FCS-12141-12 1 December, 2010
ABOUT THIS WRECKER TOWING MANUAL
Ford Motor Company salutes and applauds the towing
industry for many fine years of service to the automotive
industry. We will continue to work to provide our
customers with guidelines.
This manual contains the latest towing procedures for
2012 Ford and Lincoln vehicles. Ford Motor Company
has created easy-to-follow instructions with illustrations
showing the correct hook-up for damage-free towing.
As an additional safety measure, be sure to use safety
chains on every tow, including wheel lift and flatbed
hook-ups. This procedure will prevent losing the vehicle
in the event of equipment failure or vehicle breakage at
the chain attachment.
New body effects and aerodynamic styling require new
methods of towing; this is to eliminate the possibility of
damage while in-tow. Wheel lifts or flatbed equipment is
required to tow Ford Motor Company vehicles. Refer to
the instructions given for the specific vehicle to be
GENERAL TOWING INFORMATION
NOTE, NOTICE AND WARNING
As you read through this manual, you may come across a
NOTE, NOTICE or WARNING. Each one is there for a
specific purpose: A NOTE calls attention to unique,
additional or essential information related to the subject
procedure. A NOTICE identifies a hazard that could
damage the vehicle or property. A WARNING identifies a
hazard, to yourself or others, that could result in severe
injury or death.
WARNING: NEVER USE A TOW BAR THAT
ATTACHES TO THE FASCIA/BUMPER WHEN
TOWING A VEHICLE. THE FASCIA/BUMPER COULD
BE DAMAGED AND/OR CAUSE AN ACCIDENT.
NOTICE: Incorrect towing of a vehicle may result in
damage to the transmission/transaxle, transfer case,
front or rear fascia, steering/suspension, exhaust,
etc. Always follow the outlined towing procedures. It
is recommended that only an unloaded vehicle be
NOTICE: Always consult the tow equipment
manufacturer, for specific instructions, on how to
operate their equipment.
To prevent damage to the vehicle, it is the tow
equipment operator’s responsibility to evaluate and
adjust to the specific towing conditions.
If a vehicle has been modified, consult the
equipment modifier or supplier for the specific
NOTE: When towing a vehicle, the steering wheel
should be left unlocked.
NOTE: Disabling the air bag system is not necessary in
most cases; an air bag is highly unlikely to deploy during
towing. Standard towing or recovery procedures on an
air bag equipped vehicle should not cause air bag
deployment. Only a significant impact will cause an air
bag to deploy.
NOTE: Turning the ignition switch to the OFF position
will not disable the Ford air bag system; the air bag
deployment system operates independently of the
ignition switch position.
If the air bags are not deployed and as a precaution the
air bag system needs to be disabled, disconnect the
battery in a safe manner.
When towing a vehicle, release the parking brake and
place the transmission/transaxle in NEUTRAL. As a
general rule, vehicles should be towed with the drive
wheels off the ground. If the vehicle is to be towed on its
drive wheels, place the drive wheels on a dolly.
When a vehicle is towed on its front wheels, the steering
wheel must be clamped in the straight-ahead position
with a steering wheel clamping device designed for
towing service use, such as those provided by towing
Do not use the vehicle’s steering column lock, when
towing from either the front or rear, to lock the wheels in
a straight-ahead position. If the steering wheel is not
able to be unlocked, place a dolly underneath the drive
wheels of the vehicle and tow with the non-drive wheels
All Ford and Lincoln vehicles incorporate a brake-shift interlock
feature that will prevents the gearshift lever from being moved
from PARK when the ignition switch is in the ON position,
however, when the brake pedal is depressed, the gearshift
lever is unlocked and can then be moved. If you cannot move
the gearshift lever out of PARK with the ignition in the ON
position and the brake pedal depressed, refer to the automatic
transmission/transaxle section in the driving section of the
Owner’s Literature Guide.
2012 WRECKER TOWING MANUAL