Towable Vehicles

Models:
1995-2005 Chevrolet Cavalier
1997-2003 Chevrolet Malibu
1998-2004 Chevrolet Tracker
2004-2006 Chevrolet Classic (Old Style Malibu)
2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu (excluding SS Model), Malibu Maxx (excluding SS Model)
2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt
2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR
1994-1997 Geo Tracker
1995-1998 Oldsmobile Achieva
1997-1999 Oldsmobile Cutlass
1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero
1995-2005 Pontiac Grand Am, Sunfire
2003-2007 Pontiac Vibe
2005-2007 Pontiac G6 (excluding 3.9L V6 AT), Pursuit
2007 Pontiac G5
1996-2000 Toyota Cavalier
with 3L30, 03-72LE, Hydra-Matic® 4T40-E or 4T45-E Automatic Transmission (RPOs M41, M65, MN4, MN5, MX1) or 5-Speed Manual Transmission (RPOs M59, M86, M94, MK7, MJ1)
1988-2007 Chevrolet and GMC Light Duty Trucks
1999-2000 Cadillac Escalade
2003-2007 HUMMER H2
2006-2007 HUMMER H3
2005-2007 Saab 9-7X

This bulletin is being revised to add model years, models and additional information. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 00-00-89-008E (Section 00 -- General Information). /

Some customers may want to tow their vehicle behind another vehicle with all FOUR tires on the ground. This is referred to as "dinghy" towing.

Towing in this manner is acceptable only on the certain vehicles. The vehicle should be properly equipped and prepared as described below.

The passenger cars listed above are the vehicles that CAN be dinghy towed. Passenger cars not listed above are vehicles where dinghy towing is not permitted or recommended.

Certain 4WD trucks can be dinghy towed depending on the transfer case option. Rear wheel drive and AWD trucks should NOT be dinghy towed. Refer to the truck models and transfer case options below.

Please refer to the applicable vehicle Owner's Manual before towing.

Passenger Cars

Notice: These vehicles must not be towed backwards or transmission damage may occur.
  • 1995-2005 Chevrolet Cavalier, Pontiac Sunfire and 1996-2000 Toyota Cavalier equipped with Hydra-Matic® 4T40-E Automatic Transmission (AT) (RPO MN4) or 5-Speed Manual Transmission (MT) (RPOs MK7, MJ1, M86, M94)
  • 1995-2005 Pontiac Grand Am equipped with Hydra-Matic® 4T40-E or 4T45-E AT (RPOs MN4, MN5) or 5-Speed MT (RPO MJ1, M86, M94)
  • 1995-1998 Oldsmobile Achieva equipped with a 5-Speed MT (RPO MJ1)
  • 1997-2003 Chevrolet Malibu, 2004-2005 Chevrolet Classic and 1997-1999 Oldsmobile Cutlass equipped with Hydra-Matic® 4T40-E AT (RPO MN4)
  • 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero equipped with Hydra-Matic® 4T40-E or 4T45-E AT (RPOs MN4, MN5) or 5-Speed MT (RPOs MJ1, M86, M94)
  • 1994-1997 Geo Tracker / 1998-2004 Chevrolet Tracker 4WD models equipped with 3L30 or 03-72LE AT (RPOs M41, M65, MX1) or 5-Speed MT (RPO M59)
  • 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR
  • 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac Pursuit
  • 2005-2007 Pontiac G6 (excluding 3.9L V6 AT)
  • 2007 Pontiac G5

Towing Procedure

Notice: Failure to follow these instructions may result in damage to the transmission.

Important: The towing speed as stated in the Owner's Manual should not exceed 104 km/h (65 mph) for 1995-2005 vehicles.

In order to properly dinghy tow the vehicle, follow these steps:

  1. Firmly set the parking brake.
  2. Open the fuse panel and pull the fuse(s) indicated in the Owner's Manual section detailing towing your vehicle. This prevents the instrument panel (IP) and/or electronic PRNDL indicator from draining the battery.
  3. Securely attach the vehicle to the tow vehicle.
  4. Turn the ignition key to the OFF position, which is one position forward of LOCK. Unlocking the steering column allows for proper movement of the front wheels and tires during towing. For 1997-1999 Cutlass, 1997-2003 Malibu, 2004-2006 Chevrolet Classic and 1999-2004 Alero/Grand Am models, turn the ignition switch to the accessory (ACC) position, which is one position forward of OFF. This position unlocks the transaxle.
  5. . Shift the transmission to Neutral (N). Notice: Use extra care whenever towing another vehicle. Do not exceed the towing vehicle's gross combination weight (GCW) by adding the weight of the dinghy towed vehicle or vehicle damage may result.
  6. When the vehicle being towed is firmly attached to the tow vehicle, release the parking brake.
  7. Replace the fuse(s) in the fuse panel when finished towing.

Tracker Models

Notice: Locking the steering column when towing your vehicle may damage the steering column. Always unlock the steering column before towing.

Important:
- Two-wheel drive Trackers cannot be dinghy towed. Two-wheel drive models MUST be towed with the rear drive wheels on a dolly.
- The towing speed must not exceed 90 km/h (55 mph).

In order to properly dinghy tow a 4WD Tracker, follow these steps:

  1. Set the parking brake.
  2. Shift the transmission into Park (AT) or second gear (MT).
  3. With the ignition key in the ON position, move the transfer case to Neutral. Make sure the 4WD indicator on the instrument panel cluster is Off.
  4. Turn the ignition key to ACC in order to unlock the steering wheel.
  5. Release the parking brake.
Stop towing the vehicle every 300 km (200 mi) and do the following steps:
  1. Start the engine of the towed vehicle.
  2. Leave the transfer case shift lever in Neutral.
  3. Shift the transmission to Drive (AT). For vehicles with MT, leave the transmission in second gear with the clutch engaged.
  4. Run the engine at medium speed for one minute to circulate the oil through the transfer case.

2003-2007 Pontiac Vibe

Only the front wheel drive vehicles with manual transmission are designed to be dinghy towed. Use the following procedure to properly dinghy tow these models:

  1. Place the shift lever in Neutral.
  2. Turn the ignition switch to the ACC position to avoid locking the steering wheel. Make sure that the audio system is turned off and that nothing is plugged into the power outlets.
  3. Release the parking brake.
  4. After dinghy towing the vehicle, let the engine idle for more than three minutes before driving the vehicle.

Four Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive Light Duty Trucks

Dinghy towing is permitted on the following trucks with the transfer case placed in the Neutral position. Refer to the end of this bulletin for identification information to determine type of transfer case.

  • K trucks equipped with Borg-Warner 4401 (RPO NP2), 4470 (RPO NP2), 4482 (RPO NR4) transfer case
  • K trucks (old style) equipped with NVG 241 transfer case (RPO NP2)
  • K trucks (new style) equipped with NVG 246 transfer case (RPO NP8)
  • K trucks equipped with NVG 261 transfer case (RPO NP2)
  • K trucks equipped with NVG 263 transfer case (RPO NP1)
  • T Utility trucks (new style) equipped with NVG 226 transfer case
  • T trucks equipped with NVG 231 transfer case (RPO NP2)
  • T Utility trucks equipped with NVG 236 transfer case (RPO NP8)
  • Colorado, Canyon equipped with T150 transfer case (RPO NP1)
  • HUMMER H2 equipped with Borg Warner 4484 (RPO NR4)
  • HUMMER H3

The following vehicles should NOT be dinghy towed because the transfer cases in these vehicles either have no neutral position or do not have an internal oil pump to provide lubrication while being towed. In order to properly tow the following vehicles, place the vehicle on a platform trailer with all four tires off the ground. Avoid towing the vehicle with all four tires on the ground. In rare instances when towing with all four tires on the ground is unavoidable, both the front and the rear propeller shafts must be removed in order to prevent damage to the transfer case and/or transmission. Because front and rear propeller shafts are matched to attaching components at assembly, refer to the applicable Service Manual for procedures on propeller shaft removal/installation.

  • K trucks equipped with NVG 208 transfer case (no oil pump)
  • K trucks equipped with optional electric shift NVG 243 transfer case (RPO NP1) (no Neutral position)
  • K trucks equipped with NVG 149 (RPO NP3) (no Neutral position)
  • K Utility trucks equipped with Borg Warner 4481 (RPO NR3) (no Neutral position)
  • H Vans equipped with Borg Warner 4473 (RPO NP3) (no Neutral position)
  • Syclone, Typhoon, L Van, Bravada and Rainier equipped with Borg-Warner 4472 transfer case, NVG 136 and NVG 126 (RPO NP4) transfer case (no Neutral position)
  • T trucks equipped with NVG 207 transfer case (no oil pump)
  • T trucks equipped with optional electric shift NVG 233 transfer case (RPO NP1) (no Neutral position)
  • SRX models equipped with Borg Warner 4476 transfer case (no neutral position)

Towing Procedure

In order to properly dinghy tow the vehicle, use the following procedure:

  1. Firmly set the parking brake.
  2. Place the AT in Park (P) or the MT in the lowest gear (1st).
  3. Securely attach the vehicle being towed to the tow vehicle.
  4. Caution: Shifting the transfer case to Neutral can cause the vehicle to roll, even if the transmission is in park (automatic) or 1st gear (manual), and may cause personal injury.
  5. If equipped, place the transfer case shift lever in Neutral (N).
  6. Notice: Use extra care whenever towing another vehicle. Do not exceed the towing vehicle's gross combination weight (GCW) by adding the weight of the dinghy towed vehicle or vehicle damage may result.
  7. When the vehicle being towed is firmly attached to the tow vehicle, release the parking brake.
  8. The Owner's Manual specifies the appropriate ignition key position to ensure that the steering is unlocked to allow the front wheels to follow the tow vehicle.

Rear Wheel Drive Light Duty Trucks

    Important:
  • Dust or dirt can enter the back of the transmission through the opening created by the removal of the slip yoke from the transmission if proper protection is not provided.
  • Verify that the transmission fluid is at the proper level before driving the truck. Rear wheel drive vehicles, equipped with AT or MT, should NOT be dinghy towed. These transmissions have no provisions for internal lubrication while being towed. In order to properly tow these vehicles, place the vehicle on a platform trailer with all four tires off the ground. Avoid towing the vehicle with all four tires on the ground. In rare instances when it is unavoidable that a rear wheel drive vehicle be dinghy towed, the propeller shaft to axle yoke orientation should be marked and the propeller shaft removed. Refer to the applicable Service Manual for procedures on propeller shaft removal/installation.

Transfer Case Identification

The identification tag on the rear half of the transfer case provides the following information:

  • The Model number
  • The Transfer Case Assembly Part Number
  • The Serial Number
  • The low-range reduction ratio

New Process Gear Rear Transfer Case Half

Borg-Warner Rear Transfer Case Half

(46) Rear Transfer Case Half

GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a "do-it-yourselfer". They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.