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Old 05-06-2017, 04:45 PM   #1
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Chevrolet Spark Toad

Can someone advise me on the procedures for towing a Chevrolet Spark. I am considering buying one to tow behind our Canyon Star. I like the base curb weight but want something that doesn't require completing a lot of procedures to prepare the car to tow.
Thank you,

Richard Perryman
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:09 PM   #2
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From what I just read, put in neutral, turn key to accessory and drive. Stay under 70 mph. MUST be a manual transmission. BTW a Sonic can be towed with an automatic transmission if that makes a difference.
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:15 PM   #3
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Thanks. I saw that as well, just wondering if leaving the key in the accessory position is a drain on the battery. Although we would install a charge line.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:34 PM   #4
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Before buying a Chevy Spark I would suggest renting one and trying it for a few days. I had one as a rental car on a business trip 3-4 years ago, drove it about 30 miles per day for 6 days (12 miles too and from my hotel just outside Philly each day). I have very mixed feelings about it as a car, if you think of it as an underpowered go kart, it is fairly decent. I would say though for heavy traffic and merging onto a freeway the thing is underpowered, worse yet you have to drive it by anticipating when you need power, all on the gas a second or so before you expect to move, and foot on the floor until you reach highway speed eventually.
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:06 AM   #5
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Spark

I tow a 2017 Spark LS Standard. I installed a Roadmaster Base Plate which was easy to do. You do not need to leave key in switch. E-Trailer has very good install video on their web site. I have other post on irv2. For me it has plenty getty up and go and tows very good. Also I use a NSA tow bar with brake and wireless Turn/Brake lights. To test steering lock: sit in vehicle no key in ignition turn steering wheel right and left as far as possible. wheel should not lock. The owners manual is wrong. my dealer did not know.
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:40 AM   #6
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I have a 15 Spark LS tow with the RSA Ready Brute Elite tow bar with brake and recommend highly.

As info, the key does have to be in accessory position on my 15 Spark or the steering WILL LOCK!!! I did the right and left wheel turning test and the steering did not lock; however when I tried to tow, the steering did lock up! I had to turn the ignition on to unlock. Additionally, it does drain the battery on a long trip, so I disconnect it. I may add a charge line in the future.
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Old 05-07-2017, 01:18 PM   #7
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2017 Spark

I have asked Service manager at dealership and they don't know and don't care about steering lock. I guess to be on safe side insert key and turn to accessory position. How did you determine it was locking when towed? wheels scrubbing or what - thanks in advance.
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Old 05-07-2017, 01:57 PM   #8
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Rick,

When we tow our 2013 Spark this is the procedure we use after hooking up our Blue Ox tow bar to the Blue Ox base plate with the break away cables and electrical cord.

1. Turn key to first click to unlock steering wheel. (Not accessory or you will run down the battery. If the radio and other electrical items turn on you have turned the key too far.)

2. Put gear shift in neutral

3. Release brake.

As far as being underpowered Isaac-1 probably rented one with an automatic transmission which is not towable. The manual 5 speed is fun to drive and has plenty of zip. I wouldn't want to take it on a long trip but for running around town and checking out local scenery/tourist attractions it serves us well. The back seats lay down for extra cargo space if needed. Gas mileage is great, I average 27 MPG by the Spark's computer and I'm not easy on the gas pedal. If the image comes out it is where the Blue Ox hookups are located on the front of Sparky. They are hard to see being black on black but they are just below the Chevy emblem. The key in the bottom of the grill is the breakaway switch for the Invisbrake.
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:28 PM   #9
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Good picture. Thank you. It mounts higher than I thought it would. If the 2017 is the same, we won't need our drop down.

Rick
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:50 PM   #10
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I have a 2015 Spark with manual transmission and the key needs to turned one click as well. I tested and the steering wheel did lock when turning it stop to stop if the key was off. I have only done one test tow and will tow it later this month on my first trip. I used the Demco base plate and the tabs come out in the lower grill so I had to use a 6" drop bar to have the tow bar level. It did not drag on my test route but I am expecting it to drag at some point. So the higher Blue Ox location would be better.

I read somewhere that the 2017(maybe even the 2016) did not have a steering wheel lock.

I also installed a brakemaster brake system and a universal light diode kit for the lights.

I will also say that the manual is not bad to drive. Not a muscle car by any means but when my wife was driving 50 miles each way to work the 39 miles to the gallon she got was nice.

Mike
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:26 PM   #11
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I have a 2014 Spark LS (manual) and the steering wheel will lock up if you don't turn the key to the accessory position. I literally use the radio to make sure the key is in the right location and then I turn the radio off. The radio is the only draw on the battery - to the best of my knowlege - so the accessory position shouldn't run the battery down. I'm not aware of a key position that precedes the acc position - or at least I can't detect it? Perhaps on the "deluxe" Spark there is one because of all of the "goodies" that might be active in the acc position.
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cracker39 View Post
I have a 2014 Spark LS (manual) and the steering wheel will lock up if you don't turn the key to the accessory position. I literally use the radio to make sure the key is in the right location and then I turn the radio off. The radio is the only draw on the battery - to the best of my knowlege - so the accessory position shouldn't run the battery down. I'm not aware of a key position that precedes the acc position - or at least I can't detect it? Perhaps on the "deluxe" Spark there is one because of all of the "goodies" that might be active in the acc position.
I have the basic 5 speed manual 2013 Spark. There is a notch/click between off and accessory that is hard to find. It will unlock the steering wheel but it won't turn on any accessories. If the radio comes on I know I have turned the key too far.

Jon
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:12 AM   #13
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Key Position

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfran304 View Post
I have the basic 5 speed manual 2013 Spark. There is a notch/click between off and accessory that is hard to find. It will unlock the steering wheel but it won't turn on any accessories. If the radio comes on I know I have turned the key too far.

Jon
Trust me, there is no position between "lock" and "accessory" on my 2014 Spark LS (manual.) As an aside, I need the accessory position in order to make the accessory plug active for my just-ordered Classic Brake Buddy, and an additional benefit is that the Sparks brake lights will function in the accessory position. I use magnetic lights plugged in to the MH - in lieu of tieing into the Spark's taillights - so with this arrangement I really light up behind when I put my brakes on! Fortunately, the BB won't keep the pedal depressed once I've slowed or stopped - so the Spark's tailights will go out. I won't know until I travel with this setup whether battery life will be an issue. Perhaps others have experience with the BB that they can share.
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cracker39 View Post
Trust me, there is no position between "lock" and "accessory" on my 2014 Spark LS (manual.) As an aside, I need the accessory position in order to make the accessory plug active for my just-ordered Classic Brake Buddy, and an additional benefit is that the Sparks brake lights will function in the accessory position. I use magnetic lights plugged in to the MH - in lieu of tieing into the Spark's taillights - so with this arrangement I really light up behind when I put my brakes on! Fortunately, the BB won't keep the pedal depressed once I've slowed or stopped - so the Spark's tailights will go out. I won't know until I travel with this setup whether battery life will be an issue. Perhaps others have experience with the BB that they can share.
Don't know what to tell you about the notch between off and accessory on your 2014, all I know is there is one on my 2013. My wife made the mistake of turning the key too far to accessory and the battery was dead after towing it for about 4 hours and that was even with the charge line from the Invisibrake hooked up.

Just went out and checked. The brake lights on my 2013 will work without the key being on (or in the ignition) when you depress the brake pedal.

Jon
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