Proper gear selection is a vital part when it comes down to shifting while towing something. It’s important to reduce the amount of pressure placed on the tow vehicle, be it an automatic transmission or manual. Some vehicles are equipped with a haul/tow mode. Driving a vehicle in tow mode while towing will reduce the transmission’s constant search for the right gear to suit the terrain. “Overdrive off” feature also offers a similar effect.
When driving a manual-transmission vehicle, one of the factors you must consider is the nature of terrain. Shifting at the right moment as the vehicle climbs a hill will be the difference between making it to the top effortlessly and straining your vehicle every inch of the way. Therefore, before you start towing a trailer or anything else, it’s important to understand that the proper gear selection can make towing a large object less demanding on the tow vehicle.
Gear selection is equally important when descending a hill while towing an object. Having the extra weight of the trailer can make your vehicle go down a hill a little faster than you might expect. The brake system of your vehicle might not be able to handle that extra pressure. To put less stress on the brake system, downshift your vehicle into lower gears to take advantage of engine braking. It will help you keep your vehicle at a speed that you feel comfortable with without wearing the brakes.
When towing a trailer, the engine of the tow vehicle operates at much higher power or torque than usual. The situation can get worse when you’re driving up a hill and the transmission fluid is already hotter than normal. If your vehicle is not designed to tow a heavy object like a trailer, don’t take the risk, call a towing company to get the job done in a safe and time-efficient manner.
Damage and transmission fluid overheating occurs when you operate the transmission in first or second gear. Overheating is a common phenomenon when driving in first gear while going slowly up a steep hill. Your vehicle can also experience overheating if it is stuck in traffic that is moving along at only 5 MPH. If you have added weight attached to your vehicle, overheating can seriously damage your engine. When in third or fourth gear driving on the highway, the additional weight of the trailer might lead to reduced fuel economy.
Towing a heavy object requires special driving skills. It’s also critical to use the right tow truck to perform a towing job. Make sure you have both. If not, hire a professional towing company to get the job done for you.
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