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  1. #1

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    towing with a 5speed cobalt

    i want to do some traveling this summer with the jet ski. the problem is all i have is a 3/4 ton truck that gets 8 miles to the gallon, a 95 camaro, and an 07 cobalt.

    in the book it say you can tow with the auto but not the manual tranny. they do sell a towing hitch and harness for the 07 cobalt though. i thought about trading the car in and just geting something new that can tow like a Malibu but i owe 10g on the car still and its only work 6500 trade and 8500 privet party.

    so i thought about just throwing a hitch on the car and taking the risk because i figured heck i can even push the trailer( 12or 13 tires) up the incline my self with some effort. so i figure cant be any worse then having 4 large people in the car.

    they say the reason i cant tow is because the transaxe. would there be any other strain put on the transaxe besides the weight when towing?


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Obviously if your Cobalt is still under warranty, and towing is proscribed for the manual transmission model, then having a tow hitch mounted on the back is going to be an issue if you do have transmission troubles on the road somewhere.

    You are correct that pulling the loaded trailer up the ramp can be hard on the transmission, and it can be tricky footwork if the ramp is steep, or slippery.

    At highway speed, you may need to cruise in a lower gear than you would otherwise, to allow the engine to pull the extra load and overcome the added wind resistance without lugging the engine at too-low RPM. Running low RPM and high engine loads can cause damage if the fuel octane isn't high enough.

    Cruising in a lower gear means the engine is revving higher, and the transmission is running for long time periods in a gear ratio that it normally wouldn't be in. I could not say whether either of these factors will cause premature engine or transmission wear.

    Are you OK with travelling at modest highway speeds while towing?
    If you want to fly down the road with a trailer in tow, something is going to be affected, reliability-wise. Maybe only a little, maybe a lot.

    Are you pulling one or two PWC?

  3. #3

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    one gp800r. locally going to the ramps i would just use the 2500 becuase im like 10 minutes from the ramp. so its more of a highway thing and really maybe about 4-5 times a year but long trips.

  4. #4

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    I would think that the main thing to worry about would be frying the clutch. If you're not good at taking off gently, but at the same time not slipping the clutch, then you'll need to be. From a dead stop, is it possible to get full clutch engagement with pretty much no throttle? If it is, then I'd think you'll probably be okay. And being careful to rev-match shifts up through the gears, to minimize shock to the transmission and wear on the clutch. And please, unless you absolutely have to, Do Not downshift through the gears to slow down. Use the brakes, they're there for a reason. IIRC, don't the standard and SS S/C Cobalts use the same 5-speed manual, along with the new DI Twin Turbo 2.0 SS? If so, then I'd say that transmission is plenty beefy enough to tow a jet ski. And I know that the same transaxle goes into the HHR, which is probably a bigger wieight gain than throwing the GPR on the back. So I'd think you should be fine, just be sure to keep up with any transmission maintenance, maybe change the clutch fluid out more often and make sure it stays full.

    As for getting warranty work done with a hitch, just say it's there for a bike rack that you had installed. I see a Ton of cars, especially new Civics, with them on. Unless you actually leave the ball mount in the hitch (or in the trunk), they've got no way to prove that you were towing. And you'll definitely want to keep your 5yr/100k warranty.

  5. #5

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    I used a 2000 Neon (manual) for years pulling a double trailer with two 3 seaters on it.

  6. #6
    old school big raider's Avatar
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    have pulled my raider with a very large single zieman trailer for 65k miles with 0 problems behind an 06 cobalt

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by big raider View Post
    have pulled my raider with a very large single zieman trailer for 65k miles with 0 problems behind an 06 cobalt
    auto or manual? also how is it at the ramps. ill probably just use the tuck cause its a 5 minute trip the local ramp im just curious on long distance ones.

    im not so much worried about the clutch as i am the sycros. i have had a manual car or truck the last 5 years.

  8. #8
    old school big raider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stingray152003 View Post
    auto or manual? also how is it at the ramps. ill probably just use the tuck cause its a 5 minute trip the local ramp im just curious on long distance ones.

    im not so much worried about the clutch as i am the sycros. i have had a manual car or truck the last 5 years.
    auto and its great at the ramps and highway

  9. #9

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    I use my GTI 6pd manual to tow all over the place.. No issues so far.

  10. #10
    GTI SE 155
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    xylene, I tow with a 6-sp. manual Jetta GLI - same drivetrain as you. A great tow vehicle. I don't even need to let out more clutch than normally, it's that good. The sporty, fairly stiff suspension means that I have hardly any rear "sag" even with 4 people in the car.
    I would think the Cobalt would have no trouble whatsoever, as long as the driver knows how to drive a stick/ clutch correctly.

    Strangly enough, the VW manual rates the 6-spd. stick at 500 lbs. greater
    rating than the automatic.

    It's sure nice these days to get 23 MPG while towing a 1000 lb. rig!

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