Can You Flat Tow a Tesla? (No, Sadly You Can’t)

Your Tesla may suddenly stop running due to a power breakdown or any other reason. You might think of flat towing it to the nearest service station. Right?

So, can you flat tow a Tesla?

Well, you just can’t flat tow a Tesla! That’s sad, but it is an electric car, and flat towing isn’t recommended for any electric vehicle. That’s why it’s wise to avoid flat towing for all Tesla models, such as S, X, 3, and Y.

Can you flat tow a Tesla


Definition of flat towing

Flat towing means dragging a breakdown car by attaching it to another pick-up van with a tow bar. The wheels keep rotating while the pick-up van pulls the car. And this is what is dangerous for all-electric vehicles, including Tesla.

Tesla prohibits flat towing of all their vehicles. It means it’s a clear indication of voiding the warranty if you flat tow your Tesla.

Can you flat tow a Tesla? The Actual Answer

The easy answer to this is “NO”. It is because Tesla is an electric vehicle. The wheels generate power when they rotate. Rotating the wheels of a car without power damages the car causing overheating and combustion.

Tesla manufacturers warn against flat towing of any model. They recommend using wheel lifts and dollies or flatbed trucks to tow away your car. It is to prevent your car’s wheels from rotating, helping to keep your warranty intact. 

Towing a Tesla via a flatbed truck also has limits. In addition, it is essential to activate the “Transport Mode” before you tow the vehicle. While using dollies to tow your Tesla, ensure the service station is within the limits of 55 km or less. Any extra distance than this may damage the car.

Let’s dive in to understand why flat towing a Tesla is a bad idea.

The effect of Flat towing a Tesla

Tesla is an electric car. And when the wheels of a non working electric car rotate, they generate power. During flat towing, the wheels keep rotating while pulling the car. 

Let’s look into the major damages that occur when you flat tow a Tesla.

The effect of Flat towing a Tesla

Extreme overheating and explosion

Overheating is one primary harm that happens to your Tesla. As the wheels rotate, they generate power that overheats the vehicle’s components, causing a domino impact. Extreme overheating may kindle the materials.

Imagine the risk of your vehicle rolling down the highway having other flammable vehicles adjacent to it.

False odometer reading

Flat towing may lead to a false odometer reading. Mileage is crucial in deciding the car’s value. The falsely added mileage may negatively affect the resale value of your vehicle.

Void warranty

Tesla provides a warranty for the vehicle, limited supplementary restraint system, and battery and drive unit. It helps you to run your car as well as a brand one. However, in other words, incorrect use of Tesla that includes flat towing may void the warranty.

Rejected insurance claims

Flat towing Tesla can potentially lead to accidents, which the insurance provider won’t cover. Flat towing cannot be hidden from the insurance providers. Once they discover it, they will rightfully reject your insurance claim.

Personal liability

You are responsible not only for your Tesla but for others too. As mentioned above, overheating the car while transporting with flat towing may result in an explosion. It may lead to catching fire to other cars or objects nearby. Imagine the chaos and damage it will have on other people’s life and property.

The effect of Flat towing a Tesla

Considering all the above scenarios, you must avoid flat towing your Tesla and look for alternative options to transport it.

Alternatives to flat towing a Tesla: Can You Tow Your Tesla on a Flatbed Trailer?

There are two alternatives to flat towing.

Rent a flatbed trailer to transport your Tesla

It will at least save the wheels from rotating and adding miles to the odometer. Ensure to activate the “Transport Mode” before putting your vehicle on the flatbed pickup van. However, abide by the manufacturer’s instructions and warranty rules while using this method. 

Tow Tesla on dollies with front-wheel or rear-wheel lifts

This method isn’t safe as flatbed pickup, but better than flat towing. Experts recommended using this method for a distance of not more than 55 km. Distance exceeding 55 km will damage the vehicle.


Tesla prohibits using Model X with front wheels on dollies. However, you can do this by applying the external steering yoke lock and ensuring that the front wheels do not rotate.

Flat towing in manufacturer’s recommendations

Herewith are the instructions:

Pull Tesla onto the Flatbed Pickup van from the front using Tow eye

Pull Tesla onto the Flatbed Pickup van from the front using Tow eye
  1. Find the tow eye. It is typically located in the front trunk.
  2. Insert a tiny, flat screwdriver into the top and bottom slots. Remove the snaps. Take out the cover and remove the tow eye cover.
  3. Insert the tow eye into the opening completely. Fasten it by turning it in an anti-clockwise direction.
  4. Connect the winch cable to the tow eye.
  5. Enable Transport Mode.
  6. Gently pull Model X onto the flatbed van.


Ensure to tighten the tow eye securely before pulling.

Pull Tesla onto the Flatbed Pickup van from the rear using the Tow eye

Pull Tesla onto the Flatbed Pickup van from the rear using the Tow eye
  1. Enable Transport Mode.
  2. Connect the winch cable to the tow eye as detailed previously. Tesla recommends connecting the winch cable to the tow hitch. (Always refer owner’s manual for instructions).
  3. Secure the Tires: Use the eight-point tie-down method to secure the tires onto the truck. Ensure the painted surface or the face of the wheel aren’t in contact with metal components on the tie-down straps. Avoid placing tie-down straps through the wheels or over body panels.


Suspension or other body parts may damage after attaching the tie-down straps to the chassis.

Pull Tesla onto Flatbed Truck From Front (Without Tow Eye)

If the tow eye is missing or you cannot find it, please follow these instructions.

  1. Locate the lower suspension arms. They are beneath the front of your Tesla. Connect the tow straps to each of these suspension arms.
  2. Place a defensive barrier, such as a wood piece in between the underbody and the two straps. It will prevent any damage to the underbody.
  3. Pull Model X gently on the flatbed van after activating Transport Mode.


Avoid attaching tow straps to other suspension parts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will towing a Tesla damage it? What happens if my Tesla gets towed?

You cannot flat tow a Tesla. However, you can transport it by putting it on a flatbed pickup van or with the help of dollies and wheel lifts. 

Flat towing may damage your Tesla, due to power generated by the rotating wheels, leading to overheating and exploding your vehicle. Towing via flatbed pickup should be done adhering to the warranty instructions. Towing with dollies and wheel lifts should be done for a limited distance of 55 km.

Can you flat tow any electric vehicle? Explain Are There Any Electric Cars That Are Flat Towable?

An electric vehicle cannot be flat-towed. As of today, there isn’t any model of electric vehicle that can be flat-towed.

Can I tow a Tesla with an RV?

No, you cannot flat tow Tesla with an RV.


Flat towing Tesla is a bad idea. Tesla is an electric car. Wheels rotating of a broke electric car produces power, which may overheat the vehicle. It may further escalate into an explosion too, causing harm to other cars in the area, along with other people.

In addition, flat towing voids the warranty. It’s better to use alternative ways to transport a nonworking Tesla. Use a flatbed pickup van or wheel lifts or dollies. It’s a much better and safe way than flat towing.

However, while using these methods, abide by the rules and regulations given in the manual. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top