towing ford focus

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Well-known member
Mar 11, 2009
Pembroke Pines, Fl
Hi All.  Just trying to be sure.  I have read the manual for setting up my 2018 titanium ford focus for towing behind my rv.  It didn't mention that you have to run the engine for about five minutes prior to starting the procedure for towing.  First question do I have to drive it around or just let the engine run while in park?  Second I get the proper message that "transmission is ready" but when I open the door the message center responds with "transmission in neutral put in park".  Is the vehicle still ready to be towed when I then disconnect the negative battery cable.  Thanks

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Feb 2, 2005
At our Silver Springs FL home
It didn't mention that you have to run the engine for about five minutes prior to starting the procedure for towing.

If the Ford owner manual doesn't say to run engine or drive it around, why do you think you need to do that?  Follow the instructions in the manual. They are probably ultra-conservative already.

At a guess, the "put in park" message is simply warning you not to walk away with the tranny in neutral - the car could easily roll away from you (and that's a fact unless the tow bar is already hooked up, so be careful!!).


Well-known member
Jun 22, 2014
Note that depending on the supplemental brake system (such as the Stay in Play, which I use) used you might have to disconnect the positive lead from the battery. This is because a braking system powered from the battery can create a negative ground through the tow bar. The reason no power should get to the car?s systems is because you don?t want the ?little man? inside the dual clutch automatic transmission to shift the transmission out of neutral. The trans isn?t a normal automatic but actually a stick shift with a ?little man?, so to speak, inside who works the clutch and gearshift.

I contacted Ford and they OK disconnecting the positive rather than the negative in this case. When I get my 2018 Titanium Focus set up for towing a Stay in Play dealer will do it and install a solenoid switch on the dash to interrupt the positive lead.

So if you?re using an electrical supplemental brake be careful to investigate how it interacts with the car?s electrical system. I?m not saying that with your system you?ll need to disconnect the positive rather than the negative, I?m saying be sure.

I have half a mind to just go with a mechanical surge brake system but I have the Stay in Play from my previous toad and hate to waste it.
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