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Starting to tow a 2017 Acadia (same as 2018 and with keyless ignition) and my manual has the opening shifter boot and releasing the white lever to shift to neutral procedure. That works fine. But I realized there might be an easier way. How about just starting car in park (as normal), shift to neutral, and shut it off? This works and leaves car in neutral. I haven't towed it after this procedure, just wondered if any one knew why this would be a bad idea ?

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While it is best to contact GM for the reason, I think that the white lever you referenced disengages the transmission from the drive train to prevent the wheel rotation from back driving the transmission. 

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FL-Roam.  Welcome to the Forum! :)

It has been my experience, since 1985 and a lot of different brands, to follow the instructions in the owners manual.  

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Ditto to what Carl said.  If there is doubt, check the owner's manual then call the manufacturer....compare the results.

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