Does Flat Towing Add Miles To a Car? (Helpful Guide and Tips)

There has been a change made around the beginning of the 21st century. Car manufacturers started to change the odometers in the vehicles they made. This also changed how miles on your vehicle were calculated. The answer to this question will be it depends on your type of odometer.

If you have an old mechanical odometer, then yes, flat towing will add miles to your odometer and car. If you have an electrical odometer, then no, flat towing will not add miles to your car. Most cars made after 2000 have an electronic odometer.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It explores the subject so you get the information you want to know about. Take a few minutes to see how this information helps you in your towing tasks.

Does The Odometer Move When a Car is Towed?


This will also depend on the type of odometer you have in your vehicle. Up until 2005, different automakers continued to make different models of cars with a mechanical odometer.

What this means to this topic is that when your vehicle has a mechanical odometer, and the wheels are touching the ground and rolling, then those miles will be added to the odometer reading.

While you may lift the front wheels while towing, that won’t necessarily stop those miles from being counted. It will with a front-wheel drive but not a rear-wheel drive vehicle.

Then for the post-2005 models, as long as the electronics are turned off, disconnect the battery terminals, and put the car in neutral, then you won’t be adding any miles to the odometer.

There is a very sound reason why you do not want to tow your vehicle and have the odometer running. The more miles you add to your vehicle, the lower its value.

Then, even if the majority of miles were added when towing, it will be hard to prove that scenario. The potential buyers for your vehicle may not believe you and will only look at the high mileage and offer a very low price.

Does Flat Towing Add Miles?


The situation is the same in this case. Flat towing can and will add mileage to your odometer. That is because you do not set the vehicle to the right mode or do not hook it up correctly. Some owners have a transfer case installed and can make sure the odometer is not counting miles.

Other owners have electronic odometers and simply disconnect the battery from powering their electronics. That way the electronic odometer is not functioning when you tow. When it is turned off, it cannot count the miles.

With a front or rear-wheel vehicle with a mechanical odometer, you either have to lift the front wheels for the front-wheel drive or lift all wheels when you have a rear-wheel drive to stop the odometer from counting the miles.

Having unnecessary miles on your vehicle is not good for its re-sale value. There are some transfer kits you can install to help solve this problem if you want to flat tow.

Does Towing a Jeep Put Miles On It?


Yes and no. It will all depend on how you are towing your Jeep and which odometer is in the dash. If you are flat towing with a mechanical odometer, then without taking any other steps, the answer would be yes.

But if you disconnect the driveshaft in this situation, then the answer would be no it wouldn’t. There are some kits you can install to make the disconnecting easier. It is said that the maker of the Jeep Wrangler advises against using a tow dolly so that option may be out.

If your Jeep has an electronic odometer, then make sure the ignition is NOT turned on. By turning the ignition to on, you power the electronics and the electronic odometer will start counting miles.

You do have a variety of towing methods you can use to avoid adding miles to your odometer. You just have to pick the best one for your towing situation. The best way is trailer towing but that may not work for everyone or every state.

Can You Put Miles on a Car Without Driving?


If you look this topic up, you will find many websites giving out absurd answers. One example is having a friend drive your car. You are not driving it but it is being driven so that is an absurd answer.

The way to put miles on your car without driving it would be to push it and let it roll with the ignition on. Another way would be to tow it wrong. By wrong, we do not mean incorrect we mean, by not using a method that stops the odometer from counting the miles.

Towing 4 down will be the fastest way to add miles without driving your car. If you have a rear wheel drive, then using a tow dolly will do the same thing. Tow dollies are good for front-wheel drive vehicles only when you want to keep the mileage off.

The only problem you will run into when you add miles while towing is that your re-sale value will go down. There is no damage being down to the engine or the transmission if you tow correctly, but people only look at the mileage when they want to make a low offer.

Some Final Words

When you are going to tow your vehicle, check your odometer. That will help you decide on the towing method you should use. Then check to see if you have front or rear-wheel drive. That status will also help you find the right towing method for your vehicle.

Preserving the value of your car is important when you want to upgrade to a newer model sometime in the future. One way to do that is to keep the mileage low even if you do a lot of towing.

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