Can towing 03 ford focus ZTS backwards cause transmission problems?no reverse


Asked by Sep 30, 2015 at 12:30 PM about the 2003 Ford Focus ZTS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Used roadside service passengers
side back bearing went out.Tow
truck hooked up from the back so
front wheels on the road..towed 6
1/2 miles no sled under the wheels day different truck used
flatbed towed to repair shop
..bearings under warrantyfixed..tryed
to back out of shop no reverse. .

11 Answers

Tom Harmon

Towing backwards like that can be a problem because when the engine isn't running, neither is the transmission oil pump. This can damage the transaxle because without the oil cycling, it will overheat over a long distance tow. ;;any auto shop should be able to pull your OBD codes for free and tell you what it says, even if they're no longer lit

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I doubt that a short trip like that would damage the transmission. How fast was the tow truck driving? If under 50 MPH for most or all of the trip, definitely not. I assume that the transmission was in neutral while being towed? HTH. -Jim


In April I had Goodguys put in all new suspension front back we're talking everything shocks brakes rotors bearings even the sway bars went as far as having them change out the rubber stoppers..ran like a new car..last Wednesday night pulled over thinking I had a flat but it was passenger side rear tire was sitting at a funny angle use the roadside assistance I even Road in car passenger side as he towed it to my brother in-law next day had a different truck tow it to the shop on a flat bed.. mechanic removed the rear tire and It was like a pinata took off the hub the bearing fell out they said it was a bad bearing or parts they replaced everything they paid me for the tow after repairs went to leave the shop and I had no reverse they blame the tow truck said you never tow with drives down ...the transmission specialist said transmission shot the reverse is gone because I was tow wrong. .now who to blame road side for the choice in tow trucks. ..towing company. .or goodguys. ..

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Tom Harmon

Get an official towing guide from the manufacturer. Then document the method the car was towed. If the car is a front-wheel drive and the bearings failed on the rear wheels then it's going to be a stretch to blame that on the trans failure

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I just downloaded the towing manual for your car. Google "03 ford focus towing procedure" and it'll pop up for you to download. It does say that if the vehicle must be towed from the rear to place a dolly under the front (drive) wheels to prevent damage to the transaxle(transmission). HTH. -Jim

Tom Harmon

There ya go ... it's in your court now I suspect this will go to small claims court ,,,, get your copy from JS08016's advice and pay about $25 to file, then get a certified estimate for the complete repair towing,rental car etc.. Most small claims will go up to around $5000 document,document,document because once your in court you can't leave to retrieve something

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

I wanted to hit best answer on all but it wouldn't let me ..thanks to all because I've talked to three different tow company's all agreed more so once they saw my vedio from inside the car as I was being towed. to Ca.CHP...said it was the owner who was driving the tow truck. ..and he in there rotation for service. .was guna talk to him and write him up hopefully it puts a charge in his butt. ..if not and small clm is the answer I'm willing to do what I need to do how ever long it takes ..I keep you guys posted. ..

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Glad to help. Good luck and please do keep us posted. -Jim


Ok..guy's court date set 12/22/15 getting my ducks in row anything that you guys think I should do I'm all ears. ..


Do you have the towing manual for your car? Definitely take a copy with you to court. Check your owners manual. If it talks about this, take that too. Have the pages book marked and the pertinent text highlighted, if possible. Judges don't like fumbling through documents they're unfamiliar with. If you can, bring an expert witness with you. An ASE Certified mechanic from your local Ford dealer would be great! If you can't get a mechanic, perhaps you can get a signed affidavit from the service writer at the dealer backing up your claims. One thing to be aware of though. Your car is 13 years old. The judge may not award you the full cost of the repairs needed that were incurred by the tow company's negligence if the repair costs exceed the value of the car. Take a copy of both the Kelley Blue Book and NADA values of your car. Print out that information the morning of your court date so it will be most current. Armed with this documentation and information I can't see how you can lose. Good luck and please let us know what happens!! HTH. -Jim


Oh and take all documentation from the tow company as well. -Jim

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