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About johnston

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  1. This is John Johnston, associate editor for Family Motor Coaching magazine. I compile the magazine's towing guide. Regarding the flat towability of the 2018 Civic: Honda's national manager for technical public relations has told me that when equipped with a manual transmission, the 2018 Civic Coupe LX and EX-T; and 2018 Civic Sedan LX and EX-T can be towed four wheels down behind a motorhome. But please read on. The 2018 Civic Sedan's owners guide and owners manual (two separate publications) say it is not designed to be towed behind a motorhome. The 2018 Civic Coupe's owners guide says it can be towed behind a motorhome; the owners manual says it is not designed to be towed behind a motorhome. Confusing? You bet. I have pointed out these types of inconsistencies to Honda for several years. Because both the owners guide and owners manual of the 2018 Civic Sedan say it is not designed to be flat towed behind a motorhome, it will not appear in Family Motor Coaching's towing guide. The 2018 Coupe will be in the towing guide (given that both the owners guide and Honda corporate say it is towable).
  2. 2018 Chevy Equinox Flat Tow

    This is John Johnston, associate editor for Family Motor Coaching magazine. According to GM and the owners manual, the 2018 Equinox can be towed four wheels down only when it is configured in one of these ways: -- 1.6-liter diesel, AWD --1.5-liter gas, FWD --1.6-liter diesel, FWD. Also, in regard to a statement in the previous post, GM says that switchable AWD is not the reason some Equinox models cannot be flat towed. Here is the detailed explanation from GM: You CANNOT dinghy tow the following: 2.0 liter Turbo with 9 speed automatic transmission front wheel drive or all-wheel drive ( 9 speed is not capable in 2018 because it does not meet our lubrication requirements when being towed). 1.5 liter Turbo with 6 speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive ( 6 speed is not capable because it has a 3.87 final drive ratio when used in the all-wheel drive vehicle – this ratio spins the transmission too fast when being back driven by the wheels with the engine off ( that is, when being towed) . Transmission lubrication is the potential issue. Transmission lubrication comes mainly from an internal transmission pump that is driven by a running engine.
  3. Folks, I'm John Johnston, associate editor for Family Motor Coaching magazine. GM informed me this week that GM service bulletin #17-NA-348 has been released. It outlines the revised flat-towing procedure for the 4-cylinder 2010-2017 Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain. The link to this bulletin is at the bottom of this post. The service bulletin corrects something in GM's original bulletin (which I posted on the Forums on November 3 using the testcommercial account). That is, in the 2010 Equinox/Terrain, fuse 15 must be removed from the engine compartment fuse block. Everything else in the bulletin remains the same. For 2011-2017 Equinox/Terrain, fuse 16 must be removed, just as the original bulletin said. If you encounter any difficulties while using the revised Equinox/Terrain flat-towing procedure, let me know so that I can forward that information to GM. My email is Equinox Terrain revised flat towing.pdf
  4. According to GM, the reason some 2018 Equinox models cannot be flat towed is NOT due to switchable all wheel drive, but because of the final drive ratios of the rear axle. It’s important to note that the owners manual specifies that only these three 2018 Equinox vehicles can be recreationally towed four wheels down: Front-wheel-drive, 1.5-liter gas-powered. Front-wheel-drive, 1.6-liter diesel-powered. All-wheel-drive, 1.6-liter diesel-powered. GM officials say that because the electrical architecture in the 2018 Equinox differs from 2010-2017 models, it is not necessary to pull any fuses in the 2018 Equinox. However, just as with 2010-2017 models, a charger will be necessary to keep the towed vehicle’s battery charged. The current owners manual for the 2018 Equinox will be revised to reflect the need for a charger. Also, I'm told there is no lockout on the steering wheel for 2018 Equinox models that can be flat towed.