Where is the tow hook located on a Mercedes Benz?

In this article, we find out the location of tow hooks on Mercedes Benz passenger cars? And answer the following questions: how to tow a Mercedes Benz? Why is flat towing over long distances not recommended for  Mercedes Benz? Under what circumstances should you tow a Mercedes Benz?

Where is the tow hook located on a Mercedes Benz?

Mercedes Benz provides two towing holes on all the passenger car models, the two are located on the front and the rear side of the vehicle. The towing mechanism is made up of a towing hook that screws into the tow hook hole; the location is also specified in the owner’s manual.

All the Mercedes Benz models are provided with a towing hook that is kept in the luggage compartment. The towing hook hole is covered by a small removable cap, this cap should be completely removed and kept inside the vehicle as it can fall down if kept hanging on the bumper.

The towing location is specially designed to support the weight of the vehicle during towing, it should be noted that towing hooks are not for towing the trailers. Mercedes Benz sells a special trailer hitchhike if customers want to tow a trailer. It contains an essential electrical coupler for the trailer brake lights.

How to tow a Mercedes Benz?

Mercedes Benz models come with different drivetrain systems that supply power to either two wheels or all wheels. Therefore, before towing a Mercedes Benz it is recommended to check the owner’s manual for the appropriate towing method. Following are the permitted towing methods. Note, that towing methods differ concerning vehicle equipment. Read the owner’s manual before towing the vehicle.

  • Towing with both axles on the ground is also known as flat tow

Vehicles with automatic transmissions can only be towed with both axles on the ground for a distance of less than 50 km and speed should also be less than 50 km per hour. Towing hook must be properly installed and straps or towing bars can be used to connect the vehicle which is used for towing.

A tow bar connected to the towing eye is the best way,  as the braking force on the vehicle that is being towed is reduced. The tow bar will help maintain a safe distance between the vehicles.

During towing keep the ignition on and key inside the ignition switch, this will keep the steering lock disengaged. Never open the driver and front passenger door while the vehicle is being towed. Opening the doors can cause the parking brake to engage and damage the gearbox.

Always drive as straight as possible and drive slowly since the engine is off in the vehicle that is towed, excessive braking force is required to stop the car.

  • Towing with the front axle raised

The new generation cars namely A, B, GLA, and CLA  have a dual-clutch automatic gearbox. 2 wheel drive variants of the NGC cars can be easily towed by raising the front axle and releasing the parking brake on the rear axle. If NGC models with all-wheel drive powertrains cannot be towed by this method. 

  • Towing with the rear axle raised

This towing method is only permitted when the steering wheel is locked and cannot be released. Vehicles with 4matic or all-wheel drive are not permitted to be towed by this method.

With the rear axle raised, it is no longer required to release the parking brake and shift the gearbox into neutral which also makes this method favourable for vehicles with rear-wheel drive.

The NGCs have front-wheel drive and must never be towed with raised rear axle even if the gearbox is put in neutral. Towing over an extended distance can damage the mechanical components of the dual-clutch transmission.

Why is flat towing over long distances not recommended for  Mercedes Benz?

Vehicles especially four-wheel drives have mechanical moving components like front and rear differentials, and a transfer case which uses transmission fluid from the gearbox to lubricate gears. When the vehicle is turned off this fluid is not being circulated which can cause irreparable damage to the transfer case and differential.

Hybrid vehicles have a drive motor integrated between the engine and gearbox, this is powered by a high voltage electric battery. As the vehicle is being towed this motor can heat up and if it goes in recuperation mode damage to the high voltage components can happen. Hence it is better to have the vehicle transported rather than towed.

A vehicle equipped with an airmatic suspension system can drop to a critical level when the vehicle is stationary for a long time, if the vehicle ride height cannot be raised then towing is not recommended.

Under what circumstances should you tow a Mercedes Benz?

Mercedes Benz can breakdown due to faults in the drivetrain systems and since the majority of the models have an automatic transmission, the vehicle must be towed to the nearest workshop for further diagnosis, other situations where towing is needed are as follows:

  • When the vehicle runs out of fuel and the nearest gas station is located within 50km. In cases of wrong fueling of a vehicle, do not start the engine. 
  • the poly -V belt has broken and the battery of the vehicle is completely dead.
  • If the vehicle cannot be jump-started, the parking brake cannot be released.

If the vehicle is towed with all four wheels or two wheels on the ground then, the main battery should be good and fully charged as low battery voltage can cause vehicles to go into emergency parking mode. 

What checks should be performed before towing a Mercedes Benz?

Following are the checks which should be performed to ensure the vehicle can be safely flat towed.

  • Check if the ignition of the vehicle can be turned on and neutral can be engaged.
  • The parking brake should disengage
  • Check if the steering can be turned if the steering lock is installed in the vehicle make sure it is unlocked.
  • Check installation of towing hook and tow bar.
  • Check the gross weight of the vehicle that is being towed, if the gross weight is higher than the permissible limit then the towing eye can be damaged. 
  • Always refer to the owner’s manual for towing instructions and the gross weight of the vehicle.
  • Deactivate parking assists system and driver assistance systems like Distronic, which can cause the vehicle to automatically brake.

Conclusion

Mercedes Benz is one of the few manufacturers that provides tow hook locations on the front and rear sides of the vehicle. The two hooks are also present in the vehicle and customers are not required to pay any additional cost. Mercedes Benz also covers any roadside assistance required for all the models under the standard warranty.

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