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Can You Flat Tow A Chevy Malibu? [And How To]

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Chevrolet Malibu epitomizes a chic and sporty look and guarantees impeccable riding and handling that's perfect for cruising inside and outside of the city. But if you're wondering if this vehicle can be flat towed, then wonder no further because we gathered all the answers for you! 

The Chevy Malibu has front-wheel drive. Flat towing this with all the four wheels down can cause damage to the engine and transmission. It's best to dolly tow the Malibu and keep the front wheels off the ground. 

With the proper maintenance and care, the Malibu can provide you with the features you look for in a car. You can read further for an elaborated discussion on how to flat tow the Malibu along with other safety tips and guidelines. 

Chevrolet Malibu stopped on the road, Can You Flat Tow A Chevy Malibu? [And How To]

How To Properly Tow The Chevy Malibu

To reiterate, it is not good to flat tow the Malibu with all four wheels on the ground as this can cause damage to its continuously variable transmission. Chevy Malibu's owner's manual suggests in its towing guide section that the best way to tow the vehicle is to a dolly, whether it be in cases of emergency or recreation. 

In order for you to properly tow your Chevy Malibu, here are the three steps you need to follow: 

1. Connect your tow dolly

Appropriately attach your tow dolly to the hitch ball for your Malibu and always ensure that they are secure and in tight connection. 

Next, attach the safety chains from the dolly to the Malibu just in case the coupler and hitch ball fail or accidentally detaches. 

It is imperative to remember that when you're traveling for several hours on a long-distance journey, you have to check the connection occasionally to ensure that everything is safely, smooth-sailing.

2. Load your Malibu 

After securing the connection of your tow dolly, load your Chevy Malibu into the dolly ramp facing forward. Always tow forward and never backward to secure the front wheel on the vehicle. 

The width of your Malibu should always fit your ramp. To find a dolly that will suit the Malibu sufficiently, Demco's KarKaddy X can secure vehicles with a tire tread of 42"  minimum and a 78" maximum width which suits the Malibu's dimensions just enough! 

The KarKaddy X features a 5th wheel design swivel platform, brake actuator, coupler, hydraulic surge brakes, and sealed hubs all coated and dipped in galvanized components for durability. 

Click here to see Demco's dolly tow ramp on Amazon

After loading the vehicle, don't forget to secure the front wheels with tire staps and always position it firmly against the wheel stops. 

3. Disconnect the driveshaft

To do this, you need to find the u-point where the driveshaft connects the differential housing. After completing this, secure the driveshaft to the undercarriage of the Malibu with a strap. 

Next, remove the four bolts at the u-joint and then push the driveshaft as far as you can to adjust the strap. 

For the best, you can take a look at this YouTube video by U-Haul Trailer Hitches and Towing that demonstrates the proper loading of a 2020 Chevy Malibu on a U-Haul tow dolly. 

Flat Towing The Malibu 

Albeit it's not advisable, flat towing the Chevy Malibu is not entirely impossible! All you need is the right determination, instructions, and materials to complete this mission. 

If you really opt to flat tow your Malibu for your personal reasons, here are guidelines for you to follow: 

  1. Position your Chevy Malibu to tow and secure it to the RV or whatever towing vehicle you intend to pull it. 
  2. Start the engine. 
  3. Place the vehicle in "Neutral (N)"
  4. Press the engine "START/STOP"once and then turn the engine off. 
  5. Remove fuses F10 and F41 from the instrument panel fuse box. Doing this prevents your Malibu's battery from draining while it is towing.
  6. Don't forget to reinstall the fuses when you're done with your towing activity. 

Aside from that, it is all-important to do your assignment and do more research; learn from personal driving experiences on how others have handled flat towing the Chevy Malibu because it really helps you figure out which ways should work best for you. 

You may also want to read "How to Tow with a Tow Bar? [8 Tips for RV’ers]" for more towing tips. 

Risks Of Flat Towing

Man looking at a broken down car and using mobile for help.

Before you tow anything, it's important that you master to maneuver this because it's actually hard to speed up, turn, and brake when you are flat towing a vehicle. 

When it comes to towing, the vehicle is likely to project more mass, so you're going to handle a lot of momentum and inertia, requiring you to possess a steady hand and focus. Speeding while towing can cause damage to Malibu and the towing vehicle. 

Also, avoid accelerating down the hills because it's going to be so difficult to control the vehicle once you get down. 

When turning, it is important that you make wider turns, specifically at corners and curbs. If you fail in doing so, you may cause damage to the vehicle's tires and axle.

On top of that, if you mismatched your towing equipment, you are likely to cause physical damage to your Malibu. You should make sure that each part complements and matches each other suitably in accordance with the owner's manual instructions. 

Lastly, when the manual says that the vehicle is not fit for flat towing, you should try other alternatives that it suggests, such as dolly towing or flatbed trailers to be safe. Don't rely too much on cars that are not fit to flat tow, such as the Chevy Malibu. 

Can You Put A Trailer Hitch On The Chevy Malibu?

woman couple a trailer into a ball-type tow hitch

The maximum weight that a Chevy Malibu equipped with a 2.0-liter engine is allowed to tow up to 1,ooo lb. Therefore, if you are going to put a trailer hitch on the Chevy Malibu, you might as well find the right trailer that is going to fit the right limits that the vehicle can pull. 

To successfully do this, you need to attach a tow hitch to the vehicle's chassis and equip it with bolts and equipment that are fit for the model. Take note that there are different types of trailer hitches streamlined for different weights. 

For Malibu, the Class 1 hitch is already compatible, however it is much safer to opt for Class 2. Luckily, CURT manufacturing provides you with the hitch that your Malibu needs. 

CURT 12051 Class 2 Trailer Hitch, 1-1/4-Inch Receiver is compatible with the Chevy Malibu. It is equipped with a strong, welded steel build that has a dual coat finish resistant to rust, chip, and UV. It's easy to install and, most of all, guarantees versatility, safety, and durability! 

See CURT's Class 2 trailer hitch on Amazon.

You can also read "10 Awesome Travel Trailers Under 6,000 lbs" for further details concerning travel trailers and which one to get for your Chevy Malibu. 

Can The Chevy Malibu Pull A Camper? 

A caravan parked by the side of a building.

A camper can weigh from about 1,000 to 9,000 pounds. For the Chevy Malibu, it has a tow rating of 1,000 lbs with a maximum capacity nearly 4,000 pounds. 

With that being said, the Malibu can pull a camper so as long as it fits the acceptable weight limits. The good news is, the Malibu can not only tow basic teardrop and pop-up campers, but it's possible for the vehicle to tow a small travel trailer, an airstream, and even a toy hauler. 

For the best, U-Haul Trailer Hitches and Towing can show you a demonstration of a trailer installation into the Chevy Malibu. 

To match your interests in towing with campers, you can visit "8 Small Truck Campers That Take You Camping Where No Trailer Can!" or "Can I Leave My Camper Hitched Overnight?" for additional ideas on lodging with a camper. 

What Chevy Models Are Flat Towable? 

Chevrolet Automobile Dealership.

Aside from the Malibu, here are some of the Chevy Models that are flat towable: 

Chevrolet Equinox

Grey crossover Chevrolet Equinox in the city street

This model is one of the flat towable vehicles guaranteed by Chevrolet. However, it must be noted that you make use of the proper equipment and follow the right process

Chevrolet Colorado 

Chevrolet Colorado and Mazda BT-50 pick-up cars running on mud road

Chevy Colorado is flat towable, but not all models are built for this duty. To be specific, only the Colorado 4x4 with neutral gear and FWD can be safely flat towed on a low setting. 

Chevrolet Trailblazer 

The Trailblazer is only flat towable with the AWD model only. It has an available FWD, but like the Malibu, it's best to dolly tow the front wheels at all cost. 

Chevrolet Traverse 

Chevy Traverse guarantees its capacity to be flat towable with or without adaptive cruise control. All you need is a base plate kit, tow bar, safety cables, tow bar wiring, and a supplementary braking system. 

In Closing

Now that you know that it's better to dolly tow the Malibu instead of flat towing it, the call is up to you. Just remember to always follow safety guidelines and use the proper equipment to fully enjoy your towing experience.