Does Towing a Car Put Miles on it: Demystifying Car Towing

Does Towing a Car Put Miles on it

When it comes to towing a car, many people wonder if it puts miles on the vehicle. This is a crucial question, particularly for those who frequently transport their vehicles over long distances.

This in-depth essay will examine a number of variables that may affect the result. In order to assist you make a well-informed choice, we will go through the many types of towing equipment used, the distance the vehicle is being towed, and offer helpful recommendations.

Does Towing a Car Put Miles on it?

The age of the automobile, the technique of towing, and whether the car has an electronic or mechanical odometer all play a role in the question of whether towing a car adds miles to it. Following are some salient details from the search results: Electronic odometer: Flat towing shouldn’t add miles to an automobile’s odometer if the ignition is off or the transmission is not turning. The majority of contemporary automobiles have electronic odometers that only record miles when the engine is running. Mechanical odometer: If a vehicle has a mechanical odometer, employing a tow dolly or flat towing may result in better fuel economy. This is as a result of the odometer recording miles as the wheels move.

Towing technique: Whether or not mileage is added depends on the towing technique. For instance, avoiding the possibility of increasing mileage can be accomplished by utilizing a tow dolly or car hauler that elevates all four wheels off the ground. Wear and tear: Towing can damage the car even if the miles on the odometer are not increased. Depending on the factors at play, pulling a car behind an RV may or may not increase vehicle mileage. If the vehicle has an electronic odometer and the necessary safety measures are implemented, flat towing shouldn’t add mileage. However, employing a tow dolly or flat towing could boost the distance if the vehicle has a mechanical odometer.

The Impact of Towing on Mileage

Depending on the weight and size of the towed vehicle, towing a car might indeed use a lot of fuel. For instance, compared to towing a small car with a large truck, towing a little car behind a huge truck will result in increased fuel usage.

However, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for calculating the precise impact on mileage. It relies on a number of variables, such as the vehicle’s characteristics, the driver’s behaviors, and the towing environment. A car will reportedly use about 1.5 times as much gas on average when being towed.

The Distance Factor in Towing

The engine, transmission, and other parts are put under a great deal of stress when a car is being towed. Weight, speed, and terrain are a few variables that affect how far something can be towed overall. The overall amount of wear and tear the vehicle endures during the towing procedure depends on all of these factors.

Potential Damage Caused by Towing

A automobile being towed could potentially sustain serious harm. The suspension and other parts of the car are put under a great deal of stress due to the weight of the car and the tow truck. As a result, the engine, transmission, and body of the car may sustain damage as a result of this stress.

Measuring Towing-Induced Mileage

The amount of miles traveled when towing directly impacts how worn out the vehicle becomes. Most of the time, tow truck drivers bill by the mile, accounting for the additional stress and depreciation brought on by the towing operation.

Proper Procedure for Towing a Car

It’s crucial to follow the right steps if you ever find yourself needing to tow a vehicle. First and foremost, get in touch with a trustworthy tow truck company. Locate the car’s registration details next, and make sure it is properly registered and insured.

It is essential to have the owner’s contact information or other pertinent data on available. Finally, make sure the tow truck driver has all the information they need before they arrive and tow the automobile away.

Here is a step-by-step guide to ensure a safe and efficient towing process:

  1. Determine the weight of both the car and the trailer.
  2. Securely fasten the car to the trailer, ensuring it is tightly and properly attached.
  3. Drive cautiously and at a moderate speed to minimize the risk of accidents.


Does towing shorten the lifespan of a vehicle?

Improper or excessive towing can put additional strain on many parts of the vehicle, including the suspension, engine, transmission, and brakes. Therefore, this may result in greater wear and tear, thereby reducing the lifespan of the vehicle.
It’s critical to follow manufacturer recommendations, use the right towing equipment, and perform routine vehicle maintenance in order to reduce any negative impacts.

Can towing cause engine damage?

Engine damage is not a natural consequence of towing. Towing, however, adds to the engine’s workload. Overloading the towing capability or towing inappropriately (such as pulling uphill without the necessary gearing) might result in overheating, transmission problems, or other issues.
It’s crucial to follow suggested towing recommendations and perform routine maintenance to avoid engine damage while towing.

Which vehicles can be flat towed?

Towing a car with all four wheels on the ground is known as flat towing or dinghy towing. Although not all automobiles are appropriate for flat towing, many are built with this feature.
Vehicles with manual transmissions or specific automatic transmission types with a neutral towing option can typically be flat towed. Always check the owner’s manual or get in touch with the manufacturer to find out if a particular car is appropriate for flat towing.

What are the consequences of towing an AWD car?

Without taking the proper measures, towing an all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicle can seriously harm the powertrain. All four wheels must freely rotate when flat towing. With all four wheels on the ground when towing, the transmission may not receive enough lubrication, which could result in damage.
It is typically advised to utilize a trailer or tow dolly that keeps only two wheels in contact with the ground while the other wheels are raised in order to tow an AWD vehicle securely. For detailed towing instructions, always consult the owner’s manual of the vehicle.


Towing a car does increase mileage, but it’s important to pay attention to how many extra miles are being added. To limit potential damage to the vehicle, it is suggested to lower speed or look into alternate transportation options if excessive mileage is being accrued throughout the towing procedure.

You can ensure a smoother, safer towing experience by adhering to the recommended towing techniques, using the appropriate equipment, and being aware of the effects on your car.