Towing '99 Honda Accord EX (auto tx - 4 down) ???

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Just Lou

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2005
I've scoured many previous posts on this subject and think I have determined that several folks do tow older Honda's with automatic transmissions 4-down.

I currently tow a '97 Honda EX with manual TX, but would like to switch to my '99 EX from now forward.

Has anyone towed the '99 Honda automatic this way?

I'll be ordering my base plate soon and am hoping I don't have to engage in costly modifications.

Thanks in advance for any replies.  lou

As you know Honda does not approve the Accord for 4 down towing but I am told the transmission in our CRV is the same as that in the Accord.

Remco is the real resource for that type info.
We towed a Honda Accord LX automatic for about 70,000 miles with no problems.  Just follow the proper procedure when shutting down (shift from drive to neutral).
Honda neither approves nor disapproves towing an older Accord 4-down. They give a procedure for placing the transmission in a towable mode but will not officially sanction 4-down towing because they have not tested it.. Recently Honda has taken an official stance that disapproves of 4-down towing on all current models except the CRV and they will not warranty any transmission damage that may result from towing 4-down.  That position is not retroactive to your model year.

Here is Honda's official statement regarding towing of vehicle prior to the ban:
We are not aware of any particular problems being caused by towing any 1988 or prior year Honda/Acura automobile, with either manual or automatic transmission, with or without power steering, regardless of towing speed or mileage.

1989 and subsequent model year Honda/Acura automobiles have minor changes to the automatic transmission. If a 1989 or subsequent model year Honda/Acura must be towed with the front and all four wheels on the ground, we recommend the following before towing:

Check to be sure the transmission fluid level is full.
Release the parking brake.
Start the engine.
Shift the transmission from Park to Drive.
Shift from Drive to Neutral.
Turn off the engine; leaving the key in the Accessory (I) Position
Make sure the radio and all accessories are turned off.
NOTICE: The steering system can be damaged if the steering wheel is locked. Always leave the key in the Accessory (I) Position to prevent damage to the steering system when towing behind another vehicle.


We do recommend starting the engine and shifting the automatic transmission, if so equipped, through the gears approximately every 500 miles and shifting from Drive to Neutral before shutting off the engine.

For all manual transmissions automobiles, release the parking brake, shift the transmission to neutral, and turn the ignition key to the Accessory (I) Position to release the steering wheel lock. Make sure that the radio and all accessories are turned off.

Although experience has shown that the Honda/Acura transmission and powertrain are capable of being "motorhome towed", American Honda does not assume responsibility for any towing vehicle, lighting hookup, or other towing equipment or towing procedures. And responsibility for these items is assumed by the Owner/Operator.
As RvRoamer said, Honda at one time did in effect (just not offiicially) okay the four down towing of the 99 Accord EX.
In 2002, I had a letter from them stating that although the warranty would not cover it, they could see no reason that any harm would result as long as I used the prep proceedure they detailed.
I have since towed my 99 Accord Ex for over 40,000 miles with no transmission (or any other ) problems so far.
I tow a 2002 Honda Civic EX with an automatic transmission 4-down.  I follow the procedure Gary posted.

I crank it up and let it run a couple of minutes every time I stop for gas, meal, etc.

Clay L & MFA,

Thanks for the direct info.  I feel pretty good about towing the Honda now.

I just hope I never forget to follow the correct procedure.

Thanks again, lou
I use a Brake Buddy and I wrote the procedure out and taped it to the top of the Brake Buddy.
When we got the tow base plate from Blue Ox, they included two stickers with the Honda procedure on them and I put one on the console in plain sight.

The procedure to put our truck transfer case into neutral for towing is more complex than the Honda procedure.

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