There’s nothing worse than being stranded on the side of the road with a broken-down car. It’s stressful and can leave you feeling helpless, especially if your car doesn’t have tow hooks. But don’t panic because there are several ways to tow a car without hooks.
Whether you choose to use a flatbed trailer, tow dolly, tow rope, or tow strap, you can still get your car to a safe place. Each method also has its own considerations, so it’s important to research and choose the best method for your situation.
Don’t fret when your car breaks down. Take a look at our post on towing your car without hooks for a stress-free solution.
How to Tow a Car Without Tow Hooks: 4 Methods
The lack of a tow hook makes towing difficult, but numerous methods are available to help you out. The following methods let you tow without tow hooks.
Method 1: Using a Flatbed Trailer
Generally speaking, it’s best to tow a car with a flatbed trailer without tow hooks as it is the most safest method. This method involves lifting the entire car off the ground and securely tying it down onto a flatbed trailer. This process ensures that neither the tow vehicle nor the towed car sustains any damage during transportation.
There is no need to make any modifications to the car’s powertrain or install any extra parts for towing. Flatbed trailers come with four wheels for balance and easy loading by driving the car onto the trailer. Ideal for automatic cars, this method provides the perfect solution for long-distance and safe towing.
Method 2: Tow Dolly
A tow dolly is a device that lifts the car’s front wheels off the ground, leaving the rear wheels to spin freely in neutral. This method is suitable for front-wheel-drive (FWD) vehicles only and should be used on level surfaces only.
The make and model of the car can affect its towing feasibility, and some modifications may be required for rear- or four-wheel-drive (RWD or 4WD) vehicles. Tow dollies should not be used for beached or precarious cars, and it is essential to ensure the tow dolly is securely fastened to both vehicles.
Method 3: Tow Rope or Tow Strap
Tow ropes or straps should be used as a last resort for short-distance towing or pulling a car from a ditch. Although, these methods are not entirely safe and should only be used if no other alternative is available.
A tow rope designed for towing should be utilized and tied securely to a recovery point, such as the rear axle. The strap or rope should not exceed 14.5 to 15 feet in length for on-road towing. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in severe damage to both vehicles and an increased risk of injury.
Method 4: Tow Bar
A hitch is required for the tow vehicle, and a tow bar is needed on the towed car. Tow bars are safer than ropes or straps, making them ideal for towing without tow hooks. However, a manual transmission is required for the towed car, and conventional automatic cars have towing restrictions.
It’s best to check the owner’s manual for specific guidelines. Some modern automatic cars may be flat-towed, so checking the owner’s manual before towing is critical.
What Safety Precautions Should Be Followed While Towing Without Tow Hooks?
Unless you have tow hooks, towing a car can be risky, but you can ensure safety with the right precautions and following proper guidelines. Keep these safety tips in mind when towing without tow hooks:
Inspect the Vehicle: Before towing without tow hooks, inspect both vehicles for any visible damage. Check for loose parts and leaks that may affect the towing process. Ensure that the towing process and safety are not compromised by examining the structural elements of the vehicle.
Use Proper Towing Equipment: Securely attach the tow strap or tow bar to designated points, ensuring a tight connection. Avoid too much slack in the towing equipment, which may cause sudden movements or disconnects. Use sturdy structural elements, such as the vehicle frame or designated towing attachments.
Be Aware of Weight Limits: Check the towing vehicle’s capacity and avoid exceeding weight limits. Overloading can cause mechanical failures and increase the risk of accidents. Always consider the weight of the equipment in addition to the weight of the towed vehicle.
Be Prepared for Emergencies: Always prepare for emergencies when towing without tow hooks. Bring along emergency equipment such as a spare tire, lug wrench, jack, first aid kit, and a fire extinguisher. Know what to do in case of a breakdown, and be prepared to call for roadside assistance if needed.
Maintain a Safe Distance and Speed: To avoid accidents while towing without tow hooks, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Increase the following distance for extra weight and breaking changes. Drive at a moderate speed for better control and to prevent strain on the engine, brakes, and suspension.
Is there a tow hook on all vehicles?
Not all vehicles come equipped with tow hooks. While many modern cars and trucks may include a set of tow hooks provided by the vehicle manufacturer, older cars may not have these hooks. Please note that if your car does not have a tow hook, it is highly recommended to purchase one for safe and effective towing.
Failure to properly tow a vehicle without using a tow hook can damage the vehicle and even cause injury to individuals involved in the process.
Is it okay to tow a car by its axle without hooks?
It is not recommended to tow a car by the axle if no hooks exist. However, if you must tow a car in this manner, it is crucial to ensure that the vehicle is securely fastened and that the tow truck is equipped with a heavy-duty tow strap.
It is of great importance to comprehend that pulling a car by its axle can lead to stress and injury to its suspension mechanism, causing costly repairs. Furthermore, the axle’s durability may not withstand the weight of the automobile, resulting in significant damage to both the towing and towed vehicles.
For the sake of safety and the protection of your vehicle, we strongly suggest refraining from towing a car by its axle in the absence of hooks.
Safe Towing for Your Car without Tow Hooks
Without tow hooks, towing a car may seem daunting, but it is possible. Using the methods discussed in this post, you can safely and effectively tow your car to the desired location. Still, it is crucial to remember that safety always comes first.
It is essential to adhere to all necessary safety protocols when towing a car. If you encounter any uncertainties or concerns during the process, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a qualified professional.
We trust this post has given you noteworthy knowledge on effectively towing a car without hooks.