Honda Accord: Driving Safely With a Trailer - Towing a Trailer - Driving - Honda Accord 2008-2012 Owner's ManualHonda Accord: Driving Safely With a Trailer

The added weight, length, and height of a trailer will affect your vehicle’s handling and performance, so driving with a trailer requires some special driving skills and techniques.

For your safety and the safety of others, take time to practice driving maneuvers before heading for the open road, and follow the guidelines in this section.

Towing Speeds and Gears

Drive slower than normal in all driving situations, and obey posted speed limits for vehicles with trailers.

Do not exceed the limited speed when towing a trailer. At higher speeds, the trailer may sway or affect vehicle handling (see ‘‘Driving on Hills’’ in the next page for additional gear information).

If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, use the D position when towing a trailer on level roads.

4-cylinder models with automatic transmission

D3 is the proper shift lever position to use when towing a trailer in hilly terrain.

V6 models with automatic transmission

When driving uphill and downhill, use the S position (without using the paddle shifters) to provide the proper engine power and engine braking on each gear. You can also use the paddle shifters. In this case, select third, second, or first gear with the paddle shifter; depending on the vehicle speeds and road condition. Do not use fourth and fifth gears.

If the automatic transmission fluid temperature increases and exceeds the specified limit, the transmission will also automatically downshift to the first gear even with the Sequential Sportshift Mode. This prevents the automatic transmission from overheating. In this case, the gear position ‘‘1’’ next to the ‘‘M’’ indicator in the instrument panel blinks for about five seconds, then it stays on.

Making Turns and Braking

Make turns more slowly andwider than normal. The trailer tracks a smaller arc than your vehicle, and it can hit or run over something the vehicle misses. Allow more time and distance for braking. Do not brake or turn suddenly as this could cause the trailer to jackknife or turn over.

Driving on Hills

When climbing hills, closely watch your temperature gauge. If it nears the red (Hot) mark, turn the air conditioning off, reduce speed and, if necessary, pull to the side of the road to let the engine cool.

When driving down hills, reduce your speed and always apply engine braking by shifting down. If your vehicle has a manual transmission, when going down a steep hill, use the second gear to provide greater engine braking.

4-cylinder models with automatic transmission

If the automatic transmission shifts frequently while going up a hill, shift to D3.

When driving down hills, reduce your speed and shift down to the second gear.

V6 models with automatic transmission

When driving down hills, reduce your speed and use the S mode. You can also use the paddle shifters to change the gear position. Select third, second or first gear depending on the vehicle speeds and road condition. When going down a steep hill, use second gear to provide greater engine braking. Shift down to first gear when driving up steep hills.

Do not ‘‘ride’’ the brakes, and remember, it will take longer to slow down and stop when towing a trailer.

If you must stop when facing uphill, use the foot brake or parking brake.

Do not try to hold the vehicle in place by pressing on the accelerator, as this can cause the automatic transmission to overheat.

Handling Crosswinds and Buffeting

Crosswinds and air turbulence caused by passing trucks can disrupt your steering and cause the trailer to sway. When being passed by a large vehicle, keep a constant speed, and steer straight ahead. Do not try to make quick steering or braking corrections.

Backing Up

Always drive slowly and have someone guide you when backing up.

Grip the of the steering wheel, then turn the wheel to the left to get the trailer to move to the left, and turn the wheel right to move the trailer to the right.



Follow all normal precautions when parking, including firmly setting the parking brake and putting the transmission in Park (automatic) or in first or reverse (manual). Also, place wheel chocks at each of the trailer’s tires.

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