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Did you recently have car trouble and wondered if a Mazda 3 can be flat towed? Or maybe you’re planning to go on a vacation somewhere and wanted to bring your Mazda 3 along, safely towed at the back of your RV? Well, wonder no more because we have the answer plus all the explanations for you.
Mazdas in general -not just Mazda 3- cannot be flat towed. The equipment that is used to safely flat tow a Mazda can damage the front end. Additionally, modern internal components can be damaged if you flat tow your Mazda 3.
However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot bring your Mazda 3 on your vacation towed behind your RV at all. There are special ways to tow a Mazda 3, and you can find out all about them in the succeeding sections. Read on!
Can you flat tow a Mazda 3?
Once upon a time, all manual transmission cars -Mazda 3 have trims that offer an optional manual transmission- and a lot of automatic transmission cars can be flat towed. However, new car models that are installed with electronics that take control of gear ratios are no longer flat-tow-friendly.
Mazda 3 has a pump installed within its transmission system. This pump is responsible for supplying oil to lubricate the internal components of a Mazda 3. However, if the Mazda 3 is not running, the transmission will not be running. Hence this pump will not be running too.
Without the pump, flat towing will force internal components like the differential to continue rotating without any lubrication.
Additionally, there are models whose steering wheels are locked when the ignition is turned off. These models cannot be flat towed because their front wheels will not turn.
Cars with CVT type of transmission are especially sensitive to flat towing.
How to tow a Mazda 3?
Now that we know exactly why Mazda 3 cannot be flat towed, let’s talk about how Mazda 3 can be towed.
Two-wheeled tow dolly
A tow dolly is equipment that you can connect to the tow hitch by using a tow bar. You can use it to lift the powered wheels of a Mazda 3.
An FWD Mazda 3 can be towed by lifting and resting its front wheels (the powered wheels of an FWD Mazda 3) on the tow dolly. An RWD vehicle can rest its rear wheels on the tow dolly so that it can be towed.
A tow dolly is made up of two wheels, an axle, and a tongue.
Are tow dollies legal?
Tow dollies can be legally used in most states but only in the recovery of vehicles that broke down. The law in these states will treat your car as a trailer if you tow it with a tow dolly and it is not broken down. And as a trailer, it will have to abide by all the laws on trailers like rear lights and braking.
If you are towing a car that has more than 3,000 GVWR, then you’re required to have brakes on the tow dolly. This is a requirement in all 50 states.
Car trailers are four-wheeled car carriers. It lifts your Mazda 3 off the ground and holds it in place. It allows you to haul your car while it is on top of the car trailer.
This option is not only great for Mazda 3 with AWD, but it can also be used to haul larger Mazda vehicles because most car trailers have very high capacities.
Car trailer vs. tow dolly
Let’s take a closer look at these two devices that can be used to tow a Mazda 3 regardless of model version and trim. Then we’ll identify the possible strengths and weaknesses of each.
The biggest advantage of a car trailer is that it prevents wear and tear on your Mazda while it is being transported because all wheels are safely carried by the car trailer. Additionally, car trailers are safer to tow or haul compared to tow dollies.
Its only disadvantage is the cost. It is obviously more expensive than a tow dolly because of its size.
A car trailer is also a must if you’re considering moving your Mazda 3 over long distances. This is also your only option if your Mazda 3 is equipped with an AWD drivetrain.
Its main advantage is affordability. It is a hit for those looking for an affordable way to transport their Mazda 3. Additionally, it makes more sense to use if you’re moving your Mazda 3 over a short distance only.
Its biggest disadvantage is that it is more complicated to set up despite its smaller size. It has weight capacity limitations, distance limitations, and safety concerns. Moreover, your Mazda 3’s rear wheels are exposed to wear and tear while it is being transported by a tow dolly.
Additionally, you cannot use a tow dolly if your Mazda 3 uses an AWD drivetrain. It can only be used for a Mazda 3 with FWD.
Choose a tow dolly over a car trailer if you’re going to move your Mazda 3 over a short distance only—like within the same city or state.
The JCHL universal vehicle tow dolly car wheel basket straps with flat hooks comes as a 2-pack. Check it out on Amazon.
Do not use a tow dolly with your Mazda 3’s rear wheels on the tow dolly and the front wheels on the ground. Mazda 3 uses FWD from its first-generation models to the present.
If you use your tow dolly with the front wheels on the ground, then it defeats the purpose of using a tow dolly to prevent powered wheels from moving during hauling.
How to fasten your Mazda 3 to a car trailer?
Now that we’re done talking about how to best tow or haul your Mazda 3—with consideration to the drivetrain that it is equipped with—it is time to talk about how to properly secure it on a car trailer.
Some Mazda 3 models and trims come with tiedown hooks, a tiedown eyelet, and a lug wrench. The tiedown hooks are used to secure your Mazda 3 to a car trailer.
The tiedown eyelet and the lug wrench can be found near the spare tire compartment in Mazda 3 Hatchback trims. It can be found inside the tool bag with the jack lever in Mazda 3 Sedan trims.
Never use the tiedown eyelets (front and back) to tow your Mazda 3. The eyelets are only designed to secure your Mazda 3 to a transport vehicle.
Removing the tiedown hook covers
- Wrap a flathead screwdriver with a soft cloth. This will prevent any damage to the bumper while removing the tiedown hook covers.
- Carefully insert the screwdriver under the cover while applying a constant force. Do not use too much force to avoid damaging the cap or scratching the painted bumper.
- Store the caps somewhere safe so that you can replace them afterward.
Installing the tiedown eyelet
- Insert the tiedown eyelet into the opening.
- Insert the lug wrench into the eyelet at the opposite end of the tiedown eyelet.
- Rotate the lug wrench until the tiedown eyelet is securely screwed into the bumper opening. The tiedown eyelet could disengage if it is not tightly screwed into the bumper.
- Do the same thing to the two tiedown hook openings.
- Hook the tying ropes into the tiedown eyelets. Make sure they are securely fastened on both ends.
What are some important things to remember when towing a Mazda 3?
Now that we’re done talking about the ways to tow your Mazda 3, let’s talk about some important things to remember once you’re on the road with your Mazda 3 in tow.
These protocols help ensure your safety and the safety of other motorists around you while you haul your Mazda 3.
Do not drive on highways, if possible
You will need to maintain a low speed whenever you tow a vehicle. Driving on highways with a load and running at a slow speed might endanger you and other motorists.
It is best to take alternate routes that do not have a lot of cars on the way to your destination.
Limit your speed
Always remember that you’re hauling a car, not running a race. Limit your speed to 25 mph or less.
A lower speed makes it easier for you to control both vehicles. Additionally, high speeds make it almost impossible for you to predict possible problems that can happen on the way to your destination.
A lower speed also makes it easier to stop if there is a need to make a sudden stop.
Limit yourself to short-distance trips
It is best to limit your trips to short distances while you’re hauling your Mazda 3. Short-distance trips reduce the strain on all the vehicle components involved because you can reach your destination faster.
If you will need to travel a far distance, it is better to hire a professional service to tow your Mazda 3 for you.
When you prepare your Mazda 3 for towing, make sure that it is aligned to the towing vehicle—an RV or such. Well-aligned vehicles make it easier to maintain good synchronization and performance from the vehicles involved.
Hazard warning lights
Turn on the hazard warning lights on the towing vehicle and on the towed vehicle. The hazard warning lights make other motorists more aware of the vehicle being towed and the towing vehicle.
A Mazda 3 cannot be flat towed, but it can be towed using different methods. Follow safety guidelines while towing to help ensure the safety of the Mazda 3 driver and the safety of other motorists.
There are also guidelines to be followed to secure the Mazda 3 on a car trailer.
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