Can You Flat Tow A Kia Optima? Mindblowing Revelation!

Can You Flat Tow A Kia Optima?

An image of a Kia Optima - Can You Flat Tow A Kia Optima?
Can You Flat Tow A Kia Optima? Image source: Kia

If you’re planning to bring a smaller vehicle on your upcoming RV trip, you may have contemplated flat towing.

However, not all vehicle models can be towed in this manner.

If you’re considering taking a Kia Optima along, it’s important to determine if flat towing is feasible.

I conducted thorough research on the Kia Optima from various professional sources to provide you with a definitive answer here.

Can You Flat Tow A Kia Optima?


The Kia Optima is not suitable for flat towing.

These vehicles come in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations, both of which are only available with automatic transmissions.

Flat towing them can lead to excessive transmission heat, resulting in irreversible damage to this critical component.

You might be wondering whether flat towing is detrimental to your vehicle or if it’s safe to flat tow an automatic vehicle in neutral.

Additionally, you may be curious about whether towing a car behind an RV adds mileage to it and which Kia models can be safely flat towed.

Read further for answers!



Is Flat Towing Bad For Your Car?


If your vehicle is sanctioned for flat towing, it doesn’t necessarily pose harm.

However, it can accelerate wear and tear on specific vehicle components, as we’ll delve into further in this post.

Conversely, flat towing a vehicle not approved for such towing methods undoubtedly leads to damage.

Transmissions require lubrication for cooling purposes.

Even if your engine is off, your transmission (depending on your vehicle model) remains operational while the wheels are in motion.

Transmissions rely on engine operation for lubrication.

When the engine is inactive, the transmission lacks cooling, leading to overheating.

A heated transmission risks damage and may necessitate replacement.


Can You Flat Tow An Automatic Car In Neutral?


Towing a car with an automatic transmission poses challenges.

Although placing the gears in neutral may seem like a solution, it’s not advisable.

Neutral gear does not disengage the transmission, meaning that if the wheels are in motion (such as the front wheels on a front-wheel-drive car), the transmission remains active and heats up.

Even with the engine off, the transmission continues to heat up without a means of cooling itself.

While it’s possible to dolly tow a front-wheel-drive automatic vehicle with the front wheels elevated, extensive modifications may be necessary, which can be complex for the average person.

Consulting your owner’s manual beforehand ensures clarity on whether this method is suitable for your specific vehicle.

Alternatively, after reviewing the manual, trailer towing remains a safe option for all passenger vehicles, eliminating the risk of transmission damage.


Does Towing A Car Behind An RV Put Miles On It?


Towing a car behind an RV doesn’t accumulate miles in the conventional sense.

Since the engine is inactive, there are no engine miles to account for.

Additionally, if you’re dolly towing with the geared wheels raised, odometer miles won’t increment.

However, despite not accumulating traditional miles, a towed vehicle behind an RV still experiences wear and tear.

The tires, whether singular or dual sets, are in contact with the road surface and undergo wear from rotation, regardless of the engine’s operation.

Moreover, the suspension system endures vibrations and shocks during towing, gradually reducing its lifespan with each mile travelled.

For those who frequently tow their vehicle behind an RV, it’s important to consider these factors when planning maintenance.

Regular tire rotation may be necessary sooner, and the shocks or struts might require inspection at intervals different from those specified in the owner’s manual.


An image of a Kia being flat towed - Can You Flat Tow A Kia Optima?
Can You Flat Tow A Kia Optima? Image source: Community Blog


Frequently Asked Questions


Should You Dolly Tow Your Optima?


This towing method utilizes a tow dolly connected to the RV. It lifts one end of the vehicle being towed and elevates its wheels off the ground.

It is particularly suitable for front-wheel drive vehicles, as they can be safely and effectively lifted into position.

While some rear-wheel drive vehicles can also be towed using a tow dolly, it’s essential to ensure that they can be safely lifted with their rear wheels off the ground.

Not all rear-wheel drive models are compatible with this towing approach.

According to ETrailer, the Kia Optima can be towed using a tow dolly, provided that your Optima is configured with front-wheel drive.

Although most Optima cars are front-wheel drive, it’s essential to verify that your specific Optima model does not have all-wheel drive.

Particularly for model years starting from 2021, as all-wheel drive is available as an option.


Which Kia Vehicles Can You Flat Tow?


Kia vehicles equipped with manual transmissions, such as the Kia Forte, Kia Rio, or Kia Soul, are the most suitable candidates for flat towing.

Previous model years of these vehicles have offered manual transmission options.

However, before proceeding with flat towing, it’s imperative to consult your Kia owner’s manual.

If the manual does not explicitly confirm the suitability of flat towing your Kia, it’s safest to assume that flat towing is not recommended.

In such cases, exploring alternative towing methods is advisable.




In conclusion, the Kia Optima is not suitable for flat towing due to its front-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations and automatic transmissions.

Attempting to flat tow it can cause excessive transmission heat, leading to irreversible damage.

While flat towing-approved vehicles don’t necessarily harm them, towing vehicles not designed for it can cause significant damage.

If considering towing an automatic vehicle in neutral, it’s not advisable as the transmission remains engaged and can overheat without proper lubrication.

While towing behind an RV doesn’t add traditional miles, it still experiences wear and tear on tires and suspension.

While dolly towing may be an option for front-wheel-drive Optimas, ensure your specific model is compatible.

For flat towing, manual transmission Kia models like the Forte, Rio, or Soul are more suitable candidates. But always consult your owner’s manual for confirmation.

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