On this blog, we’ve written extensively about different cars and how to flat tow them. Today we’re looking at how to flat-tow a Chevy Spark. Is this possible, and what kind of precautions should you take? Let’s start with a quick answer:
All Chevy Sparks with a manual transmission produced from 2009 onwards can be flat towed. Sparks with an automatic transmission need to be dolly towed. To flat tow, attach the car to the dinghy, apply the parking brake, and shift into neutral. Disconnect the negative battery cable, cover the negative battery post with a non-conductive material and release the parking brake.
However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ll first discuss which Sparks can be flat towed and what essential rules you shouldn’t forget when doing so. Furthermore, we give detailed instructions on how to flat tow and how to dolly tow a Spark. This includes instructions about disconnecting and reconnecting the battery safely. Read on!
Also read: 12 Common Chevy Spark Problems
What Year Chevy Spark Can Be Flat Towed?
First of all, it’s good to know that for this article, we looked at Chevy Sparks that were manufactured from 2009 onwards. What we found is that all generations of the Spark were able to be flat towed. However, there are some rules you should be aware of. Not following these rules could severely damage your vehicle. The rules are as follows:
Only Chevy Sparks with an automatic transmission can be flat towed behind a recreational vehicle. Chevy Sparks that have an automatic transmission shouldn’t be flat towed because this will damage the transmission. Chevy Sparks with an automatic transmission can only be towed with a dolly.
Furthermore, there are some speed regulations you should be aware of when towing your Spark.
When towing a 2009 – 2016 Chevy Spark with a manual transmission, you should never exceed a speed of 55 mph (89 km/h). Sparks produced from 2017 onwards and have a manual transmission should never exceed a speed of 70 mph (113 km/h).
Also, you should know the following: a Chevy Spark should never be flat towed or dolly towed from the rear. Towing a Spark from the back can damage the frame and body of the car, which is not covered under the vehicle’s warranty.
Flat Towing A Spark With Manual Transmission
Let’s first talk about flat towing a Chevy Spark with a manual transmission. For all Sparks, the process is the same. If you take all safety precautions in mind, then it looks as follows:
- Bring the Spark into position and attach the car to the dinghy as per the manual of your equipment and recreational vehicle.
- Apply the parking brake.
- Shift the transmission into neutral as to not damage it during towing.
- Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery. See the next subheading “Disconnecting The Negative Battery Cable” for instructions.
- Cover the negative battery post with a non-conductive material to prevent any contact with the negative battery terminal.
- Release the parking brake.
That’s all you need to do to prepare the Spark for flat towing. If you want to know how to safely disconnect your vehicle after flat towing, please scroll down a little bit to the subheading “Disconnecting After Towing” at the bottom of this article.
Disconnecting The Negative Battery Cable
Disconnecting the negative battery cable before flat towing is crucial because it can seriously damage the electrical circuit of your car if you don’t. Furthermore, Chevrolet didn’t think it was necessary to include this in the instructions of pre-2017 Sparks. However, this resulted in several complaints of the ABS kicking in and wheels locking up. Therefore, it is recommended that you disconnect the battery before flat towing.
Disconnecting safely is done the following way:
- Make sure all lamps, features, and accessories are turned off.
- Turn the ignition off and remove the key.
- Loosen the negative battery cable nut. (#1 in image below)
- Remove the negative battery cable. (#2 in image below)
Disconnecting After Flat Towing
To disconnect the towed vehicle:
- Park on a level surface.
- Apply the parking brake.
- Make sure that the ignition is off.
- Remove any tape, glue, or excess
material from the negative battery post.
- Connect the battery. Please see the next subheading “Reconnecting The Negative Battery Cable”
- Disconnect the vehicle from the tow vehicle.
- Release the parking brake
Reconnecting The Negative Battery Cable
Before reconnecting the negative battery cable, it’s good to know that you should only use the original nut used to secure the cable. If you need a replacement nut, please visit your dealer. Furthermore, only tighten the nut with a hand tool. Powertools could damage the connection, cable, or battery. Also, don’t use lubricants, paint, or corrosion inhibitors on the nut, battery, or cables.
- Install the negative battery cable to the battery. (#2 in image above)
- Tighten the negative battery nut. (#1 in image above)
- Turn the ignition on and check if everything is installed properly.
Dolly Towing A Spark With Automatic Or Manual Transmission
If you prefer to dolly tow your Spark, then it’s good to know that this is an option for both automatic and manual Sparks. To tow the vehicle with the two rear wheels on the ground and the front wheels on a dolly, follow the following instructions:
- Put the front wheels on a dolly.
- Shift an automatic transmission into:
P (Park) or a manual transmission into
1 (First) gear.
- Set the parking brake.
- Clamp the steering wheel in a straight-ahead position with a clamping device designed for towing.
- Turn the ignition off.
- Secure the vehicle to the dolly.
- Release the parking brake.
Rules And Regulations Regarding Towing
Finally, it’s good to know that there is a small extra checklist when it comes to flat towing or dolly towing your Chevy Spark. Below we’ve outlined other things you should be aware of before towing your car:
- Use of a shield mounted in front of the vehicle grille could restrict airflow and cause damage to the transmission. The repairs would not be covered by the vehicle warranty. If using a shield, only use one that attaches to the towing vehicle.
- Before towing the vehicle, become familiar with the local laws that apply to recreational vehicle towing. These laws
may vary by region.
- The towing capacity of the towing vehicle. Be sure to read the tow vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. The Chevy Spark has a weight of 2,246 to 2,312 lbs depending on the trim level.
- How far the vehicle will be towed. Some vehicles have restrictions on how far and how long they can tow.
- The proper towing equipment. See your dealer or trailering professional for additional advice and equipment recommendations.