How to Flat-tow a 2013 Honda Fit (with automatic transmission)

Flat towing is how cars are typically towed behind an RV or bus conversion.  Flat towing refers to having all four of the car’s wheels on the ground while being towed as opposed to using some kind of trailer.  However, the general rule is that automatic cars should never be towed with the drive wheels on the road.  But in reality, many modern cars with automatic transmissions can be flat towed as long as you follow the directions in the owner’s manual.  If you cannot find the directions in the manual or you cannot find your manual then stick to the general rule as save yourself the $5,000-plus charge of buying a new transmission.

The instructions for the 2013 Honda Fit are exact and meant to be followed perfectly.

Exact Procedure:

  1. Check the transmission fluid level. Make sure the fluid level is between the upper and lower marks.
  2. Start the engine.
  3. Depress the brake pedal. Move the shift lever through all its positions.
  4. Shift to DRIVE and hold for five seconds, then to NEUTRAL. Let the engine run for three minutes.
  5. Turn off engine.
  6. Release the parking brake.
  7. Leave the ignition switch in ACCESSORY. Make sure the steering wheel does not lock.
  8. Turn off all the electric devices. Do not use any accessory power sockets.This can prevent the battery from running down.

Warnings from the manual:

  • Failure to follow the recommended instructions exactly will result in severe automatic transmission damage. If you cannot shift the transmission or start the engine, your vehicle must be transported on a flat-bed truck or trailer.
  • Do not exceed 65 mph (100 km/h).
  • Consult your towing parts sales or rental agency if any other items are recommended or required for your towing situation.
  • If you tow your vehicle behind a motorhome, the transmission fluid must be changed every 2 years or 30,000 miles (48,000 km), whichever comes first.
  • Severe transmission damage will occur if the vehicle is shifted from REVERSE  to NEUTRAL and then towed with the drive wheels on the ground.
  • If you tow more than 8 hours in one day, you should repeat the “before towing your vehicle procedure” at least every 8 hours.
    You also need to perform the following procedure to prevent the battery from running down.

    1.  Remove the 30 A accessory radio fuse. This fuse is located in the interior fuse box.

    2. Store the fuse in a safe place so you do not lose it. Make sure to reinstall the fuse before you start driving your vehicle.


I hope to have a picture of us flat-towing our 2013 Honda Fit very soon.

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