Is FLAT towing a 2015 CVT with engine idleing safe for engine/drivetrain? - Unofficial Honda FIT Forums


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Old 01-17-2015, 07:27 PM
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Is FLAT towing a 2015 CVT with engine idleing safe for engine/drivetrain?

I'm shopping for a Class B trailer and economy car. The RV salesman and his manager insist it's safe to flat tow a Honda 2015 CVT with the engine idling to keep fluids flowing and cooling the engine & drivetrain.

Certainly for short hops from RV park to RV park this would save money versus renting a car dolly from U-Haul.

What do you think?
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:37 PM
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Why not ask your Honda service person? I don't recall if the manual had anything on towing the GK Fit...

es
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Class B View Post
I'm shopping for a Class B trailer and economy car. The RV salesman and his manager insist it's safe to flat tow a Honda 2015 CVT with the engine idling to keep fluids flowing and cooling the engine & drivetrain.

What do you think?


i would never leave the car running while towing it. cooling the engine while towing? not going to happen, as the car will get little to no airflow, since the towing vehicle will be blocking a majority of the headwind. if anything you will overheat the car on a long tow in moderate temps.

if a manual transmission an option for you?
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:54 PM
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No worries when it comes to airflows. There's plenty of wind behind a Class B.
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:56 PM
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According to the manual, the CVT cannot be flat towed behind a motorhome.

The M/T can be.
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by andre181 View Post
According to the manual, the CVT cannot be flat towed behind a motorhome.

The M/T can be.
I read it online and the manual doesn't get into specifics. It doesn't say if the CVT can be flat towed with engine idling. The RV dealer says it's common practice to tow front wheel cars while idling.
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Class B View Post
I read it online and the manual doesn't get into specifics. It doesn't say if the CVT can be flat towed with engine idling. The RV dealer says it's common practice to tow front wheel cars while idling.
I tend to disagree. It seems specific enough to me. "Your vehicle is not designed to be towed behind a motorhome. Improper towing such as towing behind a motorhome or other motor vehicle can damage the transmission."

In other words, you can try it, but if you screw up your transmission, don't expect Honda to pay for it.

But seriously, as a big Honda Fit fan, I'd hate to steer someone to a different car, but it seems like a CVT Fit is not the car for you. You should pick a car that is endorsed by the manufacturer as being able to be flat towed. I only say that because I guarantee if Honda or any other car company finds out you are flat towing a car and its not designed for that, they will invalidate your powertrain warranty.
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by andre181 View Post
I tend to disagree. It seems specific enough to me. "Your vehicle is not designed to be towed behind a motorhome. Improper towing such as towing behind a motorhome or other motor vehicle can damage the transmission."
The dealer said that you can cruise a front-wheel drive car downhill in neutral gear with the engine running w/o damage to the drivetrain, and that means it's safe to tow as well. That makes sense, i.e. it doesn't matter if the force of gravity or the force of an RV is pulling the car, the car doesn't know in either case. The key is keeping the fluids flowing in the CVT drivetrain/engine to keep it cool.
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:45 PM
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Id just buy a dolly and be done with it. No sense burning fuel idling. Also idking doesnt provide adequate lubrication to the upper valve train. Pretty sure its splash lubrication.

Last edited by Bassguitarist1985; 01-17-2015 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 01-17-2015, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bassguitarist1985 View Post
Id just buy a dolly and be done with it. No sense burning fuel idling. Also idking doesnt provide adequate librication to the upper valve train. Pretty sure its splash lubrication.
It's a waste of money to buy a dolly if you are only moving 50-300 miles at a time every 3-9 months or so.

Cars and trucks are built to idle for hours in traffic in high outside temperatures.

Can you disagree with the RV dealer's claim that towing a front-auto trans with engine idling is the same as cruising downhill with the engine idling.

In both situations there is no load on the engine and drivetrain; engine oils and transmission oils are are circulating, lubricating, and cooling, keeping things safe.
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Old 01-17-2015, 10:41 PM
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I would buy the dolly or a manual and not risk damaging the CVT especially when the manual specifically states it cannot be done and does not say 'only if idling'. Why risk the car and warranty? Dollys are not that much $ and can protect the front end of the vehicle with an aero shield.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by tbFit View Post
I would buy the dolly or a manual and not risk damaging the CVT especially when the manual specifically states it cannot be done and does not say 'only if idling'. Why risk the car and warranty? Dollys are not that much $ and can protect the front end of the vehicle with an aero shield.
The online 2015 Fit manual does not have enough information to indicate otherwise as it does not state whether the engine off or on.

The RV dealer states: if you can glide downhill in neutral with engine idling w/o drivetrain damage, then then you can tow in neutral with engine idling w/o drivetrain damage.

Any technical reasons the above statement is untrue for the 2015 Fit CVT?
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Class B View Post
The RV dealer states: if you can glide downhill in neutral with engine idling w/o drivetrain damage, then then you can tow in neutral with engine idling w/o drivetrain damage.
But the RV dealer is not the one providing you with a warranty. Anything he says (verbally!) is irrelevant.
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Old 01-18-2015, 12:23 AM
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OP, you should tow a Fit idling behind your RV.

Because the rest of us look forward to choking on the CO2 from your truck (towing a brick in the form of an RV) as well as your idling car (which will hopefully grenade the transmission) while we're stuck behind you as you struggle up a hill in the aforementioned rolling asylum.

And I lol'd at giving weight to anything a salesman looking for a sale says about towing a Fit behind said camper.

Last edited by mike410b; 01-18-2015 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 01-18-2015, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by woof View Post
But the RV dealer is not the one providing you with a warranty. Anything he says (verbally!) is irrelevant.
Nothing in the manual states that towing the CVT with engine idling will be detrimental. I've never heard of any damage from going downhill in neutral with a CVT and engine running. Have you?
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Old 01-18-2015, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mike410b View Post
OP, you should tow a Fit idling behind your RV.

Because the rest of us look forward to choking on the CO2 from your truck (towing a brick in the form of an RV) as well as your idling car (which will hopefully grenade the transmission) while we're stuck behind you as you struggle up a hill in the aforementioned rolling asylum.

And I lol'd at giving weight to anything a salesman looking for a sale says about towing a Fit behind said camper.
If you can give me a technical reason why I should not be able to safely tow a CVT with engine idling please let me know.
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Old 01-18-2015, 12:49 AM
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The owner's manual states it may damage the transmission.

How exactly does running the engine prevent that?

But seriously, I hope you do this and suffer a transmission failure. You came in here simply looking to have your belief backed up, upon everyone insisting you're wrong you've grown ever more fixed in your opinions.
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Old 01-18-2015, 12:52 AM
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It appears that you've already made up your mind.

A number of people here have expressed that we don't think its a good idea. You persist that an RV salesman says its ok, so it must be ok. I have to wonder why you asked us about this in the first place if you are going to listen to him more than to us.

But anyway... buy a Fit. Its a great car, you'll love it. But if your CVT dies prematurely, please don't come here whining and complaining when you have to drop $2k for a new transmission. I personally won't have any sympathy.

As an alternative, here is a list of vehicles that the manufacturer has endorsed flat towing. Perhaps a Fiat 500L or Chevy Sonic would meet your needs.

http://prodcontent.s3.amazonaws.com/2014DinghyGuide.pdf
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Old 01-18-2015, 12:56 AM
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OP:
Looks like you are dead set on towing a cvt while idling anyways so go ahead and do it. Why even idle it...just leave it in neutral without the engine running. Any ways you are in a Class B which is basically a dodge/mercedes sprinter size why even have a car for it ain't that big. Get a scooter and a moto rack on the hitch and be done with it. And it cost a lot more then $2k to fix a tranny...more like $3+k
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Old 01-18-2015, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by andre181 View Post
It appears that you've already made up your mind.

A number of people here have expressed that we don't think its a good idea. You persist that an RV salesman says its ok, so it must be ok. I have to wonder why you asked us about this in the first place if you are going to listen to him more than to us.

But anyway... buy a Fit. Its a great car, you'll love it. But if your CVT dies prematurely, please don't come here whining and complaining when you have to drop $2k for a new transmission. I personally won't have any sympathy.

As an alternative, here is a list of vehicles that the manufacturer has endorsed flat towing. Perhaps a Fiat 500L or Chevy Sonic would meet your needs.

http://prodcontent.s3.amazonaws.com/2014DinghyGuide.pdf
I can't find a technical reason why towing a CVT while idling would damage the drivetrain. The manual is not specific enough. The CVT rruising downhill while idling in neutral certainly is safe. Do you have any other technical comments?
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