For RV enthusiasts, flat towing or dinghy towing is one helpful way to make traveling in your motor home more convenient. It gives you an easy access vehicle (smaller than your camper) that allows you to go to cities and small towns without the worry of taking up much space. In this article, we have researched and asked the professionals if you can flat tow a Chevrolet Cruze.
The Chevy Cruze can be flat towed in two ways. If you have a manual transmission, you can flat tow it while putting it on neutral and pulling while all four wheels are on the ground. With an automatic one, you would need to use a tow dolly while putting the drive shaft on park. This is to avoid damage to the transmission while flat towing it.
Are you interested to learn more about flat towing a Chevy Cruze? Continue reading as we answer more related questions about flat towing this Chevy model, other manual transmission cars that can be flat towed, and many more.
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How to flat tow a Chevrolet Cruze
If you have a manual transmission Cruze, flat towing them would be easy. You would only need a base plate, a tow bar, and the tow hitch of your motor home and you are ready to go.
With automatic ones comes the tricky part. Automatic transmissions do not allow a vehicle to be flat towed directly. You would need a car-specific trailer to flat tow them. This would have to do with the fact that their transmissions are only being lubricated while it is running. And with flat towing, you need to shut off your vehicle, especially if it is an automatic type.
If there is no lubrication while these metal mechanical parts are moving, chances are it will not run smoothly. If this prolongs even just for a few minutes, major damages to your transmission may occur.
The transmission is a very important part of your vehicle—it is the one responsible for putting you into gear. Without it, your car will be useless, it will not move.
But a great thing about Chevy Cruze cars is that GM manufactured these vehicles with flat towing in mind. Other automatic vehicles can only be a dinghy if you use a car trailer to pull it while none of its wheels are on the ground. With the Cruze, you would only need a tow dolly to flat tow it.
This would only require the front wheels of the vehicle to be mounted on the dolly. It makes putting and removing the vehicle from the trailer a lot easier and less time-consuming.
For the Chevy Cruze, Chevrolet has stopped production of its six-speed manual transmission since 2019. This means that if you are on the lookout for manual Cruze, you would have to search the used car market.
Referring to your Cruze's owner manual is very important as this will provide the specific do's and don't when flat towing the vehicle. According to the manual provided by Chevrolet, no matter what transmission your Cruze is, you should never flat tow it backward. This is the number one thing you should remember when planning to flat tow your Cruze.
The manual also states that you should limit your speed to only 65 miles per hour while the Cruze is in tow. Going over this limit can affect and damage the transmission of the car being towed. This is also within the speed limit imposed on each state.
Slower speeds will also give you a faster reaction time if and when a road hazard appears. This is also a precautionary measure, especially if you are towing a heavy object.
You would also have to consider laws from different states if you will be towing using a tow dolly. They might vary on trailer cargo weight, but when your trailer cargo exceeds 1,500 lbs, you will be required to have trailer brake assistance.
As for towing with a manual, modern RVs and camper homes now come standardly equipped with brake assists. These safety features will be very useful on those long hill descents like the Super Ike Gauntlet in Colorado.
What other Chevrolet models can be flat towed?
All 4x4 Chevrolet trucks with a two-speed transfer case allow them to be dinghy towed. So this includes all Silverado from 1500, to 2500, and the 3500 ones.
Other Chevy models that you can flat tow with are the Chevy Equinox, Chevy Trailblazers, Chevy Spark, and the Chevy Malibu. It is always indicated on their owner's annual on whether not the specific model that you have is flat towable. It would be wise to check first before doing so, especially if you are driving an automatic transmission Chevy.
Now options rise when you choose older model vehicles with manual gearboxes. The 2010 and older car models would be more flat towable as they have more options for a manual transmission and a two-wheel drive.
Can the Chevy Cruze tow?
Yes, a Chevy Cruze can tow but only within its given towing capacity of 1,000 lbs. The Cruze has provisions for a tow hitch where you can attach a small pop-up camper that usually weighs anywhere between 200 lbs to 300 lbs.
Although the Cruze is not meant to be used as a dedicated tower, you can use this vehicle for towing light loads when you need it to. You need to be mindful of its towing capacity. Going over the limit can cause harm to the small engine of the Cruze. An over-pushed engine can easily go overheat.
If you find yourself in the need to keep towing objects, then maybe a Chevy pickup truck is for you. Besides the towing and payload capacity that it can give you, Chevy trucks are also flat towable as stated earlier. It's like hitting two birds with one stone.
Can all manual transmission cars be flat towed?
Yes, all manual cars can be flat towed. The great thing about a manual transmission car is that you can flat tow them with all of its wheels on the ground or via a tow dolly.
But this varies from car brand to car brand. In some car brands like Chevy, you can tow with a manual 4x4. Fo other vehicle manufacturers this is not the case. In fact, some brands do not permit flat towing on all their 4x4 platforms. Here we will see the variety when it comes to the mechanical design and engineering of each car brand.
How do I protect my transmission while towing?
If you have a manual transmission, putting the stick shift to manual will be enough to protect your transmission. By putting it in neutral, your transmission will not go through the gears as you speed up while it is being towed.
If you accidentally left the gearbox on first gear, as soon as you pick up speed, your transmission will be making noises indicating that your current speed is not in the right gear. This can cause the transmission to break if prolonged.
For automatic transmission cars, they vary from brand to brand. But with the Cruze, when dinghy towing, after putting the front wheel on the dolly, set the gear to P or park and you are good to go.
How long will a Chevy Cruze last?
You can expect 200,000-250,000 miles of driving with your Chevy Cruze. This will give you roughly 13-17 years of usage before any major repairs are needed.
How reliable are Chevrolet engines?
In a recent car brand diagnostics done, Chevrolet scored a whopping 99,3% in reliability out of the 1.8 million cars enrolled in the diagnostic. This boosts the reliability of Chevrolet-made vehicles to 100%.
Of course, none of this would matter if the owner neglects the vehicle. No matter how high a car brand scores in reliability tests, if it is not well maintained and used properly, it will not reach the potential lifespan indicated.
How well does the Chevrolet Cruze hold up its value?
Due to the Cruze being one of those daily drivers, this contributes heavily to the overall value of the vehicle. It loses an estimated 67% after five years from buying it.
The annual repair and maintenance cost for the Chevy Cruze is approximately $545. This makes it $15 more expensive than the average cost of compact cars.
You can flat tow a manual Chevy Cruze as long as all of its wheels are on the ground. You can also flat tow an automatic one while using a tow dolly.
The Cruze is one of the best options available for flat towing. And since it is a Chevy, you can be sure of its reliability. But as with almost every other car model, the Cruze has also stopped production of their manual transmission cars.
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