Can You Flat Tow a Toyota Tacoma?

Can you flat tow a Toyota Tacoma? The owner’s manual answer: absolutely not. The truth? It’s a little more complicated.
Written by R.E. Fulton
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
So you want to flat tow your Toyota Tacoma. Unfortunately, flat towing any Tacoma goes against the manufacturer’s recommendations and will void your warranty in addition to posing serious threats to your truck.
Flatbed trucks and trailers are the gold standard of vehicle towing, but the costs for that kind of tow can add up quickly. Flat towing, which pulls your vehicle on four wheels, is an affordable alternative preferred by many motor home enthusiasts and others.
The big problem? It’s got the potential to seriously damage your vehicle, and it might even void your warranty and insurance. 
Here to answer all your questions about flat towing a Toyota Tacoma is
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Can you flat tow a Toyota Tacoma?

The simple answer: no, absolutely not
That’s the answer you’ll get if you check your owner’s manual or reach out directly to the dealership. Flat towing any Toyota Tacoma regardless of age, size, or drivetrain, goes against the manufacturer’s recommendations and could damage your truck’s transmission along with other key components. 
In other words, Toyota’s prohibition isn’t an arbitrary choice. Here are a few key reasons why you shouldn’t try to flat tow your Toyota Tacoma. 

Transmission damage

The biggest material problem with flat towing a Tacoma is the risk of damage to the transmission. Because flat towing means your truck’s wheels are spinning without the engine running, you’ll be missing out on the essential lubrication that protects your transmission under normal operation. 
The result? An overheated transfer case and worse. 

False odometer reading

Your Tacoma could also falsely record miles during towing on the truck’s odometer. Extra miles might not seem like a huge problem, but it’ll impact your truck’s resale value, and it could also lead to damaged gauges. 

Void warranty

Here’s another big one: if you go against the manufacturer’s recommendations and flat tow your Tacoma, you will void your warranty. That means that you’ll be missing out on coverage for essential repairs for the remainder of your warranty period. The convenience of flat towing could cost you big time. 

Rejected insurance claims

Just like your warranty, your insurance policy could also be threatened if you choose to flat tow. That’s because flat towing increases the risk of driving your Tacoma—and if your insurance company finds out that you got into an accident due to an illicit towing setup, they’re likely to reject any claims out of hand, leaving you saddled with a huge bill. 
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Personal liability

Forget warranties, forget insurance—let’s talk about the dire consequences you could face if you caused an accident while flat towing your Tacoma. If you cause an injury or even death, your dangerous towing configuration could impact your ability to avoid an expensive personal injury lawsuit and massive financial penalties. 
Sure, that’s a worst-case scenario: but whenever you make a big decision about your Tacoma, it’s important to keep those extreme possibilities in mind. 

The bottom line

At the end of the day, flat towing a Toyota Tacoma goes against the manufacturer’s advice and will void your warranty. It’s also a bad idea unless you’ve done your research and prepared to tow safely.

How to save on insurance for your Tacoma

If you’re trying to flat tow your Tacoma to keep truck-related expenses low, there’s another approach that won’t void your warranty or pose any risks to your transmission. That’s shopping for
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