How to Disconnect the Drive Shaft for Towing

When it comes to towing a vehicle, it’s essential to ensure that all necessary precautions are taken to protect both the towed vehicle and the towing vehicle. One critical step in preparing a vehicle for towing is disconnecting the drive shaft. By doing this, you can prevent potential damage to the transmission and other drivetrain components. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of disconnecting the drive shaft for safe and worry-free towing.

Step 1: Gather the necessary tools and equipment:

Before you begin, make sure you have the following tools and equipment on hand:

  • Floor jack or hydraulic lift.
  • Jack stands or sturdy blocks.
  • Socket and ratchet set.
  • Torque wrench.
  • Marking tool (paint pen or chalk).
  • Safety glasses and gloves.

Step 2: Locate the drive shaft:

The drive shaft is a long, cylindrical component that transmits torque from the transmission to the wheels. It is typically located underneath the vehicle and runs from the transmission to the rear differential. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual or consult an automotive expert if you are unsure about its location.

Step 3: Elevate the vehicle:

Using a floor jack or hydraulic lift, raise the rear of the vehicle off the ground until the wheels are clear. Place jack stands or sturdy blocks securely under the vehicle to provide additional support.

Step 4: Mark the relative position of the drive shaft:

To ensure correct reinstallation later, mark the relative position of the drive shaft and the yoke flanges at both ends. Use a paint pen or chalk to mark alignment points, such as the shaft and the flanges, as well as their corresponding positions on the vehicle. This step will help you maintain the proper balance and alignment when reinstalling the drive shaft.

Step 5: Remove the drive shaft:

Using a socket and ratchet, loosen and remove the bolts or U-joint straps securing the drive shaft to the yoke flanges at both ends. Slowly slide the drive shaft out of the transmission or transfer case while supporting its weight. It’s crucial to handle the drive shaft with care to avoid causing damage.

Step 6: Secure the drive shaft:

After removing the drive shaft, you need to secure it properly to prevent any movement or damage during towing. Wrap the exposed ends of the drive shaft with plastic wrap or secure it with zip ties to keep it in place. Alternatively, you can place it in a protective container or bag designed specifically for drive shaft storage.

Step 7: Reinstalling the drive shaft:

When you’ve completed the towing process and are ready to put the vehicle back into operation, follow the reverse steps to reinstall the drive shaft. Align the marks you made earlier on the drive shaft and the yoke flanges, then carefully slide the drive shaft back into place. Use a torque wrench to tighten the bolts or U-joint straps according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Drive Shaft Safety Tip Towing

Towing Without Removing Drive Shaft

If you’re like most people, the thought of towing a vehicle is enough to make your head spin. There are so many things to think about – from hitches and wiring to weight limits and speed limits. But one thing that’s often overlooked is the drive shaft.

Most vehicles have what’s called a two-piece drive shaft, which means that there are two parts that connect the transmission to the differential. And in order to tow a vehicle without removing the drive shaft, both of these parts must be disconnected. If you’re not sure how to do this, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to disconnecting your drive shaft so you can tow your vehicle without any problems:

1. Park your vehicle on a flat surface and set the parking brake. This will ensure that your vehicle doesn’t roll while you’re working on it.

2. Locate the transmission yoke and universal joint at the front of the driveshaft. These are usually located near the transmission itself.

3. Using a wrench or socket, loosen the bolts that secure the yoke to the transmission output shaft flange. Once these bolts are loose, you should be able to slide the yoke off of the output shaft easily.

How to Disconnect the Drive Shaft for Towing


Do You Need to Disconnect the Drive Shaft for Towing?

When towing a vehicle, you will need to disconnect the drive shaft to prevent damage to the transmission. This is because when the drive shaft is connected, it will continue to spin even when the vehicle is not in motion, which can cause friction and wear down the transmission.

How Do You Disconnect a Drive Shaft?

Assuming you would like tips on how to disconnect a drive shaft:

  • -Wearing gloves, first locate the bolts that hold the drive shaft in place.
  • -Using a socket wrench, loosen and remove the bolts.
  • -Carefully pull the drive shaft out from its connection. -Repeat these steps in reverse order to reattach the drive shaft.
How Do You Separate a Driveshaft from a Transmission?

Assuming you would like a blog post discussing how to remove a driveshaft from a transmission: There are a few steps involved in removing a driveshaft from a transmission.

The first step is to disconnect the negative battery cable. This will help prevent any electrical issues while you’re working.

Next, you’ll need to remove the bolts that connect the driveshaft to the differential or transfer case. Once those bolts are removed, the driveshaft should be able to slide out of place. If it’s stuck, you may need to tap it lightly with a hammer to loosen it up.

Finally, reconnect the negative battery cable and test drive your vehicle to make sure everything is working properly.

Can I Tow My Rear-Wheel Drive Car in Neutral?

If you have a rear-wheel drive car, you may be wondering if you can tow it in neutral. The answer is yes, you can tow a rear-wheel drive car in neutral, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

First of all, when towing a rear-wheel drive car in neutral, the front wheels will be free to turn. This means that the steering will not be effective and the car could veer off course if the front wheels hit something. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that the area behind the car is clear before starting to tow.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when towing a rear-wheel drive car in neutral, the engine will not be turning over and therefore will not be lubricated. This can cause damage to the engine over time so it’s important to only do this for short distances and to make sure that the engine is properly cooled down afterwards. Overall, yes you can tow a rear-wheel drive car in neutral but there are some things you need to be aware of before doing so.


Disconnecting the drive shaft before towing a vehicle is an essential step to prevent damage to the transmission and other drivetrain components. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can safely and effectively disconnect and secure the drive shaft for towing.

Remember to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or seek professional advice if you have any concerns or questions. Taking the time to properly prepare your vehicle for towing will ensure a smoother and worry-free experience.