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Old 01-27-2005, 10:46 AM   #1
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I have a 1998 Honda Accord V6 automatic. The owner's manual says not to tow it, but I have seen it done. Are modifications to the vehicle necessary? Is there a procedure (shifting/neutral) to use before towing? If you have experience with this car, please respond. Thank you.
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Old 01-27-2005, 10:46 AM   #2
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I have a 1998 Honda Accord V6 automatic. The owner's manual says not to tow it, but I have seen it done. Are modifications to the vehicle necessary? Is there a procedure (shifting/neutral) to use before towing? If you have experience with this car, please respond. Thank you.
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Old 01-27-2005, 06:49 PM   #3
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Honda's position is that they have not tested towing and so have no basis to say that it does or does not work. However, they know of no reason why it would not work and have issued a procedure to be used to make the car ready for towing.

Here is the text of the official Honda statement/procedure on towing, which has been published in numerous RV & motorhome magazines and websites. Honda will send you a copy if you write or call.

(TEXT ORIGINALLY FROM HONDA)
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
We are not aware of any particular problems being caused by towing any 1988 or prior year Honda/Acura automobile, with either manual or automatic transmission, with or without power steering, regardless of towing speed or mileage.

1989 and subsequent model year Honda/Acura automobiles have minor changes to the automatic transmission. If a 1989 or subsequent model year Honda/Acura must be towed with the front and all four wheels on the ground, we recommend the following before towing:

Check to be sure the transmission fluid level is full.
Release the parking brake.
Start the engine.
Shift the transmission from Park to Drive.
Shift from Drive to Neutral.
Turn off the engine; leaving the key in the Accessory (I) Position
Make sure the radio and all accessories are turned off.
NOTICE: The steering system can be damaged if the steering wheel is locked. Always leave the key in the Accessory (I) Position to prevent damage to the steering system when towing behind another vehicle.

CAUTION: SEVERE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION DAMAGE WILL OCCUR IF THE CAR IS SHIFTED FROM REVERSE TO NEUTRAL AND THEN TOWED WITH THE DRIVE WHEELS ON THE GROUND.

We do recommend starting the engine and shifting the automatic transmission, if so equipped, through the gears approximately every 500 miles and shifting from Drive to Neutral before shutting off the engine.

For all manual transmissions automobiles, release the parking brake, shift the transmission to neutral, and turn the ignition key to the Accessory (I) Position to release the steering wheel lock. Make sure that the radio and all accessories are turned off.

Although experience has shown that the Honda/Acura transmission and powertrain are capable of being "motorhome towed", American Honda does not assume responsibility for any towing vehicle, lighting hookup, or other towing equipment or towing procedures. And responsibility for these items is assumed by the Owner/Operator.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 01-27-2005, 06:58 PM   #4
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R & L, we flat tow a 1997 Honda Accord 4 door with the 4 cylinder. Not sure if the transmissions are identicle, but I think you will not have any problems. Our traveling partners pull an 01 Accord 6cyl. automatic and also have not had problems. Honda will not "advertise" that it is ok, but they have put out a letter stating they have no reason to believe damage will occur IF you follow the proceedure we are using. Your owner's manual provides instructions about what to do if the car must be towed with the front wheels one the ground, but contains language saying not for more than 50 miles and speeds not to exceed 50 MPH. The letter says Honda's stated limits were the result of not testing at higher speeds or longer distances.

Here is the proceedure I use:

With the engine running while hooking up to your tow bar first put auto tranny into neutral, then shift all the way down to first. Move thru each forward gear till you reach neutral, and shut off engine. You will not be able to remove key, but this allows the steering to remain unlocked. If for ANY reason you find yourself putting the car into reverse or park-then you MUST start over, going back to neutral and back thru the FORWARD gears to end in neutral. I also take comfort in repeating this process of cranking the car (still in neutral) and going back thru the forward gears just prior to pulling out from a rest stop-assuming we had travelled several hundred miles to get there. It is not necessary to repeat the steps every time you change locations, if you are making multiple short stops along the way. Good luck, and consider adding an aux. braking system! Ed
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Old 01-27-2005, 07:03 PM   #5
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R & L, I spent so much time typing my reply that R V Roamer got you the official answer from Honda. That is the letter to which I referred. Also, welcome to irv2. I'm sure you will find lots of help here...it is a great source of advice.
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Old 01-29-2005, 06:30 AM   #6
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We towed a 1993 Honda Accord successfully for a number of years. Honda told me to run the engine then run through the gears leaving it in neutral for three minutes and repeat the process every 150 miles. I think I pulled a fuse, but don't remember.

Now we tow a 2004 Saturn Vue V6. It is towable 4 wheels down only because the engine and transaxle (transmission) are Honda!

I run the same procedure, including pulling a fuse but run the engine every 200 miles.
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Old 01-29-2005, 09:59 AM   #7
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Digital Boy , I also run a 2004 Saturn Vue with the Honda Drive train. According to the oweners manual plus the supplement you can go 8 hours or 500 miles before starting the engine and running throught the gears. I have towed my Vue just over 4700 miles and have had no problems wating the 8 hours or 500 miles.
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:31 AM   #8
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Thanks to all of you for your very helpful replies. We have decided to go ahead and tow our Accord.
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Old 01-29-2005, 11:47 AM   #9
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500 miles? I don't remember that. But, you know, there are lots of things I don't remember!
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Old 01-29-2005, 07:37 PM   #10
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Lew, just for you I went out in the snow to my car and pulled the Dingy Towing Supplement: "Dinghy towing is limited to 520 miles (837km) at speeds below 65 mph (105 km/h) for 5 speed automatic transaxles."

The one thing I could not find in either the owners manual or the supplement was the 8 hour restriction so I'm not sure where I came up with that.
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Old 01-30-2005, 08:15 AM   #11
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Wow! I'm impressed. Thanks for the verification. I just got confused - for a change.
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Old 01-30-2005, 07:45 PM   #12
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The 8 hour rule is because it takes 8 hours for the fluid to drain from the torque converter and the automatic transmission to the pan. This is true if the car sits (not running) or is towed. By starting the engine for three minutes, the fluid recirculates and is good for another 8 hours.

I have towed a 91 Accord for many miles as well as a 2000 CRV and a 2003 CRV with no problems. Just follow the posted Honda instructions.
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Old 01-30-2005, 10:09 PM   #13
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Thanks, Joe -- we appreciate your advice.
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Old 01-31-2005, 08:51 AM   #14
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Joe I agree on your explanation of the 8 hour rule, I just can't remember where I read it. I always run my engine and run through the gears when I stop for fuel even though it may not be 8 hours. I need to check my service manuals I have on my Saturn and see if this is where I read it. It is sure not in the owners manual or the supplement that Saturn included.
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