How bad is it for a vehicle, if at all, to pull it on to a flatbed while it’s in park?


Ideally you’d want it in neutral.

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3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Other than scraping up the contact point of the tires, not much else to worry about. Many tow truck drivers carry around a big bottle of liquid dishwashing soap that they squirt in the path of the locked tires when they have to drag them – reduces friction and wear.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Assuming you mean an automatic transmission- not just a parking brake – then it runs the risk of breaking the pawl which is the mechanism that locks the gearbox in park.

That can be an expensive repair.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The problem is that when in park or with the handbrake on, the wheels are locked. So at a minimum you are staying the tyres along the ground rather than letting them stopping normally, and wearing a flat spot on the tyre.

Dragging them a short distance is unlikely to cause much real damage – no worse than a car skidding or similar, but it does cause some amount of uneven wear.

You are also fighting against whatever is locking the wheels in place – so you are working against the brakes if those are on (which is realistically not going to cause any real damage compared to braking hard while driving), or the transmission brake when in park (which is only designed to hold a vehicle stationary and isn’t designed to stop a moving vehicle, so is more likely to get damaged).

The other question is how exactly you are moving the vehicle – done properly from appropriate anchor points that are designed for this sort of thing will be fine, but hook on to the wrong piece of bodywork and your risk damage.

So there is a chance of damage, but it depends on how you move the vehicle and how far. Most importantly it also depends on the risk you are willing to take – a towering company for example may be less willing to risk any damage because they may be held liable for repairing it, while a private owner may be more or less willing to just go for it and accept the result depending on how particular they are about their vehicle…