Can a Honda Civic Be Flat Towed? (Answer Might Surprise You!)


Can a Honda Civic Be Flat Towed?

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Can a Honda Civic be flat towed? While Honda does not recommend flat towing a Honda Civic, it is important to note that it is possible to do so with models released prior to 2014. Flat towing, also known as dinghy towing, refers to towing a vehicle with all four wheels on the ground, without using a trailer or dolly.

For those who enjoy RVing or need to transport their Civic behind a motorhome, flat towing can be a convenient option.

However, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure the vehicle remains in good condition during towing.

In the case of the Honda Civic, Honda’s official stance is that flat towing is not recommended for models released after 2014. It’s worth noting that attempting to flat tow a newer Civic model could potentially lead to damage or void the warranty.

So if you have an older Civic model and are considering flat towing, it’s essential to consult the owner’s manual and follow Honda’s recommendations to ensure a safe and hassle-free towing experience.

Can a Honda Civic Be Flat Towed?

Whether or not a Honda Civic can be flat towed depends on the year and model of the car.

  • Manual transmission Civics: Honda does not recommend flat towing any manual transmission Civic, regardless of the year. If you must flat tow a manual transmission Civic, you will need to use a dolly to keep the drive wheels off the ground.
  • Automatic transmission Civics: Some automatic transmission Civics can be flat towed, but only if certain precautions are taken. For example, the car must be in neutral, the parking brake must be released, and the ignition must be in the accessory position. You will also need to install a brake controller and safety cables.

It is always best to check your car’s owner’s manual or contact Honda customer service to see if your specific Civic can be flat towed.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when flat towing a Honda Civic:

  • Do not exceed 35 mph.
  • Do not tow for more than 50 miles.
  • Stop every 50 miles to check the car’s brakes and fluids.
  • Have a qualified mechanic install the tow bar and brake controller.

Why Honda does not recommend flat towing a Honda Civic?

There are several reasons why Honda does not recommend flat towing a Honda Civic. It’s important to understand these reasons in order to make an informed decision about towing your vehicle.

  1. Transmission Damage: Flat towing a Honda Civic can potentially cause damage to the transmission. The transmission is not designed to be constantly engaged while the vehicle is being towed. This can lead to overheating and premature wear and tear.
  2. Steering and Suspension Issues: Flat towing can put strain on the steering and suspension components of the vehicle. The Civic’s steering system and suspension are not designed to handle the additional stress and can become damaged as a result.
  3. Safety Concerns: Towing a vehicle requires additional braking power, which may not be adequately provided when flat towing a Honda Civic. This can impact the ability to control the vehicle and can potentially lead to accidents or other safety hazards.
  4. Warranty Void: Flat towing a Honda Civic goes against the manufacturer’s recommendations and can void the vehicle’s warranty. If any damage occurs during flat towing, Honda may not cover the repairs under warranty.

It’s worth mentioning that while Honda does not recommend flat towing a Honda Civic, it is possible in models released prior to 2014.

However, even in these earlier models, caution should be exercised and additional precautions should be taken to minimize the risk of damage.

Models of Honda Civic released prior to 2014 that can be flat towed:

Can a Honda Civic Be Flat Towed?

If you’re wondering whether a Honda Civic can be flat towed, the official recommendation from Honda is a clear “no.”

However, there are some models released before 2014 that can be flat towed, despite not being recommended by the manufacturer. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Honda Civic DX, LX, and EX models (2006-2014): These models are equipped with manual transmissions, making them suitable for flat towing. The manual transmission allows the wheels to spin freely, preventing damage to the transmission system. Remember, it’s crucial to follow the proper steps for flat towing, such as disengaging the parking brake and placing the transmission in neutral.
  2. Honda Civic Si (2006-2014): Similar to the DX, LX, and EX models, the Honda Civic Si with a manual transmission can be flat towed. As with any flat towing situation, following the recommended procedures is essential to avoid any potential issues.
  3. Honda Civic Hybrid (2006-2014): The Honda Civic Hybrid can also be flat towed, provided it has a manual transmission. This model combines fuel efficiency with the ability to be towed behind an RV or other vehicle, making it a convenient choice for hybrid car owners.

It’s important to note that flat towing a Honda Civic, or any vehicle for that matter, requires careful consideration and adherence to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

While some earlier models of the Honda Civic may be suitable for flat towing, it’s always recommended to consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual and seek advice from a qualified mechanic or towing expert.

ModelsYearsTransmissionFlat Towable?
Honda Civic DX, LX, EX2006-2014ManualYes
Honda Civic Si2006-2014ManualYes
Honda Civic Hybrid2006-2014ManualYes

Considerations for Flat Towing a Honda Civic:

Can a Honda Civic Be Flat Towed?

When it comes to flat towing a Honda Civic, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. While Honda does not recommend flat towing for the Civic, it is possible in models released prior to 2014.

Here are some key points to consider before attempting to flat tow a Honda Civic:

  1. Pre-2014 Models Only: Flat towing is only recommended for Honda Civic models manufactured before 2014. Newer models may have different transmission systems that are not designed for flat towing. Always check the owner’s manual or consult with a Honda dealership to ensure your specific model is suitable for flat towing.
  2. Transmission Type: Honda Civics with automatic transmissions are typically not recommended for flat towing due to the potential for damage. The majority of automatic transmission vehicles require the engine to be running to properly lubricate the transmission components. Flat towing without the engine running can result in severe damage to the transmission. However, some manual transmission Civics may be suitable for flat towing if proper procedures are followed.
  3. Towing Equipment: If you decide to flat tow a pre-2014 Honda Civic, it’s crucial to use the appropriate towing equipment. This includes a tow bar, base plate, safety cables, and a supplemental braking system. The tow bar should be securely attached to the front of the Civic, while the base plate needs to be properly installed to provide a secure connection point. Safety cables are essential for additional security, and a supplemental braking system helps ensure safe braking while towing.
  4. Proper Technique: To flat tow a Honda Civic safely, it’s important to follow the recommended procedures. This typically involves starting the engine and running it through a sequence of shifting gears to ensure proper lubrication of the transmission. Additionally, regular stops should be made to allow the engine to run and the transmission to cool down.
Suitable modelsPre-2014 Honda Civic models only
Transmission typeAutomatic transmissions are generally not recommended
Towing equipmentTow bar, base plate, safety cables, supplemental braking system
Proper techniqueFollow recommended procedures for lubrication and cooling
Warranty implicationsFlat towing may void the manufacturer’s warranty

Alternative Methods for Towing a Honda Civic:

If you have a Honda Civic and need to tow it, but don’t want to flat tow it, there are a few alternative methods you can consider.

While these methods may require additional equipment or professional assistance, they can be a safer option for your vehicle.

Let’s take a look at some alternatives:

  1. Tow Dolly: One option is to use a tow dolly, which is a small trailer-like device that lifts the front wheels of your Honda Civic off the ground. This method allows the rear wheels to roll freely while the front wheels are secured on the tow dolly. It can be a good solution if you have a front-wheel-drive Civic. However, it’s important to note that not all tow dollies are suitable for all vehicles, so make sure to check the compatibility before using one.
  2. Flatbed Tow Truck: Another alternative is to hire a flatbed tow truck. With this method, your Honda Civic will be loaded onto the back of the truck, with all four wheels off the ground. Flatbed towing is considered one of the safest ways to transport a vehicle as it eliminates any wear and tear on the tires or transmission. However, it may be more expensive compared to other methods.
  3. Tow Bar: If you have a Honda Civic model released prior to 2014 and are comfortable with flat towing, you can use a tow bar. A tow bar is a device that connects the front of your Civic to the back of another vehicle, allowing it to be towed with all four wheels on the ground. However, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and ensure that your Civic is properly equipped for flat towing.
  4. Professional Assistance: If you’re not confident in towing your Honda Civic yourself, it’s always a good idea to seek professional assistance. Towing companies have the experience and equipment to safely transport your vehicle without causing any damage. They can guide you in choosing the best method based on your specific situation.
Tow DollySuitable for front-wheel-drive CivicsNot suitable for all vehicles
Flatbed Tow TruckSafest option, no wear on tires or transmissionMore expensive compared to other methods
Tow BarOption for pre-2014 modelsMust follow manufacturer’s guidelines and be equipped for flat towing
Professional AssistanceExpertise and equipment for safe towingAdditional cost and reliance on a towing company

Conclusion and final thoughts 💭

While Honda does not officially recommend flat towing a Honda Civic, it is still possible for models released prior to 2014. However, there are certain factors to consider before deciding to flat tow your Civic.

Let’s summarize the key points:

  1. Manufacturer Recommendations: Honda does not advise flat towing the Civic. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid potential damage to the vehicle.
  2. Pre-2014 Models: If you own a Honda Civic released prior to 2014, it may be compatible with flat towing. These older models have a manual transmission that allows for flat towing without causing harm to the drivetrain.
  3. Consult the Owner’s Manual: Before attempting to flat tow your Civic, carefully review the owner’s manual for specific instructions and limitations. The manual will provide you with valuable information regarding towing capacities, necessary preparations, and precautions to take.
  4. Consider the Risks: Flat towing any vehicle comes with risks, including potential damage to the transmission, drivetrain, or suspension components. These risks may increase if you exceed the recommended weight limits or travel long distances at high speeds.
  5. Alternative Towing Methods: If flat towing is not recommended for your Honda Civic model, consider using a trailer or a tow dolly. These methods provide a safer and more secure way to transport your vehicle without subjecting it to potential damage.

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