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226 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 1.8l r18. Automatic. Whats the towing capacity? I have seen a few civics on the highway towing a SeaDoos and Dirt Bikes on trailers.

I'd like to tow my SeaDoo with my civic, but I think my car would probably need some upgrades to Suspension, Transmission, and Radiator, to handle the extra weight and heat associated with the extra load.

Anyone have any details on this?

1,510 Posts
Your vehicle can tow a trailer if you carefully observe the load limits, use the proper
equipment, and follow the towing guidelines. Check the load limits before driving.
■ Total trailer weight
Maximum allowable weight of the trailer,
cargo, and everything in or on it must not
exceed 1,000 lbs (450 kg). Towing loads in
excess of this can seriously affect vehicle
handling and performance and can damage
the engine and drivetrain.
■ Tongue load
The weight of the tongue with a fully loaded
trailer on the hitch should be approximately
10% of the total trailer weight.
• Excessive tongue load reduces front tire
traction and steering control. Too little
tongue load can make the trailer unstable
and cause it to sway.
• To achieve a proper tongue load, start by
loading 60% of the load toward the front
of the trailer and 40% toward the rear.
Readjust the load as needed.

1,510 Posts
Towing equipment varies by the size of your trailer, how much load you are towing,
and where you are towing.
■ Hitches
The hitch must be of an approved type and properly bolted to the underbody.
■ Safety chains
Always use safety chains when you tow a trailer. Leave enough slack to allow the
trailer to turn corners easily, but do not allow the chains to drag on the ground.
■ Trailer brakes
There are two common types of trailer brakes: surge and electric. Surge brakes are
common for boat trailers, since the brakes will get wet. If you choose electric brakes,
be sure they are electronically actuated. Do not attempt to attach trailer brakes to
your vehicle's hydraulic system, as it will lower braking effectiveness and create a
potential hazard.
■ Additional towing equipment
Many states and provinces/territories require special outside mirrors when towing a
trailer. Even if mirrors are not required in your locale, you should install special
mirrors if visibility is restricted in any way.
■ Trailer light
Trailer lights and equipment must comply with federal, state, province/territory, and
local regulations. Check with your local trailer sales or rental agency for the
requirements in the area where you plan to tow.

1,510 Posts
Driving Safely with a Trailer
• Have the trailer properly serviced and keep it in good condition.
• Make sure that all the weights and load in the vehicle and trailer are within limits.
2 Towing Load Limits P. 309
• Securely attach the hitch, safety chains, and other necessary parts to the trailer.
• Securely store all the items in and on the trailer so that they do not shift while
• Check if the lights and brakes on the trailer are working properly.
• Check the pressures of the trailer tires, including the spare.
• Drive slower than normal.
• Obey posted speed limits for vehicles with trailers.
• Use the (D position when towing a trailer on level roads.
• Turn more slowly and with a wider turning arc than normal.
• Allow more time and distance for braking.
• Do not brake or turn suddenly.

• Closely watch your high temperature indicator. If the indicator remains on, turn
off the heating and cooling system*/climate control system* and reduce speed.
Pull to the side of the road safely to cool down the engine if necessary.

15 Posts
I occasionally tow a 4'x8' harbor freight trailer loaded with kayaks...tongue weight is 50-60lbs...my 2013 civic LX (1.8L engine) does good considering it is not built for towing rather its built for economy. ECON button off will help to get a little more power (the ECON kinda acts like like overdrive button on some vehicles). You shouldn't have any troubles hauling your jet ski...I imagine that you will be using the A/C while towing (jet ski for summer fun)...I turn my A/C off temporarily when I have to accelerate to get some extra power then turn it back on when cruising again...the car works hard for sure but she won't blow up or anything. Just my thinking for precaution...I change my tranny fluid before and after summer time fun just because its easy and the tranny gets a work out when towing as well. The only negative wear and tear that has cost me is that the rear suspension really isnt set up for towing; I am on my 3rd set of rear shocks. It seems that Honda didn't anticipate to beef up the rear springs in case little ol granny needed to haul her electric chair around or joe redneck needed to haul a trailer 😂 Good luck!
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