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Table of Contents > Transportation of objects > Driving with a trailer

VW Passat B8 Owner's Manual ➜ Driving with a trailer

· Do not exceed the load capacity of the roof  
rack, even if the maximum authorized load on  
the roof has not been reached.  
driving with trailer  
Introduction to the topic  
WARNING  
The vehicle can be used to pull a trailer if it has  
the corresponding technical equipment. The  
additional mass towed impacts wear, fuel consumption  
and vehicle power, and under certain circumstances  
can result in shorter service intervals.  
If cargo is loose or not properly secured, it could  
fall from the roof rack, causing accidents and  
injuries.  
· Always use suitable and undamaged lashing  
straps, fixing straps or lashing straps.  
Driving with a trailer puts more effort on the vehicle  
and, in turn, requires more concentration from the  
driver.  
WARNING  
When opening the tailgate, make sure that it does  
not collide with the load on the roof.  
Vehicles with Start-Stop system  
For towing hitches that have been retrofitted by a  
workshop outside the Volkswagen network, the Start-  
Stop system must be manually deactivated before  
starting to drive with a trailer and kept deactivated  
until throughout the journey ÿ p. 144.  
Indications of use  
Please note and  
at the beginning of this ca  
chapter, on page 280.  
DANGER  
Situations in which you have to remove the roof  
rack  
Never use the trailer to transport people, as it  
would endanger your life and it could also be  
prohibited.  
— When the roof rack is no longer needed  
if you.  
— Before entering an automatic washing facility.  
WARNING  
Improper use of the towing hitch can cause loss of  
vehicle control, accidents and serious injury.  
— When the height of the vehicle exceeds the required  
clearance height, e.g. For example, in a garage.  
· Use the towing hitch only if it is in perfect condition  
and is correctly fastened.  
WARNING  
· The height of the vehicle increases with the  
mounting of a roof rack, as well as with the load  
attached to it. Therefore, make sure that the  
height of the vehicle does not exceed the height  
limit for driving through, for example, underpasses  
or garage doors.  
· Do not carry out any type of modification or  
repair on the towing device.  
· In order to reduce the danger of  
In case of rear-end collisions and to avoid injury  
to pedestrians and bicyclists when parked, if  
possible, retract or remove the hitch ball when  
not using a trailer.  
· The roof rack and cargo must not interfere with  
the roof antenna or obstruct the area of travel of  
the glass roof or the tailgate.  
Never mount a towing device  
“with weight distribution” or “load compensation”.  
The vehicle has not been designed for this type  
of towing devices. The towing hitch could fail  
and the trailer could come loose from the vehicle.  
When a roof rack is mounted, the fuel  
consumption of  
due to the increased aerodynamic resistance.  
WARNING  
Driving with a trailer and transporting heavy or  
large objects can change the  
282  
Transport of objects  
change the driving characteristics, lengthen the  
braking distance and cause accidents.  
Do not tow a trailer for the first 1000 km (600  
miles) of the engine ÿ p. 139.  
· Always secure the load correctly with proper and  
undamaged lashing straps, lashing straps or  
lashing straps.  
Some rear-mounted towing devices cover  
the rear towing eye housing. In these cases,  
the towing eye cannot be used for towing starting or  
towing other vehicles.  
· Always adapt your speed and driving style to  
the visibility, weather, road and traffic  
conditions. Slow down, especially when going  
downhill.  
For this reason, if you have retrofitted the vehicle  
with a towing device, always store the ball hitch in  
the vehicle when removing it.  
· Trailers with a high center of gravity are more  
likely to roll over than those with a low center  
of gravity.  
· Always drive proactively and cautiously.  
Accelerate with special care and caution.  
Avoid sudden braking and sudden maneuvers.  
Technical requirements  
Note at the beginnionngpoafgtheis28,2a.nd , chapter,  
· Be extremely careful when overtaking.  
Immediately reduce speed as soon as  
notice that the trailer sways a little.  
Engine Cooling System Driving  
with a trailer places great strain on the engine and  
its cooling system. The engine cooling system will  
need to have sufficient coolant and be prepared for  
the extra stress of towing.  
· When towing a trailer, do not go faster than 80  
km/h (50 mph) or faster than 100 km/h (60  
mph) in exceptional cases. This also applies in  
those countries where faster driving is permitted.  
Take into account the maximum speed allowed  
in the corresponding country for vehicles driving  
with a trailer, as it could be lower than that  
allowed for vehicles driving without one.  
trailer brakes  
If the trailer has its own braking system, please  
observe the relevant legal provisions.  
· Never try to “straighten out” the towing vehicle  
and trailer combination by accelerating.  
exterior mirrors  
Never mount a towing device  
“with weight distribution” or “load compensation”.  
If the area behind the trailer cannot be seen with  
the standard exterior mirrors of the towing vehicle,  
it is necessary to install additional mirrors in  
WARNING  
accordance with the regulations of the country in  
question. The exterior mirrors must be adjusted  
before driving off and must provide a sufficient field  
of vision to the rear.  
If the towing hitch has been retrofitted by a  
workshop that does not belong to the Volkswagen  
network, the Start-Stop system must always be  
deactivated manually when towing a trailer. Failure  
to do so could lead to a failure of the brake system,  
resulting in an accident and serious injury.  
Retrofitting a towing device  
Only use a towing hitch that has been approved by  
Volkswagen for this vehicle. Always check and  
observe the instructions of the towing hitch  
manufacturer.  
you see.  
WARNING  
Trailer taillights Trailer  
Observe the notes and information regarding  
vehicles in category N1 ÿ p. 384, Important information  
for vehicles in category N1 (light commercial vehicle).  
taillights must function properly and comply with  
applicable legal provisions. Make sure the  
maximum power consumption of the trailer taillights  
is not exceeded.  
If the connection to a trailer included in the anti-  
theft alarm is broken, the anti-theft alarm may  
be triggered. ÿ p. 83  
3 G 0 0 1 2 7 6 0 A H  
283  
driving with trailer  
Driving with a trailer in countries with very hot  
or cold climates  
Removing the ball hitch from  
the towing device  
Due to weather conditions, in some countries trailer  
driving is not permitted for all engine/gearbox  
combinations. If you wish to retrofit a towing hitch,  
ask a specialist workshop in advance whether the  
vehicle is suitable for this.  
,
of this Note and , chapter, onatptahgeeb2e8g2i.nning  
WARNING  
If the towing device is installed incorrectly or is  
not correct, the trailer could come loose from the  
towing vehicle. This could cause serious accidents  
and fatal injuries.  
· Never mount a towing device on the bumper or its  
mounting. Do not allow the towing hitch to impair  
the function of the bumper.  
Do not carry out modifications or repairs on the  
exhaust system or the brake system.  
us.  
Fig. 199 On the right side of the luggage compartment:  
button for unlocking the ball hitch.  
WARNING  
The ball hitch for the towing hitch is located on the  
bumper. The electrically released ball hitch is  
mechanically removed for use and cannot be  
disassembled.  
· If the electrical power consumption of the trailer is  
unacceptably high, the vehicle's electronic system  
may be damaged.  
Never connect the electrical system of the trailer  
Unlock the ball hitch and remove it  
than directly to the electrical connections of the  
rear light groups or to other power sources. Use  
only suitable connections for power supplying the  
— Park the vehicle ÿ p. 185.  
— Open the tailgate.  
trailer.  
— Briefly pull the button ÿ fig. 199 located in the trunk.  
The ball hitch is unlocked electrically and comes  
out automatically. The button control indicator  
If you often drive with a trailer, Volks wagen  
flashes.  
recommends having the vehicle serviced even  
— Finish removing the ball hitch until you feel and hear  
between inspection intervals due to the increased  
that it has engaged and the button control indicator  
stress it is subjected to.  
comes on permanently  
tea.  
— Close the tailgate.  
Retract ball hitch  
— Park the vehicle ÿ p. 185.  
— Unhitch the trailer and break the connection  
electrical connection between it and the vehicle. If  
you are using an adapter, remove it from the trailer  
power outlet.  
— Open the tailgate.  
— Briefly pull the button ÿ fig. 199 located in the trunk.  
The ball hitch is unlocked electrically.  
— Insert the hitch ball under the for  
blows until you feel and hear that it engages and  
284  
Transport of objects  
turn on the control indicator of the button permanently.  
Mounting a bike carrier on the  
ball hitch of the towing hitch  
— Close the tailgate.  
Meaning of the control lamp of the button  
of this Note , and , chapter, oant pthaegebe2g8i2n.ning  
— If the indicator light of the button ÿ fig. 199 remains  
on with the tailgate open, the ball hitch is correctly  
engaged both when it is withdrawn and when it is  
retracted.  
Use only Volkswagen-approved bike racks for this  
vehicle.  
Mount the bike rack in accordance with the  
manufacturer's mounting instructions.  
— If the button control indicator flashes, it means that  
the ball hitch has not yet engaged correctly or that  
it is damaged ÿ .  
Only bike racks that can fit a maximum of three bikes  
are allowed ÿ .  
— The indicator light for the button goes out for  
Heavier bikes should be mounted as close to the  
vehicle as possible (ball hitch).  
approx. 1 minute after closing the tailgate  
ro.  
Maximum load capacity The  
WARNING  
maximum load capacity (carrier system plus load)  
of the tow ball mounted bike rack is 75 kg. However,  
it is not permitted to exceed the maximum permissible  
vertical load on the towing device (depending on the  
model) ÿ p. 286.  
Improper use of the towing device can cause injuries  
and accidents.  
· Use the ball hitch only if it is  
embedded correctly.  
· Always make sure that there is no person, animal  
or thing in the area of travel of the ball hitch.  
WARNING  
Improper use of the towing hitch with a ball hitch  
mounted bike rack can cause injury and accidents.  
· Never intervene with a tool or tool while the  
ball hitch is in motion.  
· Never exceed the specified payload or the distance  
the load can project backwards.  
· Never press the button when there is a trailer  
hitched or a luggage rack or other accessories  
are mounted on the ball hitch.  
· It is not allowed to fix the bike rack on the neck  
of the hitch below the ball, since, due to this  
neck shape and depending on the model of the  
bike rack, the latter could be mounted in the  
wrong position on the vehicle.  
If the ball hitch does not fit correctly  
or there is a fault in the electrical system or in  
the towing device, do not use the device and  
have it checked by a specialized workshop.  
· Read and observe the assembly instructions of  
the manufacturer of the bicycle rack.  
· If the ball has a diameter of less than 49 mm at the  
smallest point, do not use the towing device under  
any circumstances.  
WARNING  
Exceeding the maximum payload or distance that  
the load can overhang to the rear stated in the  
manufacturer's mounting instructions can cause  
considerable damage to the vehicle.  
WARNING  
When cleaning the vehicle with a high-pressure  
cleaner or steam cleaner, do not direct the jet directly  
at the retractable ball hitch or trailer socket, as this  
could damage the seals or wash away the grease  
required for assembly. lubrication.  
· Never exceed the values indicated in the assembly  
instructions.  
Volkswagen recommends removing, as far as  
possible, all accessories from bicycles before  
setting off. These accessories can be, e.g. eg,  
baskets and panniers, child seats or batteries. This  
improves the aerodynamics and the center of gravity  
of the carrier system.  
It may happen that, at extremely low  
temperatures, the ball hitch cannot be actuated.  
In these cases it is sufficient to leave the vehicle in a  
warmer room, e.g. For example, in a garage.  
3 G 0 0 1 2 7 6 0 A H  
285  
driving with trailer  
· Only have work to be carried out on the electrical system  
carried out by a specialized workshop.  
Instructions for driving with a trailer  
Never connect the electrical system of the re  
of this Note , and , chapter, oant tphaegbee2g8in2n. ing  
connect to the electrical connections of the  
rear light units of the towing vehicle or to other  
power sources.  
Trailer socket The electrical  
connection between the towing vehicle and the  
trailer is established via a 13-pin socket. The pin  
assignment corresponds to DIN ISO 11446.  
WARNING  
Contact between the pins of the trailer power socket  
can cause a short circuit, overload the electrical  
system or break down the lighting system, which  
can result in accidents and serious injuries.  
If the trailer has a 7-pin connector, a suitable  
adapter must be used.  
If you are not sure how the trailer is connected  
electrically to the towing vehicle correctly, consult a  
specialist workshop. Volkswagen recommends going  
to a Volkswagen dealer for this.  
Never connect the socket pins together  
trailer current.  
· Have bent pins repaired by a specialized workshop.  
WARNING  
Include in the burglar alarm  
The trailer is included in the anti-theft alarm if the  
following conditions are met:  
Never leave the trailer coupled to the vehicle if it has  
been parked supporting it on its supports or on the  
support wheel. If the vehicle goes up or down due to,  
for example, a load variation or some type of tire  
damage, more pressure will be put on the towing  
hitch and trailer, and both the vehicle and the trailer  
could be damaged. .  
— If the vehicle is factory-equipped with an anti-theft  
alarm and towing device.  
— If the trailer is electrically connected to the towing  
vehicle via the trailer power socket.  
— If the electrical system of the vehicle and the trailer  
are in perfect condition and have no breakdowns  
or damage.  
In case of anomalies in the electrical system  
of the vehicle or trailer, as well as the anti-  
theft alarm, have the vehicle checked by a specialized  
workshop.  
— If the vehicle has been locked with the key  
and the anti-theft alarm is active.  
If, with the engine off, there are accessories  
on the trailer and the trailer is connected  
When the vehicle is locked, the alarm is triggered as  
soon as the electrical connection to the trailer is  
electrically connected to the trailer power outlet,  
broken.  
the 12-volt battery will discharge.  
Include in anti-theft alarm (trailers with LED  
If the 12 volt battery is low, the electrical  
taillights)  
connection to the trailer will be automatically  
For technical reasons, trailers with light-emitting  
broken.  
diode (LED) taillights cannot be included in the anti-  
theft alarm.  
With the vehicle locked, the alarm does not trigger  
load a trailer  
when the electrical connection to the trailer is  
interrupted if the trailer has LED technology taillights.  
of this Note and , ch, apter, onatptahgeeb2e8g2in. ning  
WARNING  
Technically permissible maximum towable mass  
and maximum vertical load on the coupling  
The technically permissible maximum towable mass  
If the wires are connected improperly or incorrectly,  
the trailer could receive excessive electrical current,  
which could cause malfunctions in the entire  
electronic system of the vehicle, as well as cause  
is the load that the vehicle can tow.  
accidents and serious injuries.  
286  
Transport of objects  
The vertical load on the coupling is the load exerted vertically  
mentation, the maximum authorized mass of the vehicle or  
trailer or the maximum authorized mass of the towing vehicle  
and trailer combination, accidents and serious injuries may  
occur.  
from above on the ball hitch of the towing device.  
The data on the technically permissible maximum towable  
· Never exceed the indicated values.  
mass and the maximum vertical load on the coupling given on  
the type plate of the towing device are only experimental values.  
The valid values for the vehicle, often lower than these values,  
are listed in the vehicle documentation. Data from the vehicle's  
official documentation always have priority.  
· Never allow the weight on the front and rear axles to exceed  
the maximum authorized mass per axle. Never allow the  
weight of the front and rear of the vehicle to exceed the  
maximum authorized mass.  
WARNING  
The maximum permissible vertical load of the trailer tongue  
on the tow hitch ball is 90 kg (200 lbs).  
A displacement of the load could jeopardize the stability and  
safety of the tow vehicle and trailer combination, which could  
cause accidents and serious injuries.  
To promote safety while driving, Volkswagen recommends  
always making the most of the maximum permissible vertical  
load on the coupling. Insufficient vertical load negatively  
influences the driving behavior of the towing vehicle and trailer  
combination.  
· Always load the trailer correctly.  
· Always secure the load with suitable and undamaged  
lashing straps, lashing straps or lashing straps.  
The existing vertical load on the coupling increases the weight  
on the rear axle and reduces the possible payload of the vehicle.  
driving with trailer  
Mass of the towing vehicle and trailer  
combination The mass of the towing vehicle and trailer  
combination is understood to be the sum of the effective  
Note at the beginning o2f8t2h.is , and , chapter, on page  
masses of the towing vehicle and the laden trailer.  
Adjusting the  
In some countries trailers are classified into categories.  
Volkswagen recommends inquiring at a specialized workshop  
about the most suitable trailers.  
Headlights When towing a trailer, the front of the vehicle may  
lift and if the low beam is on, other road users may be dazzled.  
For this reason, lower the beam of light as necessary by  
adjusting the range of the headlamps. On vehicles with  
Loading a trailer The  
dynamic headlamp range control, the headlamps adapt  
automatically and therefore require no adjustment.  
towing vehicle and trailer combination must be balanced. To do  
this, the maximum permissible vertical load on the coupling must  
be used to the maximum and the load must be distributed evenly  
between the rear and front of the trailer:  
Special features of driving with a trailer  
— In the case of a trailer with a brake  
coasting, brake gently first and then quickly. In this way  
you will avoid braking jerks due to the blocking of the trailer  
wheels.  
— Distribute cargo on the trailer so heavy items are as close  
to or on the axle as possible.  
— Secure the trailer load correctly.  
— Due to the mass of the towing vehicle and trailer  
combination, the braking distance increases.  
tire pressure  
— When going downhill, also use the engine as a brake.  
Otherwise the brake system could overheat and possibly  
fail.  
Trailer tire pressure is governed by the trailer manufacturer's  
recommendation.  
When driving with a trailer, inflate the tires of the towing  
vehicle to the maximum pressure allowed ÿ p. 342.  
— On vehicles with a manual transmission, shift into a  
lower gear before going down a hill.  
WARNING  
3 G 0 0 1 2 7 6 0 A H  
— In Tiptronic mode of the automatic gearbox,  
select a lower gear.  
If the maximum authorized mass per axle is  
exceeded, the maximum authorized vertical load on the curb  
287  
driving with trailer  
— The towed mass and the high total mass of the  
Towing vehicle and trailer together modify the center of gravity  
and the driving properties of the vehicle.  
· Be extremely careful when overtaking.  
Immediately reduce speed as soon as you feel the slightest  
sway to the trailer.  
— If the towing vehicle is empty and the trailer loaded, the weight  
distribution will be very unfavorable. In these conditions, drive  
with special caution and suitably slow.  
· Never try to “straighten out” the towing vehicle and trailer  
combination by accelerating.  
· Take into account the maximum speed for vehicles traveling  
with a trailer, as it could be less than that allowed for  
vehicles traveling without one.  
Starting on an uphill grade with a trailer Depending on the  
steepness of the uphill grade and the total mass of the towing  
vehicle and trailer combination, the combination may tip  
backwards slightly when starting off.  
Stabilization of the towing vehicle  
and trailer set  
To start on an uphill grade with a trailer attached, do the  
following:  
,
Note at the beginning of this and , chapter, on page 282.  
— Depress the brake pedal and hold it down.  
— Press the key once  
parking brake ÿ p. 185.  
to disengage the electronic  
The stabilization of the tow vehicle and trailer combination can  
detect if the coupled trailer begins to sway and countersteer  
accordingly.  
— In case of manual transmission, step on the em pedal  
bra thoroughly.  
— Engage 1st gear or place selector lever in D/S position. and  
The stabilization of the towing vehicle and trailer combination  
is an additional function of the electronic stabilization program  
(ESC).  
hold it in this position to hold the tow vehicle and trailer  
— Pull the key  
brake.  
combination with the electronic parking  
If Tow Trailer Stabilization detects trailer sway, it automatically  
intervenes in conjunction with steering control assistance to  
reduce trailer sway.  
— Release the brake pedal.  
— Start walking slowly.  
— To do this, in the case of manual transmission, release the pe  
release the clutch slowly.  
Requirements for the stabilization of the tow vehicle and  
trailer combination  
— Do not release the key  
force to start the march.  
until the engine has enough motive  
— The vehicle is factory-equipped with a towing device or has  
been retrofitted with a compatible one.  
WARNING  
Improperly towing a trailer could result in loss of vehicle control  
and serious injury.  
— The electronic stabilization program (ESC) and the  
acceleration anti-skid regulation (ASR) are active. The control  
indicator or does not light up in the instrument panel.  
· Driving with a trailer and transporting heavy or large objects  
can change the driving characteristics and increase the  
braking distance.  
— The trailer is electrically connected to the towing vehicle via  
the trailer power socket.  
· Always drive proactively and cautiously. Brake earlier than  
usual.  
— You are driving at a speed greater than 60 km/h (37 mph)  
approx.  
— The maximum vertical load is being used on  
The coupling.  
· Always adapt your speed and driving style to the visibility,  
weather, road and traffic conditions. Slow down,  
especially when going downhill.  
— The trailer must have a rigid drawbar.  
— If the trailer has a brake, it must be equipped  
with a mechanical inertia brake.  
· Accelerate with special care and caution. Avoid sudden  
braking and sudden maneuvers.  
288  
Transport of objects