda CX-5 Be Flat Towed?
The Mazda CX-5 can be flat towed when it has front-wheel drive (FWD) and has been placed into neutral gear. It is the only Mazda model car that can be flat towed, which is very interesting since many other types of cars can be flat towed. source
The Mazda CX-5 can be flat towed because customer demand shaped the new models. Because of how often people ask if Mazdas can be flat towed, the manufacturers knew that customers want that feature to be on their car, so they made the car with that in mind.
However, the Mazda CX-5 can’t be flat towed if it has AWD. It needs to be towed with all 4 wheels off the ground, or the transmission will likely become damaged.
Why Can’t Other Mazdas Be Flat Towed?
Mazdas can’t be flat towed because the front end of the car can be damaged by the equipment that is required to safely flat tow the car. The Mazda manufacturers do not want that to happen, especially if the car is relatively new. Repairing the front end of a car can be very expensive, especially if it is a Mazda. As a Mazda car owner myself, I know firsthand that Mazda car repairs can be very expensive.
Mazdas can’t be flat towed because the transmission of the car can become severely damaged by rocks and other debris that it may run into while being flat towed.
Mazda does not recommend their vehicles to be flat towed because of the damage that can occur from rocks and other road hazards. There is also a possibility that your Mazda could get a flat tire while you are flat towing it, which could lead to more damage to the car. Many Mazda Owner Manuals state that Mazda vehicles should not be flat towed.
However, if you do want to tow your Mazda, you can tow it on a flatbed, with a tow dolly, or with 2-wheel towing methods. However, if you want to tow it with a tow dolly or through 2-wheel towing methods, it has to be a Mazda with manual transmission. A Mazda vehicle with automatic transmission can’t be towed through any other method other than with a flatbed.
What Is Flat Towing?
Flat towing is when a vehicle is pulled behind another vehicle, typically an RV or large vehicle. The vehicle that is being flat towed has all 4 wheels on the road and is in neutral gear. Flat towing is also called four-wheel towing, neutral towing, and dinghy towing.
However, flat towing can damage your car. Your car is made to be moved by the power of the engine, not by an attachment on the front or backside of the car. Because the wheels are moved and turned while the steering wheel is not being moved, the transmission and drivetrain of the car being flat towed can be damaged.
Before you flat tow your car, read the owner’s manual. If your car will likely become damaged while it is flat towed, the manual will tell you that this type of car is not meant to be flat towed. If the owner’s manual says that the car should not be flat towed, then try another method of towing that will work for you and where you are going.
How To Prepare A Car To Be Flat Towed
When you flat tow a car, you need to prepare it properly. Technically, any car with a manual transmission can be flat towed, even if you would not expect it to be able to. Before you flat-tow your vehicle, make sure that all of the equipment that you use is of good quality, works well, and is not severely damaged. The last thing that you want is to lose one of your vehicles because your flat towing equipment was faulty and broke while on the road.
In order to flat-tow a car, you need a hitch to be attached to the back of the motorhome or RV. You will also need a tow bar, base plate kit, safety cables, a supplemental braking system, and a tow bar wiring kit.
The tow bar is important because the base plate kit needs to be attached to something very sturdy. The tow bar wiring kit is important because this will allow the car that is being flat towed to work and signal to the other drivers what you are doing.
How To Drive While Flat Towing
While you are flat towing, drive extra carefully. Brake early because you are driving a very large vehicle, and the car you are flat towing needs to be able to fully stop as well, which you may not be used to accommodating for. You have greater momentum when flat towing, so remember that when you’re speeding up and slowing down.
Take turns very carefully. The car that you are flat towing does not have a driver turning its wheels, so it is not as receptive to turns as the vehicle you are driving. If you take turns too quickly, then you may damage the drivetrain and transmission of the vehicle being flat towed, which will be very expensive to fix.
Back up carefully, with another person behind both vehicles to tell you when to keep backing up and when to stop. Have the helper stand in view of your side mirror so you do not accidentally hit them. Flat towing can be done safely, but extra precautions need to be taken.