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Old 1st September 2016, 21:43   #1
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Default Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!

Correct me if I've got this wrong but the reason the towing eye is off center is to allow the driver of the car being towed to get a good view of the road ahead. He needs this in order to have enough reaction time to brake and not crash into the car that's towing him. That means that in India, the front towing hook has to be on the passenger side and the rear tow hook on the driver's side. Unfortunately, this isn't the case with many Indian cars.

Some popular cars that get it wrong are:

Maruti Swift
Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!-marutiswift18.jpg

Renault Kwid
Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!-renaultkwid15.jpg

Hyundai Creta
Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!-hyundaicreta20.jpg


There are plenty more examples of this rather basic design error. When swapping from LHD to RHD configuration, the tow points need to be switched too. My Polo, like other VWs, has its front towing eye on the driver's side (that is, it is in LHD configuration) while the rear towing eye is also on the driver's side (the correct RHD configuration). Strange! It's not all bad though. Some companies (especially the Indian manufacturers) get it right. I'm not sure if all Mahindras and Tatas do but the ones I checked passed the test!

Mahindra TUV
Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!-tuv30019.jpg

Tata Tiago
Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!-tatazica10.jpg

And interestingly, the new Baleno gets it right too
Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!-marutibaleno11.jpg

You would think that something like this is checked by ARAI before homologation but apparently not! What about your car? And for those of us with the wrong setup, any tips on how to tow/be towed safely aside from having another person on the passenger seat?

Last edited by McLaren Rulez : 1st September 2016 at 21:50.
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Old 1st September 2016, 21:48   #2
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Default Do Indian cars have the correct towing setup?

My only input is always opt for a flat bed to tow your car away! In those terms, your car will be at its safest! Have seen many cars being damaged whilst being towed away.
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Old 1st September 2016, 22:51   #3
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Default re: Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!

Very good observation ! Didn't see it my Swift till now.

The Baleno being developed in India explains its correct positioning?

How difficult is it for manufacturers to correct the position for local market?

Last edited by GTO : 2nd September 2016 at 13:43. Reason: Typo
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Old 2nd September 2016, 03:54   #4
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Default re: Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!

You could add the Toyota Etios to that right hand side list.

Another observation - tow rods(hooks) should be of a standard size .I found that the tow rod of an Etios has a different thread set up than , say, a Ritz/Swift/sx4.

I have also seen tow hooks being taken off cars only for the owners to discover this with shock when they need the tool in an emergency.
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Old 2nd September 2016, 13:46   #5
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Default Re: Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!

Quote:
Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
That means that in India, the front towing hook has to be on the passenger side and the rear tow hook on the driver's side. Unfortunately, this isn't the case with many Indian cars.
Great observation, thanks for sharing!

Guess cars developed for LHD markets (or those based on LHD hand-me-downs) have the tow hook on the wrong side.

LHD markets also outnumber RHD. That should explain why so many cars have it on the wrong side here.
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Old 2nd September 2016, 17:58   #6
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Default Re: Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!

Came across a very similar discussion a week back. Though that time the question was also "why aren't the tow-hooks centered?"

Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!-tow-20160902175440.png
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Old 2nd September 2016, 19:34   #7
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Default Re: Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!

Quote:
Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
... the reason the towing eye is off center is to allow the driver of the car being towed to get a good view of the road ahead.

He needs this in order to have enough reaction time to brake and not crash into the car that's towing him.

That means that in India, the front towing hook has to be on the passenger side and the rear tow hook on the driver's side.
This also means that around a blind corner the car being towed will be a sitting duck for the buses and trucks that come flying around the bend as it will be sticking out on the wrong side.

Thereby making the car a total loss and eliminating the need for further towing.

The car being towed should be EXACTLY in line with the car that is towing it and not sticking out.

The only valid point is that the tow hook should be at the side so that the load is distributed properly to the chassis.

The rest of the reasoning isn't valid. It can be on either side and ideally should be towed by a car with the rear hook on the same side. And it would be good if there were standards that stipulated the sides.

Last edited by VeyronSuperSprt : 2nd September 2016 at 19:39.
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Old 2nd September 2016, 20:45   #8
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Default Re: Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!

Discussion is premised on the assumption that the tow rope should be parallel with the direction of travel.
Valid assumption?

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 2nd September 2016, 20:53   #9
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Default Re: Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Discussion is premised on the assumption that the tow rope should be parallel with the direction of travel.
Valid assumption?

Regards
Sutripta
+1 to this. Moreover, If we are using a towing rope which is highly flexible, we can align the vehicle being towed exactly in line with the vehicle in front.

Last edited by Sherlocked : 2nd September 2016 at 21:19.
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Old 2nd September 2016, 21:24   #10
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Default Re: Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post

.......

ideally should be towed by a car with the rear hook on the same side.
......
Not exactly.

Imagine this scenario. A Maruti baleno, with the front tow hook on the passenger side is being towed by say, a VW polo with its rear hook on the driver side. Around a corner the rope being diagonally across should technically pull the Baleno into the corresponding lane and not into oncoming traffic, hence making it the safer option. The length of the tow rope matters quite a bit. Not sure if I'm making perfect sense here but the best option would always be a flatbed!
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Old 2nd September 2016, 22:25   #11
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Default Re: Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Discussion is premised on the assumption that the tow rope should be parallel with the direction of travel.
Valid assumption?
Yes. Any other way of doing it creates lateral forces on both cars which makes both harder to control, although still possible when no alternative exists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
The car being towed should be EXACTLY in line with the car that is towing it and not sticking out.

The tow hook can be on either side and ideally should be towed by a car with the rear hook on the same side. And it would be good if there were standards that stipulated the sides.
I've heard this point and I was actually hoping to get a better understanding of this. The problem I see is that the towed car has no view of the road.

Additionally, you will find that many cars (not just in India) have front and rear tow points on opposite sides on the same car. Others like VW have them on the same side.

Perhaps there are two different schools of thought when it comes to towing?
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Old 2nd September 2016, 22:41   #12
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Default Re: Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Discussion is premised on the assumption that the tow rope should be parallel with the direction of travel.
Valid assumption?

Regards
Sutripta
No ropes please. What happens if you're towing a car that has a brake failure? My post is premised on the assumption that we're using tow bars.
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Old 2nd September 2016, 23:21   #13
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Default Re: Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Discussion is premised on the assumption that the tow rope should be parallel with the direction of travel.
Valid assumption?
Well if anything, purely from a theoretical point of view there could something to be said for such an approach. Would minimise side way forces on both cars.

Over the years I have done a fair amount of towing of all sorts of cars all over Europe and a few in the USA. In all honesty, I have never given the tow hook position much thought. I also donít think they are standardised. Iíd say more or less pot luck where the manufacturer puts them. So sometimes you will get a tow rope parallel with the direction of travel, sometime it crosses the direction of travel.

As long as you use a proper rope and proper towing technique I really donít think it matters at all in practice.

Such as this one:
Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!-img_1871.jpg

or something like this:
Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!-img_2381.jpg

Towing technique is important, but it is also very straight forward. I have had my wife helping out with towing and once my mum.

Whoever drives the car that tows, needs to drive very carefully and very defensive. Pull away slowly until the tow rope takes up slack, brake carefully, indicate early and keep a steady pace, donít drive to fast.

When youíre driving the towed car; try and avoid the tow rope slacking up, so brake to keep the tow rope tight. Concentrate on the car in front in you and just follow through. By law you have to stay behind the car towing. So this whole business about swerving sideways to see ahead is simply illegal and very dangerous to boot. A proper towing rope, driven at a sedate speed with two drivers paying good attention and proceeding cautiously is all you need.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
No ropes please. What happens if you're towing a car that has a brake failure? My post is premised on the assumption that we're using tow bars.
I have no experience with tow bars, but unless they are the telescopic kind with hydraulic dampening you really should not be using them on regular cars I think.

Solid bars put a lot of stress on the cars on the cars towing hook and when the towed car doesnít or canít break you can see the problem.

Br Jeroen

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 3rd September 2016 at 08:03.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 07:24   #14
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Default Re: Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post

I have no experience with tow bars, but unless they are the telescopic kind with hydraulic dampening you really should not be using them on regular cars I think.

Solid bars put a lot of stress on the cars on the cars towing hook and when the towed car doesnít or canít break you can see the problem.
When you're towing a car that has no brakes and going down a slope, a rope would be of no use as the car without brakes would collide into the towing car and would be a risk to other cars on the road too.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 08:37   #15
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Default Re: Front tow hook should be on passenger side, not driver!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
When you're towing a car that has no brakes and going down a slope, a rope would be of no use as the car without brakes would collide into the towing car and would be a risk to other cars on the road too.
Well, I donít know about India, but in most countries I have lived or towed, that would be highly illegal and extremely stupid and irresponsible to boot.

A car being towed needs to be road legal in the sense that it must be able to steer, brake, indicate, working lights etc.

I think completely irresponsible to take to the road in a car being towed with a solid bar and no brakes!

A car without brakes shouldnít be on the road, being towed with a bar. If it needs to moved, put it on a flatbed!


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