BMW 3 Owners & Service Manuals

BMW 3: Tow-starting and towing

Safety information

Warning Due to system limits, individual functions can malfunction during tow-starting/towing with the Intelligent Safety systems activated. There is a risk of accident. Switch all Intelligent Safety systems off prior to tow-starting/towing.

Steptronic transmission: transporting the vehicle

General information

The vehicle is not permitted to be towed.

Safety information

NOTICE The vehicle can be damaged when towing the vehicle with a single lifted axle. There is a risk of damage to property. The vehicle should only be transported on a loading platform.

NOTICE The vehicle can become damaged when lifting and securing it.

There is a risk of damage to property.

  • Lift the vehicle using suitable means.
  • Do not lift or secure the vehicle by its tow fitting, body parts, or suspension parts.

Pushing the vehicle

To remove a broken-down vehicle from the danger area, it can be pushed for a short distance.

For rolling or pushing the vehicle.

Tow truck

Breakdown assistance

The vehicle should only be transported on a loading platform.

Towing other vehicles

General information

Switch on the hazard warning system, depending on local regulations.

If the electrical system has failed, clearly identify the vehicle being towed by placing a sign or a warning triangle in the rear window.

With Safe Share function: to remove a broken-down vehicle from the danger area, tow it for a short distance at a speed of no more than 6 mph/10 km/h.

Safety information

Warning If the approved gross vehicle weight of the towing vehicle is lighter than the vehicle to be towed, the tow fitting can tear off or it will not be possible to control the vehicle's response.

There is a risk of accident. Make sure that the gross vehicle weight of the towing vehicle is heavier than the vehicle to be towed.

NOTICE If the tow bar or tow rope is attached incorrectly, damage to other vehicle parts can occur.

There is a risk of damage to property. Correctly attach the tow bar or tow rope to the tow fitting.

Tow bar

The tow fittings used should be on the same side on both vehicles.

Should it prove impossible to avoid mounting the tow bar at an offset angle, please follow the following:

  • Maneuvering capability is limited going around corners.
  • The tow bar will generate lateral forces if it is secured with an offset.

Tow rope

When starting to tow the vehicle, make sure that the tow rope is taut.

Use nylon ropes or straps, which will enable the vehicle to be towed without jerking.

Tow fitting

General information

Breakdown assistance

The screw-in tow fitting should always be carried in the vehicle.

The tow fitting can be screwed in at the front or rear of the vehicle.

The tow fitting is found in the onboard vehicle tool kit.

  • Use only the tow fitting provided with the vehicle and screw it all the way in.
  • Use the tow fitting for towing on paved roads only.
  • Avoid lateral loading of the tow fitting, for instance do not lift the vehicle by the tow fitting.

Safety information

NOTICE If the tow fitting is not used as intended, there may be damage to the vehicle or to the tow fitting.

There is a risk of damage to property. Follow the notes on using the tow fitting.

Screw thread for tow fitting

Breakdown assistance

Press on the mark on the edge of the cover to push it out.

For covers which have an opening instead of a marking, pull the cover out by the opening.

Tow-starting

Do not tow-start the vehicle.

Start the engine by jump-starting if possible.

Have the reasons for the starting difficulties corrected by a dealer's service center or another qualified service center or repair shop.

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