A Nissan Altima is an excellent car to tow behind a motorhome. They are fuel-efficient, making them a tremendous get-around car when parking the motorhome for extended periods. But can you flat tow a Nissan Altima, or does it have to be moved differently? We have researched on your behalf to answer this question.
A Nissan Altima with an automatic transmission should not be flat towed. The manual transmissions that do not have the CVT transmission (older models) can be flat towed when in neutral. Flat towing could cause extreme damage to the automatic CVT transmissions. Instead, the front two wheels should be off the ground using a dolly trailer. In addition, consumers can use a trailer with all four tires off the ground to tow their Nissan Altima.
Flat towing can be more convenient, but not every vehicle is compatible with this option. The Nissan Altima, like other vehicles, has specific towing specifications that need to be followed. In this article, we will take a closer look at how to tow the Nissan Altimas and do it properly. Let's get into it!
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Flat Towing A Nissan Altima
Manual transmissions with CVT
The Nissan Altima can be flat towed if an older model doesn't have an automatic transmission (before 2018). In addition, the Nissan Altima needs to be a manual transmission to be flat towed.
To flat tow these Altimas, be sure that the vehicle is neutral in the parking brake off. In addition, for every 500 miles, be sure to start and let the engine idle. Not letting the engine idle every 500 miles could potentially cause damage to the internal transmission parts.
Newer Nissan Altimas that have the continuously variable transmission (CVT) can not be flat towed. The CVT transmission is different from the regular automatic.
The continuously variable transmission uses a belt to send power between the engine and transmission. Since this type of transmission doesn't have gears, it does not allow for flat towing.
How to Tow a Nissan Altima Safely
A better option for newer Nissan Altimas with the CVT transmission includes using a flat towing dolly. This full trailer has all four tires off the ground or using a tow dolly with the front two wheels of the vehicle taken off the ground.
One should never flat tow a vehicle without the parking brake on. This includes using a tow bar or dolly without the parking brake engaged. The flat towing can damage the transmission and cause other issues for the vehicle, so it is essential not to take this risk.
When using a tow dolly with the front two wheels off the ground, ensure that the vehicle is neutral. For example, with the Nissan Altima being towed by its front end, caution is essential when transporting these vehicles.
Another way to tow a Nissan Altima would be through an open trailer with the four tires off the ground. This will ensure that all four wheels are not having to be moved when being transported.
However, these types of trailers are more expensive and heavy. For example, if you use a motorhome to tow, be aware of the towing capacity before towing a Nissan Altima.
Is flat towing bad for the transmission?
Many people may ask if flat towing is terrible for the transmission. One should use an open trailer with four wheels off the ground instead of a tow dolly or tow bar because of how much weight you put on your vehicle's transmission.
Flat towing means that all four tires are in contact with the pavement. This means that the tires rotate, which could potentially cause damage to the transmission and drivetrain.
So the answer to this question is yes. Flat towing can damage the transmission and cause other issues for your vehicle. This also goes back to what was mentioned earlier about flat-towing without engaging the parking brake.
The reason why you want to stop the engine every 500 miles or so has to do with idling away potential internal damage. This is not an option for flat towing because the engine can't idle while being towed.
Many vehicle owners may wonder if you should flat tow a damaged vehicle. There are specific situations when one would flat-tow their car. This includes when the car is totaled or has bad mechanical or body damage.
There are also situations where one would need to have the car towed to get it serviced at the dealership. If you need to tow a damaged vehicle, then be sure to call a tow truck to have it taken care of.
How much does a Nissan Altima weigh?
From 2005 to the present, the Nissan Altima has weighed between 3,000 and 3,500 lbs. This may not seem like much, but adding the weight of passengers, gas, and other parts such as a roof rack or bike carrier can add up.
Therefore, if you plan on towing a Nissan Altima, you need to factor this weight in. A good rule of thumb is that the total weight should not exceed your vehicle's manufacturer towing capacity when towing. If you have any questions about towing, don't hesitate to contact a professional.
How fast can you go flat towing?
Many factors go into how fast you can flat-tow a vehicle. For example, whether or not the vehicle is damaged comes into play. How heavy is the vehicle being towed? What are the environmental conditions of where you are driving to?
For example, if it's raining, your speed will most likely decrease. Another factor would be how long you plan on flat-towing and if this will cause damage to the transmission.
Generally speaking, you should never exceed 50-70 miles per hour while flat-towing. It is crucial to be aware of your state law and regulations regarding flat towing a vehicle.
It is better to be safe than sorry when flat towing (or doing any towing for that matter). Driving too fast when towing could not only cause an accident for you, but you could also hurt someone else.
It's best to be below the speed limit to reduce the wear and tear of your vehicle. Being aware of your surroundings is essential, so having a passenger to help you should be seriously considered.
If you notice that the car begins to sway, it's best to slow down even more or pull over. Flat towing is not something that should be taken lightly. You want to make sure you are doing it right to protect yourself, others, and your car.
How Fast Can You Go Dolly Towing?
If you are considering dolly towing, it is advised for you not to exceed 45-55 miles per hour. You want to be sure that your car is in tip-top shape before doing any towing.
If you are uncertain whether dolly towing will be safe for your car, contact a local repair shop and ask them for their professional opinion. The last thing you want is to have something go wrong with your vehicle while being towed by a dolly.
In general, this question is best answered by looking at state regulations and your vehicle manufacturer requirements.
In other words, do not exceed your state towing speed limit or your car's weight capacity when flat towing. It is also wise to have a professional inspect your vehicle before towing.
If you are towing for an extended period of time, then it is best to maintain your speed. Going too fast will wear out your tires and put unnecessary stress on other parts of the car.
Overall, it is better to drive slower when towing anything. You will ensure safety for you and others on the road. In addition, you will have a lower chance of damaging the trailer or your vehicle.
Overall, it is possible to flat-tow a manual transmission Nissan Altima if it is a specific year and model. Be sure to check your owner's manual with the Nissan dealer before attempting to flat tow your Altima.
If you have an automatic transmission Nissan Altima, you will need to use a dolly trailer or put the Altima on a trailer bed.
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