slk 230K auto - how to tow? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 09-22-2013
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slk 230K auto - how to tow?

1998 230K

Had to get a towtruck yesterday due to the water pump pulley coming loose & shredding the drive belt.

The driver didn't want to lift the front wheels & leave the rears on the road due to it being an auto.

So we lifted the rear & left the front on the ground, however we couldn't get the steering lock on as he wanted to leave it in neutral (apparently the 'bouncing' can cause a problem with the 'park' mechanism even if the handbrake's on.

He put a ratchet strap round the brake pedal to secure the steering wheel, but caused the brake light switch to become adjusted such that the brake lights stay on all the time! (Now fixed by readjusting the switch - not a fun job!).

He did say that there's a way to remove the key (& engage the steering lock) with the 'box in neutral on most cars, but we couldn't see whether it was possible on an SLK.

So my question is.....

If I can only lift 2 wheels, how do I tow an Auto SLK?
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#2 Old 09-22-2013
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The only way ive ever known how to tow a auto and this is from years ago was to disconnect the prop shaft (transmission shaft) from the gearbox to diff.

Dave

Last edited by Naffdave; 09-22-2013 at 01:14 PM. Reason: spelling
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#3 Old 09-22-2013
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I'm pretty sure ther's something in the handbook about this. Will check and report back.
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#4 Old 09-22-2013
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From UK handbook:

"Towing

Having the car carried away on a transporter or trailer is preferable to towing it away. We recommend the use of a rigid towing bar if towing is necessary.

Automatic Transmission

You may only tow a car with automatic transmission a maximum of 30 miles (approximately 50 km). A maximum towing speed of 30 mph (approximately 50 km/h) must not be exceeded.

The transmission could be damaged if the maximum speed or towing distance is exceeded.

Switch on the ignition (turn the key to position 2 in the ignition lock).

Move the selector lever to position N.

If the car is to be towed for longer distances or if the transmission has been damaged, only tow the car with the rear wheels raised or the propellor shaft disconnected at the rear axle.

If you are towing the car with the front axle raised, the engine must not be running. Application of the brakes by ESP may otherwise destroy the braking system on the rear axle."
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#5 Old 09-22-2013
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Many thanks.

The quote from the manual says:

If the car is to be towed for longer distances or if the transmission has been damaged, only tow the car with the rear wheels raised or the propellor shaft disconnected at the rear axle.

If I tow it with the rear wheels raised, how do I lock the steering? I can only engage the steering lock if the key is out, & I therefore understand that the car must be in park.

a) Is it OK to tow with the rear wheels raised, in park, with the handbrake on?

b) Is there a way to get the key out of the ignition but leave the gearbox in neutral?
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#6 Old 09-22-2013
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Would you need to lock the steering?

If it is unlocked, the wheels will follow wherever the car is steered by the towing vehicle.

If it's locked and not dead straight, the wheels'll try to steer the car in whatever direction they're pointing and, even if the amount off dead-centre is tiny, wouldn't that make the car the very devil to tow?

I had a car towed with the rear raised, with steering lock and ignition both off. Seemed to work well.

Anyone know any different?
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#7 Old 09-22-2013
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Glad you guys have brought this up. Never would have thought about it. When ever I have needed a tow, they ask what kind of car and have always brought a flatbed.
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#8 Old 09-22-2013
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The manual will tell you that you cannot tow N slk the regular way. you need to have a flatbed tow truck technically.


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#9 Old 09-27-2013
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The annual says you CAN tow it, with either the front OR rear wheels raised.

With the front raised, it's max 30mph & max 30 miles.

All I'm trying to work out is how do I get the key out while leaving the car in neutral?

You can do it on most automatics - there's usually a little hidden button hear the gear lever that you need to press.
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#10 Old 09-27-2013
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This is what it says in my manual:

page 249

Mercedes-Benz recommends that the vehicle be transported with all wheels off the ground using flatbed or appropriate wheel/lift/dolly equipment. When circumstances do not permit the recommended towing methods, the vehicle may be towed with all wheels on the ground or front wheels raised only so far as necessary to have the vehicle moved to a safe location where the recommended towing methods can be employed.


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#11 Old 09-27-2013
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If you are lifting the rear of the car why do you want to put the car in neutral. If the rear wheels are off the ground the car can be in park and the parking brake can be set if you wish (again not sure why you would set the parking break). The front wheels will roll freely, I would how ever make sure my steering is locked because the front wheels will not always follow the rear of the car, they can turn to far to correct back.

Just my thoughts, but a flat bed is by far the best. I have not seen a tow truck for years that pulls cars any more. I am sure they are out there.


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#12 Old 09-28-2013
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Thanks John. I would have thought it fine with the rear wheels raised, hand brake on, but if you see my original post...

So we lifted the rear & left the front on the ground, however we couldn't get the steering lock on as he wanted to leave it in neutral (apparently the 'bouncing' can cause a problem with the 'park' mechanism even if the handbrake's on.
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#13 Old 09-29-2013
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What are you doing going over a dirt road!! LOL. I would think the bouncing in neutral or park would be the same on the transmission, but I am not the tow truck driver. But I would rather have it in park with the rear up, then towing from the front in neutral and thinking he is not going to go over 30 mph. Again my choice would be call a tow truck with a flat bed.

What did you do and did any think happen to the car?


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