Subaru towing information

Towing a trailer with your Subaru, or towing your Subaru behind a motorhome? Research Outback, Forester, Tribeca, Impreza, Legacy, Baja, WRX STi..
Maintain your Subaru. Treated right, it should last years....
(maintenance schedule page)
Towing a trailer with your Subaru  I Towing your Subaru behind a motorhome or tow truck
People have been getting letters trying to sell them a warranty because their warranty is about to expire. These do not come from Subaru. See examples click here.

This is an unofficial independent website and is not authorized, approved, or supported by Subaru or any dealer. Contact your local dealer and mechanic for any mechanical or technical questions.

all photos, text, formatting c. J. Spitz. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.  you are here http://www.cars101.com/towing.html   v 9.9.11



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what your Subaru will tow


TOWING CAPACITY: what a Subaru will tow in US pounds
This page is for information only and is subject to change and correction
Always contact your local dealer or towing specialist prior to towing, and have your vehicle serviced!

Subaru does not supply trailer hitches for all models. The factory hitch is a class 1, 1 1/4" (1.25").  2" hitch is not available from the factory.

Note: trailers must have brakes,  without brakes lower the capacity below to half or less.
Serious about towing? Get a transmission cooler for the automatic transmission. Be careful not to slip a manual transmission.
 

Tribeca
2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006: 3500lbs with auxiliary transmission cooler. Otherwise 2000lbs. 
Hard towing (hot, uphill, no trailer brakes, no trans cooler) 1000lbs

Outback
2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005: 
4 cylinder 2.5i, XT- 2700 pounds with trailer brakes, 1000 w/o brakes, 
Hard towing 1350lbs 
CVT transmission- if towing replace the CVT oil 24855 miles
6 cylinder 3.6L, 3.0L: 3000lbs with trailer brakes, 1000 w/o brakes, hard towing 1500lbs

2004, 2003: Outback 4 cyl and all sedans 2000#, 6cylinder wagons 2400lbs 
2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996 Outbacks: 2000lbs

Legacy- 
Subaru doesn't recommend towing with a Legacy so it is not suggested or recommended
2012, 2011, 2010- 1000lbs. 
CVT transmission- if towing replace the CVT oil 24855 miles

2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005: 2.5i, GT 2700#
2004, 2003, 2002: 2000#
1999, 1998: manual trans 1000#, automatic trans 2000#

Forester
2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005: 2400lbs with trailer brakes, w/o brakes 1000lbs, Hard towing 1000lbs
2004, 2003 automatic trans 2000#,  manual trans 2400#
2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998 2000#

Impreza
Subaru doesn't supply hitches for the sedans or recommend towing and so it is not suggested or recommended and there is no offficial approval. Warranty could be affected by any towing.
Any automatic should be able to tow 1-2000 pounds, with trailer brakes. A trans cooler is always a good idea.
2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 automatic trans 2000lbs manual 1000lbs
2001, 2000, 1999, 1998 1997, 1996 1500#

Baja
2006, 2005, 2004, 2003 : 2400 pounds


towing behind a motorhome or tow-truck

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Towing a Subaru behind a motorhome or a tow truck
The following is from Subaru Helpline Update, Feb 1999
updated November 2009 about automatic and CVT transmission

There has been a change to the policy regarding towing of Subaru vehicles behind motorhomes. The following applies to 1990 through present model year Legacy (Including Outback), 1993 through present year Impreza (incl. Outback Sport), and 1992 through present year SVX. (Note: should also include 1998 through present year Forester. Joe)

The factory hitch is 1.25"    a 2" hitch can be installed aftermarket

Manual Transmission
All Wheel Drive vehicles can be towed with all four wheels on the ground or with all four wheels off the ground on a trailer but towing an AWD vehicle must never be attempted with only two wheels on the ground or two wheels on a dolly.

STI, to tow:  DCCD must be in manual mode, with the DCCD control dial set to the furthest rearward position (rolled toward rear seat).

Front Wheel Drive vehicles can be towed with all four wheels on the ground in neutral or with the two front wheels off the ground.

Automatic Transmission

November 2009. Automatic transmission and CVT vehicles can be towed with all wheels on the ground in an emergency for very short distance (under 31 miles) and at very slow speed (under 20mph).

AWD automatic 4 and 5 speed vehicles should not be towed with any wheels on the ground. The vehicle can only be towed on a trailer with all 4 wheels off the ground and the transmission in park.

Note: always inspect and check your car- radiator, coolant, all hoses, all fluids, brakes, towing equipment, lights etc
 

Always have a mechanic specialist inspect any car.
Not responsible for any damage or potential damage caused by towing. Use common sense
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towing a Subaru behind a tow truck or motorhome? This is a no-no!
ouch-  please do NOT tow a Subaru like this
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 tow an Automatic transmission with all wheels off the ground only
tow a manual transmission either with all wheels off the ground or all wheels on the ground
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subaru outback towing a small trailer
A Subaru Outback towing a small trailer, August 2011.
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a Subaru Forester being towed behind a motorhome
flat towing a Subaru Forester- manual transmission only. Seen in Edmonds, Wa, September 2011
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This page is maintained by Joe Spitz who is responsible for content. Always contact your local dealer before towing or being towed.
Errors, omissions, typos happen and will be corrected as I am made aware of them.
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