Will leaving the engine running allow a Toyota Corolla to be pulled 4 down?

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New member
Dec 9, 2006
We have a 1996 Fleetwood Flair and have recently "inherited" a 1997 Toyota Corolla with automatic transmission, which does not appear to be towable 4 down. Our need is infrequent and our trips are short, so I was wondering if leaving the engine idling , transmission in nuetral,  would protect the tranny. I realize its a waste of gas, but at idle, I dont think it would take much and our use right now just does not warrant much else.  Fuel injected toyotas ( we have 4) seem to idle forever with no problems, I just dont know if running the engine would circulate oil in the transmission, which seems to be the issue. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Feb 2, 2005
At my Silver Springs FL home
Generally yes. Running the engine circulates fluids through the torque converter and should provide at least basic lubrication in the tranny itself.  It's not as good as running in gear, though, so I would recommend putting the transmission in gear for a couple minutes whenever you stop for fuel, lunch, etc. Every couple hundred miles, for example. I'm not sure if that's really necessary, but better safe than sorry! Transmissions are too expensive to risk.


Moderator Emeritus
Feb 1, 2005
If the engine quits, you will have no way of knowing it and could ruin the transmission very quickly.  I wouldn't take the risk.
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