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What is the Towing Capacity of a 2009 Chevy Malibu


What are the tow capabilities of my 2009 Malibu Ecotec 4 cyl. I want to pull a seadoo PWC, dry weight of 1010lbs +trailer. Can this be safely done? I have been told yes, but I should baby the car, and use the manual paddle shifters to keep the RPM up. Also that I should try to stay in 3rd gear to minimize shifting on the transmission. Thanks in advance.


Expert Reply:

I checked an online copy of the owners manual for the 2009 Chevy Malibu and the vehicle is rated for 1,000 pounds. I cannot recommend towing anything heavier than that. I would take what you have been told with a grain of salt. What you should do is follow the procedures specified in the owners manual.

Paddle shifters on an automatic rarely work like you would want them to. Often times they result in a hard shift or delayed shift which can negatively affect ride quality plus it is one more thing to think about while driving.

When towing a trailer you would not drive the vehicle the same way as if you weren't towing a trailer. I don't know if babying it is the right terminology but take off nice and easy, leave plenty of space between you and vehicles in front of you, and give yourself plenty of room to slow down and stop.

If your Malibu has a 4-speed transmission then 3rd gear would not be so bad but you are going to lose some fuel efficiency. If you have the 6-speed transmission then staying in third gear would be a bad idea. I have included a link with tips on towing a trailer for you.

For a trailer hitch I recommend Draw-Tite model # 36479. For the correct ball mount use # 36065. For a 1-7/8 inch ball use # 19256 and for a 2 inch ball use # 19258. For trailer wiring you can use # 118450.

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