Ram 1500/2500/3500 Owners & Service Manuals

Ram 1500/2500/3500: Towing A Disabled Vehicle

This section describes procedures for towing a disabled vehicle using a commercial wrecker service. If the transmission and drivetrain are operable, disabled vehicles may also be towed as described under "Recreational Towing" in the "Starting and Operating" section.

NOTE: Vehicles equipped with air suspension must be placed in Transport mode, before tying them down (from the body) on a trailer or flatbed truck. Refer to Air Suspension in Starting and Operating for more information.

If the vehicle cannot be placed in Transport mode (for example, engine will not run), tie-downs must be fastened to the axles (not to the body). Failure to follow these instructions may cause fault codes to be set and/or cause loss of proper tie-down tension.

Towing A Disabled Vehicle

Proper towing or lifting equipment is required to prevent damage to your vehicle. Use only tow bars and other equipment designed for this purpose, following equipment manufacturer's instructions. Use of safety chains is mandatory. Attach a tow bar or other towing device to main structural members of the vehicle, not to bumpers or associated brackets. State and local laws regarding vehicles under tow must be observed.

If you must use the accessories (wipers, defrosters, etc.) while being towed, the ignition must be in the ON/RUN position, not the ACC position.

If the key fob is unavailable or the vehicle's battery is discharged, refer to "Manual Park Release" or "Shift Lever Override" in this section for instructions on shifting the automatic transmission out of PARK for towing.

CAUTION! Do not use sling type equipment when towing.

When securing the vehicle to a flat bed truck, do not attach to front or rear suspension components. Damage to your vehicle may result from improper towing.

Two-Wheel Drive Models

The manufacturer recommends towing your vehicle with all four wheels OFF the ground using a flatbed.

If flatbed equipment is not available, and the transmission is operable, this vehicle may be towed (with rear wheels on the ground) under the following conditions:

  • The transmission must be in NEUTRAL.
  • The towing speed must not exceed 30 mph (48 km/h).
  • The towing distance must not exceed 15 miles (24 km) for 6-speed transmission, or 30 miles (48 km) for 8-speed transmission.

If the transmission is not operable, or the vehicle must be towed faster than 30 mph (48 km/h) or farther than 15 miles (24 km) for 6-speed transmission, or 30 miles (48 km) for 8-speed transmission, tow with the rear wheels OFF the ground. Acceptable methods are to tow the vehicle on a flatbed, or with the front wheels raised and the rear wheels on a towing dolly, or (when using a suitable steering wheel stabilizer to hold the front wheels in the straight position) with the rear wheels raised and the front wheels on the ground.

CAUTION! Towing this vehicle in violation of the above requirements can cause severe engine and/or transmission damage. Damage from improper towing is not covered under the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.

Four-Wheel Drive Models

The manufacturer recommends towing with all wheels OFF the ground. Acceptable methods are to tow the vehicle on a flatbed or with one end of vehicle raised and the opposite end on a towing dolly.

If flatbed equipment is not available, and the transfer case is operable, the vehicle may be towed (in the forward direction, with ALL wheels on the ground), IF the transfer case is in NEUTRAL (N) and the transmission is in PARK (for automatic transmissions) or in gear (NOT in NEUTRAL, for manual transmissions). Refer to "Recreational Towing" in "Starting And Operating" for further information and detailed instructions.

CAUTION!

  • Front or rear wheel lifts must not be used. Internal damage to the transmission or transfer case will occur if a front or rear wheel lift is used when towing.
  • Towing this vehicle in violation of the above requirements can cause severe transmission and/or transfer case damage. Damage from improper towing is not covered under the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.

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