Mercedes-Benz C-Class Manuals

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Owners Manual: Tow starting or towing away

Permitted towing methods

Mercedes-Benz recommends transporting your vehicle in the case of a breakdown, rather than towing it away.

For towing, use a tow rope or tow bar with both axles on the ground. Do not use tow bar systems.

NOTE Damage to the vehicle due to towing away incorrectly
  • Observe the instructions and notes on towing away.

Permitted towing methods

Vehicle equipment/towing method

Both axles on the ground

Front axle raised

Rear axle raised

Vehicles with automatic transmission Yes, maximum 31 miles (50 km) at 31 mph (50 km/h) No Yes, if the steering wheel is fixed in the center position with a steering wheel lock.
4MATIC vehicles Yes, maximum 31 miles (50 km) at 31 mph (50 km/h) No No

Towing with a raised axle: towing should be performed by a towing company.

Towing the vehicle with both axles on the ground

  • Observe the notes on the permitted towing methods.

  • Make sure that the battery is connected and charged.

Observe the following points when the battery is discharged:

  • The engine cannot be started

  • The electric parking brake cannot be released or applied

  • Vehicles with automatic transmission: The automatic transmission cannot be shifted to position N or P.

Vehicles with automatic transmission: If the automatic transmission cannot be shifted to position N, or the multifunction display in the instrument cluster does not show anything, have the vehicle transported away. A towing vehicle with lifting equipment is required for vehicle transportation.

NOTE Damage due to towing away at excessively high speeds or over long distances
The drivetrain could be damaged when towing at excessively high speeds or over long distances.
  • A towing speed of 30 mph (50 km/h) must not be exceeded.
  • A towing distance of 30 miles (50 km) must not be exceeded.

 

WARNING Risk of accident when towing a vehicle which is too heavy
If the vehicle being tow-started or towed away is heavier than the permissible gross mass of your vehicle, the following situations can occur:
  • The towing eye may become detached.
  • The vehicle/trailer combination may swerve or even overturn.
  • If another vehicle is tow-started or towed away, its weight must not exceed the permissible gross mass of your own vehicle.

If a vehicle must be tow started or towed away, its permissible gross mass must not exceed the permissible gross mass of the towing vehicle.

  • Information on the permissible gross mass of the vehicle can be found on the vehicle identification plate .

  • Vehicles with automatic transmission: Do not open the driver's door or front passenger door, otherwise the automatic transmission automatically shifts to position P.

  • Installing the towing eye .

  • Fasten the tow bar.

NOTE Damage due to incorrect connection
  • Only connect the tow rope or tow bar to the towing eyes.
  • Deactivating the automatic locking mechanism.

  • Do not activate the HOLD function.

  • Deactivate Active Brake Assist.

  • Vehicles with automatic transmission: Shift the automatic transmission to position N.

  • Release the electric parking brake.

WARNING Risk of accident due to limited safety-related functions during the towing process
Safety-related functions are limited or no longer available in the following situations:
  • the ignition is switched off.
  • the brake system or power steering system is malfunctioning.
  • the energy supply or the on-board electrical system is malfunctioning.

When your vehicle is then towed away, significantly more effort may be required to steer and brake than is normally required.

  • Use a tow bar.
  • Make sure that the steering wheel can move freely, before towing the vehicle away.

 

NOTE Damage due to excessive tractive power
If you pull away sharply, the tractive power may be too high and the vehicles could be damaged.
  • Pull away slowly and smoothly.

Loading the vehicle for transport

  • Observe the notes on towing away.

  • Connect the tow bar to the towing eye in order to load the vehicle.

  • Vehicles with automatic transmission: Shift the automatic transmission to position N.

Vehicles with automatic transmission: The automatic transmission may be locked in position P in the event of damage to the electrical system. To shift to N, provide the on-board electrical system with power.

  • Load the vehicle onto the transporter.

  • Vehicles with automatic transmission: Shift the automatic transmission to position P.

  • Use the electric parking brake to secure the vehicle against rolling away.

  • Only secure the vehicle by the wheels.

Vehicles with ADS PLUS (Adaptive Damping System PLUS)

WARNING Risk of an accident when transporting vehicles with Adaptive Damping System PLUS
The reduced damping forces on the vehicle being transported can cause the vehicle/ trailer combination to start to swing.

As a result, when transporting vehicles with the Adaptive Damping System PLUS, the vehicle/trailer combination may start to skid.

Consequently, you could lose control of your vehicle.

  • When transporting, ensure that:
    • The vehicle has been loaded onto the transporter correctly
    • The vehicle is secured at all four wheels with suitable tensioning straps
    • The maximum permissible speed of 35 mph (60 km/h) is not exceeded when transporting

 

NOTE Damage to the vehicle from securing it incorrectly
  • After loading, the vehicle must be secured at all four wheels. Otherwise, the vehicle could be damaged.
  • A minimum distance of 8 in (20 cm) up and 4 in (10 cm) down must be kept to the transport platform.
  • Secure the vehicle on all four wheels after loading.

4MATIC vehicles/vehicles with automatic transmission

Tow starting or towing away

  • Make sure that the front and rear axles come to rest on the same transportation vehicle
NOTE Damage to the drivetrain due to incorrect positioning
  • Do not position the vehicle above the connection point of the transport vehicle.

Towing eye storage location

Tow starting or towing away

Towing eye 1 is located in the stowage space under the trunk floor

Installing the towing eye

Tow starting or towing away

  • Press the mark on cover 1 inwards and remove.
  • Screw in the towing eye clockwise as far as it will go and tighten.

Make sure that cover 1 engages in the bumper when you remove the towing eye.

NOTE Damage due to incorrect use of the towing eye
When a towing eye is used to recover a vehicle, the vehicle may be damaged in the process.
  • Only use the towing eye to tow away or tow start the vehicle.

Tow starting the vehicle (emergency engine start)

Vehicles with automatic transmission

NOTE Damage to the automatic transmission due to tow starting
The automatic transmission may be damaged in the process of tow starting vehicles with automatic transmission.
  • Vehicles with automatic transmission must not be tow started.
  • Vehicles with automatic transmission must not be tow-started.
    Starting assistance and charging the 12 V battery

    Electrical fuses

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