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Subaru Outback - Subaru Doesn't Recommend Flat Tow?


Best Answer PinkArnold, 28 May 2013 - 07:28 PM

Doug,

 

Thank you again for following up with Subaru with our question. Your help is much appreciated. Looks like the new toad is going to be a 2014 Subaru Forester!

 

Robert

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7 replies to this topic

#1 PinkArnold

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:30 AM

We recently had the unfortunate incident of being rear-ended by an 18-wheeler on I-81, totaling our 2000 Toyota Camry dinghy. Entirely the fault of the trucker, nonetheless we are now in need of replacing our toad.

 

Referencing the FMCA 2013 towing guide, we test-drove a 2013 6-speed MT Subaru Outback.

 

However, when we reviewed the Owner's Manual, were unable to verify that recreational towing with 4 wheels down was specifically allowed. At the recommendation of our local (Subaru) dealership, we called 1-800-Subaru3 to talk with a Subaru Customer Service representative. The rep stated that Subaru does NOT recommend 4 wheels down towing, other than in the instance of emergency/short distance. If the Subaru automobile was to develop problems that could be attributed to 4 wheel down towing, the warranty could be voided. We would greatly appreciate your feedback. We would want something in writing from Subaru permitting 4 wheel down towing before purchasing the Outback (which we otherwise Really Like!).

 

Thanks,  

 

Robert


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#2 dougu

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:43 AM

Robert,

 

You are accurate about the information in the Outback owners manual being vague when it comes to recreational towing. It specifically says not to tow automatic and CVT vehicles faster than 20 mph and for no more than 31 miles. However, there is no such information about towing vehicles with a manual transmission. But there is specific information about the steps needed to prepare the vehicle to be towed four wheels down. During the process of putting together the 2013 Towing Guide, we asked the Subaru rep about this and were told that Outbacks with a manual transmission could be towed four wheels down.

 

Now, that doesn't help your situation since you are looking for an official document from the company that will protect you should the vehicle have a problem that would be covered under warranty. I read a submission on the Subaru Outback forum in which a letter was sent that specifically stated that the manual Outback could be towed four wheels down behind a motorhome (http://www.subaruout...-outback-2.html). I have reached out to my contact at Subaru to see whether you could receive the same letter or at least be put in touch with someone who can officially affirm that the vehicle can be towed four wheels down without voiding the warranty. When I receive an answer, I will relay the information I am sent.


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#3 PinkArnold

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 08:35 AM

dougu,

Thank you very much for your excellent reply and link. Having read that, I called 1-800-Subaru3 for a second time and referenced the letter & it's signature. The gentleman I spoke with provided affirmation that the Subaru manual transmission CAN be towed, and that I could receive an email similar to the one in the link. I have not as yet received that email letter. If you hear back from your contact(s), it would be great to know what that yields. Thanks again.  Robert


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#4 dougu

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 06:23 AM

Hi Robert,

 

I did receive a reply from CDS Supervisor Linda Fouch with Subaru and here is the information she included in her e-mail:

 

 

Yes you can tow manual trans behind motor home.


AWD Subaru vehicles with manual transmission can be towed with all four wheels on the ground and the transmission in neutral.  When towing a manual transmission Subaru behind your motor home, you would want the transmission in neutral and the key in the 'ACC' position. As all new models are equipped with digital odometers, mileage will not accumulate when being towed.

 

 

I hope this information helps. If you have other questions, please let me know.

 

Doug


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#5 PinkArnold

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:28 PM   Best Answer

Doug,

 

Thank you again for following up with Subaru with our question. Your help is much appreciated. Looks like the new toad is going to be a 2014 Subaru Forester!

 

Robert


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#6 helene.roch

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 08:40 AM

PinkArnold,

 

I have been flat towing  a Subaru Forester for almost 4 years now without any problem. Go for it.

 

Roch


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#7 PopNDelly

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:40 PM

We are looking at a Subaru Crosstrek to tow. We got the same reply from Subaru - can flat tow manual transmission. Has anyone tried the Crosstrek? We are currently towing a 2007 Chev HHR, and the wiring went crazy on our first road trip. Still waiting to find out how bad the damage is. Believe it was from faulty wiring with the Brake Buddy.


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#8 PopNDelly

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 01:53 PM

PinkArnold,

 

I have been flat towing  a Subaru Forester for almost 4 years now without any problem. Go for it.

 

Roch

Roch,

Any special hints on towing a manual Subaru? We are in the process of buying a Crosstrek, manual transmission. Do you use a braking system? What about lights?

PopNDelly


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