Whether you have a Model 3 or another Tesla, you have one of the best electric cars on the road. But that doesn’t mean you won’t need to have your Tesla towed at some point.
The only way a Tesla can be towed legally is with all four wheels off the ground. This can be done with a flatbed tow truck or wheel lifts and dollies. Because the wheels make power when they spin, towing with the wheels on the ground can cause them to overheat and cause a lot of damage.
If you want to know more about this option, keep reading to find out how to tow your Tesla safely.
Will Towing a Tesla Damage It?
When we answer this question, we will say both yes and no, which may make it seem like we are straddling the fence. Your Tesla can be towed if you do it right, but if you don’t follow the towing process that Tesla recommends, you could do a lot of damage to your car.
First of all, you should always follow the instructions in your Tesla’s owner’s manual.
Once you start reading the manual, you’ll see that it says all four of your Tesla’s wheels should be off the ground while it’s being towed. This means you’ll need a flatbed truck or trailer to do the job.
If you have these options, it’s safe to say you can tow your Tesla for as long as you want.
Is It Safe to Tow a Tesla?
This is different, though, if you don’t have a flatbed truck or trailer and have to use wheel lifts and dollies instead.
If you use this method to pull your Tesla, you’ll need to be very careful and hope that you only need to pull it a short distance.
Even though it’s usually safe to tow your Tesla, we can’t stress enough how important it is to follow the instructions from the manufacturer.
If you use wheel lifts and dollies to pull the car, you could seriously damage the car if you have to pull it more than 35 miles.
If your Tesla is towed further than this, it could damage the tyres, the battery, or the electrical system, which could cost you thousands of dollars to fix.
Unlike regular gas-powered cars, your Tesla makes energy whenever its wheels turn, even when it’s being pulled behind another car.
So, the more time the vehicle is being pulled, the more energy is being made.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen this happen to a lot of Tesla cars.
Worse yet, this is not the way a Tesla is supposed to be towed, so some owners have to pay for the repairs out of their own pockets because going against the manufacturer’s recommendations usually voids the warranty.
Can You Flat Tow a Tesla?
You can easily tow your Tesla on a flatbed truck or trailer, and wheel lifts and dollies can be used for very short-distance towing. However, we can say without a doubt that you should never try to flat tow your Tesla under any circumstances.
If you do that, we won’t be surprised if you end up with a severely damaged Tesla that needs repairs that aren’t covered by the warranty.
Since your Tesla makes energy when it’s being towed, if it overheats, it could damage your car’s battery and electrical system, and it could also start a fire nearby, which could cause even more damage and serious injuries to others.
Flat towing is common for people who travel in an RV and want to bring a car along to get to places where the RV can’t go. If you own a Tesla, however, you shouldn’t do this.
Instead, we suggest you hook up a trailer to the back of your RV and drive your Tesla on top of it.
Even though flat towing is not recommended, some people do it when they need to charge their Tesla.
Even though it seems like a logical way to charge the car quickly, it’s not!
In fact, pulling a Tesla behind a car to charge it is thought to be the least efficient way to do this.
In these situations, you not only need a second car to pull yours, but the car doing the pulling needs to be able to go at least 70 mph for miles and miles.
Even if you do this, your car will only make a little bit of power.
You would have to do this for at least 24 hours to get a full charge. Find a charging station instead, and you’ll be ready to go in minutes, not hours or days.
Check out some of the resources linked below for advice on how to charge your Tesla.
Should I put my Tesla on charge every night?
Can Tesla cars charge at other stations?
Can a generator be used to charge a Tesla?
How to Tow a Tesla (If You Do)
Now that you’ve heard a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t tow your Tesla, we thought it would be helpful to give you some tips on how to safely tow it to your next destination.
Start the process by putting your Tesla in “Transport Mode.” But for this mode to work, your car must have power and be able to recognise a key.
When your Tesla is in “Transport Mode,” keep in mind that it won’t be able to speed up as quickly.
Because of this, your Tesla will only be able to go 30 feet at 3 miles per hour.
If you try to speed up or go farther while in Transport Mode, your car will almost certainly overheat.
Transport Mode is very helpful if your car needs to be winched so it can be put on a flatbed truck or trailer.
It can also be used if you need to move your car before it’s towed.
When your car is in Transport Mode, it will show “Free Rolling” on the dashboard. This means that it has found that the parking brake is off.
Also, we suggest you check again to make sure the car is in Park.
After making sure the car is in Park, press and hold down the brake. Tap your car’s touchscreen to choose Controls, Service, and Towing as you do this.
When you choose the Towing option, you will see a message that tells you how your Tesla’s Transport Mode works and what you can’t do when you tow it.
Once you’re happy with everything, you can press the Transport Mode button and get going!
Does My Car Need to Face a Certain Direction when Towing?
Again, we answer both yes and no to this question.
If you’re pulling your Tesla with a flatbed truck or trailer, it doesn’t matter if the front or back of the car is loaded first. But if you use wheel lifts and dollies to pull your Tesla, make sure the front of the car is always facing forward in the direction you are pulling it.
If you do this, the dollies will be able to use your car’s back wheels.
How Do I Find My Vehicle’s Tow Eye/Tow Hook?
When it’s time to tow your Tesla, one of the first things you’ll need to do is find the tow eye or tow hook on your car.
Instead of searching in vain and getting frustrated, just lift up the carpet in the front trunk of your car.
Once you’ve done that, it should be easy to find in the upper left corner.
When you find it, gently press on the round part. This will make the other end come out of the trunk of your car.
As the last step, pull the lifted end until it releases, then attach and secure it to the winch so that your Tesla can be pulled safely.
If you need to tow your Tesla, make sure it doesn’t get damaged by following our suggestions and Tesla’s suggestions.