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Automatic tow cars


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#1 nor

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 07:15 AM

I think I have asked this before but it might have been a few years ago. And things may have changed.

Do automatics make better tow cars . I very often see a car That i like and am put off because it is an automatic.
Would you be put off . I have never driven one so I can't comment on performance.


#2 Predictable Bob

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 08:24 AM

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We tow with an auto and have no problems at all and I doubt if we'd ever go back to a manual for towing.

Whether performance and fuel consumption are affected dramatically will largely depend on how old the vehicle design is - modern auto's don't appear to suffer as badly as older ones. Ours is nearly 16 years old so you can draw your own conclusions as to how badly it's affected HOWEVER it's a two ton brick so performance and fuel consumption will always be poor !


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#3 Steve

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 03:16 PM

I went from a 240gl manual to a V70 auto, went from Jablines by Paris to Brissac-Quince with two gear changes, into drive and into park, it's so easy, maybe they do use a bit more fuel but I am keeping mine.
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#4 fishman

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 07:58 PM

I would say it is VERY reliant on engine size, Though things have improved a lot in the last few years I still dont think anything under two litres is that good, Although over that they are FAR superior to a manual in modern traffic conditions, Poss manual may be better on a 4x4 for serious off road work but even that is now being nibbled at.

#5 copey

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 08:31 PM

I`ve towed with autos from the early 80`s,( Ford Cortina Estate 2.0L), in all the years, and cars i`ve only been let down once, that was a 2.9L Scorpio, that didn`t have a transmission oil cooler, and it literally blew apart down in the South of France...but believe me it was ruddy hot..., since then have always made sure that what ever motor I go for has one fitted. and as fishman says anything under 2L is gonna struggle, or not go as you would hope.
2.5 L upwards, in diesels is a far better option...IMHO
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#6 JohnS

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:02 PM

Do automatics make better tow cars . I very often see a car That i like and am put off because it is an automatic.
Would you be put off . I have never driven one so I can't comment on performance.


I think you've got the question the wrong way round.
Why would anyone prefer to tow with a manual car? Autos are superior in every way, for me.
Just my opinion of course.
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#7 Paulgkn

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:05 AM

I would say it is VERY reliant on engine size, Though things have improved a lot in the last few years I still dont think anything under two litres is that good, Although over that they are FAR superior to a manual in modern traffic conditions, Poss manual may be better on a 4x4 for serious off road work but even that is now being nibbled at.


For serious off road work, it has to be an Auto. Our auto Discovery 1, often leaves manual defenders struggling in sticky conditions!
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#8 ianb

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:11 AM

Auto all the time including off road.

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#9 Kiaman

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 11:27 AM

Our tow cars have both been autos - firstly an old Discovery Tdi 300 and for the last 5 yrs a Sorento XS Auto. Best feature of the Sorento is the ability to slip it into manual mode when decending steep hills, but this is the only time I don't use it in full automatic mode.
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#10 Bill Lord

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 01:35 PM

I think you've got the question the wrong way round.
Why would anyone prefer to tow with a manual car? Autos are superior in every way, for me.
Just my opinion of course.
John.

I read all the hype about auto towcars being good, bought a volvo850 with a 4 speed auto box with lock up on the top two gears,and a sports mode, tried it thought what a load of horse manure as a tow car and sold it at a large loss. Bought the same car with a manual box, loved the car, it worked wonderfully as a tow car, kept it for 8 years, swore blind that until my left leg fell off I would never have another Auto and there you have it. Manuals for me are superior in every way. Just my opinion of course.
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#11 AlBundy65

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 01:37 PM

For serious off road work, it has to be an Auto. Our auto Discovery 1, often leaves manual defenders struggling in sticky conditions!


Nabor goes in for the trialing in his cut down land rover, all the ones ~I've looked under the bonnet of, and that's a fair few have two basic mods, first throw the land rover engine away and fit an Isuzu, then fit an auto box, so yup, auto's for serious off roading as well.
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#12 Brassneck

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 04:45 PM

I think you've got the question the wrong way round.
Why would anyone prefer to tow with a manual car?


Because some people drive according to the rev counter, not the speedo. And manual gears can be a lot more controllable than an auto. Saying that, i like autos. And the right one makes towing effortless. But off road use and towing are totally different situations. Manuals have their benefits.
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#13 RogerL

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:23 PM

Depends on the automatic - if it's an "old-fashioned" torque converter types then yes it's best - the only downside is slightly higher fuel consumption.

With diesels the automatic is even better as there's no DMF to fail expensively, which does occur earlier on manual cars used for towing.
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#14 tonio

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:59 PM

Just changing my 54 plate diesel Shogun auto for a Honda CRV with a 2.2 diesel and an auto gearbox. Wouldn't have a stick box now . It's so easy and restful to drive and the extra fuel used is more than compensated for by ease of use.

#15 bobnchris

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:50 PM

Towed with several manuals over the years - Datsun, Ford, Volvo too name a few. Then I saw the light and bought a Volvo S70 auto with just over 40k on the clock about 10 years ago. That went two years ago when we got the current car with just under 100k on the clock - it was only used for towing and around 40 miles a week for work. I had the worry of an expensive repair, never happened.

I would not go back to a wiggly stick, and what is that third pedal for?

Autos are now my preference for all my driving needs - its my choice and my wallet that pays the extra for the ease.....

Each to his own




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