Step-By-Step: How To Tow A BMW Safely


towing a bmw

Even though BMWs are fine pieces of German engineering, they are susceptible to wear and tear and human error, in which case, in some instances, they have to be towed. Some BMW owners think that you cannot tow a BMW, but this is incorrect so let us take a look at the correct and safe ways to do so.

You should use a tow hook and a tow bar to tow your BMW behind your RV or any other vehicle safely. You can also use a flatbed tow truck or a tow truck with dollies, a tow hook and a tow bar. You should never lift your BMW in the air at either end if it needs to be towed.

We will cover in this article the two scenarios regarding towing your BMW. One is for recreational purposes, where we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to do so, and the other is for unforeseen circumstances where a tow truck may be needed.

BMW towing overview

There are two scenarios in which you would need to or want to tow your BMW. One scenario is where you find yourself going on a road trip with your RV, and you wish to take your BMW with you for recreational purposes, and the other is due to unforeseen circumstances. The latter will be discussed in the subsequent section, but let’s take a look at how you would personally make sure your BMW is safe when you are in a situation that requires you to tow it and not use a tow truck.

Step-by-step guide for towing your BMW safely

What you will need

  • Towbar
  • Tow hook
  • Socket wrench (optional)
BMW tow hook
TOW HOOK

It’s, in fact, pretty simple to tow your BMW whether some owners think you are able to or not. Out of the three apparatuses you will need, you will likely already have the tow hook. As long as no one has removed it, the tow hook should be inside of the trunk. This little tool box comes standard on every BMW. You will probably need to buy the tow bar, and the other tool is optional, so this won’t be difficult or break the bank.

Even though your BMW does not have a tow bar hook, it does have something that does the same thing, which is simply a tow hook. With your purchase of this fancy sports car, this small object will be found in the trunk of your vehicle. Most people don’t know this but there is a cover on the BMW’s front and rear end that you just have to unclip to mount the tow hook to your car.

BMW tow hook cover
Tow Hook Cover

These covers are typically little round or square covers situated on your vehicle’s bumpers and should be pretty easily spotted. All you need to do is use a finger to push this cover loose and off.

Now the tow hook comes with two parts which is the hook itself and the bolt it attaches to. Once you have removed the cover that allows you to gain access to the frame where you can mount the tow hook, you can choose to use your socket wrench to turn the bolt in, or you can attach the tow hook to the bolt and then use the hook as leverage, so you are able to use your hands to attach it. Watch this video here where they demonstrate this method.

That’s pretty much all you need to consider from the BMWs perspective besides having the ignition on and having it placed in neutral. The next thing you have to consider is crucial and that is a tow bar.

tow bar
Tow Bar

Now you may not have one of these, so a tow bar is a long solid piece of metal that will connect to the tow hook of the BMW and then to your trailer or RV. You never want to use ropes or any other such forms of material because there is a chance of it breaking or your car swaying in the road even if the steering wheel is locked. Make sure you purchase a tow bar that is rated for your BMW’s weight.

The only thing left to do is hook up the tow bar to the tow hook and to your RV, make sure the ignition of your BMW is turned on, it is in neutral, and you are good to go.

Getting your BMW towed unexpectedly

BMW towed on flat bed truck

Nobody who drives a vehicle is 100% safe from getting towed unless they always consider the rules of the road, pay their parking tickets, pay their car off every month, never break down and never lock their keys in it. However, sometimes in life, not everything goes to plan, and sometimes this happens to us BMW owners.

Getting your BMW towed for an unexpected reason can have you quaking in your boots because the car is a work of fine German engineering that can get damaged pretty quickly. Then you have to consider repairing or replacing parts on these high-end luxury sports cars that are very costly.

In any event, sometimes this cannot be helped, and you will find yourself in a predicament where your beautiful car is getting towed. If you find yourself in this situation, you can use these helpful tips to ensure that your car is not damaged.

Safety tips for getting your BMW towed unexpectedly

Dos for towing your BMW safely

Use flatbed tow trucks to tow your BMW

BMW and other automotive manufacturers stress that you should always have it towed on a flatbed tow truck if your car is being hauled. This is the safest form of towing for these high-end vehicles. BMW, in some instances, even prohibits regular towing. If you are stuck in a situation, BMW may send out their own specific certified tow truck to haul your vehicle back for repair.

Use tow hooks to tow your BMW

BMWs are designed to look stylish and sleek, therefore they do not have a tow bar hook, but they do have a tow hook. You can access the tow hook by pressing out the cover on either end of the bumper. If you have to be towed by a tow truck that is not using a flatbed, do not let them lift one end of your BMW in the air and tow it that way, make sure that you use the tow hook.

Use dollies to tow your BMW

If a flatbed truck is unavailable, the next best thing is a a tow truck with a dolly that does not need to lift one end of your BMW in the air and drag the other end down the road. A dolly is a device that slips under a car’s wheels, allowing it to be towed safely—the dolly functions in a similar way to a skateboard.

Use a towbar to tow your BMW

We also discussed using a tow bar to tow your BMW for recreational purposes, and if you can use one when getting towed unexpecteadly, you should always opt to do so.

Don’ts for towing your BMW safely

Do not lift one end of your BMW in the air

BMWs are very delicate pieces of machinery, and as such, BMW states that you should never ever lift the back end or front end of your vehicle in the event that it is towed. I made a mistake purchasing an old beatup BMW several years ago and I had it towed on a dolly with the back end on the ground. The BMW was a rear-wheel drive and unfortunately the tow burned out the rear differential.

Do not attach ropes or ties to the undercarriage or wheels of your BMW

It would help if you never attempted to tow your BMW from its undercarriage or from the wheels dragging it down the street. The repercussions can and most definitely will be severe, and the damage may be irreparable. Towing a BMW by its undercarriage can cause severe damage to suspension components.

Conclusion

We discovered that it is possible to tow a BMW for both recreational purposes (going on a road trip and towing it behind your RV) or in the event of an unforeseen circumstance (when it breaks down). Many BMW owners think that it is impossible to do so, but luckily there are practical ways to tow your BMW safely in either scenario.

You will need to consider purchasing a tow bar if you are towing your vehicle for recreational purposes. It is the best and safest way to haul your BMW besides having it put on a flatbed tow truck.

Source List

Can You Tow Your BMW?

can BMW’s be towed?

BMW 5 Series: Automatic transmission: transporting your vehicle

BMW Tow Hook Installation

How NOT To Tow a BMW!

How to tow a BMW

How To Tow A BMW 328i

Towing hook the same size for each model?

Stephen Metellus

I am a BMW enthusiast and owner of abetterbmw.com! I have been repairing, flipping, and parting out BMWs for nearly ten years. I love these vehicles and I hope you will find my articles and YouTube channel helpful for whatever BMW project you have in store!

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